Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year's Thought

As we are about to ring in the new year, i figured i'd share this 'thought for the day' that a friend emailed me recently.
Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find.
Probably a good a motto as any for the new year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Saving Hot Water

I've been away for a few days over Christmas. Before going, i opened up my electricity box and flicked this switch.

It's the mains switch for the hot water system. I save the energy of keeping all that water hot (when no-one's using it) just by flicking the switch.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Posters From The Future

With the lack of any substantial agreement coming from the Copenhagen UN meeting, it seems the series of "future" posters may have been more prophetic than first thought.

For more of the posters, featuring other world leaders, check out Duncan's blog on this.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate Scoreboard

The Climate Scoreboard keeps track of how the international deal making at Copenhagen is going. As well as displaying how much progress is being made (or not being made) it also shows what some of the nations have set as their goals.

UPDATE: This new graph analyses the effect of the emissions cuts each nation brought to the Paris meeting in 2015 - and compares them to the world's goal. Clearly nations need to have more active goals.

It's a bit like having a huge weight loss goal and thinking one sit-up per day will achieve it.

climate scoreboard comparingnational proposals and world goals

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Climate Action Tracker

So with all the hubbub in Copenhagen, how is it actually going? The people at Climate Action Tracker are summing it up for us with this neat little thermometer, estimating the temperature rise by 2100.

2°C is what most countries are aiming for. The low-lying countries would prefer 1.5. Either way, the promises made so far don't really cut it (pun not intended).

Further down the home page, a world map lets you click on individual countries to see how they are doing. Australia (on a scale of "Inadequate" through to "Role Model") ranks as "Inadequate".

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Prayer For The Earth

I found a fantastic prayer, written by Rev Tim Costello and Brian McLaren for the occasion of the world conference in Copenhagen. It contains gratitude,
We thank you for the precious gift of life, for the intricate cycles and the beautiful balances that sustain it, and for the unfolding story of planet earth and all creatures that share it.

You have inspired us to do much that is good and beautiful and true, but we have also chosen to act in ways that are destructive, selfish, ugly and false.

and a call for help.
help us believe your truth - that true prosperity, life in all its fullness, can only come from wise stewardship, mutual responsibility, and mutual care.

The full text is available here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ice Updates

Saw a news report today, where Al Gore presented some new research showing that the Arctic might be practically ice-free as early as 2014.

Hidden down the bottom of the article was a casual mention that the rate sea level rise has doubled in the past 10 years!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Please Help The World

Believe it or not, the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen has an 'opening ceremony'. Perhaps the highlight was this short film "Please Help The World", commissioned by the Danish government.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Vote Earth

The good people at Earth Hour have put together a neat little application which allows us to "Vote Earth" - to encourage action on climate change at Copenhagen.

This is one thing we can do to urge world's leaders into serious action.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


The other day i mentioned the documentary The Great Warming. One part that stunned me was the Bangladesh stats.

80% of the country is a flood plain. A sea level rise of just 0.5m would make about 1/6th of the country uninhabitable. With a population density of 840 people per square kilometre, the forecast is that, by 2030, 40 million people (roughly double Australia's population) will have to move .... somewhere!

So, all these wealthy countries that are so reluctant to cut their emissions - how are they going to react when 40 million people need a country to live in?

(ps. i just looked up Bangladesh on wikipedia, which references a journal article saying a 1m sea level rise would cover 50% of the land)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Bubbles Of Trouble

Found this map at America's Center of Public Integrity. The size of the bubbles represent the greenhouse emissions per person.

I think they designed it to show how much America needs to shape up - but it's Australia that has the biggest bubble.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Great Warming

The title The Great Warming is a comparison to the great depression, as this documentary suggests that global warming will be the 21st century equivalent.

Narrated by Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morrisette, this documentary looks at climate change, the effects that are already being felt, and the solutions that exist. The extras is also a treat. It's almost like a 'deleted scenes' with a bunch of 1-2 minute chunks of interesting info.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Group D

The draw for the 2010 World Cup has been announced over the weekend, and Australia is in Group D. With Copenhagen starting today, i thought it would be interesting to compare the emissions of our world cup opponents.

If only there was a world cup for pollution :) Each Australian could match it with 67 Ghanaians.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Talking Kev

With the UN meeting at Copenhagen next week, the people at Talking Kev are giving us the chance to hear the words we want our PM Kevin Rudd to say - by arranging soundbites from things he has said.

You can see my arrangement here ... if only it was real.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dramatic Increase

With all the goings-on in Canberra this week, i found this cartoon quite appropriate.

If only real action was increasing at a similar rate. Meanwhile, Margot O'Neill has an interesting piece on the coal, hard facts.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Climate Smart Meter

Sometimes we take things for granted. I met some NSW people last week, who wished their state had something like the Climate Smart Home program. One of the reasons is this great little energy meter, that can tell you how much power you are using at any moment. (It can also has a money mode and a greenhouse gas mode.)

Apart from the meter, the deal includes free energy efficient light bulbs, and a water efficient showerhead. And if you live in Brisbane, the city council will reimburse you the 50 dollars.

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