Newsletter Articles

16 July 2009

Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics

Greenpeace International have released a new Guide to Greener Electronics. First released in August 2006 this guide ranks the seventeen top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TV's and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Greenpeace intends this to be a tool to put pressure on companies to ensure their products are as environmentally friendly - or at least minimally damaging. Nokia and Samsung are the market leaders, scoring 7.45 and 7.1 out of 10 respectively. Nokia scored maximum points for its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, which spans 84 countries providing almost 5000 collection points for end-of-life mobile phones. It now also scores top marks for the information it provides to customers on what to do with their discarded products.


16 July 2009

Forthcoming Events

Climate Emergency Parliament

This Campaign Against Climate Change are staging this Summer’s most original direct action by convening an alternative parliament in Parliament Square.
Wednesday 15 Jul. 6.00pm Parliament Square
info@campaigncc.orgwww.campaigncc.org




16 July 2009

A Blueprint for a Safer Planet:

The argument about climate change is over. This book is about policy: how we go about enabling a global deal to reduce the impact of disastrous events by a world renowned economist. Further substantial climate change is unavoidable and the risks to the natural world, the economy and our everyday lives are immense. What we do in the next thirty years – how we invest, use energy, organise transport and treat forests – will determine whether these risks become realities. Although this book does take a rather gloomy view, Lord Stern is optimistic that if we make the right deal, we can avert the most critical effects of a disrupted climate. At a low cost - his original Review published in 2006 estimated 1-2% of world GDP per decade would ameliorate the damage of climate change. He has since revised this to 4%, even so, this is a very small amount of money to avert a global catastrophe.


16 July 2009

Responsible Eco-Holidays

With the Holiday Season upon us, a green person's thoughts naturally turn to travel. Is there a way of reducing your impact on the environment and having fun at the same time. There are quite a few options, from staying in Britain, to coach, ferry or train to European destinations, and Fairtrade Holidays to support the economies of developing countries


16 July 2009

UKAware

Carbon News visited the UKAware green products show, held in Olympia. A whole host of different green products and lifestyle were available as well as some interesting seminars. UK Aware 09 had over 9,000 attendees (more than three times the attendance of last year), and 60% more exhibitors. The Green Machines Expo, saw the largest collection of low carbon vehicles ever assembled under one roof in the UK, which included eco cars and bikes from leading manufacturers such as Tesla and Vectrix.


16 July 2009

Attack of the Killer Ladybirds

Last April my office window filled up with dozens of ladybirds. I didn't know what to do, so I called up a ladybird site I found on the internet. Describing the ladybirds to them I was told that these were the foreign, killer Harlequin ladybirds. This was my first introduction to these pests.


16 July 2009

Carbon Dating uses Nuclear Tests to Track Illegal Ivory

In a startling development, scientists are using the fallout from nuclear tests to determine whether ivory is illegal or not. Selling ivory from an elephant that died before 1947 is not illegal, but until now it was impossible to determine this precisely and criminals have become adept at aging more recent ivory to simulate pre-1947 material.




16 July 2009

The Future of Wind

A ground-breaking study by leading global energy analysts Pöyry Energy Consulting has revealed for the first time how the electricity markets will be profoundly affected by the growth of wind energy.

The report called, Impact of Intermittency, provides a unique insight into how the electricity sector in the UK and Republic of Ireland could look by 2030.

Both countries have set ambitious targets to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 and wind energy is expected to be the greatest contributor. But the impact of the dramatic amounts of wind generation capacity needed to meet the challenge has largely remained uncertain.




14 April 2009

Forthcoming Events

UK Aware – Green Lifestyle Exhibition

Date: Friday 17 & Saturday 18 April 09

Venue: Olympia, London

Website: http://www.ukaware.com/

Carbon News has a limited number of free entry tickets to this exhibition, go to the website www.ukaware.com and type in code UA09JJ when you register saving you the £5 entry fee!




14 April 2009

The Age of Stupid an exciting documentary about Climate Change

This is a new and exciting documentary about Climate Change. Eschewing the lecture-type presentation of An Inconvenient Truth, it has a framing device of the last archivist on Earth in the year 2055, played by Peter Postlethwaite, reviewing the lifestyles that got us into this mess.


