Thursday, June 28, 2007

Home Energy Handbook

The good people at Carbon Busters have just released their Home Energy Handbook - a guide for reducing your personal greenhouse emissions.
There are tips for both the Carbon Buster (someone who wants to seriously reduce their emissions, but in a cost effective way) and the Carbon Miser (someone who doesn't mind reducing their emissions - as long as there's a quick financial payback).

The book is quite targetted towards a North American audience, so facts and figures are in US dollars, pounds, inches etc - and a lot of the tips relate to colder climates. There's also a lot of comparision of product models not available in Australia.

The book is still a good read, and has some good "Quick Tips", but i'd recommend borrowing a library copy rather than getting your own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Carbon Cops

It hasn't received much promotion, but there's a new show on the ABC with the interesting title Carbon Cops. Each week the 'cops' meet a new family. With helpful advice and tips, they assist the family in dramatically reducing their greenhouse emissions.

Apart from the tips on the show - which demonstrate that reducing greenhouse emissions can in fact be really simple - their website is also very helpful. It has fact sheets from the show, a greenhouse quiz, and a calculator which enables you to calculate your own greenhouse emissions.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Queensland Strategy

As you may know, the Queensland Government has just released the state's new Climate Change Strategy.

There is a one month period for public comment. Why not email the people in charge of this, encouraging them to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

If you want to read the ultra-quick version, you can read the Courier Mail's article. Also, the Greens have published their own response to the plan.

If you want to read my response to the Government, click on the "comments" link below.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Brisbane's Action Plan

You may remember a few weeks back, the Brisbane City Council received and debated the Call for Action report. Well now the Council has come up with it's response, entitled Plan for Action on Climate Change and Energy.

You can view or download the report from the Council website. Then you can submit your feedback via the website or by emailng Don't you just love democracy? You can also read other people's feedback on the website.

If you want to read my email to Council, click on the "comments" link below.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I've recently finsished reading Clive Hamilton's book "Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change". It certainly is an eye opener, and i would recommend it to anyone who is interested in finding out more about climate change and how it has been treated in federal politics.

However, if you wish to believe that the current federal government honestly wants to reduce greenhouse emissions - don't read this book. If you want to believe that the federal government has shown integrity, and represented the wishes of the Australian people - don't read this book. If you want to believe the government is telling the truth - don't read this book. If you're considering voting to reinstate the current government, and prefer not to think about the consequences - don't read this book.

Having said all that - i recommend the book

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Zero Emission Home

In the UK, a prototype carbon-neutral home has been opened. The design meets new rules (to apply from 2016) to make UK homes more energy-efficient, as one quarter of UK carbon emissions come from homes. In a further move to promote energy efficiency, "zero carbon" homes will also be exempt from stamp duty.

The two-bedroom house is insulated to lose 60% less heat than a normal home. It also features solar panels, a biomass boiler and water efficiency devices such as rainwater harvesting.

According to the report by the BBC "The home generates all its own energy - and when you're away on holiday can send electricity back to the National Grid. The company says its annual energy bill would be £31, as compared to £500 for the standard new home of this size".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Green Buildings

No, it's not something that's achieved with a coat of paint. It's the basis of an article by They've just published a list of the Top 10 most environmentally-friendly buildings in Australia. [see pics]

Number 1 was the CH2 building in Melbourne, which i have talked about previously, and number 10 on the list was the Green Square South Tower here in Brisbane.

Due for completion next month, and to be used by Brisbane City Council, it has been given a greenhouse rating of 4.5 stars. This is due to its energy saving of 320,000 kWh per year (equal to 300,000kg of carbon dioxide).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

God Moves in Mysterious Ways

For some time now, Christian leaders have been speaking out on climate change as a moral issue - and rightly so. But readers of the the UK's Independent newspaper may have been surprised to see a full page advert by God stating "George, it took me 7 days of hard work to create this planet, please don’t ruin it for me."

While it's unclear who placed the ad on God's behalf, the full text of the advert now appears at where visitors can access President Bush's email and postal address - if they want to add their voice to God's.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Living In The Hothouse

I have just been reading the book "Living in the Hothouse" by Ian Lowe. If that name sounds familiar, it's because he was one of the experts that the Brisbane City Council commissioned to compile the Call for Action report on Climate Change.

Anyway, it's an exceptionally good read. Very informative, especially with regards to Australia. How climate change affects our part of the world; what Australia's situation is, and how we can best tackle the situation.

If you want to know more, you can check it out on the publisher's website, or at your local library. I thoroughly recommend it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A House in 16 Seconds

The new Greenpower figures are out for the first quarter of 2007 - and it's good news. There are now almost 500,000 households who have chosen greenpower. This is an increase of 114,000 since the beginning of the year.

I did some maths, and 114,000 people registering in 3 months (minus public holidays and weekends) means an average of one household every 16 seconds. Wow!

This sudden jump is due mainly to NSW, where (after being a bit slow to catch on) the numbers have almost doubled in just the first quarter of this year. It's my guess that a lot of this is due to the awareness raised by the EarthHour event held in Sydney earlier this year.

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