Friday, January 31, 2014

It's just a few cold days

So parts of the USA have had a bit of a cold snap recently. Web comic xkcd explains how this fits with global warming. (For those outside the US, O°F is about -18°C).

xkcd cartoon - cold days and global warming

Sure, there might be the occasional really cold day, but they're getting rarer and rarer - while the hot days keep getting hotter.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How do they separate my recycling?

Here in Australia, we put all our recyclable waste into one bin. Paper, plastic, aluminium, glass, etc - all together in one bin.

So what happens when it gets to the recycling facility? This video takes us through the process.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Why we hurt ourselves

This graphic expresses a bit of what I was feeling yesterday after writing about the heatwave. For some reason, even if something is clearly good for us, we still don't do it.

If trees gave off wifi signals we'd plant so many trees. Too bad they only produce oxygen we breathe.

Same with climate change it seems. Even suffering possibly the worst heatwave on record, Australia's action on tackling climate change still leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aussie Heatwaves - Longer, Hotter and More Frequent

Recently, there's been something of a heatwave in Australia. This is how hot it was at 6pm on Tuesday.

Map of Australian heatwaves

It was so hot that organisers postponed play in the Australian Open. Even native Australian animals seek relief from the heat.

Koala seeking refuge during Australian heatwave

The Climate Council's new report on heatwaves can be summarised with the following graphic.

climate council facts on heatwaves

Still amazes me that Australia isn't doing more about climate change.

UPDATE: Will climate change mean the end of the Australian Open.
How solar helps keep the electricity on during heatwaves.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Australia makes the news - for the wrong reason

Australia got a mention in Climate Reality's Top 10 Climate Stories of 2013. Unfortunately, it was for action against the climate.

Other stories were about the increasing effects, and cost, of climate change - and other countries taking positive action to reduce it.

Except number five - which was about Australia's government backing away from action on climate change.

Australia on Climate Reality list for going backwards on climate change

Climate Reality described it as "It’s been a case of one step forward, two steps back for climate action Down Under."

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

USA - Electric Car Sales

In the US, there are now 62 models of 'advanced vehicles' available. That's hybrid cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fully electric cars. Sales of these advanced vehicles is now greater than Australia's total car sales.

US sales of hybrids and electric vehicles

Monday, January 06, 2014

Australia's Hottest Ever Year

This the heat map for 2013 - Australia's hottest year on record. I can't find a single dot of blue (cold) and there's barely an area of average temperature.

The warm temperature were consistent across the country with each location experiencing either a record heat, or something "very much above average". Of course, there is the occasional cold day, but these are few and far between. Also, they are not as cold as the hot days are hot. Here is each day of 2013, compared to average.

So to summarise, Australia set 6 records in the first week of the year, added a new hot colour to the weather map, saw Sydney hit 46°C, had the hottest month ever, saw some high temperatures in what was called the Angry Summer, saw the hottest September turn into the hottest spring, which included an unusually early bushfire.

On reflection it's not a huge surprise that it turned out to be the hottest year. Perhaps it's time to act on global warming.

UPDATE: The Climate Council and Climate Institute have each produced infogrphics about the various records that have been set in Australia this past year.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Bags from Billboards

I'm a big fan of recycling. It reduces the amount of landfill, and reduces the energy required to make items. It's also cool to see the creative ideas people come up with to re-use items.

This example makes useful objects from recycled billboard advertising.

recycling billboards into bags

I was interested to see the video because my satchel is made in a similar way. The strap is even made from an old seat belt. People have said that it's stylish, but I'm more impressed that it's made from reused material.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Top 5 of 2013

Happy New Year everyone. Before we get into 2014, let's have a quick look back at the most liked posts of 2013.

5. Friday funnies are something I enjoying bringing to you. And it seems you also enjoy them, particularly the Most Ridiculous Thing at Work video.

4. Many popular posts are about taking action. The pledge to go renewable during Earth Hour was number 4.

3. On the information side, my review of the documentary Ten Bucks a Litre had lots of views. While the film may not have been perfect, it highlighted that change is necessary for our energy to be viable in the future.

2. LED lights. Another example of taking action. One of my posts to let you know about low-price energy efficient lights was the number two post of the year. So, what was the most popular?

1. Australia reduced electricity emissions by 8.6% in 6 months of carbon pricing. Possibly the biggest single action to reduce emissions in this country was introduced mid-2012. Early 2013, I wrote about it's success, and that was easily the most-read post of the year.

Thank you for reading. In 2014 I hope to bring you info on climate change, and on positive actions you can take - along with a health dose of Good News Tuesday, and some Friday Funnies. Happy New Year!

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