14 April 2009

A Guide to Freecycling

In these hard times for all of us, freecycling may be a way of saving money and helping keep things out of landfill as well. Freecycling developed in the USA, but it quickly developed into a global phenomenon, with many people giving and receiving free goods.


14 April 2009

Carnegie Endowment Report Criticises Plans for Nuclear Renaissance

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a non-profit think-tank dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States, has just released a report, authored by Sharon Squassoni, that concludes that nuclear energy is a costly detour if the goals are to mitigate climate change or reduce dependence on foreign oil.


14 April 2009

The Maldives are Going Carbon Neutral

The Islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean are going carbon neutral. The Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has announced a plan to achieve carbon neutrality within a decade. "Climate change threatens us all. Countries need to pull together to de-carbonise the world economy," Nasheed said in a statement. "We know cutting greenhouse gas emissions is possible and the Maldives is willing to play its part." This ambitious project will need about three quarters of a million pounds to install renewable energy across the nation's 250 inhabited islands. This will include 155 1.5-MW wind turbines, a half-square kilometer solar farm and giving up fossil fuels.


14 April 2009

UK's Nature Conservation Lagging Behind Other European Countries

The UK is lagging behind other European Union countries in nature conservation, according to statistics from the European Commission. On the back of these figures, the RSPB is challenging the UK government to set a better example to the rest of Europe.


14 April 2009

Lord Stern Unveils His Plan For Global Green Recovery

At the German Embassy in London on Monday 30th March the influential economist Nicholas Stern – who wrote the Stern Report on the financial implications of climate change, unveiled his latest report in collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).


04 March 2009

Wind Breezes up by 28% with US and China in the lead

The United States passed Germany to become world leader in wind power installations, and China's total capacity doubled for the fourth year in a row. Total worldwide installations in 2008 were more than 27,000 MW, dominated by the three main markets in Europe, North America and Asia.


04 March 2009

March Forthcoming Events

Fair Trade Fortnight

23rd February - 8th March 2009

Events all over the country -see website for details

Fair Trade Fortnight




04 March 2009

Too Little Too Late - the politics of climate change

This book is an analysis of the politics of climate change from the perspective of an elected politician. It looks at a neglected part of the Climate Change problem: how governments and politicians have reacted. The clue is in the title.


04 March 2009

Are you worried about climate change?

Are you concerned about global warming?

Come to UK AWARE 09 in Olympia, London on Friday 17 & Saturday 18 April 09. Here you can find out how easy greener living can be and how much money it can save you. Free Entry Tickets For Carbon News Readers!




03 March 2009

Be a Tree Person - Join Carbon Managers World Wide Appeal

Carbon Managers aims to plant 100,000 trees this year, but we need the help of Mr Leafy, and...YOU!

Please put one of the below banners on your website, so we can help make this ambitious target to assist in reforesting the Earth. Trees planted will also generate revenue for your business. It is a win for business, and a win for our planet.




03 March 2009

Greening up our homes

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has unveiled a plan for all UK homes to be near zero carbon emissions by 2050. British households will be able to receive expert, targeted help to reduce their fuel bills and access low-carbon heat and power in their homes, under an ambitious long-term Heat and Energy Saving strategy.


03 March 2009

Institution of Mechanical Engineers Report on Climate Change Adaptation

The ravaging effects of climate change on our planet over the next 1,000 years - as a result of failed emission policies - have been mapped out in a brand new report unveiled by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).


03 March 2009

Power Perfector Shaves Energy Costs

The UK uses 240 volt Alternating Current electricity, continental Europe 220 volt A/C. The difference between the two is the basis for an innovative technology called powerPerfector. It reduces and micromanages the electricity going to industrial, government or business premises to save energy costs and thus save money, and also reduce carbon emissions. Operating at a lower, but perfectly usable voltage will extend the life of equipment too.


27 January 2009

Case Study Aramis and Designer Fragrances Partner with Trees for Business

Prestige fragrance company Aramis and Designer Fragrances partnered with Carbon Managers at Christmas to send ecologically friendly gifts to journalists. Instead of the usual “goody bags” of often unwanted – and frequently wasted – carbon-emitting freebies, Aramis planted 250 trees under Carbon Managers’ Trees for Business programme, which will have positive effects on the environment for decades to come.


