Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Forget climate change science - here's why we should go renewable.

Forget the science on "climate change, global warming, anthropogenic global warming (AGW)" or whatever you want to call it - here's why I think we should go renewable, and invest in solar, wind, tidal and all the other potential sources of clean, renewable, green and greener energy that are now available to humanity.

First off, because I'm assuming that, regardless of the "side" your bias puts on, you don't drive a Model T Ford car, or ride a Penny Farthing bike, or wear the same suit you bought for your first job interview 20 yers ago, or probably even have the same job you had 20 years ago, or wear only "Made in [your country here]" clothing, and assiduously grow your own food, or buy local everything. (But if you do - good on ya!)

You do what we all mostly do, go with the times, and update your car, bike, fridge, computer, consumer goods, and if the rest of us are lucky - your suit, every few years.  Presumably, because the old technology is obsolete, and new items are better engineered, more efficient, prettier, smaller, bigger, more powerful, etc.  And you can afford it.

And if you have a fridge or aircon unit or a motor vehicle with aircon, or if you rummage through your bathroom toiletries for hairspay, deodorant etc, you'll notice these are no longer using* CFCs for cooling or as accelerants, because the world got together back in the 1980's to ban their use, in order to protect the Ozone layer and reduce and prevent damage.

Manufacturers succesfully transitioned to other less harmful chemicals, the sky didn't fall, the world's economies continued to grow, and the Ozone layer's health is improving.

(*The DuPont patent on "Freon" being due to run out, was also bandied about, but I digress.)

So it's not like we haven't already set the precedent for action on a global environmental emergency.

I also assume that you're not still using your very first computer and the same dial-up connection to the "internet", or the myraiad other examples of improvements in technology and productivity, that have impacted your llife since the day you were born, and you can point to, if you look around your office or home right now.

Remember Y2K?  In my opinion, Y2K was a "non event" because the global commuity again decided that there was an imminent threat; i.e. put simply (excluding conspiracy theories) - the fear that legacy computing systems which were built in the days of limited RAM, ROM and what are now considered laughably tiny hard drives, wouldn't recognise the date 2000.

This would impact on everything from your bank account statement to the plane ride you were about to take. So we decided we'd better do something about it if we didn't want a mess to wade through and clean up afterward.

(2000 zero zero, party over, oops, out of time.)

As a result of global action and investment (more USD $300 billion apparently), aside from saving the jobs of millions of financial industry workers* around the world, it created huge investment - and jobs, in computing and IT hardware, firmware and software industries.  I would also assert that this directly impacted hugely on what is a global industry called "the web", which continues to grow directly and indrectly, in ways that were unimaginable in the lead up to Y2K.

An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure.

*They could be sacked in the wake of the GFC a decade later.  But that's another story.

These improvements in technology have allowed those of us fortunate enough to live in "the West", to enjoy the lifestyle which the rest of the world looks to also be able to also enjoy soon, by using the same energy technology we have used for the last 400 years. That is; coal, oil and every other fossil fuel we could cheaply dig or pump out of the ground or seabed.

But, now there is a more effective option with renewable energy technology, some of it proven over the last 40 years or longer. It creates clean energy, it's limitless*, it helps drive other forms of renewable energy, it's more healthy for us as a species and for the planet as a whole.

*Well, until the sun goes nova or the human race ceases to exist - whichever comes first, with the latter more likely than the former.

AND, the more R&D we do the better it will get, just like the R&D and investment money we've poured into the sunset fuels of yesteryear, over the last 400 years.

Fossil fuels did their job magnificiently, but they've done their time, because, well, we've simply got better ways of doing these things now to get the same or better result.

Like gas lamp lighters, carriage makers, vacuum tube repairmen, secretarial pools where the clatter of typwriters declared "money making activities happening here!", and all those other occupations which no longer exist, it's time to downsize, outsource, retire and make these obsolete energy sources redundant as soon as possible. 

Oh, and did I mention that I know that we'll make lot's of money doing it?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Reply to Heartbreaking denialism by Joshua Gans

Reply to Heartbreaking denialism by Joshua Gans via 1petermartin: Sharing... They are environment haters; pure and simple - Gans http://bit.ly/87pLXy

But don't you see?  It's the extra layer of government, and the extra taxes (although they'll happily spruik for their constituencies and special interests to get tax payer funded "compensation"), and the jobs that will be lost, and the end of the economy as we know it.

