Articles on Fossil fuels

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Gas wells are popping up across the country. AAP

Explainer: coal seam gas, shale gas and fracking in Australia

Debate is intensifying over the extraction of coal seam gas, particularly in NSW and Queensland. Farmers are protesting over safety concerns and threats to the country’s food security. The Greens and the…
What can you do with a hole in the ground? It’s about more than planting trees. OZinOH/flickr

Sending mines to rehab: good for health, good for the environment

In late 1986, residents of Diamond St, Kingston, an outer southern suburb of Brisbane, began to notice a black sludge-like substance seeping through the soil and into their gardens. Within six months…
The movie Gasland galvanised the public on the dangers of fracking. Gasland

NSW’s coal seam gas ban - where the frack to next?

Fracking. It’s a hotbed of controversy that spans our increasingly energy-hungry globe. The French have turned their back on it. Permanently. And now the NSW government has temporarily frozen the use of…
Believe it or not, sulphur emissions are keeping us cooler. lillicomanche/flickr

Beyond two degrees celsius: sulphur won’t save us for long

The Earth energy balance – the difference between energy/heat absorbed by the Earth from solar radiation and the energy/heat emitted back to space – is currently offset by the cooling effect of sulphur…
Researchers hope to use piezoelectricity – which is generated by mechanical pressure such as fingers tapping a screen or blood pressure – to power gadgets like iPads or pacemakers. Flickr

Could blood pressure power pacemakers in future?

That tangled collection of chargers could one day be obsolete, as Australian researchers report a breakthrough that brings…
CSIRO scientist Dr Paul Fraser examining air stored in the Cape Grim Air Archive. Anyone can now explore online the record levels of greenhouse gases measured in the Southern Hemisphere atmosphere since 1976. North Sullivan Photography

New CSIRO website shows steady rise of greenhouse gases

A new website launched today allows the public to see how greenhouse gas emissions have risen steadily over the past 35 years…
Renewables or fossil fuels, we’ll send them offshore when it makes sense. Flickr/nosha

Australian energy may be more useful abroad than at home

Australia is a major energy exporter. Are we going to continue to increase our contribution to Asia’s energy mix? Will it be clean energy? And is it possible that our best renewable energy resources will…
A carbon tax priced at $26 per tonne could raise $11.5 billion in the first year, said economist Ross Garnaut. AAP

Final Garnaut climate change review: the experts respond

Economist Professor Ross Garnaut has released his final report to the government on climate change and the economy. The report says global warming is expected to continue and estimates that a $26 per tonne…
Coal seam gas drilling threatens our most arable land. «Jonny Boy»/flickr

Coal seam gas a risk to food security

Coal seam gas has been touted by some as the answer to our addiction to dirty coal. It’s marketed as a “transition fuel” that will ween us off fossil fuels as we move to renewable energy. But the process…
Sea levels are expected to rise between 0.5m and 1m by 2100, potentially at great cost to coastal infrastructure. AAP

Fix climate by 2020 or face huge costs

Governments and communities must take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions this decade or face enormous social…
For politicians, there’s no bright future in pushing up petrol prices. Alcohol Gasoline/Flickr

Driving off a cliff? The politics of petrol and carbon-pricing

Politically, increasing petrol prices is one of the least popular things a government can do. But is there any point to a carbon tax if it doesn’t cover petrol? Vladimir Putin has just found how quickly…
Our old-fashioned addiction will be hard to kick. JD Hancock/flickr

Going up: peak oil wolf is scratching at the door

Oil is a finite and non-renewable resource. Its production is going to peak. “Peak oil” is the point at which half of the world’s original endowment of oil has been extracted. This is the point at which…
At least three-quarters of city commuters travel by car. AAP

Carbon tax on petrol has zero chance of cutting emissions

Emissions trading is back in the news and in national political debate, as is the related question of how it will affect Australian motorists. Fair enough. This should receive attention because greenhouse…

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