27 January 2009

Forthcoming Events

Introduction to permaculture - a two day course

Date: Saturday 24 Jan 2009 to Sunday 25 Jan 2009
Time: 10am-5pm both days

Description: These courses introduce the basics of Permaculture and show how this approach can be applied. NOW TAKING BOOKINGS

Venue: Brighton & Hove

Contacts: Voice messages - 07746 18 59 27

Web Address: www.brightonpermaculture.co.uk




27 January 2009

Top new years eco resolutions

New Year is the time for resolutions, so let's have a few that will help the planet. Here are some green resolutions for you. There are many easy and money saving steps that you can take to help everyone live in a greener, and more environmentally friendly world. Setting eco-friendly goals not only helps the environment, you can save money, be healthier and benefit your local economy.


27 January 2009

Ten Technologies to Save the Planet: Review

Chris Goodall

Profile Books

Price £9.99

Paperback, 224 pp.

Everyone agrees we need to slash global greenhouse emissions. But how do we actually achieve that? Politicians can set targets and consumers can try to live greener lives. But the world will only avoid runaway global warming with the help of technological breakthroughs.




27 January 2009

Vertical Farms

60% of the human population lives in cities. If the number of people in the world continues to increase, they will need to eat. Columbia University professor of public health Dickson Despommier, has put forward the Vertical Farm Project: he proposes growing food in what are effectively skyscraper greenhouses. Though the idea has been mocked in some quarters, it has merit.


27 January 2009

UK Natural Gas Problems

The dispute between Russia and the Ukraine has long term conseqences for British businesses and consumers, which have been missed by almost all newspaper commentators. The UK is likely to be vulnerable to gas shortages in the next few winters. Britain has a low level of storage available – for historic reasons we were a natural gas exporter from the North Sea fields, so didn't need storage. UK Natural gas peaked in 2000. Since 2004 we have been a net importer.


27 January 2009

World's Leading Climate Scientist Writes to Obama

Professor James Hansen, who is one of the world's leading experts on climate change, has sent an open letter to Barack Obama and his wife, outlining the problems that the planet faces. He says that urgency now dictates a personal appeal to the US President-elect: “Scientists at the forefront of climate research have seen a stream of new data in the past few years with startling implications for humanity and all life on Earth…There is a profound disconnect between actions that policy circles are considering and what the science demands for preservation of the planet. A stark scientific conclusion, that we must reduce greenhouse gases below present amounts to preserve nature and humanity, has become clear to the relevant experts.”


27 January 2009

Taken at the Flood

In the dramatic Welsh mountain scenery of the Snowdonia National Park lies a well-kept secret. Snug in Llanberis, under what's known locally as “Electric Mountain”, lies a buried power station, built on the site of a disused quarry. dinorwig is comprised of 16km of underground tunnels, deep below Elidir mountain. Its construction required 1 million tonnes of concrete, 200,000 tonnes of cement and 4,500 tonnes of steel. Not only is it an awesome, Bond-villain type underground lair, it also probably boiled your cup of tea last time you jumped up after Eastenders or the Cup Final. Dinorwig is Europe's largest “pumped storage” power station, capable of generating up to1728 Megawatts of electricity. What that means in layperson's terms, is it uses water to turn electric turbines, the same as a normal hydroelectric power station, but when electricity is “off-peak” at night it reverses its turbines and pumps the water back up the mountain again, ready to cope with another surge in demand – it only takes 15 seconds to fire up the turbines, unlike most other power stations which cannot be switched on and off in this way.


27 November 2008

Upcoming events

The march will start at Grosvenor Square (Bond Street or Marble Arch tube). Participants will assemble at 12 noon. Full schedule here

Winter Wonderland Weekend at London Wetland Centre




27 November 2008

Dreaming of a 'green' Christmas?

Are you dreaming of a `green' Christmas? Well, even if you're not, you can enjoy the festive season by taking inspiration from Friends of the Earth's ideas for presents, parties and decorations which won't cost the earth.

Presents

•  Try flea markets, antique jewellery and vintage clothing shops for gifts - you'll be giving a unique present, as well as recycling.

•  Indulge with a local, organic hamper made up from the local farmers market or give gifts of locally-brewed beer or organic wine.

•  Treat people to a special experience instead of an item - such as theatre tokens, annual membership of a gallery or a weekend at a spa.




