Weeeman!

April 11, 2007 by

From January 2006 manufactures & retailers will be responsible for recycling this waste under new EU legislation called the WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment) Directive more>>

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Sustainable domestic power

April 11, 2007 by

With wind turbines for sale at DIY shops and a stampede breaking out for renewables grants, has micro-power generation really arrived? more>>

The Great Global Warming Swindle

March 9, 2007 by

Wow, what a programme. Well done to Channel 4 (UK) for broadcasting ‘The Great Global Swindle‘. For those that missed it, it was a controversial 1.5hr programme explaining why there is no conclusive proof that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for global-warming.

They called on eminent scientists, IPCC members, ex-NASA meteorologists, a former New Scientist editor, a Greenpeace co-founder amongst many others who all came up with convincing arguments as to why reducing our own cardon dioxide emissions is likely to have little or no effect.

In fact they called into question whether there was any such greenhouse/global warming effect in the first place. After all the Earths temperature has fluctuated since records began and we’re nowhere near as warm at the moment as we have been in the past.

Unfortunately, us mere-mortals are fed our information by the media and such TV programmes, so it’s going to be very hard to conclusively decide which argument is right. But below is a summary of the programme – add a comment if I’ve missed something out.

MAIN POINTS

Throughout history, CO2 levels have actually risen AFTER a rise in the Earths temperature (often lagging behind as much as 800 years!).In the 1940’s, the Earths temperature continued to rise, whilst CO2 levels dramatically fell. By the mid 70’s, there were predictions that we were about to enter an Ice Age!

The rise and fall of the Earths temperature is directly related to sunspot activity. There’s currently very high sun spot activity. The number of sun spots also correlate to previous rises and falls in the Earths temperature.
Our CO2 production is so insignificant that its measured in parts per million. However, the amount of CO2 emitted from volcanos per year far exceeds the total of our own output (inc cars, power stations etc). On top of that there’s rotting vegetation and surprisingly the oceans, which are the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide production.

As the Earth gets warmer, the oceans emit more CO2. As the Earth gets cooler, the oceans absorb and dissolve CO2.

There has been a huge political agenda behind encouraging the promotion of the global warming theory – concerns over dwindling stocks of coal and encouraging the use of nuclear and other more prevalent energy supplies. Also to stifle the development of African Nations and the third world.

The influential United Nations report on Climate change, which claimed humans were responsible, was a sham. It claimed to be the opinion of 2,500 leading scientists, but Prof Reiter said it included names of scientists who disagreed with the findings. He resigned from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but said the report was finalised by Government appointees.

Billions of pounds is being provided by governments to fund greenhouse effect research, so thousands of scientists know their job depend on the theory continuing to be seen as fact. As a whole, the green industry is now worth billions of dollars worldwide and its in nobodys interest to scale it back.

CONCLUSION: even if global warming is proved to be just a natural Earth cycle, surely its still good to be developing, cheaper, more efficient methods of energy production and transport etc. And surely its still beneficial to be saving money and dwindling energy stocks by becoming more energy-efficient.

$25m Earth Challenge prize

February 9, 2007 by

Good ol’ Richard Branson, looking at things upside down again. Instead of trying to reduce the amount of CO2 we pump INTO the atmosphere, why don’t we just suck it OUT of the atmosphere once its got there more>>
Mr Branson has offered a $25m Earth Challenge prize to the person who can invent a way of removing from the atmosphere up to 1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year.

Hmmmm. Perhaps if he grounded his fleet of 747’s that might help to start off with!

Now, where did I put that giant vacuum cleaner…

Best of the blogs

February 7, 2007 by

Gizmodo give a weekly digest all that’s green and techy from their sister blog Treehugger.  This week it features eco-friendly PCs and servers and a game where you can be President of Europe and attempt to cut carbon emissions (and take over the world).

What happens when we recycle?

