In October 2010, after much deliberating and number crunching, we installed solar panels on our roof. I’m glad we didn’t wait any longer. A few days later the then NSW Premier Kristina Keneally reduced the gross feed in tariff from 60 cents per kWh to 20 cents per kWh. Soon after the election 10 months ago, the scheme was shut down and there were plans to retrospectively wind back the scheme – fortunately for us and 110,000 other families that didn’t happen.
You know we’re back into the swing of things when you start doing your regular science chats around the country. As per last year I’ll be chatting to ABC Mid North Coast (Port Macquarie) each Wednesday at 10:10 am (new time), ABC Western Plains (Dubbo) each Wednesday fortnight at 10:35 am, and ABC Central West (Orange) each Tuesday fortnight at 9:35 am. I’m also adding ABC Western Victoria (Bendigo) to my roll call – alternative Wednesday at 10:35 am.
Last week I had my first spot with Angela Owens at ABC Central West. We talked about tiny hard drives and how increased levels of carbon dioxide affects brain activity in fish.
I was preparing yesterday for my spot on Radio National Summer Breakfast with Waleed Aly and I came across this wonderful bit of research from Imperial College, London – Go to work on a Christmas card. The study claimed that if every UK resident handed in their cards and wrapping paper the country could produce enough bioethanol to fuel a double decker bus (very British) to the Moon and back 20 times over. Impressive stuff.
That got me thinking about the old Cards for Ark program that was run by Planet Ark several years ago. It encouraged Australians to recycle their Christmas cards by placing them in special bins at shopping centres. I discovered that it was wound up in 2007 due to everyone (well at least 90%) having curbside recycling.
It still didn’t stop me thinking about how much bioethanol Australia could produce if we all handed in our Christmas cards and used wrapping paper. Time for some ‘back of the envelop’ maths. Continue reading →