Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sunlit Bridge

Passed by Brisbane's Kurilpa Bridge the other evening. Apart from being a pedestrian and cyclist bridge, it uses LED lights powered by solar power.

According to Energy Matters the bridge has 84 solar panels. Each day they produce 100kWh of energy (presumably stored in batteries). When the bridge is in fully lit mode (as above) the solar system provides 75% of the energy. But it most lighting configurations, this increases to 100%, with the excess energy fed back into the grid.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Turning Copenhagen Into Hopenhagen

As we know, this December the world's leaders get together in Copenhagen to negotiate on climate change. Hopefully, they can agree to get serious about tackling climate change, and building a better future for humanity and the planet.

It's this kind of hope that inspired the creation of Hopenhagen - a place where people from around the globe can become citizens, and encourage our global leaders to make the best of the upcoming opportunity.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Electric Bus

There's a lot of talk about electric cars - and rightly so. Meanwhile, in Adelaide the city council is already into the electric bus.

The Tindo (aboriginal for 'Sun') is recharged using 100% solar energy - at 50% less cost than the fuel for a diesel bus.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Age of Stupid

I called this blog "Convenient Solutions" after the many smart things we can do that improve the state of the planet - and the state of our lives. Unfortunately, many of these things don't happen. In fact, quite often we do the precisely the reverse - as demonstrated in the new movie The Age of Stupid.

Set in the future, it asks the question "why didn't we save ourselves when we had the chance?". Or, as the narrator observes:
We might not be the first species responsible for its own demise, but we'd be the first to do it knowingly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Target of 350

I was having a look at the website for events that are happening on Saturday (more on that in a sec). Sometimes groups have a hard time summing up their objectives. Not the 350 group.

One of the event on Saturday is at the Indooroopilly library, and includes a screening of the new film Age of Stupid. I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Coal Story

This animated short film "Coal Story" is apparently by Greenpeace China, and looks at the use of coal and the effects of climate change.

Oh, and you may want to turn the volume down a bit - it's not quite as melodious as the Brazilian one from Monday.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Journey to Planet Earth

Found this one at my local library - Journey to Planet Earth - and was intrigued by Matt Damon on the cover.

It's not directly related to climate change, but it was quite an eye-opener to the extent of hardship that can be caused even by relatively small environmental changes.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Actions Animation

Found lots of great stuff during last weeks international blog action day on climate change. The first one i want to share with you is this quick little video by Brazil's WWF.

The message is great, and the rhythm of the backing music is quite infectious. I can't help but play it over and over.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Copenhagen & Will Steffen Interview

Tonight Catalyst had a piece about the importance of a good outcome from the UN meeting in Copenhagen this December.

If you're keen to see even more of the interview with Prof Will Steffen (climate change advisor to the Australian government) Catalyst has the extended interviews.

Here and Now of Climate Change

Climate Change is something that is getting continuously, so there is a lot of the concern is for future generations. As a result, we sometimes overlook the fact that it is already underway.

Climate Orb is a project from the same people that brought us the Beds are Burning remix. You can spin the globe to any country, and click on the red dot for a story about the effects of climate change that are already being felt in that region.

With such international effects, it's no wonder that this year's Blog Action Day is focussed on climate change.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Planet Earth

I've just been watching the first few episodes of Planet Earth - and i can definitely recommend it.
It's not directly about climate change, but it's just fascinating how the earth works. Seeing how magnificent it is also makes me even more reluctant to mess around with it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How Much Is 1 Tonne?

A little while ago, i told you about the Carbon Quilt. Well the guys behind that, also have a flickr account, where i found this:

It's a handy way to visualise what it means when people talk about a certain number of tonnes of greenhouse gas. For instance, the average Australian puts out about 29 of these in a year.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hungry Beast (Coal Association)

Last night Dan Ilic (ABC's Hungrybeast) exposed the con-job of the latest ad by the Coal Association. I've mentioned previously, my disgust at misleading people into thinking they'll lose their job. But Dan Ilic points out some other stuff as well...

For those who like exact maths, the billion dollars on "low emission" technologies (code for "clean coal pipe dream") turns out to be just 0.37% of one year's revenue for the coal industry.

And the mines the coal guy says will close are mines that were going to close anyway. After all, if you've taken all the coal out, there's no point keeping the mine open.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Solar-Powered Rubbish

So i read about these bins called Big Belly and thought they sounded like a great idea. Then i discovered we have them in some of the public places in Brisbane.

The solar panel on the top collects energy for an internal compactor which can compress rubbish to 1/8th of the original size. Obviously this greatly reduces the number of collection trips done by the garbage trucks (which saves on greenhouse gases). There's also an in-built device that can SMS the binmen when the bin is near capacity (to save on picking up part-full bins).

The company estimates that customers can save 80% on their operating costs (trucks, fuel and labour). Another great example of reduced greenhouse emissions saving money.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Breathing Earth

Breathing Earth is a cool simulation put together by a Melbourne artist, visualising both increasing population, and increasing greenhouse gases.

Each country lights up each time it emits 1000 tonnes of greenhouse gases. You can get stats on any country by hovering the cursor over it. It's amazing just how many countries have as many people as Australia (or more) but produce far less pollution.

(Incidentally, the world population had just ticked over 6.8 billion as i took the screenshot)

Monday, October 05, 2009

Win A TV

Previously, I've mentioned the Climate Smart Home Service that the Queensland Government is running.

In addition to all the energy-saving benefits, they are also running a competition at the moment. Everyone who registers for the Home Service by November 3 goes into the draw for a TV (energy-efficient of course) worth over $5,000.

There is a $50 fee for the service, but if you live in Brisbane, the council gives you a $50 rebate - so it's effectively free!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Beds Are Burning

Midnight Oil's song, "Beds Are Burning" has been re-recorded (with some adjustments) as part of an effort to encourage world leaders to agree to reducing greenhouse emissions.

The video can be also viewed at the Time for Climate Justice website, where you can also download the audio (for free).