27 November 2008

Review: Change in the Weather: Weather Extremes and the British Climate

This is an unusual gift book by Daily Telegraph weather expert Philip Eden. It is a popular science book which will appeal to anyone who wants to find out more about our weather. This is a huge subject but Eden is able to bring his expertise to show how the weather in the UK has changed over the centuries. How rare are freak events, and what should one do to prepare for them? Is it possible to compare the 1976 drought with the 1891 blizzard? Many more topics are investigated, including the topical climate change problem of what would happen if the Gulf Stream ceased to warm our island.


27 November 2008

Carbon Managers Launch Environmental Procurement Audit (EPA)

Carbon Managers are launching a new service: Environmental Procurement Audit (EPA). Save carbon by choosing business suppliers with green credentials. It is based around an online tool which delivers an eco questionnaire to suppliers. By using ranking scores and trend comparison data, businesspeople will be able to make informed purchasing decisions and provide incentives where necessary to generate real carbon savings. Accreditation certificates and logos can be allocated to compliant suppliers.


27 November 2008

National Climate March

The annual national climate march takes place on December 6th. It is important because significant positive developments have taken place this year. The upcoming Climate Bill will agree to carbon reduction of 80% rather than 60% by 2050 as previously, a large step in the right direction. The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook, published recently, takes a significant view on climate change for the first time: “ Preventing catastrophic and irreversible damage to the global climate ultimately requires a major decarbonisation of the world energy sources. On current trends, energy-related emissions of carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) and other greenhouse gases will rise inexorably, pushing up average global temperature by as much as 6°C in the long term. Strong, urgent action is needed to curb these trends.”


27 November 2008

It is Easy Being Green

25% of CO2 emissions in the UK are from road transport. In 2007 50% of new registrations were to vehicle fleets. There are approximately 3 million fleet cars on the road today, travelling over 60 billion miles per year. When their service life is over, they come onto the used car market. Tim Watts, founder of Perfect Circle Management, is the man with the plan to change this for the better. His mission is to show business users how going green can save money, as well as being the ethical thing to do. Tim has worked successfully with a number of businesses over the last year proving that reducing emissions also translates to business efficiency and cost savings.


27 October 2008

Forthcoming Green Events

National Climate March

Saturday December 6th 2008 March on Parliament to demand that the government acts on climate now.
This is Part of a Global Day of Action.
www.globalclimatecampaign.org




27 October 2008

Easy Top Tips for Greening Your Life

Don't leave appliances on standby

8 - 10% of the total electricity used in British homes is due to appliances left on standby. Some of normal home items use a hefty 25% of their normal power in standby mode. This equates to 4m tons of carbon dioxide each year. It is also estimated that a typical UK household could save £37 per year on electricity bills if they always fully switched home appliances off rather than leaving them on standby.




27 October 2008

Carboncreditz helps online shoppers care for the environment

Shoppers who care about climate change can now earn rewards by signing up to www.carboncreditz.org. By purchasing goods from affiliates to the site, consumers are able to offset their personal carbon footprint as well as redeem creditz against goods such as energy efficient lightbulbs and fridges.



27 October 2008

Windfall Tax may blow in

Ed Miliband, the man in charge of the new Ministry for Energy and Climate Change has warned utilities that a windfall tax still remains a possibile option for the Government. When meeting representatives of the six largest energy suppliers last week, he told them the department was monitoring the profits they stood to make from the EU emissions trading scheme. They are thought to be going to make in the region of £9 billion, which would be taken from customers in the form of higher bills.


27 October 2008

Models of Eel Cells Suggest Electrifying Possibilities

The biggest electric eels can produce charges up to 600 watts of electricity. This is enough to power your computer, monitor, printer and office lighting simultaneously in a short burst. Nature bats last, and researchers at Yale University working with US National Insititute of Standards and Technology are applying eel power to artificially created cells. This is the new science of cell biology. “Artificial versions of the eel's electricity generating cells could be developed as a power source for medical implants and other tiny devices,” the researchers say.


27 October 2008

‘Plant a Tree for Life' The Christmas gift that keeps on giving

Reducing carbon emissions is one of the defining issues of our age and this Christmas there is no better present to give a friend or loved one than the forward-thinking eco package that everyone's talking about, ‘The Plant a Tree For Life' gift range.