What I wonder is, how is it then that the European Union, which has arguably had an even more flawed ETS for 6 years now, seems to be surviving?

Including in Germany alone, the directly attributable creation of 230, 000 plus jobs in the renewable energy industries (R&D, manufacture, sales - domestic and international, and installation of wind, solar, biomass, tidal technologies), and creation of an additional, invaulable income stream to (especially) farmers, from energy production.

You know, from all those solar panals and wind turbines they've planted in the paddocks where the livestock graze.

Good grief.  Who knew?  The sun shines and the wind blows and the tide goes in and out in Europe!

And they're (SHOCK! HORROR!) progressively decommissioning nuclear power stations, as more renewable energy sources come on line.

Oh well, guess we should just get used to a nice balance of trade deficit with the Euro zone over the next few years, importing technology and know-how, what with having sold off, closed down and driven out most of our world class renewables R&D technologies and intellectuals, to everywhere else during the last two federal administrations.

No, Joshua, they're not haters, they're just humans stuck in the oldest human dilemma.  Having to change their minds about a belief they hold dear, rather than admit to a mistake.

Like King Canute trying to hold back the tide, this is (I hope!) their last hurrah.  Just as the GST became the inevitable "tax reform" we had to have, so will the ETS and/or carbon tax be part of the new reality of the carbon constrained and oil depleted future of the Australian and global economy.

The sooner we all face this fact, regardless of our belief, the sooner we can start getting results.


Monday, 2 November 2009

Twitter Apps - Seesmic and echofon

I currently have 3 twitter apps on my desktop: echofon (a Firefox add-on) which is great - simple and effective if you're into the "twitterstream" and not too worried about missing anything, while still providing effective monitoring of your followings tweets, RTs and DMs ; TweetDeck, which I'm currently using to manage my twitter identities to follow groups/cohorts of tweets; and now I'm also trying out Seesmic Desktop.

Originally released as "Twhirl", I've been using Seesmic Desktop application for a couple of weeks, and think it will be great for "intermediate" users who may have a couple of Twitter identities, but who don't need the "power user" features that TweetDeck provides, to manage multiple social media service accounts at Twitter, Myspace and Facebook.

And the folks over at Seesmic seem very proactive regarding user ideas and feedback.  (They also have an iPhone app and Web In-broswer service on the go).

Most of the ideas I'd like for Seesmic Desktop, that aren't already included, are under consideration; like upload and random schedule of multiple tweets (Oh - yes please!), UI customisation and a few other minor features (like repeat/recently used #hashtags).

My favourite feature so far, is the "sent' column, where all of my twitter accounts most recent tweets and DMs appear.  Great if you don't use DM a lot, but tweet heaps, and want to keep track of your more recent tweets at a glance.  Least favourite; getting followers who don't tweet much onto custom userlists.  It's a bit cumbersome at the moment, but looks like they're working on it.

Only potential downside I see, is inclusion of too many suggestions/requests, and bogging it down too much.

But overall, pretty happy so far.  So if you're looking for a new desktop Twitter app that can manange your multiple Twitter IDs and (presumably) Facebook accounts, then check out Seesmic Desktop.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Affirm Humanity - Habitat for Humanity

Affirm Humanity - Habitat for Humanity

1.6 billion people around the world live in substandard housing.

Join with Habitat for Humanity (YouTube channel) as we build a new world.

Monday, 20 July 2009

My favourite Michael Jackson songs

Now all the dust has settled, here's a quickie post, just to show I'm still alive in the land of blogosphere.

Some of my favourite MJ songs:
  • Rock with You
  • Smooth Criminal
  • Man in the Mirror
  • The Way You Make Me Feel
  • Thriller
  • Wanne be Starting Something
  • Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Affirm Humanity - Juan Mann

Affirm Humanity

Free Hugs Campaign*   (Web site)

My favourite Free Hugs :
  • First Hug @ 0:50  - 'Bout time! 
  • Double take, Oh - Why not?  Bloke hug @ 1:15
  • Juans' mate @ 1:33, 1:40 - Wait for it, wait for it .... Here it comes!
  • Hey, anyone can do it, just hold up the sign @ 2.04
  • WHAT!?  @ 2.26

Free Hugs YouTube Channel

*Free Hugs is now worldwide.  Humanity affirmed.

