Thursday, June 24, 2010

1 Day Of Driving

You know how i like a good graphic. Well the people at GE have put together an interactive display of America's car emissions for their recent Memorial Day holiday.

The encouraging bit is clicking on hybrid car or electric car and seeing the total emissions shrink. The discouraging bit is that one day's car emissions (right of screen) are equal to the total annual emissions of some smaller countries.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Solar Panel Heat-Map

According to Energex, the are 19,982 dwellings with solar panels (in South East Queensland) which totals up to 33,109 kW of power.

Adjusted for the number of households, the above map shows the uptake of solar power. It ranks the postcodes by kilowatts of solar power per household. The top 50 postcodes are coloured red - the next fifty orange, then green then blue.

If you click through to the map, there is also a rankings list, so you can see exactly where your neighbourhood comes in.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Solar Savings

Previously, i showed a graph of how much solar panels can save you each year - depending on much energy you use yourself - and how much excess you produce. In my latest bill from Origin, they did some calculations based on a home using 50% of the energy from the panels.

Of course, often the major energy use is outside of the main sunshine hours, so it is possible to sell back more than 50% of the solar energy to the grid - and take even greater advantage of the Solar Bonus Scheme.

(Oh, and the 50c/kWh in the calculation is Origin's special offer. The guaranteed rate set by the government is 44c/kWh. How nice of Origin :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Jobs Map

A few weeks ago, i wrote about the Creating Jobs Cutting Pollution report - showing that the stronger the action from government to reduce emissions, the more jobs that are created.

Since then, the talented graphics people at ACF have put this information into a far more fun and colourful form - an interactive map. Try it out!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Living In Denial

New Scientist magazine has just done a special on Living in Denial. It's not exclusively about climate change denial - it also refers to vaccines, evolution, and smoking-induced cancer.

It includes articles on the difference between scepticism and denial, why sensible people reject the truth and how corporations manufacture doubt. It's an interesting read.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


This DVD documentary Crude begins by explaining how oil got to be there in the first place (starting around 160 million years ago) and how much we have become addicted to it (and not just for motoring).

Consuming it at a rate of 84 million barrels per day, "we're all of a sudden dependent on rapidly shrinking supplies of evermore expensive oil"

It's tempting to think that perhaps running out of the stuff might save us from climate change, but Jeremy Leggett does the maths...
The latest work of the climate scientists says we can "afford" to put into the atmosphere another 400 billion tonnes of carbon. Well, you just look at what's left in fossil fuel reserves below ground. You've got 700-plus in oil alone. Then you've got 500 billion in gas. And coal - forget it - it's 3500 billion and counting. So we can cook our planet many times over

Having switched from exploration geology to a solar company, he explains that
My abiding fear is that i'll live through what remains of my vocational life in an exciting fast-growing company while the world is going to hell in a bucket because of the stupid addiction to oil we've had all these years and the effect that it will ultimately have on our economies ... plus of course, the unfolding effects of global warming, which just get worse by the month.

The DVD ends with this
Every year we burn more and more of what we have less and less of. Are we mining the aftermath of past climate catastrophes, simply to engineer our own?

Monday, June 07, 2010

Office Recycling

At a meeting in the city last week i spotted these great office recycle bins.

As well as tiny knee-high ones (suitable for seated office areas) they also had waist-high ones convenient for standing areas like kitchens, photocopy areas - or corridors (as demonstrated by Stuart).

Being a government building, i'm sure they were also there to promote the state government's Do The Right Thing initiative, which (among other things) lends recycling facilities for events and festivals.

I've mentioned before that recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours. Now i find out that recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a light bulb for 30 hours. Wow!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

European 30

I read today (in The Times) that the European Union is planning to up its greenhouse gas reduction target.

Prior to Copenhagen, they committed to at least 20% by 2020 no matter what. Now they are looking at upping that to 30%. Meanwhile Australia is willing to do maybe 5% - but won't even start until 2013.