Archive for the ‘General’ Category

rant – on

<Rant – on>

For those of you who follow my posts on twitter or facebook, some might say that a few of my recent posts have been anti-LNP…

Well, as a parent, my kids are important to me and the policies (or lack thereof) to address global warming of this governement threaten my kids’ futures, even to the extent of threatening their very lives. If anyone does that, then I will fight back with whatever tools are at my disposal.

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New “State of the Climate” report out…

Yesterday saw the release of the third biennial “State of the Climate” report from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology (BoM). Nothing much seems to have improved in the past two years and it doesn’t paint as pretty picture of our “sunburnt country”…

Australia’s climate has warmed by 0.9°C since 1910, and the frequency of extreme weather has changed, with more extreme heat. Rainfall has declined since 1970 in the southwest, dominated by reduced winter rainfall. Autumn and early winter rainfall has mostly been below average in the southeast since 1990.

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Climate Change is a political issue

Climate Change is an issue that requires long-term thinking, planning and execution. Unfortunately for most people in Western democracies, this kind of issue does not fit into either the media cycle or the election cycle.

The media cycle is now just a 24 hour beast, whilst the election cycle is limited to either 3 or 4 years. Increasingly, anything that falls outside these parameters is considered too difficult to implement. Opinion polls have become the arbiters of good policy rather than being advocated and sold by the government of the day. Also increasingly, it seems that the role of the opposition party(ies) is purely to oppose anything proposed by the incumbents, as if this provides an alternative view or policy perspective when in point of fact it is purest laziness.

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A Perfect Storm

The eighteenth annual session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) will take place from Monday, 26 November to Friday, 7 December 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha, Qatar. Our “leaders” will again be talking about and considering proposals for the mitigation of and adaptation to Climate Change. I place the term “leaders” in inverted commas since it would appear that, even after 18 years of these talks, not one of them seems to want to “lead” on this issue which the science tells us will have a profound effect upon all of us.

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Smart meters –> energy price rises

Recently, in our street in suburban Melbourne, we have had “smart” meters installed. The program of smart meter installation has been legislated by the Victorian Government – you don’t have a choice about whether you get one or not; it will come to you. Last week I received a letter from my retailer, Origin, flagging “Time-of-Use” (ToU) energy prices. For the vast majority of us, this will result in major increases in bills.

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Why acting on Climate Change is a MUST do…

Gambling is a societal issue and one that creates a lot of grief in our communities. There are many opinions as to why people are willing to make inordinately risky decisions; be it lifestyle, financial or social. This is no more so than when the risk is perceived to be in a nebulous future and especially so if there appears to be a debate about the facts. I guess this is probably the reason that Climate Change is failing to stir the hearts and minds of many people in the US and here in Australia but, strangely enough, not in the vast majority of the rest of the world. Both here and in the US, this issue has been badly politicised.

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….and another thing….

What gives with the Victorian Government and the environment? Don’t Liberals have to pay energy bills?

On Monday last, there was a story in the Age of how, in order to try to “streamline” processes, they were considering removing the 6-star rating on newly built homes. Ostensibly to try to remove “red tape”, this proposal drew heavily on a Master Builders Association report from July 2010, which argued that “forcing” people to build houses with higher star ratings may cost more in building resources than it delivers in energy savings. Now the members of the MBA may be struggling with change, I don’t know, but surely it pays to find out the facts about the advantages or otherwise of building to a high standard.

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Are you a fan of smarter energy use?

Now that summer is well and truly upon us it is time to talk about how to stay cool without blowing the energy budget.

Keeping the heat out in the first place is smarter than trying to cool your living spaces after the fact:

  1. Make sure your home is as draughtproof as you can make it – this will help keep you warmer in winter as well!
  2. On hot days keep the curtains closed – lighting a space takes less energy than cooling especially if you are using leading edge LED lights – if you have external blinds or awnings, use them
  3. Set your ceiling fan to summer mode and use it in preference to air conditioning – you’ll be surprised by how much difference it makes

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