Friday, July 30, 2010

China To Put Price On Carbon

When looking for excuses for doing nothing about climate change, one poitician favourite is the one about waiting for the rest of the world. Apart from being illogical, it's also becoming more and more misleading. In addition to India putting a tax on coal, now China is preparing to start an emission trading scheme.

The move is described as "essential" and industry experts said that putting a price on carbon is crucial for the country. Interestingly, administrative measures (or what some Australian politicians call "direct action") have been found to be less cost-effective than simply putting a price on carbon.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Election Scorecard

In the lead up to the election the ACF is putting out an election scorecard on 4 issues related to climate change. ACF also point out that three-quarters of Australians think we are too dependent on polluting energy sources, and 92% are concerned about the damage pollution is causing.

At the moment, two parties are nowhere near a pass mark. As of this morning, the overall scores are as follows:

Let's hope more announcements are made, and parties can increase their mark.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Are We Dumber Than Fish?

Regular readers know my liking for ABC's Catalyst. A little while ago they did a story on groups of animals making collective snap-decisions.

From research on fish, it seems that the bulk of the group will wait for the 'expert' fish to make a decision, then everyone will follow immediately. Not only are the decisions made quicker (because the expert is deciding) but the accuracy is also far higher than when each fish is left to decide for itself.

I'm sure the link to climate change is obvious. We have the expert advice on what actions we should take - but how quick are we to act? I'm sure if fish were this slow to act, they'd by shark-lunch by now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

India Puts Price on Carbon

One of the flimsy excuses for doing nothing on climate change is the line about waiting for the rest of the world. It's irrational because if every nation thinks that way, nothing will ever happen. But it's also misleading because so many nations are already doing so much more than Australia (and the US).

This week I read that India has introduced a carbon tax on coal. It is expected to raise 25 billion rupees (535 million dollars) which will be used to fund renewable energy.

Meanwhile Australia doesn't even have a carbon price - and the government isn't promising one anytime soon. Apart from the effect on our planet, it's also kind of embarrasing that a developing country like India is ahead of us - a so-called "advanced country".

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Soccket Ball

Solving carbon emissions, and health at the same time - that's what the sOccket does. It's the soccer ball that generates energy as it moves, using a small magnet inside the ball.

15 minues of play generates enough energy to run an LED light for 3 hours. This eliminates the need for kerosene lamps - which can have the same effect as smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Burning kerosene is also responsible for 190 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

The makers hope to sell them in developed countries, and use the profits to fund distribution in places like Africa.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Coffee With Julia

The people at GetUp have recently made this ad for tv - and people are donating to get it on the air. I enjoy their work, because it's both witty and to-the-point.

They sum it up greatly, with a leader saying "Climate change is our greatest challenge ... but it can wait", and the guy from the general public saying "Why don't you just put a price on pollution?"

Thursday, July 08, 2010

100% Renewables With Energy To Spare

Regular readers have experienced my fondness for graphics - and won't be surprised that i liked this one. It comes from Zero Carbon Australia, who's plan for Australia to be on 100% renewable power i have mentioned before.

The orange and blue in the bottom represent the solar and wind power that would meet Australia's demand for electricity. The small bits of green and navy are the occassions where biomass and hydroelectricity would make up the shortfall, and the light orange/yellow at the top represents the massive amount of excess energy that would be produced.

So much for that theory that renewables can't provide our energy!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

State Of Origin Score

As we go into game 3 of rugby league's State of Origin contest, it seems that Queensland dominate almost as much on the renewable energy scoreboard.

This is the percent of Queensland and New South Wales households that choose greenpower (renewable energy) from their electricity company.

Of course if this is the score in the rugby league state of origin, that would also be fine with me. :)
(PS: Yes NSW fans, i know i do this at every state of origin. Perhaps i'll stop if ever NSW catches up ;)