27 October 2008

Fight Back with Carbon Managers – Plant a Tree for Life

Here at Carbon Managers we are all in favour of planting trees and renewing our woodland. You can make a start on your own reforestation programme by getting involved in our ‘Plant a Tree for Life' project.


27 October 2008

Report Shows Need for More Forests while UK Woodland Declines

Delivering his special report on saving the world's forests, Johan Eliasch Special Representative to Gordon Brown on deforestation and clean energy , said: “Saving forests is critical for tackling climate change. Without action on deforestation, avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will be next to impossible, and could lead to additional climate change damages of $1 trillion a year by 2100.”


27 October 2008

Abu Dhabi to Invest in London Array

E.ON and Abu Dhabi-based company Masdar have joined forces to partner in the London Array offshore wind farm project – which, when built, will be the world's largest offshore scheme. The two partners will also extend their relationship further and intend to work together across a range of potential projects that will complement their existing renewable energy strategies.


29 September 2008

Games for Change

Games for Change (G4C) is an online gaming company which promotes using gaming for social change. They look to games to involve younger people – who are often very computer-game oriented – to play games which have a theme of social responsibility and progressive attitudes. On their website they have several games which promote, for example, non-violent interaction as a force for social change (A Force More Powerful), climate science (Climate Challenge), energy, global warming and development (Melting Point) and many other social issues, including human rights.


29 September 2008

Forthcoming Green Events

self build solar hot water
Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 to Sunday 12 Oct 2008
Build your own low-cost solar hot water system
Venue: LILI Bucks
Contacts: Peter 01296 714184
E-mail: peter@lowimpact.org
Web Address: http://www.lowimpact.org/


29 September 2008

Top Tips for Planting Trees

We depend on our trees in so many ways, and Carbon Managers wants you to plant more – see our Plant a Tree for Life project elsewhere in this month’s Carbon News. However it is no good planting a tree, if it is not going to survive. Trees are tough and resilient, but wise people maximise their trees chances of survival. The Royal Horticultural Society has put out some top tips for how to keep your young trees healthy.


29 September 2008

Carbon-Saving New Computer launched by VeryPC

VeryPC, a major supplier of extremely low-energy personal and business computers, has launched a high performance 16Watt dual-cored media centre PC, aptly named Fulwood (after the prestigious suburb of Sheffield, where they are based). At over four times faster and at almost half the energy consumption of most computers Fulwood offers extremely high performance and flexibility while retaining its environmental standing. This PC is not just fast, but it also saves money by consuming less energy, an important purchasing factor in these days of high electricity prices. In comparison, to a normal desktop PC these quiet machines use up to 75% less energy.


29 September 2008

Bill Gates Invests in 3rd Generation Biofuel from Algae

Bill Gates, the world’s richest geek, has always had a penchant for high tech investments. He has put millions of dollars in a firm which claims it has a successful process to make petrol biofuel from algae. Many companies are trying to find a way to do this: by using algae, grown in vats, it is theoretically possible to make biofuel without the serious drawbacks of using up food-growing land, and needing to use fossil-fuels as an input, e.g. diesel powered combine harvesters.


29 September 2008

Plant a Tree for Life – New Carbon Managers Initiative

Carbon Managers are launching a new initiative to plant trees in the Alladale wilderness reserve in the Scottish Highlands. For £9.99 a purchaser receives a DVD case which starts the process of planting of a real tree in Scotland. The DVD film in the box is about the tree planting at Alladale.


29 September 2008

Low Carbon Homes – BRE’s Innovation Park

In October Prince Charles will inaugurate the building of a seventh exhibition home at the Building Research Institute’s Innovation Park near Watford. Six Eco-friendly designs have to test whether energy saving devices and passive houses really work have already been built on the site. The houses are complete in every way – as if people were already living in them, fully furnished, with bedlinen and towels – as if the occupants had just left for work and school. Visitors can look at the innovative technology behind the various designs. The drive for low-carbon homes comes partly from new regulations the government is phasing in: the Code for Sustainable Homes will enforce increasingly stringent rules on house builders so that by 2016 a new house must reach the highest level of compliance and be “carbon zero”: it will have no net carbon emissions over the cycle of one year. The BRE’s Innovation Park is a test-bed for practical new buildings that comply with the code.


