Friday, March 30, 2007

The Civic Hybrid

This is the Honda Civic Hybrid. It costs around the same as a traditional Honda Civic, but uses around half the petrol. According to the Green Vehicle Guide it requires just 4.6 litres per 100km.

Anyway, there is stacks more info on the Honda website. If you're in the market for a new car, this would be a very greenhouse friendly option.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Silver Slivers

Recently, the ABC science programme Catalyst did a story on the developments in solar technology that are happening right here in Australia. Referred to as Sliver Technology, it can produce solar panels at a fraction of the cost.

For some reason, the Catalyst website doesn't provide the podcast of this story, but you can read the full transcript.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Let them know

As you may already be aware, Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party are hosting a climate change summit this Saturday. Held in Canberra, the summit involves the state premiers, business leaders and others.

The 'others' includes representatives from the tireless campaign group "GetUp". As part of their contribution, they will be "taking your concerns directly to the potential next Government of Australia".

If you want to make your voice heard, GetUp are giving you that chance. On the website, you can send your opinions in. The cool bit is, if you enter your postcode, it will address your message to a Labor MP or Senator in your area.

Of course, you can email politicians any (or every) day of the year, but as GetUp point out, "This is a crucial opportunity to influence and support real climate leadership inside the ALP. You have the power, so send your message today."

Monday, March 26, 2007

Beyond Petrol

ABC's science programme Catalyst did a story on the next generation of cars - ones that don't use petrol at all.

The story is now available on the Catalyst website, where you can read the transcript or watch the video. It's definitely worth a look!

ps. for car enthusaists, there's an electric car which is faster than a Lamborghini.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cool It

The government has produced a booklet entitled "Global Warming - Cool It". Packed with information and tips, it is available for free. You can view it online or the good people at Cool the Globe can post one out to you.

Of course, if you're like me, you may be surprised that the current government is doing ANYTHING about global warming. And the booklet may well be just a method of distracting us from noticing they've done next to nothing to actually address the problem.

But if you're more optimistic than me, perhaps you might say that now that the pretty booklet-printing is done, they can get on with the serious stuff of actually making some gutsy decisions. Let's hope so.

Having got all that off my chest, the booklet IS a good one. And until we do switch over to renewable energy sources, the best we can do is to reduce the carbon dioxide we produce.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Running on Air

A friend of mine sent me an article about the new Compressed Air Vehicle.

Essentially, the difference is that instead of burning petrol to drive the engine, it uses compressed air to do the same thing. So, provided that the energy comes from a non-greenhouse source, the car could be carbon free.

Of course, the same thing could also be done with electric cars or hydrogen cars. It would just take companies and/or government to have the foresight to get behind one of these strategies. Not only would this enable cars to be greenhouse-free, but it would mean that the energy could be obtained through Australian renewable energy, rather than imported fuel.

Friday, March 16, 2007

6.5 Billion Dollars

What could a government do with 6.5 billion dollars? I'd forgive you if you said "Make serious reductions in greenhouse emissions" because that would be the intelligent response.

But instead, our government uses it to subsidise the coal industry. 6,500,000,000 dollars - every year! With around 20 million people in Australia, that's over $300 per person. I guess it feels good to see a cheap electricity bill. But the bill is only a fraction of the cost. The rest comes out of our tax.

So if you're wondering why renewable energy appears more expensive than coalpower - now you know!

Now, imagine if that money could be re-directed into production of renewable energy...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Solar Clothes Dryer

Drying clothes using solar power. It sounds high-tech, but it's actually been around for ages.

Ok it's not that high-tech, but what the old line and pegs method lacks in modern-ness and scientific ingenuity, it more than makes up for in being greenhouse-friendly. Producing 0 kg of greenhouse gases, and very cheap to run, this alternative technology could replace the old electic dryer ;)

Speaking of which, if you've got a couple of minutes, check out Merrick and Russo's Magical Dad skits from Cool Aid.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Keep it Cool

I don't personally know of anyone who uses the hot water option on their washing machine. But if you currently use it, consider switching to a cold wash...

It would take 5 loads of cold wash to use the same amount of energy as a hot one, because the energy needed to move the clothes around only a fraction of what is needed to heat a machine full of water.

Oh, and by the way, if you're in the market for a new washing machine, why not go with a front-loader, they use even less energy.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

PNG on the move

According to a report just released, 2000 PNG people may be the first in the world forced to move as global warming causes sea levels to rise.

In Papua New Guinea's Carteret Islands, storms and high tides already destroy crops and contaminate freshwater supply. Currently receiving relief supplies, it could still be a year before residents can relocate to the mainland.

Low-lying atolls in Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands are also reported to be in danger of submersion because of global warming.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Victoria on the Move

Recently i reported the great rate at which NSW people have signed up for green power. But it seems Victorians have been even quicker to change to environmentally-friendly power, according to figures released today.

More than 157,000 Victorians have signed up - making Victoria the leading state in terms of people now using green energy. Queensland is in second place (Go Qld!) with NSW (despite being the most populated state) only the third quickest to start switching to the environmentally-friendly power.

It is estimated that in the last year, Victorians have cut greenhouse pollution by 188,489 tonnes. If you wanna add to the Queensland effort, check out earthschoice.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Greenpower Powers Up

2000 per week! No it's not the southerners migrating to Queensland. It's the number of NSW residents switching to greenpower, as a continuing surge of people sign up for the environmentally-friendly energy.

In 2006 (before the surge) NSW electricity users bought 285,000 megawatt hours of energy from renewable sources such as solar and windpower. The greenhouse equivalent of taking around 64,000 cars off the road.

During 2006, the number of 'green' customers had increased 68%, to a total of 68,053 customers. Imagine what it will be by the end of 2007!