Archive for April 2012
Figures released today (August 11) by the Environment Agency show just 1200 organisations have registered for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
Original Government estimates thought around 5,000 firms would need to sign up for the scheme before September 30 this year.
However, as many of the big emitting organisations are owned by large multi-nationals this has been rounded down to 4000, or possibly 3000.
But that means around another 2000 business still need to sign up for the scheme, which is still proving a headache for business leaders.
Large businesses and public sector organisations have just 50 days left to register for the mandatory scheme and the Environment Agency is now expecting an increase in registrations as the remaining organisations rush to sign up before the September 30 deadline.
Head of climate change and sustainable development at the Environment Agency, Tony Grayling, said: “We would urge the remaining businesses to sign up now, and not leave registration to the last minute.
“Our dedicated CRC helpdesk is available to help businesses through the registrations process.”
Organisations affected by CRC can also contact the Environment Agency for more information on 08708 506 506 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The modern lifestyle depends tremendously on the use and existence of fossil fuels. With levels of these fuels constantly decreasing, we should act now to become less dependant on fossil fuels and more dependent on renewable energy sources.
The decreasing levels of fossil fuels isn’t the only reason why we should begin to use renewable energy. Pollution is becoming a huge problem in many countries around the world, especially the developing world. With carbon emissions at an all time high, air quality can be very low in some areas, this can lead to respiratory diseases and cancer.
The main reason to switch to cleaner energy production methods is the global warming aspect. The more carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere, the greater the effect becomes. We can’t just stop using fossil fuels thinking that global warming will go away, but we can slow down and dilute the effects of global warming through the wide spread use of renewable energy resources.
There are many natural energy sources out there, but you have to decide which method is best for you, as all of these sources depend on your current environment.
The installation of a solar panel or a wind turbine to boost every homes power supply would be an amazing step forward. Some governments are in the process of supplying solar panels to hundreds of households to test this method of energy saving.
A technology set to be very important in the future is geothermal energy. With geothermal energy, you are able to extract heat from within the earth and transform it either into a hot water system, or if there is plenty of this energy, a geothermal power plant. Huge amounts of money have been flowed into research of this method, especially in recent years, in order to make the current technology more effective.
So there we have the reasons why we should turn to renewable energy resources which are more than likely to play a very vital and important role in our future society.
The recently published report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that climate change is having an impact now on our planet and its life.
It is a matter of concern for every one who lives in Planet Earth.
The future problems are for all of us.
They are not problems which can be solved easily by a group of individual.
It is a global problem caused by rising seas, growing deserts, more frequent droughts and high temperature.
The effect may be more on the developing countries than on developed countries.
The conclusions of the IPCC are not conclusive in the sense that the climate change is the reason of any single hurricane, heat wave, flood, or drought.
“The increase in frequency and intensity of such events during the last decade of the twentieth century, provides strong evidence that climate change is already occurring and is no longer a problem of the future” according to the Head of the Climate – Change Group at the International Institute for environment and Development in London.
‘Man – made global warming is having a noticeable effect on physical and biological systems all over the world’ says the report.
Calamities caused by climate change may control the human population which is increasing leaps and bound in developing countries.
Moreover, developing countries do not have the capacity to take control measures for the devastations.
Natural calamities, we see over years, have wiped out a good number of human beings and their properties.
Because of increase in temperature and carbon dioxide it is expected that crop yields may increase at higher altitudes.
Although it is satisfying news, considering the damages due to climate change this news becomes insignificant.
In fact, climate change brings bout many problems to all of us.
Unless and until the developed as well as the developing countries lake appropriate measures at the proper time – NOW – we may not be able to manage global warming and the resulting climate change.
Those who live in dry and low – lying areas are more vulnerable for the effects of climate change.
Nations have to concentrate on these regions and take appropriate steps to protect the people and their properties.
The financial implications are enormous.
Hence the rich nations have to help the poor nations by cutting down their defense expenditure every year.
