Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bad for the planet, bad for your wallet

Divestment Day is this weekend. It's an event where people leave the major banks - who are using our money to fund fossil fuels.

In case climate change is not enough reason to change banks, this data came out recently.


Turns out the the major banks (the'big 4' in Australia) also charge us higher than average rates on home loans.

Perhaps they have to make up for the money they lose by investing in last century's energy sources.

Consumer affairs program The Checkout investigates banks, and finds out that we pay more and get worse service with the big 4.
It was surprising just how much better of we can be with other banks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The facts - and why they don't matter

The people at It's OK to be smart, have put together this easy-to-watch What you need to know summary of climate science.



It's quite convincing - on a rational level. But then they looked at why facts don't matter to the human brain.

This is more psychology than science, but can help you understand why some just don't get it.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Sunfunder Update

A while ago I told the story of Sunfunder, the crowd-funding website that's reducing emissions and poverty) in Africa.

The mixed news today is that they're closing the program. Why mixed? It's kind of sad that they won't be doing anymore crowdfunding projects. But the reason is great. Crowdfunding is great for medium size amounts, but not so great for enormous amounts of funding. The projects they are doing now are so big and happening so quickly that crowdfunding just takes too long. They have big sponsors now who can lend large amounts very quickly.

So what happens to the small amount I lent? They gave me the option of getting my money out, or donating it. I decided to donate it to the non-profit Solar Sister who do similar work.

So long SunFunder, it was great to be part of it.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dog helps explain climate v weather

With Winter on the way, you may hear someone say "global warming isn't happening because it's so cold outside" or something like that.

Astrophysicist and cosmologist Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the differences between weather and climate change in a simple and visually effective way.



It's an important distinction to make. Any day can be hot or cold, but what's the overall trend? That's the question.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Fossil fuels kill 3 million

The International Energy Agency Energy and Air Pollution report has detailed analysis of air pollution impacts. It finds three million people a year die prematurely from outdoor fossil fuel air pollution. Particulate emissions from coal combustion is the key underlying factor.


Here's a convenient solution - let's not kill millions for our energy.

PS. Another study finds the US could achieve $400 billion of environmental and public health benefits through solar power.

Friday, June 24, 2016

ACF compatibility scorecard

The Australian Conservation Foundation election guide is different from most you'll see this election. It's part scorecard, part compatibility test. Turn the dials to how much you care about clean energy, cutting pollution and protecting nature. Then see which party cares as much as you do.


Here are the results I got.


The website also gave an explanation of the scoring system and the party policies the scores are based on. Try it out for yourself.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Does your MP take fossil fuel money?

The Pollution Free Politics initiative asks members of parliament to take a pledge calling for an end to taking donations from and giving subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. In this election season you can find out where your MP stands. If they haven't signed the pledge encourage them to do so.




Thursday, June 09, 2016

Countries moving on

There's a whole bunch of countries who have recently made big moves in energy.

The UK's energy from coal has hit zero, Portugal has run entirely on renewable energy for the past four days and Denmark produced 140% of its energy needs from wind power, exporting clean energy to Norway, Germany and Sweden. Here at home, Tasmania has returned to 100 per cent renewable energy and South Australia has disconnected its last coal power station.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

New world at Newstead

The Victorian country town of Newstead aims to be 100 per cent renewable within five years. Business owner Mick Harris has installed an electric vehicle charge point in the old petrol bowser at his business as a way of moving away from the "older systems" to the "new renewable systems".

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Aussie households go solar

While the government might be dragging it's heels on renewable energy, Australian homeowners are getting right into it.


My home state of Queensland is leading with around 30% of households now with solar. Queensland also has 6 of the top 14 postcodes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How coal gets to you

This advert from an American solar company is also a great little cartoon of the simplicity of solar compared to coal.



The series includes one about gas and one about oil. Great Stuff!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bye George - I've done it!

Today I took the last of my money out of St George Bank. St George is owned by Westpac which lends to fossil fuel companies. Part one was transferring the last of the money out of St George.


Part two was telling the bank to close the accounts. I also printed out a letter (get your template here) to let the bank know why I was taking my money out.


And I couldn't resist a little card cutting photo. Cutting my connection with fossil fuels. Oh and my T-shirt says "My bank chose fossil fuels. So I chose another bank."

See also: Sending my bank a message

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sending the bank a message

I just sent my bank a message. They have lent billions of dollars to fossil fuel projects over the last few years. Obviously this increases pollution and increases climate change.


Also, with the world switching to clean energy, loans to fossil fuels are also financially risky. So I let the bank know how I felt about this.


It's quite easy to do. Find out where your bank stands in the bank comparison table. If they're investing in fossil fuels there's a "tell them to stop" link. There's a template letter. Edit it if you like (I did) and click 'send'.

PS. I've already moved 99% of my money from this bank to an ethical alternative. But this was a great chance to let them know why I'm about to close the account.

See also Bye George - I've done it!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Planet Stupid

John Clarke and Bryan Dawe take a satirical look at what's on the news while the human race destroys its own planet.


Again, it's one of those things that's quite funny, yet incredibly not funny at the same time.

Monday, April 18, 2016

David Attenborough's Great Barrier Reef

If you haven't seen this series yet, catch episode 3 this Sunday Night at 7.40 on ABC (for Australian readers) and catch the first two episodes on iview.


Alternatively, take an interactive journey through the his Great Barrier Reef website. The graphics and underwater video footage are simply amazing. But it doesn't end there. This is one of the most incredible things I've seen online.