29 September 2008

New Plans for Green Futures may bring Green Collar Jobs

The government and major opposition parties seem to be awakening – rather late – to the environmental crisis we face, and several good proposals for a cleaner, greener future for the UK have been unveiled recently.
New Challenges, New Opportunities is a government plan to create 260,000 new jobs in a low-carbon economy over the next few years. The framework emphasises manufacturing’s key role in a mixed and balanced economy, and has the objective of making Britain a world leader in both renewables and nuclear power. A new body, Manufacturing Insight, will be given the job of promoting this sector. John Hutton, the minister for business, said: “Manufacturing is central to the success of the UK economy and it is vital the sector has the right foundations to endure the current economic slowdown and emerge stronger and fitter than ever.” This plan will be backed by £150 million of medium-term support for UK manufacturing.


29 September 2008

Economic News: Financial Crisis and Volatile Markets

How will the ongoing economic crisis affect environmental projects? This is a serious and worrying question. Will the lack of liquidity in the banking system stop some of the more promising alternative energy projects? Will the recession and job fears make people avoid more expensive, environmentally friendly products? Or will consumers make savings by going towards a frugal, low energy future, buying bicycles and insulation rather than SUVs and halogen lighting for their kitchens?


20 August 2008

Singer-songwriter Zeya pledges to plant trees

Beautiful new singer-songwriter Zeya is set to showcase her music to more than 100,000 people over the next six months but will not be getting platinum disks or number one singles. Her single is being given away for free with an innovative box set advising people how to get the most out of their gadgets.



20 August 2008

Forthcoming Eco Events August-September 2008

Renewable Energy Weekend

Date: Saturday 23 Aug 2008 to Monday 25 Aug 2008


Description: Enjoy an unforgettable renewable energy weekend at Trelay Farm, an inspiring small-holding where we aim to live lightly on the earth.

Venue: Trelay Farm, near Bude, Cornwall

Contacts: Jackie Carpenter 01840 230 423

E-mail: jackie@trelay.org
Web Address: www.trelay.org




20 August 2008

A World without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum

A documentary horror story. Without bees to pollinate all sorts of plants including our food crops and the plants our cattle eat, our society would be in serious trouble. Yet bees are threatened by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) a mysterious ailment which wipes out whole bee colonies globally. In A World Without Bees, the authors, both amateur beekeepers, try to track down the possible causes, which may include diseases, pesticides, lack of genetic resistance cause by human breeding experiments, and the horrific Alien-like Varroa mite, which lives a parasitic life on the poor hard-working bees.


20 August 2008

Top tips for Organic Gardening

To add a little encouragement for the Soil Association's planned drive to get more people organic gardening, we have put some simple organic garden tips below.


20 August 2008

Climate Camp Pictorial

It is indisputable that of all the fossil fuels, coal is the dirtiest and most polluting. With the UK government about to sign up to a reduction in emissions of 60% - perhaps even 80% - by 2050 it seems a peculiar decision to plan a new generation of coal power stations. Kingsnorth is an existing coal power station in Kent which is to be replaced with a newer station. Although theoretically the power station could reduce its emissions by using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, in practice this technology does not exist on a commercial scale yet, so the plant will be nearly as dirty as the one it replaces until some unknown date in the future.


20 August 2008

Soil Association Revives Wartime Dig For Victory Spirit

Leading environmental organisation The Soil Association is about to launch a self-sufficiency movement to the general public, mimicking the wartime “Dig for Victory” programme where people grew their own food in gardens and allotments. Alarmed at the lack of skills relating to food production, and worried by the way the “just-in-time” supermarket delivery combines with imported food to make Britain very vulnerable to disruptions in food supply – as nearly happened in the Tanker Blockade in 2000 – when the UK was actually down to its last few days food, The Soil Association has brought in master TV gardener Monty Don to get more people involved in food production on a small scale.


20 August 2008

11 Billion Pounds Needed to Save the Amazon Rainforest

The Brazilian Amazon Rainforest needs 11 billion pounds to save it. That is what Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said at the official launch of a new international fund to protect it. The lush rainforest is the “lungs of the world” – but every minute of every day an area the size of a football pitch is cut down. 14% of it has already been deforested.


