A super-efficient and completely soundless wind turbine developed by a Dutch company aims to enable every household to generate its own wind energy. Officially unveiled today, the shell-shaped Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine offers much better efficiency compared with conventional designs. Its shape, modelled after the perfectly logarithmic spiral of a Nautilus shell, allows the turbine to always position itself at the best angle towards the direction of the wind, achieving efficiency which is about 80 per cent of what is theoretically possible. With an average speed of wind of about 5m/s, the turbine generates about 1,500 kilowatt-hours of energy – about half of the consumption of a regular household. The Archimedes, the company behind the Liam F1 Urban Wind Turbine, believes that in combination with efficient solar panels, the turbine can make every household completely energy self-sustainable. “When there is wind you use the energy produced by the wind turbine, when the sun is shining you use the solar cells to produce the energy,” Richard Ruijtenbeek, an engineer from The Archimedes, explained the company’s vision. The company believes that the low energy yield together with the unpleasant and constant noise of conventional wind turbines is the major obstacle preventing a more widespread uptake of wind as a renewable energy source among users in towns and cities. The turbine, officially unveiled today, has already attracted interest from all around the world. The company, which said had not originally believed the test results of the Liam F1 turbine as they seemed too good to be true, has already started developing a smaller version of the turbine for boats and lamp posts.
OPINION: The Government’s plan for meeting our Kyoto Protocol commitment and 2020 emissions reduction target was released this month. It reveals a shocking truth: New Zealand has been a willing participant in a wholesale climate fraud. We’ve been dealing with criminals and fraudsters in order to meet our international obligations. If our reputation wasn’t shot to pieces after Paris – where we revealed our weak kneed 2030 target – it will be now. Carbon trading is a fine idea, but it only works if the credits we buy actually represent a true emissions reduction somewhere else. The sad truth is that the foreign credits New Zealand has gorged on up until now have produced little to no climate benefit. New Zealand’s main vice has been a particular type of carbon credit called the Emissions Reduction Unit (ERU). These are issued for emissions-reducing projects in countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol. The idea is that the revenue from selling ERUs would make projects viable that wouldn’t be otherwise. Over 90 per cent of ERUs have come out of Russia and Ukraine, and under Kyoto they were allowed to authorise their own projects. No surprise that when they were externally audited this year, 85 per cent of the units didn’t stand up to scrutiny. They are essentially worthless bits of paper. The EU got wind of the games being played years back and started to clamp down on the use of these credits…
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During my time in Paris, I was constantly inspired by the work I saw represented by activists I met from across the globe. This is where I feel our strength lies: We will not progress, we will not save our planet by relying on mainstream NGOs to represent our interests, but rather by joining together our grassroots campaigns. Whether it was acting as a peacekeeper for the Indigenous Environmental Network and It Takes Roots (a coalition of several frontline POC and Indigenous environmental and social justice groups), providing media support for a European coalition treesit, or helping blockade the doors of a major Paris-based energy utility with Australians impacted by the company’s mining practices, the deepest connections I built and strongest friendships I made were forged by directly supporting the work of other warriors. It is the desire to continue to build those relationships that currently fuels the fire in my heart. It personalizes these struggles, makes them that much more real, that much more urgent. Our strengths come from ourselves and from each other, and the more we lend support in direct and meaningful ways to each other, the stronger our “movement” gets. As a network of small grassroots groups, all acutely aware of the dire situation we’re in, we are resilient and capable of building the future we want. We do not require the “leadership” of major NGOs who are interested in compromise. In a declaration put out by the It Takes Roots delegation, the failures of our climate leadership were juxtaposed with the need for our work to continue: “We leave Paris only more aligned, and more committed than ever that our collective power and growing movement is what is forcing the question of extraction into the global arena. We will continue to fight at every level to defend our communities, the earth and future generations.” It is that dedication that will save our planet, and nothing less.