Limiting global warming to 2 – 2.4oC is recognized as the critical level for climate change
The solutions to climate change have some simple measures every individual of the society can follow.
Switching to energy efficient light bulbs, adjusting the thermostat in the office, reducing the automobile use are some of the measures which help to solve the problem of climate change to an extent.
Using renewable energy such as wind, solar and bio fuel has to be popularized wherever possible.
The decisions have to be taken by every nation with a positive approach to save the world and its inhabitants.
When humans cut down trees or burn fossil fuels, they release extra carbon into the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect. Mass deforestation around the world at an unprecedented rate is making the problem worse year by year.
Unfortunately, due to this climate change the earth is getting warmer as temperatures at the Earth’s surface have increased by an estimated 1.4°F (0.8°C) between 1900 and 2005. The past decade was the hottest of the past 150 years and perhaps the past millennium. The hottest 22 years on record have occurred since 1980, and 2005 was the hottest on record.
The Kyoto Protocol on cutting carbon dioxide emissions, believed to be the key cause of global warming, expires in 2012 and does not require major developing nations to make reductions. In addition, the US has rejected it. Increasing car usage around the world is leading to carbon dioxide emissions increasing not decreasing. As incomes rise in India and China, they are obviously looking at car ownership as a status symbol and the benefits that it brings. With nearly 2.5 billion between these 2 countries, this increased car ownership could cancel out any gains made in the West through reducing factory and car emissions.
Scientists and those in the know predict that climate-induced floods, rising sea levels, more frequent and intense hurricanes, famine, drought and conflict could also reverse recent gains in reducing poverty around the world and that the USA and UK will be affected by all or some of the above.
Climate change presents a significant challenge to the UK and to the international community. Recent Climate Change Conferences in Montreal and the G8 and the Gleneagles Summit have attempted to co-ordinate the international response to climate change.
There are also enormous opportunities if we are willing to take action. Government, business and individuals all have a part to play, and all of us will benefit from rising to the challenge of reducing the harm to the environment.
While some of the effects of climate change may be positive, such as longer growing seasons in certain countries and longer, hotter summers in the UK. These positive impacts are unlikely to be sustained as the globe continues to warm. Similarly, many developing countries are even more vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and less able to adapt due to lack of money and will power
A few years ago renewable energy such as solar power and wind power was an impossible dream for the average person. Why? It was very very expensive to turn your own home into a solar power generator. In fact you were unlikely to ever make your money back with the energy savings. But recently all of that has changed.
Both solar power and wind power have become genuine alternative energy sources in the last few years. And the best thing is, you can create working generators and plates/turbines yourself, for very little cost. This means you will be saving thousands of dollars making them, and then thousands more when they are up and running.
Has there ever been a better time to get green? Not only is electricity the most expensive it has EVER been right now, but the planet is also in the worst shape it has ever been. What do these two things mean for you? They mean you should try and generate some of your power (even if you only decide to make 20% of your own power).
It is not hard to get the materials, and as long as you have a good manual to follow you should easily be able to implement your own system and start saving money on your bills. Solar power is ideal for just about any home in America (amongst other countries). Wind power is ideal for higher up (hilly terrain) locations or large flat locations. On top of saving a lot of money or your bills you will find yourself having fun with a great family project.
We should all be concerned with Global Warming and each do what we can to reduce the amount of CO2 released into our atmosphere. There are three steps you can use to lower your impact while traveling; using carbon offsets for travel to your destination, choosing carbon light accommodations, and paying attention to how you move about your destination.
Air Travel Carbon Offsets
It is difficult to get around the emissions that the airplane produces while shuttling you to your destination. Currently the best option is for you to purchase a carbon offset. There are numerous non profit organizations that use the money from your carbon offset donation to aid in the development of sustainable energy sources such as wind power or solar electric generation. Other carbon offset programs plant trees to soak up the carbon produced during your flight. Carbon offsets are not that expensive either. A carbon offset calculated on Carbonfund.org for a roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Paris would be only $11. Of course carbon offset can also be used for any travel mode that produces carbon emission be it by car, train, or ship.