Comment Invited.  Who would you like to see included in Affirm Humanity?  Help build the Affirm Humanity collection by suggesting your favourite affirming humanity moment. 

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Affirm Humanity - Matt Harding

Affirm Humanity

Where the Hell is Matt?  (Web site)

Take only photographs, leave only footprints.*

My favourite Snoopy Dance moments.  (C'mon - doesn't it just perfectly look like a Snoopy Dance?) :
  • Kuwait City, Kuwait @ 0:42 - the obligatory dog!
  • DMZ, Korea @ 1:55
  • Tongatapu, Tonga @2:21
  • India - @2.36.  Matt, you've got some serious Bollystyle!
  • Tel Aviv, Israel @ 3:42
  • East Jerusalem, West Bank @3:45
  • Nellis Airspace, California @ 3:55.  You lucky dog!
* With permission, where permitted.

Matts' YouTube Channel

Comment Invited.  Who would you like to see included in Affirm Humanity? Help build the Affirm Humanity collection by suggesting your favourite affirming humanity moment.

Friday, 17 April 2009

My favourite Twitter tools

So, I've been spending more time than I should tweeting, but it's all research.  For clients.  Really.

Anyway, as lists seem to be a popular blog post option, here is my contribution to the ever growing Twitter tools collection, of those I'm currently using, to my endless amusement and wastage er..., use ... good, solid research type use, of time.

  1. Twitterfox (for Firefox users who don't want to install TweetDeck)
  2. Twitter Analyzer
  3. Twist - see trends in twitter
  4. TweetStats :: Graphin' Your Stats
  5. Twitoria - How Many Twitter Friends Are You Really Following?
  6. Twitterholic.com  I'm King of the World!

Search for Twitter in All Places on Yauba.com (my latest favourite search engine that isn't Google.)

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Palestine 09

"They stole my land, burnt my olive trees, destroyed my house, took my water, imprisoned my father, killed my mother, starved us all, humiliated us all. But I am to blame : I shot a rocket back. So they stole more of my land, burnt my olive trees, destroyed my house, took my water, bombed my country..." Palestine09

Featuring words partly inspired by one of the hundreds of hand-written anonymous placards carried at the Jan 3rd demonstration in London our Palestine 09 design expresses vividly the cycle of despair that has turned the tiny Gaza strip into a war zone of Israeli reprisals using its overwhelming military might. JUST £16.99!  Helping to raise funds for the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza.

Buy this T-Shirt

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Chirpy Cheep, Twitter Tweet

Forgive me blogosphere, it's been two months since my last post.

I've been .... busy.  No, I'm not seeing anyone else, honest.

Just business.  You've met him you know.  Look, he's standing right over there.

He looks taunt and trim?  Of course, you look fantastic too, dear.

No, I'd never leave you, darling.

Look, I know you're feeling hurt and a little neglected right now, but I promise, I'll be more supportive.

When?  Uh, well, how's right now?

What?  You don't think I'm really trying?

Uh .... hang on a second will you?
I'll be with you in a minute ... promise ....

I'm just checking my Tweetstats and Twitterholic ranking.

No!  I swear, you're the only blog for me.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Aviation goes green - Air New Zealand biofuel test flight

With around 2% of global greenhouse emissions being generated by air travel and air transport activity, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has a keen interest in the development and take up of more environmentally friendly aviation fuels.  (Not to mention the potential $$ savings!)

Air New Zealand, in association with Boeing and Rolls Royce, finally got their test flight off the ground on Tuesday 30th December 2008, after more than a year of planning and behind the scenes work.

Scoop: Air New Zealand Biofuel Test Flight Underway

The test is seen by IATA as part of a short term goal, "... for its members to be using 10% alternative fuels by 2017".

IATA’s Green Vision: Algae Biodiesel By Barbara E. Hernandez