Carbon Conservation & Energy Efficiency


Bruce Rowse & Team

International Day of Demonstration on Climate Change

October 28th, 2009

Following the day of action I was looking forward to reading about this world-wide rally in the newspapers but I was quickly disappointed to discover that it only got a short mention on page four of one of the major weekend papers. Likewise the major TV channels only dedicated a newsflash type of segment to this news.

After learning about this international action day coordinated by (see blog on 20th Oct) I decided to attend the local rally in the Dandenongs. Despite the best efforts of I believe that this climate change day was not getting enough attention in the main stream media. Most people would only have found out about it through alternative sources, such as the internet and perhaps from the banners and placards strategically placed by passionate environmentalists.

Nevertheless, a large number of grass root groups joined forces to take part in this campaign and it is believed that around 5,400 events in 180 countries took place all around the world. According to Bill McKibben, a writer and environmentalist who founded

“We had no idea we would get the overwhelming support, enthusiasm and engagement from all over the world that we’re seeing. It shows just how scared of global warming much of the planet really is, and how fed up at the inaction of our leaders.”

Let’s hope they will get the message before the Copenhagen Conference .

While back in the Dandenongs on Saturday the local chapter of managed to get around 150 people to take part. It was good to see the range of people who came to support this movement. There were the elderly, the mums with prams, school kids, quite a few young people and of course the more alternative types. Overall a good cross section of society was represented by this small group who marched up and down in the main street until arriving at the local MP’s office. Speeches included the discussion of Climate Change and our future.

The rally culminated in the passing of judgement on the current Labour Government’s policies on Global Warming. The list was long and the final verdict on all their policies so far was ‘GUILTY’. This list was mounted on the side of the MP’s office and the crowd continued to enjoy the day with a BBQ and live music. Local Councillor Samantha Dunn then handed out 350 native plants for the participants to take home and plant in their gardens to help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.

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The winner is WiMAX smart grid

October 26th, 2009

In my previously post, I was expecting any smart grid pilot project roll-out in Australia.

Two days later, Victoria gives me one immediately. On 23th Oct 2009, Electricity distributor SP AusNet announced its partners to facilitate the roll-out of more than 680,000 ‘smart meters’ to homes and small businesses across eastern and north eastern Victoria by December 2013.

Partnering with SP AusNet in the AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) program are: Landis+Gyr, GE and GridNet, UXC Limited, Electrix, Motorola, Unwired, eMeter, Logica, Accenture, Enterprise Business Services, and Geomatic Technologies.

SP AusNet adopts WiMAX technology which is a high-speed, high-bandwidth wireless communication technology would be utilized in any future 4G broadband. I reckon this is a great choice for Australia with low population density.

GE is providing the meter communications technology for the utility’s network and delivering half of the smart meters, with Landis+Gyr providing the other half. Motorola will provide the communications infrastructure.”

“SP AusNet is on track to roll out its 680,000 meters, with roughly 40,000 meters to be installed by the end of June next year.”

Victorian please do not be surprised when you receive an introductory letter from SP AusNet, because you will get a smart meter soon.

Image from

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What Smart Grids will Australia get?

October 21st, 2009

After a $100 million smart grid trial in July this year, the Australian Government released the Australia smart grid guideline on the 30th September.

“With this investment, Australia will showcase the world’s best practice when it comes to investing in smart grid technologies, helping industry get on with the job of rolling out these technologies and supporting clean energy jobs,” Mr. Garrett said.

The potential benefits of a full smart grid implementation are dramatic. Some studies have suggested that savings of between 10% and 25% in electricity demand are achievable.

In contrast, the USA Department of Energy delayed to reveal the smart grid standards last month. “Basically because the development of smart grids is a larger task than the electricity utilities can handle. There is also a lack of understanding and willingness by them to investigate how to best form partnerships with the rest of the industry.” Paul Budde posted.

This has not slowed some big names to rush into the market including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cisco and AT&T, who are all eager to rock and roll.

My concern is the communication ability of smart grid and smart meters. At present, the meters only store 30 minute intervals of data and transmit the data bi-monthly or quarterly. If Australia has to replace all the electricity meters again after 5 years, who would pay for it?

