Monday, November 26, 2007

Climate Change Begins At Home

One thing the British have going for them is their witty writing. Dave Reay is no exception. His book "Climate Change Begins At Home" is, so far, the only book about global warming that has actually made me laugh out loud.

Avoiding the graphs and tables usually loved by scientists, he provides information by telling stories and anecdotes. Some real. Some not. But they illustrate how our actions and choices can make a difference.

Overall, i thoroughly recommed it - both as an information source - and a good read.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ryan Report

Regular readers will remember when i wrote to the candidates for my local seat of Ryan. I received replies from each of the candidates. Also, i attended the Ryan Candidates Forum on Climate Change, and spoke with two of the candidates individually.

As it stands my assessment (as far as climate change goes) is as follows. 1 - Evan Jones, 2- Charles Worringham, 3 - Ross Daniels, 4- Michael Johnson (who didn't even attend the forum).

Since i wrote my email, more candidates have nominated, but i don't really know enough about these candidates (and their views on climate change) to issue a firm rating. Jim Page attended the Climate Change Forum and i would definitely rate him higher than Michael Johnson (who didn't) but i'm not sure exactly where. Probably between 2 and 3. Maybe.

Again, this is not an overall assessment - it only covers climate change.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Low Carbon Life

Author Chris Goodall believes that it is up to individuals to take the lead in tackling climate change. He believes that government and business will only act once they see the opportunity for votes or marketshare - and that this only occurs once individuals are committed.

The bulk of his book is then an analysis of various ways of reducing our personal (and indirect) carbon emissions - though it is based on British situations. This section had two main points of interest.

He mentions how the city of London has pro-actively encouraged the ownership of environmentally friendly vehicles (such as hybrid and electric vehicles) by exempting them from the CBD congestion tax.

Also, a whole chapter is dedicated to solar hot water. The fact that solar hot water is viable, even in the England, shows how strange it is that Australia (especially Queensland) makes such little use of this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Solar Town

The country Queensland town of Cloncurry is about to be powered by solar power - day and night. Despite the myths, solar power can produce electricity for night-time use, and within two years the solarthermal plant will provide Cloncurry with all its power needs.

Cloncurry, like many places in Australia, has a reputation for sunny days and hot weather, making it ideal for solar power.

"These are plants that are going to be built and operating within a couple of years," said John Connor (Climate Institute). "When we are looking at other alternatives and nuclear and other things, they're a decade or so away so here is renewable technology. It's on the shelf and now it's being put on the ground so it is a fantastic development."