20 August 2008

Major Discovery from MIT Could Unleash Solar Revolution

In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun isn't shining. Until now, solar power has been a daytime-only energy source, because storing extra solar energy for later use is prohibitively expensive and grossly inefficient. With today's announcement, MIT researchers have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy. By using biological sources, in imitation of photosynthesis, MIT's Professor Daniel Nocera has enabled solar power to be stored economically in a hydrogen fuel cell, for availability later. This is like having a storage heater for “off-peak” electricity, only instead of storing it at night, you might have a solar photovoltaic array working during the day, and then store the electricity for use after sunset.


28 July 2008

Forthcoming Eco Events August 2008

Fruit Tree Grafting - A half-day course
August 9th, 2008

Venue: Stanmer Park, Brighton, East Sussex

Learn how to propagate fruit trees by grafting on this half-day practical course.

Contact Details:
www.brightonpermaculture.co.uk




28 July 2008

Top Tips for Remineralising your soil

Soil Remineralisation is a simple process that can be easily achieved by anyone, from the balcony urban gardener, to the full-scale farmer.

Firstly locate source of rock dust, like the SEER Centre.

Throughout the industrialized world the aggregate industry stockpiles rock dust as a byproduct (within the industry it is known as “rock dust,” “rock flour,” “minus #200 mesh” or “float“). The nearest gravel pit is the best place to ask first. Not only is this waste material readily available but it is very affordable.




28 July 2008

The Age of Stupid - Climate Change Film

Forthcoming Climate Change film, The Age of Stupid, is a drama-documentary, ostensibly set in the future of 2055, which shows five human stories weaving themselves around all sides of this complicated issue.


28 July 2008

Mayor scraps £25 Congestion Charge for Gas Guzzlers

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has scrapped the CO2 Charge, which would have charged owners of large family cars £25 a day to drive in the Central London Congestion Charge zone, a large increase from the £8 they pay currently. This means there will be no increase in charge for drivers of Band G vehicles from October 2008. The Band A and B discount, which would give free entry to the zone for low or zero-emission vehicles has also been stopped.


28 July 2008

Businessweek reveals Saudis have nearly reached Peak Oil

A remarkable document has been leaked to US magazine Businessweek this month. In it “a person with access to Saudi oil officials” reveals that Saudi Arabia will have reached the peak of its oil production by 2013. Peak Oil is when around half of an oil field's production has been reached – all the easy to extract oil has been sucked out – and the lower grade, harder, more expensive oil is left. The oil has not run out, but the good days are over.


28 July 2008

Remineralise Your Soil – Lower Your Carbon Footprint

Every gardener knows that growing plants take nutrients out of the soil. There are many methods to return the goodness, from the short term fix of chemical fertilisers, through organic enhancers such as seaweed meal or manure, to nitrogen-fixing plants, and many others.


28 July 2008

Government Launches £50 Billion Renewable Strategy

The good news is that the government has launched its £50 billion renewable strategy. The bad news is it's another consultation. It aims to boost UK renewables to meet the EU target of 20% by 2020.


28 July 2008

The PM on the Post Oil Energy Economy

On 13 th July Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, made an important environmental speech which was little-reported in the UK press, except the part about building new nuclear power stations. Addressing an organisation called the Union for the Mediterranean, which consists of EU and Mediterranean states, Brown outlined a post-oil energy economy for the future. He said:

“We must now leave behind the old wasteful, oil dependent ways of yesterday and embrace the new cleaner and sustainable energy future of tomorrow. The increases in oil and food prices we have seen over recent months are causing hardship to families and businesses in Britain and throughout Europe. They threaten economic instability and their production is environmentally not sustainable.

The years of cheap energy and careless pollution are behind us. We need a new strategy. Past total dependence on oil must give way to a clean energy future.”




27 June 2008

Forthcoming Eco Events July 2008

Eco Open Houses 28-29th June and 5-6th July 2008

Venue: Brighton & Hove

During the weekends of 28-29 June and 5-6 July 2008 people will be able to visit eco-houses in Brighton & Hove who will be opening their doors to the public.
www.ecoopenhouses.org/    




27 June 2008

Top Tips for Riding an Electric Bicycle

Use the pedals for some of the time – this will save battery power

Make sure the tyres are fully inflated to the correct pressure and that the throttle and brakes work properly.




