Archive for the 'Climate Change' Category

A Big EV Month.

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I think it must be called the “Blog-inversely-proportional-rule”, that is, the more you have to say the less time you have to say it because there’s so damn much going on! I’ll try to summarise…

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Jeff Poole from the Queensland Conservation Council (you should see his really cool sustainable home) about being one of the 30 participants nation-wide to go and see their local member about climate change policy for the Bigswitch campaign. Anyhow, enough about politics :-) the upshot was I got my ugly mug on page 1259 of the local rag buried amongst some car yard ads, I think. It did get better though because the Courier Mail were contacted and they did a much better job and apparently Jack and I got some reasonable real-estate in today’s hard-copy edition. The online version is here.

Courier Mail

Also a couple of months ago I was contacted by a very nice chap from WA (well, he writes nice emails) by the name of Ian Hooper from ZEVA (Zero Emission Vehicles Australia), how cool is that name. Ian is an Mechatronic Engineer (more coolness!) and is in the middle of his own electric vehicle conversion and in an effort to help promote EV’s he is venturing into the world of being an Australian EV parts supplier.

Ian kindly sent me a couple of battery pack dashboard gauges to try out. Now KISS has always been a philosophy of mine so I’ve never had any such gizmatronics fitted in the past but I have to say now that I’ve got them, I love them! It’s well worth a visit to Ian’s ZEVA website, a very professional effort.

ZEVA
Ok, so then I started getting excited about lithium batteries again, I can’t remember what triggered this, but I think that’s a side-effect of most addictions. :-) I’ve decided that if I’m to even think about those A123 Nano Phosphate super-cells then I have to get a little more serious about testing out just how good they are and how would I put together and manage 1600 of those little cells. So I finally signed up to THE EV live knowledge base – The Electric Vehicle Discussion List and got some of the answers I wanted but many I didn’t. It appears that not too may folks have built battery packs from these cells so I’m going to try and document my cautious journey in the hope that it may help others.

Then amongst all this, Toyota decide to start testing the electrified water with a trial Plug-in Prius (great video). This may turn out to be the biggest automotive news ever, then again, it might not…

PHEV Prius

Electric Cars Are For Girls.

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Electric cars are for girls logo.

Well there I was, just Google-ing around and I spot this URL; “electric-cars-are-for-girls.com” and in my usual hyper-sensitive-defensive-mode I think, why would somebody go to the trouble of registering this URL, just to deride electric cars?
Curiosity got the better of me and one click later I was smiling, not frowning.

Lynne Mason from Seattle really likes electric cars, the planet and in particular her son Gavin, so she’s put together this great website in an effort to help all three, in a…dare I say it…girlie type way!

Speaking of the planet, did you notice over the last couple of weeks a couple of big things have happened in the world with regard to climate change;

  • Firstly the Supreme Court in the U.S. ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants and therefore can be regulated by the federal government. This will have a huge impact on making the world greatest emitter more accountable.
  • Then the IPCC released a very sobering, more detailed account of what they consider are the greatest risks of climate change so that policy makers have something to work with over the next few years. I suspect that this assessment, from a few hundred scientists no less, has all but killed off, the last of the professional denialists.

Drought or Drying Up? – Part II

Friday, December 29th, 2006

While driving down to Canberra from Brisbane last week (1,300 km – not in my E-E!) I was shocked by just how dry some of this “wide brown land” is. We traveled via the New England highway which runs parallel with the NSW coast and about 150km inland. Much of the land, for hundreds of kilometers, was almost only dust. As is my bent, all the while thinking “Global Warming… Global Warming…”.

CSIRO Logo

So when I read a rather timely interview by The Australian newspaper with CSIRO climate expert Barrie Hunt, I was very interested. Mr Hunt states quite categorically (“very, very highly likely”) that this drought is not due to climate change but fits within the range of natural variability. He’s studied 10,000 years of climate modeling and says over that period there has been 30 occasions where there has been 8-year or longer droughts (on average = 1 every 333 years).

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Black Balloons

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

This is a really cool Victorian State Government ad about CO2 emissions from household electricity consumption.

Black Balloons Ad
It’s pushing for energy conservation i.e. less balloons but just imagine if there were no balloons! It’s as easy as signing up to your local Green Energy supplier and paying a little more (usually about 3 cents more per kWh) for the renewable stuff. Can’t imagine this ad being shown in QueensCoalland!

Now That The Heat’s Off.

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Snowing in November? Cool, Global Warming is a hoax after all, that’s a relief!

Oh well, now I’ll have to find another excuse to justify all the money I’ve spent on the E-E. How about “I need a lot of batteries for my 10,000 Watt boom box.” ?
What’s that?

Global Warming = climate change = weird weather.

Oh…Rats.

Well, it doesn’t really matter anyhow (Q6) because Australia only emits 1.4% of the worlds greenhouse gases. I strongly encourage those who support this line of thinking to maintain consistency, by not bothering to apply their 0.000008% worth of influence at the next Federal Election.

Drought or Drying Up?

Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

There’s a lot of talk in Australia at the moment about the impact of the current “drought” on our farmers and urban dwellers alike. Is this a typical multi-year drought or is this the multi-decade climate change we don’t like to talk about because we make so much money from exporting coal? I suspect we are experiencing drought on top of long term climate change. The map below suggests our farmers might need to move to the North West to be viable, if the soil is fertile.

Click on the image below to take you to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Climate Change site and see what you think.
Aus Rain 35 years