The most extreme El Nino coupled with rapidly increasing extremes of global warming is creating devastation in many parts pf the planet. The juxtaposition of record amounts spent here in New Zealand on Boxing Day sales somehow signals a deeply disturbing lack of awareness or mindfulness.
December 2015 – CLIMATE– It’s been anything but a Merry Christmas for the world, as far as Mother Nature is concerned. Nature is on a rampage and nearly everyone is feeling some degree of her wrath: flooding across the UK, torrential rains and flooding across a large swathe of South America, a searing heat-wave in Australia, raging wildfires in Southern California, the worst El Niño pattern seen in 15 years, unseasonably high temperatures throughout much of the US, storms in the US Southeast, a historic blizzard threatening the Texas panhandle, and 11 people dead from an outbreak of tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas area. All of this is indicative of a planet painfully reeling from the frightening fact that geologic and atmospheric change is pushing its climate to new extremes. Climate extremes are just one harbinger or omen of greater cataclysms to come, like one of the ill-fated…
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A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo of protein from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York. This is the worst case, and the figure comes from a farm whose soils have a high carbon content. But the numbers uncovered by a wider study are hardly reassuring: you could exchange your flight to New York for an average of 3kg of lamb protein from hill farms in England and Wales. You’d have to eat 300kg of soy protein to create the same impact.
Episode 2 The Meaning of Climate Change 1st December, 2015 (Part 1) Indigenous Oil . Combining anecdotal experience of indigenous groups on the front line of Canada’s environmental conflict with academic research. Produced and directed by Will Hood.
This episode explores the role of story in our on-going relationship with energy, ecology and economics.
This episode features: Chief Billy Joe Laboucan Massimo Chief of the Lubicon Cree Band, Little Buffalo, Alberta, Canada; David Attenborough Broadcaster, UK; Ernie Gambler Indigenous Musician from Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada; Isabel Altamirano-Jimenez Indigenous Scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada; J.B. Williams, Tsawout First Nation Flood Story Narration (with music from Elder May Sam); Makere Stewart-Harawira Indigenous Scholar at the University of Alberta, Canada; Peter Newell Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex
Episode Extras: Oil On Lubicon Land: A Photo Essay
With the climate talks in Paris now over, the world has set itself a serious goal: limit temperature rise to 1.5C. Or failing that, 2C. Hitting those targets is absolutely necessary: even the one-degree rise that we’ve already seen is wreaking havoc on everything from ice caps to ocean chemistry. But meeting it won’t be easy, given that we’re currently on track for between 4C and 5C. Our only hope is to decisively pick up the pace. World leaders hail Paris climate deal as ‘major leap for mankind’ Read more In fact, pace is now the key word for climate. Not where we’re going, but how fast we’re going there. Pace – velocity, speed, rate, momentum, tempo. That’s what matters from here on in. We know where we’re going now; no one can doubt that the fossil fuel age has finally begun to wane, and that the sun is now shining on, well, solar. But the question, the only important question, is: how fast.
By inexpensively turning salt water into drinking water using sustainable solar power, a team from MIT in the US has not only come up with a portable desalination system for use anywhere in the world that needs it, but it’s just won the 2015 Desal Prize – a competition run by USAID to encourage better solutions to water shortages in developing countries. In order to win the $140,000 prize, entries had to demonstrate how their invention not only works well, but is cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and energy efficient. And the MIT researchers teamed up with US-based manufacturing company, Jain Irrigation Systems, to do just that.
Humanists like myself are regularly forced to consider what the public wants. We are told to imagine their desires and to conjure ways to fulfil them. This is an important strategy that every academic should pursue. But we must be allowed to resist this impulse, too. We can’t anticipate what intellectual discoveries will become essential answers to the public’s future questions. We don’t always know what form public scholarship should take. So academics, stay in your offices. Write books that few people will read. The results might be more significant than any of us first recognize.”
Prime Minister Trudeau is calling for Canadians to take an active role in implementing the global climate change deal reached this weekend in Paris.