Climate change - what to do?

General tips, questions and answers about going green in your home and business. Achieve a more environmentally friendly lifestyle!

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby GeoffHammond » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:40 pm

davidh wrote:...
We do need to change how we get our energy, but listening to the nuclear lobby is not the answer
...


I'm not saying nuclear is absolutely good; just that it is better than coal and if we commit to using it as a temporary measure only, we might get a little breathing space. The problem is that human nature will not allow us to treat it that way.

A major reason why the world isn't moving more quickly is the debate about how/where to move. There are opponents to every form of energy generation technology. As a f'rinstance, in my part of the world, there are plenty of wind-power nay-sayers. Do we listen to them? Let's say their concerns are valid; do we still listen? Do we put the future of Victoria's (Australia's?) largest windfarm, north of Ballarat, on hold? What about the smaller one at Leonard's Hill? (Disclaimer: I am a tiny shareholder in the company that proposes to build/operate that farm.) Another f'rinstance revolves around how long it takes to recover the embedded/transport energy in solar panels - do we wait for better technology? If we do wait, how do we address concerns over habitat depletion when we install xxx MW in a desert somewhere, etc? My first ever vote in a federal election was cast against hydro-electric power and the Franklin River remains a cute place for people to visit. And none of these solutions completely replaces good-old coal-fired base-load generation.

Where do you draw the line and put a bounty on the evil dictator's head? If we wait for the perfect solution, we will remain waiting. Bloody humans... :D
GeoffHammond
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:19 am
Location: Hepburn, Vic

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby GeoffHammond » Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:56 pm

I was reminded this morning of the hash browns sold in Safeway stores. They are made in Belgium. Yes - potatoes are extruded, formed into patties and par-fried in Belgium, frozen and shipped to Australia to be sold.

The outcome of this thought process is that the so-called 'level-playing field' and global trade are without doubt contributing to the problem and part of the solution is to seriously concentrate on food-miles.

So, then I thought about the 'Go Green, Go Veg' television campaign that was on for a while. The science tells me that when I eat some part of a cow - even one that was raised and slaughtered nearby - I am eating the result of lots of energy/resource inputs and justifying nasty by-products.

Let's say I decide to go veg entirely. That means my intake of lentils and chickpeas goes up (sounds better already...). So, I look for Australian lentils. There was an Australian lentil producer - the Lentil Company - but the vast majority of their output is exported and they got bought out by a feed company anyway. If you can find Australian lentils, I would wager you might not like the price.

Where am I going with this? Bringing an end to the insanity of the current global trade system would probably make a significant impact on climate change and if it doesn't, I'm sure that there would be enough insane practices we follow that when we add them all up, they would.
GeoffHammond
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:19 am
Location: Hepburn, Vic

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby Tracker » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:07 pm

.
I can't help the feeling that we are going around in ever-diminishing circles of the hypothetical...
We are now defining just "How Urgent" the problem is and yet the responses are more based on questions than statements.

OK - Grasshopper - Here is your challenge.

In 12 months time, I will order the turning off of all Coal-Fired power plants.

By then you will have in place, a system of generating power on a 24 hour basis.
. . . . . No smoke and mirrors - No questions - Technical facts - Tell me how you will do it.
Understand - there is no time to experiment with new technology. You have said that we must act NOW.

How will you save the planet and generate guaranteed power, 24 hours a day, and without any unnecessary CO2 production?
( assuming the ridiculous, of being able to build something working and within 12mths )
.
.posting.php?mode=reply&f=19&t=839&sid=8b57e0aa7a35c00c6a91374962ece4fa#
.
.
Tracker
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 5108
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:54 am
Location: SYDNEY --- EA - Network, Retailer - EA

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby MichaelB » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:10 pm

Hiya Tracker,

Assuming the ridiculous as you put it of being able to construct such a system in 12 months I think will only bring ridiculous replies on how this could be done and therefore just degrade the quality of the discussion in this thread. Any such move to turn off coal fired power in such a short time frame would create absolute pandemonium and I don't think this is news to you ;)

Acting now is more about taking solid steps now, more than what we are currently doing.

We take all sorts of measures now for issues that may arise in the future, knowing the full measure will take quite a while to implement. We need to "act now" on climate change because the measures will also take a while to implement in a somewhat orderly fashion and require some pretty huge mindshifts. Change causes stress as it moves boundaries. Too much change in too short a time causes distress (think dysentery).

What many people are looking for is an effort akin to war-time efforts seen in the past; like during WWII where while there was fear and concern, there was also eustress in the form of a glimpse and hope of victory (well, in some countries anyway).

