Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Climate Change - The Book

I had heard about Barrie Pittock's book, simply titled "Climate change" - but it was only in the last few weeks that i got around to reading it.

Essentially it's an encyclopedia of climate change information. So i recommend it if you're looking to get a thorough understanding of the topic. Alternatively, if you want to just get informed on a particular area, you can use it like an encyclopedia, and just flick through to the chapters of interest.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

$500 Profit

You may have noticed on Friday's post (if you looked really closely) that on the pack, there was a claim that the 6 energy-saving lights would save over $500.

Being the kind of guy who likes to do calculations, i decided to check it out. For each bulb, i calculated the power saving, multiplied by the expected lifetime of the bulb (much longer than old-style bulbs) and then multplied by the price of electricity (before the July 1 increase).

The answer was $549. Even if hadn't got them for free, it would still be a $500 saving. Incidentally, that would also be a greenhouse saving of 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide. Pretty good, for something i can carry in one hand!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Efficiency Give-away

This week at Indooroopilly shopping centre, the people from Energy Australia are giving away 6-packs of energy efficient lightbulbs. I got a pack today.

So if you're in the area why not pick up a pack. If you're not near Indro, don't worry - they're travelling around - and should visit somewhere near you.

Incase you're wondering how it can be free, it's been paid for by people and companies who are offsetting their emission. Effectively they are offsetting their emmissions by reducing ours. So why not take advantage, and make a saving - for you and for the environment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Big Switch

One of the newer websites to appear is The Big Switch. It's a joint effort between a number of environmental groups, and has become a helpful resource.

As well as explanations of climate change, and tips to reduce emissions at home and at work, there is also a politician watch where each member of parliament is rated out of 5 on their attitude to climate change. The political parties are also rated out of 5 for their policies. There is also helpful information about local climate action groups and events.

For the record, the local MP here (Michael Johnson) scored 0 out of 5.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Green City

As you may have guessed from the title, this book by Nicholas Low (and colleagues) is not specifically about climate change. Its main aim is to talk about how homes, suburbs and cities can be made more sustainable. However reducing greenhouse emissions seems to form a large part of this.

There are some good chapters on building sustainable homes and sustainable workplaces, but probably the highlight of the book is the chapter on transport. The authors explain what needs to be done to make better use of public transport, and also examine what is going on in European cities of similar size to ours. It's an interesting read.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dear George

A little while ago, i wrote a piece about the ACF Climate Change Kit. Amongst the contents was a pre-written, pre addressed letter to one of the Queensland Senators - in my case George Brandis.

So today, after a lengthy search for an envelope, i posted the letter. It was a fun experience (these days posting a letter is a rare event) but i can't help but think that emailing would be more effective.

If you're a person who prefers the convenience of having an eloquent pre-written letter, then why not apply for a free Climate Change Action Kit. But if you know what you want to say, then why not email a politician through the links on the right hand side of this page.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Consumption Atlas

Often when we think of our own carbon emission, we look just at our petrol, electricity, and (if we have it) gas usage. However, everything we buy requires energy to make it, and transport it to us.

It is for this reason that the ACF has put together a consumption altas where you can find out the effect of your suburb's use of goods and services. Based on a study done by the University of Sydney, the website also gives tips for reducing waste and over-consumption.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Myth BUSter

As i may have said before, a great way of reducing greenhouse emissions is to use public transport. The best illustration i've seen is this image showing how many cars are replaced by one bus.

However, there is a thought by some people that public transport is too inconvenient. So while walking past my local bus stop, in the mid-afternoon, i snapped this shot of the electronic display.

Granted, i live fairly close to the city, and am not as impatient as some, but i reckon four busses in four minutes is fairly convenient. And even if i have to wait for 4 whole minutes ... i get that time back, by reading a book while being chaffeured to my destination.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Live Earth - 07.07.07

Billed as the "Concerts for a Climate in Crisis", Live Earth will bring together more than 150 of the world's top musicians for 24-hours of music from 9 concerts across all 7 continents.

Live Earth will bring together an audience of more than 2 billion at the concerts and through television, radio, film, and the Internet. Proceeds from the event will create the foundation for a new global effort to combat the climate crisis - led by Al Gore.

The Australian leg of the event features Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Eskimo Joe, Missy Higgins, John Butler Trio, Jack Johnson, Wolfmother ... and more.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Toyota Prius

Two of the easiest ways to reduce the greenhouse gases from driving are to (a) drive less, and (b) carpool. However, if driving your own vehicle is necessary, a hybrid car is a good option. I've previously written about the Honda Civic, but today it's the Toyota Prius.

Sure, the Prius price tag may be more than an equivalent petrol-only car, but the greenhouse gas savings also translate into dollar savings every time you drive. After all, it uses a miserly 4.4 litres per 100km.

In fact, in last night's episode of the Carbon Cops, they calculated that if Verne Glenwright switched to a hybrid vehicle he would save $4000 every year.

To find out more about the Toyota Prius, or hybrids in general, check out the Toyota website, or the Hybrid Car section on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Launch Night

Last night I attended a Symposium /Book Launch by Mark Diesendorf. The presentation he gave was both educational and inspiring - showing just how possible it is for Australia to adopt renewable energy - if only the governments would get themselves into gear.

While i haven't yet read his book Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy (c'mon - it was only launched last night) if it's anything like the presentation, then it's well worth reading. And the book would have even more info than we saw in the presentation.