Category Archives: Energy

environmental stories and issues around renewable energy and fossil fuels

Earth Hour: is it a waste of time?

Earth Hour is on tonight 28 March 2009

Earth Hour is on again – tonight 28th March at 8.30pm. The event asks people and businesses to turn off lights and appliances for one hour. It ran for the first time in Sydney only a few years ago. Since then the idea has been picked up by many other major cities around the world.

But looking beyond all the hype, how useful is it really in helping to tackle the problem of climate change?

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Christmas Month v. Earth Hour: a snapshot of our sustainability schizophrenia

Christmas lights on suburban Sydney house
Climate crisis, what climate crisis?

Audio:
Have a listen to our Christmas lights podcast. In it we hear from people with ‘over-the-top’ Christmas lights on their houses to find out why they’ve done it.

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‘It’s time’ for a Green New Deal – an answer to climate change, peak oil and the financial crisis

Technologies of old providing inspiration for the future

It’s estimated governments have collectively found about $5 trillion to rescue banks and galvanize economies. Now the Head of the United Nations Environment Program and the leaders of some European countries are saying the time is right for the world to invest substantially in renewable energy. They’re calling for a “Green New Deal” to tackle our climate, oil and credit crisis together.

Audio:
Listen to our interview with Senator Christine Milne on the Green New Deal.

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James Woodford’s grid-life crisis: one man’s journey to leave the city and live sustainably

James Woodford

Lots of people dream of making a ‘sea change’ to escape the rat race of the city. Some people even do it.

But how many leave with the intention of living sustainably? To live on the land, grow their own food, generate their own power and water, and even restore their new patch closer to its original, natural state. James Woodford and his family are working on just that.

Audio: Interview with James Woodford about his new book ‘Real Dirt’.

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Why Germany has 1000% more solar power, with half the sunshine

Electricity feed-in tariff will feed solar power growth

A decade ago Germanys uptake of solar energy was on par with Australia. But thanks to an innovative financial incentive, Germany has surged ahead. So much so, its renewable energy is now a mainstream industry and a leading employer in that country.

Audio: Markus Lambert explains the effect the electricity feed-in tariff has had in Germany.

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The Cars That Ate China, Part 1 (how Western auto makers are scrambling to feed the beast)

Are cars killing China (and the world)?

At the recent Sydney Film Festival I saw a great new documentary called ‘The Cars That Ate China’. In this podcast the director Stefan Moore discusses the background to the film and we hear a clip with Joe White, China correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Joe takes us to the Beijing car show and explains how foreign car makers are piling into China to make a killing in the last big score in car manufacturing.

Audio: Listen to The Cars That Ate China interview and movie podcast – part 1, Joe White and the Beijing Car Show.

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Is peak oil more urgent than climate change?

In this interview I speak with Bruce Robinson, Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil. (ASPO is a leading international group of concerned scientists on the issue.)

Bruce says governments should be informing people and preparing our economies now for peak oil, the inevitable declining rate of oil production.
Listen to the podcast interview with Bruce Robinson (from the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.)

Peak oil: the world’s looming oil crisis

In case you hadnt noticed, the price of oil is on the march. And there’s analysts saying we’ll look back at 2008 in the years to come and think we were lucky. That petrol was cheap.

So what is happening with oil?

There’s no doubt the world’s demand for oil is increasing in a big way. What is in contention is the world’s supply.

A growing number of experts are saying we won’t be able to keep up with the world’s insatiable demand. And in fact, we’ve reached a tipping point. The term they’re using is ‘peak oil’.

In this interview, Michael Lardelli from the University of Adelaide sounds the alarm bells. Listen to the interview with Michael Lardelli on peak oil.

Dr Karl: clean coal is a furphy

Dr Karl gets down and dirty on ‘clean coal’. Is it a furphy? A key part of clean coal is burying CO2 under ground. Isn’t this the kind of thinking that got us in this mess in the first place? Listen to the Clean Coal Dr Karl interview.