Monday, October 31, 2011

The Hungry Tide

Over the weekend i saw the short but powerful documentary, The Hungry Tide. It's a heart-wrenching and eye-opening account of what climate change is doing to the island nation of Kiribati, and how the locals are powerless to stop it. For the next 10 days you can see it free online.

For a quick taste of the what the movie is about, check out the photo gallery.

It may be best summed up by the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong: "To plan for the day when you no longer have a country is indeed painful but I think we have to do that."

Related link:- Kiribati Government Climate Change website

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When Wind Made Electricity Free

If you saw the SBS special Power Play (on the causes of electricity price rises) you would have seen one of the experts talking about how renewables can actually drive the price down. He compared it to food - where a 'bumper crop' brings downs the price at the market, as sellers compete to sell their product.

Recently, there was a classic example of this. For just a few minutes the market price of wholesale electricity dropped to $0.00. This is an extreme example, and only happened for a few minutes, but is an example of how the price can come down when renewables are in the market.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Human Bicycle

A couple of weeks ago i mentioned's event - Moving Planet. This part of the event happened in Melbourne.

I just reckon it's a great photo, and an inspired piece of creativity. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

David's Soapbox - Furniture and Financial Incentive

David Mitchell starts with a rant about flimsy furniture, and ends up with an idea to inspire companies to be more environmental.
"For instance, air travel is far cheaper than it is environmentally viable. Why not shift the burden of a problem to the people who would benefit financially from solving it. That's what a carbon tax would do.

Once that tax system is initiated, you (the politician) won't have to hug a single tree. You just have to make low emissions part of the profit incentive. Companies won't choose to do it themselves. Why should they? Their job is to make money. Your job is to protect the people who elected you."

[More David Mitchell]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Australia Says Yes

It's a happy day as Australia's House of Representatives today passed a price on pollution. There is still the Senate vote next month, but today was a day of celebration. The group Say Yes filled the lawn of parliament house with the words "Say Yes To Clean Energy".

The words were made from signs submitted by the general public, each one giving a reason for saying yes. What a sight!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Littlest Arctic

New World Record. Last month the Arctic was the smallest we've ever seen it. This graph shows the yearly cycle. Ice melts in the middle (summer) period, then builds back during the rest of the year. But each year it's getting smaller.

The black dots are the 30-year averages. The crosses are 2007 and the 2 blue lines are the last 2 years. September 2011 was the lowest point so far, as we get closer to having no arctic ice.

So here's your chance to play amateur-scientist. Using this and other recent graphs at the Arctic Sea Ice Blog - make a prediction. When do you think the Arctic will first lose all its ice?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rugby World Cup - A Different View

Ok, so the quarter finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup are done and dusted. Congrats to all the winners. But what would it look like if this was a carbon emissions world cup? Here's how the quarter finals would have panned out:

Clearly Australia would have (coal)powered its way through the quarterfinals (tripling South Africa's score), pushed aside New Zealand comfortably and won the final with ease.

Of course, i suspect this won't happen in the real world cup. :(
If only we could increase our rugby score, and decrease our pollution score.

How would your country do? See the rankings.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Funnies - Objections

I thought this cartoon summed up the political situation nicely. There are things that clearly need to be done, but there'll always be objections by someone trying to undermine it. I notice that the guy on the right is drawn with his eyes closed and facing away from the issue. :)

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Powershift 2011

Here in Australia, youth movement AYCC hold an event called Powershift. On Oct 15-17, people aged 25 and under will be gathering in Brisbane to take part in forums, workshops, concerts, social activities, and a large public action.

You can still register for the event at

[Related Link: Powershift 2009]