Pittwater Life

Are solar panels a middle-class purchase? This survey says yes

Are solar panels a middle-class purchase? This survey says yes
Adam McHugh | Murdoch Uni

The rate of growth in residential rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) in Australia since 2008 has been nothing short of breathtaking. Our new research suggests that the households most likely to join in the solar spree are those that are affluent enough to afford the upfront investment, but not so wealthy that they don’t worry about their future power bills.

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Bunya pines are ancient, delicious and possibly deadly

Bunya pines are ancient, delicious and possibly deadly
Ian Wright | Western Sydney Uni

Bunya pines (botanical name: Aracauria bidwilli) are living fossils. They come from a fascinating family of flora, the Araucariaceae, which grew across the world in the Jurassic period. Many of its “cousins” are extinct.

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The future is fenced for Australian animals

The future is fenced for Australian animals
Michael Bode | University Of Qld

The captives within our conservation fences are adorable – floppy-eared bilbies, tiny hare-wallabies, long-tongued numbats – and they all share an extreme susceptibility to introduced predators. At least 68 native mammal species cannot exist in the wild if either foxes or cats are present.

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Five best hiking trails on Sydney’s northern beaches

Five best hiking trails on Sydney’s northern beaches
Erina Starkey, Manly Daily

WHETHER you’re an expert trekker or weekend wanderer, there are plenty of beautiful pockets to explore on Sydney’s northern beaches.

So lace up your boots and slap on the sunscreen, here’s our list of five best nature trails.

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Some forests get more fire-resistant with age

Some forests get more fire-resistant with age
Philip Zylstra | University of Wollongong

As the fire season extends and heatwaves become more frequent, it’s vital to preserve our natural protections. My research, recently released in the journal Austral Ecology, contradict one of the central assumptions in Australian fire management - that forest accumulate fuel over time and become increasingly flammable.

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You’re paying too much for electricity...

You’re paying too much for electricity...
Kate Griffiths | Gattan Institute

State-owned power networks have spent up to A$20 billion more than was needed on the electricity grid, and households and businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania are paying for it in sky-high power bills.

A new Grattan Institute report, Down to the Wire, shows that electricity customers in these states would be paying A$100-A$400 less each year if the overspend had not happened.

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I’m not overweight, so why do I need to eat healthy foods?

I’m not overweight, so why do I need to eat healthy foods?
Alessandro R Demaio | University of Copenhagen

We all have that one friend whose eating habits and body shape simply don’t add up. While enjoying the unhealthiest of meals and a sedentary lifestyle, somehow they effortlessly retain a slender figure.

At first glance we may assume these slim people are healthy, but it’s not always the case. So if you don’t have weight to worry about, what’s the impetus for avoiding sweet or salty temptations and eating good, nutritious foods instead?

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