Monday, April 29, 2013

The Most Ridiculous Thing

The Canadians have this great ad. I like the tag line:
The most ridiculous thing about wasting power is that for some reason we don't think it is ridiculous.

It's part of the campaing for Powersmart, and it's one of those ads that's funny because it's true. We wouldn't waste other things the way we waste energy.

For instance, old-style lightbulbs use 5 times the energy of CFL spiral-style bulbs. It's hard to think of anything else where we would buy 5 times as many as we need.

UPDATE: See the sequel ad - the workplace version.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Christian Climate Change Action Kit

For people and churches looking to put their faith into action, there is the Christian Climate Change Action Kit. Its a practical and spiritual guide for Christians taking action on climate change.

Christian Climate Change Action Kit

The kit has been designed to help people understand the connection between the faith and action on climate change - and to take steps in church life, personal life and community life, to reduce our negative impact on creation.

The guide also explains the science, and morality of acting on climate change - and gives plenty of spiritual resources (including prayers and sermon ideas) as well as practical ones.

You can download the kit now.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Earn $100 by helping a friend

Part of what makes Every Rooftop a social venture is the word-of-mouth spreading of the idea (as opposed to annoying ads on tv). As an incentive, if you refer a friend to the program, you'll get $100.

Refer a friend to every rooftop and get $100

It seems similar to the tupperware model - where the host of the party is rewarded if the guests spend a certain amount of money. Except in this case your friends end up with lower electricity bills, and can create solar energy. Now that's a win-win situation :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Do the Math" Movie

If you can't make it to a Do the Math live event in Australia, the next best thing is to see the movie. Here's the trailer.

It's pretty clear what it's about. "If it's wrong to wreck the climate, it's wrong to profit from that wreckage." Our continuing support of fossil fuels is the moral catastrophe. The climate catastrophe occurs if we continue to burn all the fossil fuel there is - or even a half of it. The vast majority needs to be left in the ground.

Understand what needs to happen. See the movie and Do the Math.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Weathergirl loses it

What if a weather presenter actually told us how it is? Instead of the polite banter with the news host ("It's a hot one tomorrow, Bob") they explained why the weather is changing permanently. That's the basis for this skit.

The premise seems to be that after years of ignoring important issues to present shallow meaningless news, one presenter finally bursts out with the real story. It's amusing to watch the other guy's reaction. I also liked the ending. That kind of stuff is what keeps important stuff out of the news.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Church pulls out of fossil fuels

The Uniting Church has put its money where its mouth is. The NSW meeting of the church voted unanimously to end investments in fossil fuel companies - effectively blacklisting the industry. The motion was suggested by Justin Whelan of Paddington Uniting Church.

Justin Whelan of Paddington uniting church says this is the church taking direct action showing that it's not willing to profit from destroying the earth

The move is in line with the church's ethical policy of not investing in industries that do harm - and the "climate change emergency" is harm on a massive scale.
"The priority for the Uniting Church was to get its own house in order, and to practice what it preaches about environmental responsibility,"

Justin Whelan also called on other states to follow.

[Related Links: ABC report - Detailed church rationale - Fossil free campaign]

PS. If this action of the church inspires you, why not move your own superannuation investment to a sustainable option (if your company has one). If they don't, perhaps move to someone like Australian Ethical.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

$900 million dollars a year

Last week i mentioned that Australia passed the milestone of 1 million homes with solar power. After that announcement, one solar company crunched the numbers on what that means.

in 5 years Australia went from 20,000 to 1 million homes with solar power

$900 million dollars worth of electricity can be generated in the year by these solar panels. Of course more panels will be installed during the year, so we could easily see over a billion dollars of electricity generated by Australian households.

Like the above photo, it's something that excites me as a fan of renewable energy. It's also see individuals taking positive actions that together make such a great difference.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Climate change fuelling wilder weather

I'm really appreciating how well the Climate Commission present climate change science without making it too technical. Their recent video Climate change fuelling wilder weather is a good example.

In just 2 minutes, it summarises the situation - including explaining why increasing temperatures cause flooding and sea level rise - as well as drought and heatwaves.

[Related links: The Angry Summer - Climate Change and Health]

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Earth Hour Prayers

This year for Earth Hour, I experienced a church Earth Hour. It was great to see a church that recognises caring for creation (both the planet and the people on it) as part of their mission.

Also the church building (an old traditional one) looked sensational with all its candles. Far better than the picture captures.

church during earth hour

The short sermon (the best type there is ;) was about respecting, and caring for, the planet as something made by God - and entrusted to us.

