Friday, November 23, 2007

Something simple and effective

I am astonished as to the number of lights that are kept on during day time or during night when when no one is in the building where I work. I have begun walking through now and again ans simply switching off lights that are not required. All lights, including flourescent lights are better to switch off when you leave the room. It goes beyond my understanding why companies do not implement policies to use less energy. It's costing them a considerable amount of money.

So, everytime you see a light that should not be on, switch it off.

The true cost of renewables

I have seen a number of plans to phase in renewable energy over a 10 year time period and what has been striking is the fact that these plants require only a slightly higher initial economic input when compared to coal and nuclear power and dramatically drop off after the 10 year period due tot the fact that no fuel is required to generate the power. Nuclear and coal may have a slight advantage in cost per GW but will have to continue paying in on fuel costs after the initial 10 year period of capital investment.

Another issue that is often ignored is that the partial increase in cost from using renewables is offset by the increases in efficiency on the demand side. Having to pay an additional 10% on your electricity is therefore offset by the 10% less electricity you use due to higher efficiencies. I also firmly believe that most people will be more than willing to pay the additional cost for renewables. It must be emphasized that it is client demand that will solidify energy policy. Since the market system controls most activities we engage in, why not use it.

Having been at a renewable energy and climate change conference and experiencing the DEADLOCK just within a group of environmental groups in regard to the issues it has become clear that we cannot rely on goverment to implement the strategies. We need to take action by changing the way we live our lives. If we can achieve a 10% reduction in energy demand by doing simple changes to lifestyle and technology, government may look at some of the alternatives as it will have the time to do so. Tight now government is pushed for time and needs to provide additional electricity to solve some of the load shedding problems we are experiencing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Climate change links

The exploratorium has a few very nice features and graphical ways to explaining global warming.

Idea with photography

I am embarking on a new way of showing the very real impact of climate change on people around the world by photographing landscapes in selected sites on a set time interval and monitoring changes. I believe that this will make a deeper impression on most people than simply showing graphical projections in scientific language. Sites will predominantly be selected on boundaries between different ecotones to show how these boundaries are shifting. Please give me some input and make suggestions on areas that may lend themselves to this.

Web links

Here are a number of links for anyone who wants to gain some insight into the causes and effects of climate change.
An inconvenient truth

The carbon fund


United Nations Environmental Program Climate Change Program

WWF - The World Wildlife Fund - Climate Change

The US Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change page

The Australian Government - Bureau of Metereology

Greenpeace Climate Change Campaign

BBC Climate change site

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Department of Environmental food and rural affairs - Climate and Energy

European Environmental Agency - Climate Change Site

The World Bank,,menuPK:407870~pagePK:149018~piPK:149093~theSitePK:407864,00.html

Climate research

The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change

The Wikipedia definition

The World Health Organization

Renewable energy and climate change conference.

I just attended a renewable energy and climate change conference in Johannesburg. Groups present include industry, government, NGOs, universities and interested and affected parties. I will spend some time condensing the notes I made to a form I can place on this blog.

In the mean time, please feel free to visit for additional information.


This blog is dedicated to creating awareness of environmental issues worldwide and how it affects our lives. It contains the hard science, emotive photography and ways of changing our own habits to limit the damage we cause. Topics include climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss, acidification, impacts from industries and mines, environmental economics, earth and life sciences and all the field that fill the missing gaps. The blog not only contains the negative aspects of the problem, but introduces ways we can make a difference in this dying world.

Negatives and positives.

This blog was created for making people aware of environmental matters that touch their lives and the lives of their children. Unfortunately it will contain some negative elements, dire predictions and contemplation of what has already been lost, but will provide the information for people to make a difference in this world.