Not commenting on the war itself, it was incredible how populations rallied to the cause; industries were built, lifestyles changed in order to support the efforts - not such a positive example, but it's been demonstrated to make major changes in a relatively short space of time without society totally falling apart is doable... and why let things get to a panic stage anyway before taking action, because then the changes will be even harder to make and less likely to succeed.
Michael B.
Energy Matters Forum Team (Please note: I am not a solar tech or installer)

Check out Energy Matters' current solar power specials
or try our instant online solar quoting system!
User avatar
MichaelB
Energy Matters Team
Energy Matters Team
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:03 am

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby MichaelB » Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:31 am

Just on what may be more realistic timelines, Beyond Zero Emissions recently released details of its Zero Carbon Australia 2020 Project (ZCA2020).

The Project is a costed, detailed blueprint for a transition to 100 per cent renewable energy in just ten years using proven, commercialised technology.

http://www.energymatters.com.au/index.p ... cle_id=767

I'm not saying this would work as I don't have the smarts to determine that - just that groups are putting effort into determining how fast a transition from coal to renewables could be made.
Michael B.
Energy Matters Forum Team (Please note: I am not a solar tech or installer)

Check out Energy Matters' current solar power specials
or try our instant online solar quoting system!
User avatar
MichaelB
Energy Matters Team
Energy Matters Team
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:03 am

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby Tracker » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:07 am

.
Naturally, I was being silly in setting a 12mth time-frame.

But it surely makes the point that IF it is decided today to do something positive and not procrastinate, then putting fear into the populations of the world, and fiddling at the edges with Emission-Trading-Schemes, and such political rhetoric, is meaningless but very PROFITABLE for the new industries that will grow around the new industry..

You only have to look at this dumb Govt. and Roof-Insulation, and the fly swarm around that uncontrolled honey-pot.
They there is the insincere attempt at PV installation, and Solar/Alternate Hot Water.

If there is nothing that can be done RIGHT NOW, then why would anyone trust our lives to the development of a World-Government, waging WW3 on an unseen enemy, claimed to be poisoning us.

If our own Govt. cannot act - What will the Word-Government do to make them?

Why is it that third-world countries are moving to Nuclear Power and we are letting them, when we stand like bedazzled rabbits in the glare of headlights called Climate Change.
.
.
Tracker
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 5108
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:54 am
Location: SYDNEY --- EA - Network, Retailer - EA

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby MichaelB » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:12 am

Whatever actions we take to address climate change, someone will profit - that isn't a problem in itself as that is also the nature of change. Benefits and threats shift from one area to another; but like you point out; profit vs. results can be two very different beasties.

Why is an emissions trading scheme a bad thing? I'm not saying its good, I'm still undecided through lack of thorough understanding. Just curious on your take on it.

Would a carbon tax be better?

I see India is about to introduce a coal tax where the resulting revenue would be funneled directly into renewables. Is that a good solution?

There's no single solution to all this though - it has to be tackled from so many angles given the depths of the hole we've dug ourselves into through trashing the planet to satisfy our wants more than needs to the point of hyperconsumption.

For example, GeoffHammond touched on a good point - food miles. Do we really need those strawberries shipped from thousands of k's away when they aren't in season? I used to buy a particular brand of tinned fruit, assuming it was grown locally - like within a couple of hundred k's. Turns out it came from South Africa. So I switched brands. If I was really into the food miles side of things, I should be growing and preserving my own... perhaps.

Food waste is another big area and it has a direct connection to energy - in its production, transport and processing.

It is estimated that 40% of the food produced in America is wasted; it amounts to 1400 calories per person every day. According to the EPA, 31 million tons is thrown into landfills. Much of that produces methane as it rots; the gas is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The UK website Next Generation Food estimates that each tonne of food waste is equivalent to 4.2 tonnes of CO2. They conclude that if we simply stopped wasting food, it would be the equivalent of taking a quarter of all the cars in America off the road.


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/03 ... -waste.php

.. and this leads onto another important point; what we can do as individuals to lessen our own impact now rather than waiting for government to do it for us with projects on an enormous scale. People simply don't think about these things and who can blame them? They are working their butts off paying off their gadgets and so-called labor saving devices and to finance their own hyperconsumption they have been convinced is a need.

However, the issue of climate change is giving many people pause for thought about their lifestyles; so education is proving to be an important aspect in addressing the issue . There are so many steps people can take to lessen their carbon footprint and energy needs, and some of them can save them money.

The Victory Garden push during the last World War is a great example, these backyard gardens helped to feed nations during those times and their lingering effects carried right through until the 70's. It's good to see a resurgence in the humble backyard veggie garden (particularly those based on organic concepts).