The opening of the service include this poem/prayer:
Giver of life,
in the midst of a plundered world,
in the midst of poisoned waters,
in the midst of polluted air,
in the midst of mountains of waste,
in the midst of a beautiful but broken world
we groan with creation.
And the night ended with this prayer:
Eternal God, Creator of the universe. Great and wonderful are your works. Thank you for the many splendored variety of your creation. Thank you for the many ways we affirm your presence and purpose. Forgive our violation of your creation...
I hope the future sees more churches embracing creation and celebrating Earth Hour with the community.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Do the Maths - Australian Tour

Bill McKibben's Do the Maths tour is coming to Australia. It's rare that a magazine article is the basis for a world tour, but this is serious.

The tour dates include Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane. Check the Do the Maths website for more information.

UPDATE: The tour has completed now, but you can see the movie online.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Terrifying New Math

Author Bill McKibben provides a simple view of Global Warming in his article Global Warming's Terrifying New Math. It all revolves around 3 numbers.

2°C - the amount of global warming to cause catasrophic climate change

565 - the gigatonnes of carbon pollution that would cause 2°C of warming

2,795 - the gigatonnes companies have ready to burn (in coal, gas and oil)

Obviously, the third number is a lot bigger than the second. McKibben compares this to drinking 30 beers and still intending to drive home (5 times over the limit). Clearly, this is a dangerous situation.

Meanwhile, companies are spending millions each day to find even more carbon to burn (to add to the 2,795). You can see why people are very very concerned.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How we made our first million

Australia recently installed the 1-millionth household solar panel system. Here's a break down of how each state helped us get there.

Of course, I'm a little proud that my home state of Queensland was way ahead of the rest - particulary the more populous states of NSW and Victoria. I guess we really are the sunshine state :)

[State data courtesy of Renew Economy]
[Further Analysis - Australia's solar landmark]

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

1 Million Homes!

Australia has just reached the significant milestone of 1 million houses with solar power.

1 million Australian homes powered by solar power

This is quite significant, because in 2008 it was just 20,000. Now it's 50 times that. David Green (CEO, Clean Energy Council) said that:

"For some years solar has been most enthusiastically embraced by those in mortgage-belt suburbs, retirement areas and regional parts of the country. People from all walks of life have been installing solar as a way of protecting themselves from power price pain over the long term."

Hopefully programs like Every Rooftop can help even more people access solar power.

Tomorrow: Which states have the most?

Monday, April 08, 2013

Down Down, Emissions Are Down!

The fraction of Australia's electricity coming from coal recently decreased to 75%. It inspired this artwork as a parody of a recent supermarket advertisement.

Down Down. A coles parody about coal use decreasing

Of course, 75% is still very high by international standards. But at least it's headed in the right direction.

[More technical analysis]

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Every Rooftop

Here in Australia, many people have installed solar panels on their roof. They're making renewable energy, and saving plenty on their power bills. So why isn't everyone doing it?

Not everyone has a few thousand dollars available to buy the panels in the first place. And some of the people who do have the money are a bit worried about paying the money up front. Every Rooftop solves this problem with a solar panel leasing plan.

The energy savings are greater than the lease payment, so your bills are immediately lower. There's nothing to pay up-front, you're getting solar power, and you're saving money from day one. It's a great win-win solution.

Find out more at Every Rooftop.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

CFLs $1.87 each

From this Saturday, Aldi has 8-packs of CFLs for $14.99. If you haven't already replaced your old-style bulbs, this is a great opportunity to do so at hardly any cost.

Compact fluorescent lamps on sale

Unfortunately, the ad is a bit scarce on detail, like the wattage. I guess we'll find out on Saturday.

Remember to divide by 5 the wattage of the old-style bulb to get the wattage of CFL that will replace it. That's an 80% energy saving!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Bonjour Electric Cars!

A friend emailed me this holiday snap, taken in Nice, France.

electric cars in Nice France

The French on the front "ma voiture electrique en libre service" translates as "my self-service electric car" and is the slogan of autobleue - a car-sharing service based in Nice.

I like this. Electric cars means it possible for them to be zero-emission. Car sharing is a great way to rely on cars less, and reduce ownerships costs. The cars charge-up at the station, so they're always ready-to-go.

Nice work, Nice!

Monday, April 01, 2013

20 for the cost of 1

I might have shared this stat before, but now Planet Ark have included it in their series of infographics about recycling.

Infographic - one new aluminium can requires the same energy as 20 recycled ones.

We can make a recycled can for 1/20th of the energy of a new one. That's a 95% energy saving just for putting the old can in the right bin!