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Environmental Impact of PCs On Standby
(BBC NEWS, 21 April 2006)
Ultimately, using your remote control can use more power than getting off your backside and pressing the buttons yourself. . . . Standby power can range between 10 and 15 watts, and occasionally beyond. On its own, this is not much. But if you get half a dozen devices on standby, it is the equivalent of a 60 watt bulb. . . . Astonishing figures . . . All around the house we bleed power. The modern home is permanently on standby, full of equipment that sits "half on", waiting to spring immediately to life when we ask it to. . . . Stereos on standby cost £290m and produce 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 . . . VCRs and DVD cost £263m and produce 1.06 million tonnes of CO2 . . . TVs on standby cost £88m and produce 480,000 tonnes of CO2 . . . It means that in one year, in the UK alone, our equipment on standby produces a total of 3.1 million tonnes of CO2. . . . But there is a bigger culprit out there: the personal computer, as Scott Richards from power supply manufacturer Antec explains. . . . "The PC is a special case because if you don't turn it off completely, in other words pull the switch on the back, it's always drawing some kind of power. . . . "And depending on what kind of mode you're in that power can be anywhere between five watts to 60 and beyond. . . . If a million PC users switched to a more efficient power supply, it would save almost the equivalent of 250 thousand litres of gasoline a day." . . . By the end of 2004 there were 820 million PCs in use around the world, and by 2007 that will top a billion, according to the Computer Industry Almanac. . . . No matter how easy these devices make our lives there is little doubt that they are costing us and the planet dearly. . . . As Mr Richards says: "If you really want to be green with your PC, when you're done using it turn it off [with the switch on the back]."


posted by Lorenzo 8:19 AM


 
An Inconvenient Truth - Trailer
This is a movie trailer that is really worth watching, IMHO . . . even though I'm not a fan of Al Gore. I'm told it received several standing ovations at Sundance. Interestingly, this isn't an Indy film, but a major release from Paramont.

Eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. The film is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry.

Trailer (2:30)
Documentary
Rating: PG
In Theatres: May 24th, 2006

Davis Guggenheim (dir.)
Al Gore


posted by Lorenzo 3:22 PM


 
A Rooftop Windmill Of Your Very Own
(Benjamin Sutherland, Newsweek, April 24th 2006 Edition)
Wind advocates thus have high hopes for less obtrusive wind technology: specifically, high-performance, nonpolluting rooftop microturbines. Generally not much bigger than a dish antenna, they hardly mar the skyline. And if wind conditions are optimal, they can satisfy a typical household's appetite for electricity. Although a microturbine produces less than one thousandth the power of a 20-story turbine, the electricity need only be piped a short distance into the house rather than sent over long distances. The microturbine can also contribute to the energy grid via a short power line that connects to utility lines running along the street. Various models of the turbines, which generally range in price from $1,000 to $8,000, have started springing up on top of houses and buildings in Europe and North America. . . . Demand has risen so quickly—roughly doubling in the past 12 months—that companies are having trouble making the minimills fast enough. . . . Most rooftop turbines are designed to pay for themselves after about five years of moderately favorable winds—conditions common in temperate climates like those of Europe, the United States and Japan. After that, the juice is free, save maintenance costs, until the motors burn out after an additional 15 or so years. Rising electricity costs are sweetening the deal, as is the proliferation of "net metering" laws that require utility companies to purchase the unused small-wind electricity fed onto the grid. Five years ago half a dozen EU countries obliged energy companies to buy this so-called spill; now 24 countries do. Thirty-nine U.S. states have passed net-metering legislation. Of course, microturbines also make a satisfying display of one's green credentials and self-reliance. In a world of energy turmoil and global warming, personal windmills are becoming fashionable.


posted by Lorenzo 4:48 PM


 
Barbaric Canadian Hunters Attack Journalists and Anti-Seal-clubbing Activists
(BBC NEWS, April 14, 2006)
About a dozen activists and journalists say some 60 angry locals prevented them from leaving the hotel in Blanc-Sablon, on the border with Newfoundland. . . . Members of Humane Society International said that earlier their van had been run off the road. . . . About 325,000 harp seal pups will be shot or beaten in the annual cull. . . . The Humane Society says the event is barbaric and wants it stopped. . . . Rebecca Aldworth, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, said the situation at the hotel in Blanc-Sablon, 600km (375 miles) north-west of St John's Newfoundland, was tense. . . . "There's only two police officers out there. They could get us out of here if they wanted to, but they're refusing to take us in their police vans." . . . Mark Glover, from Humane Society International, said: "They've wrecked one of the vehicles we were in. It is an extremely dangerous and uncomfortable position to be in." . . . Ms Aldworth said a van taking journalists to the airport to catch a helicopter to document the cull was rammed and run off the road. . . . "When they left, they were followed by a mob and people who were pounding on the van," she said. . . . The journalists had to make their way back to the hotel. . . . The cull of 91,000 seals in the Gulf of St Lawrence was completed last week. The hunt for the remaining pups moved to Newfoundland on Wednesday. . . . Fishermen supplement their livelihoods with sales of seal pelts and blubber.


posted by Lorenzo 3:57 AM


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