February 2, 2007 by

An interesting article from the BBC investigating what actually happens to  recyclable rubbish more>>

Blame for warming pinned on man

February 2, 2007 by

When I first read this headline I thought it was about women blaming yet something else on men. However, note the word ‘man’ and NOT ‘men’. Phew!

Anyway, it turns out climatic changes seen around the world are “very likely” to have a human cause, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded more>>

France dims

February 2, 2007 by

The lights of Paris dimmed for five minutes on Thursday in a nationwide “lights out” campaign, aimed at raising public awareness over global warming more>>

Power usage results…

January 18, 2007 by

With the aid of the power monitor plug, the results below indicate how much power is consumed by a variety of electrical products. From this, wehave already implemented some changes.

For electricity, the real emissions vary year on year due to the different mix of fuels used in the power stations and are average grid figures. However, the figure quoted for electricity is 0.43kg CO2/kWh which has been held constant since 2000. This value is used by DEFRA to ensure a consistent base on which to measure savings and was calculated on the projected fuel mix for the grid 1998-2000. Actual figures may differ from the projections, but DEFRA plan to use a constant value for environmental reporting until the year 2010.

If you wish to convert the carbon dioxide factors into carbon equivalents (ie kgC/kWh) , multiply the figure by 12 and divide by 44.

NEC AccuSync 72xm LCD monitor
Test period (2 hrs)
Normal use: 0.03kwh
Energy saving mode – light goes orange (19 hrs): 0.02kwh
Screen switched off but plugged into wall socket:

Macintosh G4
Test period (24 hrs)
Turned off but left on at the plug: 0.06kwh

HP JetDirect 175x
Test period (17 hr)
Normal use: 0.05kwh

HP Laserjet 1200
Test period (16 hr) – standby
Normal use: 0.08kwh

Test period (24 hr) – standby and normal days use
Normal use: 0.16kwh

CONAMATIC coffee machine
Test period (2 hrs)
Normal use: 0.33kwh
(mixture of standby with hot plate on and filtering of 1 jug of coffee)
Energy consumption to make one jug of coffee (7 mins): 0.11kwh

Nokia phone charger
Test period (6 hrs)
Charging mode: phone fully charged, but kwh doesn’t even register!
Plugged in but not charging (17hrs): 0.01kwh

Netgear 10/100 24-port switch
Test period (2 hrs) (4hrs)
Normal use: 0.05kwh (0.10kwh)

Buffalo AirStation
Test period (4 hrs)
Normal use: 0.02kwh

Kettle
Test period (3 mins) – full
Normal use: 0.16kwh

Test period (? mins) – 1 cup
Normal use: 0.??kwh

Insect-o-cutor
Test period (2 hr)
Normal use: 0.04kwh

Old fridge
Test period (90 hr)
Normal use: 1.6kwh

New fridge
Test period (24 hr)
Normal use: 0.23kwh

Electric fan heater
Test period (30 mins)
Normal use: 0.78kwh

Climate change – 11:55 on the Doomsday Clock

January 18, 2007 by

In an unprecedented move, The Doomsday Clock has been moved forward to 5 minutes to midnight, due to scientists acknowledging that irrepairable climate change is becoming a significant threat to mankind.

Make carbon offsetting schemes less confusing

January 18, 2007 by

I know we as an organisation have experienced some problems with finding the most effective carbon-offsetting scheme. Anyway, it seems as though the government is now to set standards for carbon offsetting schemes to bring “greater clarity” to the industry.

One Billion Bulbs

December 6, 2006 by

A new site called www.onebillionbulbs.com (US based) to help drive lots of individuals and communities to replace a few incandescent light bulbs with energy saving ones.  The target is borken down into milestones – the first being 10,000 bulbs and Colorado is racing ahead  thanks to bulk purchase from the Mile High Youth Corps – more about that on the blog. Only 3 bulbs have been changed in Hawaii, but the site is young and is a really good way of linking up communities and letting them see the difference they are making.