What smart grids will Australia get? We will just have to wait and see!

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Don’t Lose Interest in Climate Change but take part in International Day of Climate Action

October 20th, 2009

Join me at <a href=

According to dire news reported in the media last week Australians are losing interest in Global Warming. While in 2007 this issue was ranked as the equal most important foreign policy goal for the Federal Government the most recent polls indicate that out of ten possible goals it is in seventh place. Now fewer people see Global Warming as a threat to Australia’s national interests and it is perceived as the fourth most critical threat facing us out of twelve possibilities.

The fact that the current government was delaying action and the fact that the opposition party still hasn’t resolved its position on emission trading and the global financial crises have all been blamed for the loss of interest in Climate Change. The good news is that 76% of those surveyed in the annual Lowy Institute Poll still rated Climate Change as a problem and want some action. See full article here: (

For those who still think that we should do something about Climate Change, this weekend is an important day. This Saturday on the 24th of October it is the ‘International Day of Climate Action’. This is an international movement and people from many countries around the world will join in some form of protest to send a message to government leaders around the world. The message is clear: people want action on Climate Change. It is expected that thousands of images of people gathering in many cities and remote areas will be projected to the UN Headquarters and to Times Square.

The aim of this action -organised by worldwide- is to focus the attention on the science and the citizens to remind world leaders that they need to take physical reality into account when they are making decisions about our collective future at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December. People are not interested in backroom business deals and political interest groups but in one united goal; that is to reduce greenhouse emission and to ensure that the CO2 remains below 350 ppm in the atmosphere. Saturday’s campaign is expected to be the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history with over 3000 events in 160 countries. will assemble all the photos for a gigantic, global visual petition and present to the UN before the conference.

If you want to get involved visit this website for nearest location:

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Is the globe really warming up?

October 19th, 2009

According to the UK’s Hadley Centre, the hottest year on record occurred during 1998 and since this time the global temperature has actually decreased.

“All four agencies that track Earth’s temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007
(Phil Chapman, “Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”, The Australian, Apr 23rd 2008)

Climate change sceptics have jumped on this fact as supporting their case that global warming is not caused by increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

Researchers say the uncertainty in the observed value for any particular year is larger than these small temperature differences. What matters, they say, is the long-term upward trend.
(Roger Harrabin, “Global temperatures ‘to decrease’ ”, BBC News online, 4 Apr 2008)

The World Meteorological Organisation refers to the cooling as being due to the ‘La Nina’ effect, a cooling effect from the natural Pacific currents.  The opposite warming effect can also occur and this is called El Nina.

Another viewpoint is that the Earth’s climate is closely correlated with variations in the sunspot cycle.   The number of sunspots that are evident follow an 11-year cycle with the recent year’s showing minimum levels.  Without expected sunspot numbers on the increase the suggestion is the climate will enter a cold period that could last decades.

The next descent into an ice age is inevitable but may not happen for another 1000 years. On the other hand, it must be noted that the cooling in 2007 was even faster than in typical glacial transitions. If it continued for 20 years, the temperature would be 14C cooler in 2027
(Phil Chapman, “Sorry to ruin the fun, but an ice age cometh”, The Australian, Apr 23rd 2008)

The Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 is approaching soon.  Does this notion of global cooling add to the uncertainty of human-induced climate change?  I don’t think so.  The science for human-induced climate change is well documented and administered through a highly transparent and robust framework managed by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC).  The IPCC include solar variance in their calculations and have concluded its effect is minimal compared to the build up of emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Even if we have global warming all wrong, it’s not going to do us any harm cleaning our act up.   Clean air, water and natural resources are crucial for a sustainable future on Earth so why all this fuss about us being wrong about climate change.  Improving our efficiency of natural resources through reducing our energy and water use and minimising waste generation are common sense if you ask me.  Sure, we may need to spend money to achieve a cleaner world, but we had no problem spending money to get where we are now.

If it’s a choice between being hot or cold, I’m sticking with hot!

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