The greenest watt is often the one that doesn't have to be generated and that's certainly an area we need to put more focus on too. The insulation scheme was a great concept, just horribly administered.

'tis a tangled web we have weaved..
Michael B.
Energy Matters Forum Team (Please note: I am not a solar tech or installer)

Check out Energy Matters' current solar power specials
or try our instant online solar quoting system!
User avatar
MichaelB
Energy Matters Team
Energy Matters Team
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:03 am

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby relaxedcamper » Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:30 pm

CHANGE!!!!

lIve locally, buy locally, play locally, work locally.

Support farmers markets that will sell you 'in season' products with very low food miles. Enjoy these supreme fresh items now and wait until next year when they will be available again. If you love them so much, learn to preserve them and have them all year round.

The days of the 'sunday drive' are gone. Buy push bikes and re-explore your local parks and paths. Find some neighbours and have a day ride finishing in a park where the kids can play.

Try and live near your work or travel on public transport or car pool is you can.

Support your local teams. Don't travel into the cities if your local council can run the same things but perhaps on a smaller scale.

We all need to WANT FOR LESS. In reality the things we want are in most part crap and have been sold to us by clever sales hypes and advertising. We aspire to be better than the man next door and therefore support unquestioned hyperconsumerism.

Just think of the crappy plastic items you get in a christmas bon-bon.

We accept that it is traditional to have them but do we think about what it really represents. Paper, cardboard, chemicals for the 'BANG' and some stupid little plastic monkey or shark, or boot or such.

So around the christmas table surrounded by excessive food from all corners of the world, we smile at eachother in our paper hats and relive tired old jokes on the little slips of paper, and congratulate our selves that we 'Do this just because we can!!!!!'. None of this makes sense and does't perform any function or meaningful contribution to society/world, yet we do it with out question.

We need to question.

Everything we do has an impact in one way or another.

We need to stop buying crap. Crappy worthless plastic products that have five seconds of value. We need to refuse to buy overpackaged items. We need to not purchase garlic from Spain.

Until we are willing to modify our own consumer practices, we will always be saying yes to industries that import oranges from calafornia, and hash browns from Belgium.
Network = POWERCOR - Retailer = ORIGIN - 11 Sharp 180w Panels NUSOE3E - Fronius IG 20 IP45 Inverter - 1.98KW Grid Interactive System - DUX SunPro 415L 3 Flat Panels Solar Hot Water - 26,600 Lts Rain Water - 8 Chooks - North of Geelong Victoria
relaxedcamper
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:33 pm
Location: North of Geelong, Victoria.

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby bpratt » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:29 pm

I understand the ideal of food miles, but why those overseas grown food items are popular is because the budget shopper pays less out of their own pocket for the same items.

Those that fully support the reduced food miles philosophy should be pushing for Australian Made and Owned, as at least then the food is Australian produced.
:)
Kaco 6600
26 x Trina Honey 250w panels. (wish I could work out how to upload to pvoutput.org)

New house build :-
http://bandlnewhomebuild.blogspot.com

My weather station :-
http://jimboombaweather.com
bpratt
Solar Crusader
Solar Crusader
 
Posts: 943
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:09 am
Location: Jimboomba, Queensland - Energex and Origin

Re: Climate change - what to do?

Postby MichaelB » Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:21 pm

I approached the Australian Made organization a couple of years ago and mentioned that the food miles issue is an angle they should be promoting. I went into some detail, telling them why, gave them examples and related selling points. They wrote back and said they were looking into it. I don't think they did anything with the concept even though it's a marketer's dream. Seems a bit odd given the focus on environment and particularly greenhouse gas emissions these days.

On their "Australian Grown" page it starts out by saying:

"Buying Australian Grown is good for all of us. It creates jobs, boosts the economy and improves our standard of living. "

No mention of the green/GHG aspect at all. Here's a peak body that could be doing a ton about raising awareness of food miles in their marketing and benefiting their members, the local economy and the environment as a result. While not everyone would want to shell out extra for Aussie made (its certainly an area where I need to lift my game), there would be a good chunk of shoppers prepared to pay the extra 20c on a can of tinned fruit for example, just based on this alone. I really don't get it.
Michael B.
Energy Matters Forum Team (Please note: I am not a solar tech or installer)

Check out Energy Matters' current solar power specials
or try our instant online solar quoting system!
User avatar
MichaelB
Energy Matters Team
Energy Matters Team
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 11:03 am

PreviousNext

Return to Living Green

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

new solar power specials