As it is my birthday today, I am going to be a bit cheeky and ask Australian and New Zealand readers for a big favour, which is to nominate this blog in the 2013 Green Lifestyle Awards. The award is run by Green Lifestyle Magazine (formerly G Magazine). The category that I stand the best chance of getting a look in is the "Online - Eco info site". After all, I do provide lots and lots of information (for free), and am a service of sorts. Plus if you count eBooks for sale, this blog is also a business (kind of)!
Click on the banner below to nominate.
Here's the skinny; The Green Lifestyle Awards are a great opportunity to wade through the greenwash to come up with a list of the very best in innovation and change in the green industry. We strive to recognise the people who are taking the positive and genuine step of working toward green becoming the norm.
Just by submitting a nomination you could WIN this Gazelle electric bike, valued at $2,999.
So, if you think that this blog/site provides a valuable service, please take the time to nominate it for entry in the Green Lifestyle Awards. You could be lucky and win the cool electric bike. I will even go for a ride with you on my old-school electric bike if you win!
By the way, don't feel obliged to nominate just this blog. There are so many other great green providers out there that could do with some nomination loving.
Thanks for your consideration!
Thursday, 23 May 2013
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Bill McKibben is coming to town to a major east coast Aussie city near you, very soon.
And guess what? I'm off to see him in Melbourne on the 7th June. I've my ticket, and bought one for Amy, my eldest daughter who is a high school teacher. We want to learn what we can do next, because we want to make a difference to our future and that of our children and grandchildren.
Why is the Do The Math(s) Tour so important, and what does maths have to do with climate change?
Well, here is a quick explanation given to me by some great people at 350.org.
To grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis, you just need to do a little math. We have 5 times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate.Sobering stuff which we need to hear.
Three simple numbers
2 degrees -- In Copenhagen, almost every country agreed to a 2 degree C (3.6F) target for temperature rise. We have already raised the temperature .8 degrees C, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.
565 gigatons -- Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by mid-century and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. But since we've increased the Earth’s temperature by 0.8 degrees so far, we're currently less than halfway to the target. But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we're already 3/4s of the way to the 2 degree target.
2,795 gigatons-- The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists estimate that proven coal, oil, and gas reserves of the fossil- fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies, equals about 2795 gigatons, or five times the amount we can burn to avoid 2 degrees.
Known reserves of oil, coal and gas companies exceed 2,795 gigatons of CO2, or 5 times what we can burn if we want a decent shot at avoiding runaway climate change.
The fossil-fuel industry is allowed to dump its main waste, carbon dioxide, for free. They have no economic incentive to stop business as usual.
Our political system is broken and has not yet grasped the seriousness of the problem.
Only a global movement can gain enough strength to change our politics.
A price on carbon is necessary to make renewable energy price competitive with fossil fuels, and to convince the biggest polluters to become clean energy producers
We need to understand as a society that fossil fuel companies and their business plans are the problem: ‘we have met the enemy and they are Shell (or Santos, Lake Oil, AGL, or any other Aussie fossil fuel company you care to mention).’
Not convinced. Think of it like this. At our current rate, we'll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today’s kinder kids will be leaving from high school.
Or for those who don't have kids, think of it this way. The 565 gigatons is how many drinks you could have and still stay below that limit – the six beers, say, you might consume in an evening. And the 2,795 gigatons? That’s the three 12-packs the fossil-fuel industry has on the table, already opened and ready to pour. To keep the planet safe, and all the species that live upon it, we need to keep 80% of that industry plans to burn in the ground.
So I urge you all who live in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne to take the time out of your busy lives, and go and see Bill help us come to grips with this problem and give a possible solution.
I will leave you with this parting thought: 2 degrees Celsius, 565 gigatons of carbon left to burn, and not many years left to stop it.
Do the maths.
Lets get on with it.
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Also according to my egg calendar, May is the leanest month for egg laying. Last year they only laid 17 eggs out of 8 hens, and so far this year we have collected 16 and are down to 7 hens. Only one of the large Isa brown hens is laying at the moment. The bantams have been barren for about 3 weeks, and all are finished moulting and have most of their feathers back.
So, over the weekend, Kim and I decided to purchase three new hens to make up for the drop in egg production. Once again, I have stuck with the good old reliable Isa brown hen, which are easy to come by.
To that end, Ben and I just travelled up to Gisborne South to the Macedon Park Emu Farm (I kid you not), and bought our new 18 week old chooks. We met Penny the owner of the farm, who was very friendly, and said that after dark was the best time to introduce hens into the flock, and it was very easy for her to catch them in the coop. They should start laying in about four weeks time.
We boxed them up and travelled home, dodging a few kangaroos in the process.
When we arrived, Kim was standing by with the torches. We opened up the box. They were so cute, and it really took us back to the very first time we got chooks. We placed them into the hen house, which resides within Cluckingham Palace, without too much fuss. The other chooks just clucked a bit and went back to sleep.
It was a very dark, so we didn't take any pictures. Tomorrow, I promise.
I dare say that the fun will begin in the morning when I go to feed them before heading off to work. Bunty has always been top hen, so she will assert her position. The pecking order should be re-established within a day or two, and Kim said that she was going to keep and eye on them during the day.
I won't get a good look at them until Saturday morning, as it is dark when I leave for work, and when I lock them up at night. Not to worry. I am sure everything will be fine.
Afterall, we are seasoned chicken ranchers now!