A potentially less polluting lodging option to consider is a vacation apartment or home. When you stay in a vacation rental you are in control of the energy use – just as you are in your own home. Hotels use a tremendous amount of energy for heat, air conditioning, daily linen changes, and all the other services they offer. Your vacation rental will not be consuming huge amounts of electricity 24/7 365 days a year as the hotel does. You can conscientiously limit the amount energy you use by turning off the heating or Air conditioning while you are out visiting the sights. You can use the linens and towels just as you do at home.
Of course we all love to eat out and enjoy the cuisine of the region we are visiting but restaurants also use and waste large amounts of energy contributing to CO2 emissions due to climate control and keeping the kitchen and dining area ON constantly. With a vacation rental you do not have to eat all of your meals in restaurants, with your own kitchen available you can fix some of your meals further lowering your energy use and carbon load. Buying local produce at farmers markets will even further reduce your carbon footprint. Locally grown produce produces much less greenhouse gases due to shorter transportation distances.
Renting a vacation rental in a foreign land is not difficult as you might think. One can find excellent online reservation sites to book directly with the owners such as slowtrav.com or greatrentals.com. If you would like a little more help there are numerous agencies that know the properties well and can assist you in finding the best rental for your needs.
While visiting your destination of course the cleanest way to get around will be to walk, bike, take the bus, street tram, or use the metro trains in the cities. In larger European cities such as Paris or Berlin you can take advantage of the street bike rental programs. Bikes are parked throughout the city ready to ride with the swipe of a credit card. Bike to your destination and simply lock the bike up and you are on your way. Not only will you be doing the planet a favor but you gain the potential for discovering a unique sight or connecting with the locals when you are not trapped inside a car or taxi. If your accommodations are not located near public transportation and you must rent a car you can minimize the carbon emissions by requesting a Diesel vehicle. In certain destinations you can even rent Hybrid vehicles which of course reduce the carbon footprint even further.
We can all make a difference to help clean our air and reduce global warming emissions by the choices we make when we spend our money. We hope you find these ideas helpful for planning your next trip so that you can travel carbon light.
A FIRM who broke waste dumping laws had their fine increased more than 11 times to £90,000 recently.
The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh upheld a challenge brought by the Crown over the level of the sentence imposed on Doonin Plant.
They were originally fined just £8000 for breaking environmental laws as they dumped waste at Bardykes bing between Blantyre and Cambuslang, Lanarkshire.
Lord Clarke said the conduct of the company had involved “a blatant and complacent disregard” of its responsibilities.
The judges said they were satisfied that the original fine was unduly lenient.
(source Daily Record)
Could this be just the start of increased fines for companies flouting the environmental regulations?
EnviroMission Limited (www.enviromission.com.au) produced this 5 minute video on the pilot plant in Spain. It is an older video (2000) but gives a decent understanding of the solar tower concept. EnviroMission, Ltd. (US Market: EVOMY, Australian Exchange: EVM) is a renewable energy developer of sustainable “green” energy solutions for the energy market. EnviroMission aims to be one of Australia’s leading producers of clean renewable energy. EnviroMission holds the proprietary rights to Solar Tower technology, a large-scale renewable energy technology based on simple fundamentals of physics — hot air rises. Solar Tower technology has the potential to offer competitive renewable energy with equal reliability to fossil fuel generators. A single 200MW Solar Tower power station will provide enough electricity to power around 400000 households. The energy output will represent an annual saving of more than 1960000 tonnes of greenhouse CO2 gases from entering the environment when compared to brown coal emissions in Victoria. The greenhouse savings equate to the removal of approximately 500000 cars from the road. The Australian Solar Tower project consists of six distinct phases, the first two of which (project optimization and pre-feasibility commercialization) have already been completed. The third phase (final feasibility), paving the way for the implementation of the next three phases (final design, construction, and commercial operation).