Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's Just Not Fair

It's bad enough that climate change brings more extreme "natural" disasters. But what's incredibly unfair is that the people who suffer aren't those who did the damage. This is a map of the world distorted to reflect carbon emissions.

Conversely, this map is distorted to reflect the number of people killed by "natural" disasters.

Basically, it's the rich nations who have the means to create global damage, and it's the poor nations that can't afford to protect themselves.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

10 Ways To Reduce Your Emissions

The Adelaide Advertiser printed this list of tips to reduce your carbon footprint. Click the picture for a larger version, or read the full text here.

In short, the 10 tips were:
1. Make climate-conscious political decisions.
2. Eat less red meat.
3. Purchase “green electricity“.
4. Make your home and household energy efficient.
5. Buy energy and water efficient appliances.
6. Walk, cycle or take public transport.
7. Recycle, re-use and avoid useless purchases.
8. Telecommute and teleconference.
9. Buy local produce.
10. Offset what you can’t save.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good News From Fukushima

One good thing to come out of Fukushima is Japan's increased enthusiasm for moving to renewable energy. The Japanese parliament has voted to support renewable energy to the tune of 10 trillion yen ($124 billion Australian).

Apart from helping Japan move more quickly to renewables, it is expected that this move (in combination with China's strong support for renewables) will help world renewable energy prices come down even quicker than they are already.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Better Than Money In The Bank

I think solar panels are a good investment - and i tell people so. Do i mean financial investment, or an investment for the planet? Well, both actually. The second is obvious, but for the first i did the maths.

As a straight return (savings divided by investment) i calculate an average of 19.1%. When you consider that bank interest is taxable, then a bank would have to give an even higher interest rate to provide the same value after tax. For a mid-range tax bracket, the bank would have to offer an average of 27.3% to match the value of solar panels. And i can't see that happening any time soon :)

[Link: My calculations in detail]

PS. Obviously, i've based these calculations on the conditions in my location of Brisbane, Australia. Sunshine, electricity prices and panel costs may vary from location to location.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Deal On Solar

There's the good news and the bad news. With the new financial year here in Australia, the government's 'solar credits' rebate has been reduced. The good news is that the cost of solar panels also keeps reducing.

For example Origin are still able to offer a 1.5kW system for just $3990 (depending on where you live).
ps. I'm not necessarily endorsing Origin, but they are my energy provider, so i'm informed about their deals each time i receive my energy bill.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Globe Goes For Green Energy

One of my favourite myths to bust is the "other countries aren't doing anything" routine. A great example of the contrary is the news that global investment in renewable energy was up 32% in 2010.

And a lot of that came from developing countries. China invested the most of any country, while investment also grew in Central/South America (up 39%), the Middle East and Africa (up 104%) and India (pictured) experienced investment growth of 25% in renewable energy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Carbon Price - South Park Style

The creative young minds at the AYCC animated this little video:

They cover Australia's proposed carbon price system, using their own South Park style characters, explaining how it helps reduce pollution, and the pointing out where it doesn't far enough. Overall, they give it the 'thumbs up'.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Out Now! - Carbon Nation Movie

I've shown you the trailer. Now Carbon Nation is out on DVD and iTunes.

Use the code cn20launch to get 20% off the DVD. The DVD extras include 8 deleted scenes, 2 audio commentaries and 3 new bonus cartoons.

If you just want to see the movie, check out for a screening near you.

If you're in Brisbane, stay tuned to this blog. A friend of mine is organising screenings around the city in the coming weeks...

[See the trailer]

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Uncle Ernie

"You've got to take the science seriously - and I do", says Malcolm Turnbull, despite being politically teamed with some who are seen as waging the 'war on science'.
"I do think there has been a war on science to some extent, an attack on climate scientists. Ignoring what the CSIRO says and ignoring what leading scientists say and discounting it all is silly."

But probably the best line in his appearance at the national press club was his likening of climate change denial to...
"..ignoring your doctor's advice on the basis that someone down the pub told you his uncle Ernie lived to 95 and smoked a packet of cork-tipped cigarettes every day and drank a bottle of whisky"

[Related Link: Conservatives Love Climate Change Action]

Monday, August 08, 2011

Community Wind

One of the great things about renewable energy is that it's open to everyone - not just big companies with billions of dollars. One great example here in Australia is Hepburn Wind, a community-owned wind power enterprise.

The ABC recently did a story on the launch of the two 2-megawatt turbines, which will produce 12,200 MWh of energy each year (2300 homes worth) and the profits go back into the pockets of the community members who put up the cash to build them.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

SBS Energy Saving Tips

Last night SBS's Insight program had a great episode "Power Play", examining what causes rising electricity prices. (Short answer is increasing network costs - extra infrastructure that only gets used a few days per year).

You can watch the episode online, and also check out SBS's Tips for Energy Efficiency to save some energy in your home, and knock some dollars off that electricity bill.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Conservatives Love Climate Change Action

Does being politically conservative have to mean allowing disastrous climate change to occur, in order to chase a few short term dollars? No, it doesn't.

This week British Conservative PM David Cameron supported Australia's move to put a price on pollution.

Being conservative doesn't have to mean being irresponsible on climate change - described by Mr Cameron as a "pressing threat to prosperity and security".

In order to tackle it effectively, all major economies will need to take robust action to curb their emissions and put their economies on a more sustainable, low-carbon footing.

Your announcement sends a strong and clear signal that Australia is determined to make its contribution to addressing this challenge.

And Mr Cameron is not just talk - his government recently announced plans to reduce the UK's emissions by 50% by 2025.