27 June 2008

Fixing Climate

This book is three things in one: it is an engaging biography of leading climate scientist Wallace Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, by popular sicence writer Robert Kunzig of Discover magazine, and voyage of discovery through the history of climate science; finally it is an analysis of how we could remove CO2 from the atmosphere by extracting it, particularly featuring the researches of Klaus Lackner (see Air Scrubber Invented article in this Carbon News).


27 June 2008

Severn Barrage Faces Barrage of Criticism

An ambitious project to place a barrage across the Severn river, which potentially could generate 5% of the UK's electricity, has come under sustained criticism in a report published of 12 th June by consultancy Frontier Economics for a coalition of green groups.


27 June 2008

Trees For Us

Carbon Managers, publishers of Carbon News, have pledged to fund 20,000 trees in the beautiful Alladale Wilderness Lodge and Reserve in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, under its corporate tree planting programme ‘Trees 4 Business'.

Alladale is a pioneering nature project spanning 23,000 acres. The Scottish Highlands are considered one of Europe's last great areas of wilderness, yet much of the flora and fauna that once thrived there has been driven to extinction by the activities of man. Alladale Wilderness Reserve plan is to restore this remote area of the Highlands to its former natural glory.




27 June 2008

Adnams Launches the UK's First Carbon Neutral Beer

Adnams Brewery has launched East Green, the UK's first carbon neutral beer. Produced in its eco-efficient brewery in Southwold, Adnams' innovative new brew is distributed nationwide by Tesco.


27 June 2008

Air Scrubber Invented - US Scientist Claims It Can Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere

A Columbia University physicist, Klaus Lackner, claims to have invented a device which will remove CO2 from the air, so that it can be stored – sequestered – away, helping to reduce the likelihood of devastating climate change. In a further development some people have suggested that the CO2 thus removed should be used to make biofuels from algae, which need CO2 to procreate.


27 June 2008

Get On Yer – Electric - Bike

Tired of pedalling uphill? Why not have an electric motor do the work for you? Electric bicycles have had a greater market penetration than electric cars, probably because they are cheaper and recharging at home is easier.

In recent years many have come onto the market, and there is even an electrically powered super scooter, which outperforms petrol engined competitiors!




28 May 2008

Forthcoming Eco Events June 2008

Renewable Energy Workshop 8th June

The EcoHouse, Leicester 1pm to 3pm. Pre-booking essential.

Would you like to generate your own renewable energy at home, but have no idea how to go about it? The EcoHouse presents a workshop to help you get started contact Caroline Harmon on 0116 222 0258

http://www.gwll.org.uk/




28 May 2008

Top Tips for environmentally friendly driving

Driving in an eco-friendly manner can help reduce emissions, and also, in these times of high fuel prices, reduce your costs. Obviously changing to a high-mpg, low emissions vehicle will make a great difference, but most people do not have that option, and have to stick with their existing car. Here are some top tips to help the environment while driving.


28 May 2008

Green Up! An A-Z of environmentally friendly home improvements

Published by Green Books on 100% recycled paper, £7.95

This is a pocket book which details practical ways in which people can upgrade their homes in an environmentally fashion, from the smallest things such as using environmentally non-petroleum based paints, to large undertakings, like fitting a ground-source heat pump, for example.




28 May 2008

Climate Change Bill reaches Parliament – UK first to set emission targets

The first Climate Change legislation to be enacted anywhere in the world looks set to be passed by Parliament by this summer. It sets a target of 60% reduction in C02 emissions by 2050, but the opposition and climate change groups are lobbying to make this an 80% reduction – to take account of newer scientific research which shows that 60% is too low to prevent damaging effects on the environment. It is also likely that the government will bow to pressure and set annual targets, probably a 3% reduction per year.


28 May 2008

Major Windfarm Loses Investor as Costs Increase

The London Array – a major offshore development of wind turbines that could have powered every house in Kent and East Sussex has had one of its main investors, Shell, pull out, putting the whole project in jeopardy.

The 1,000MW London Array placed in the Thames Estuary would consist of up to 341 wind turbines and be able to generate enough electricity to cater for the power needs of a quarter of London homes or every home in Kent and East Sussex. It would also avoid the emission of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide over its life. This is one of the most significant offshore wind developments in the world, and the three partners (Shell WindEnergy, E.ON and DONG Energy) were funding a project costing £2.4 billion, spread over the next six to seven years. The costs have more than doubled since it was originally planned to cost £1 billion.




28 May 2008

Launch of 350.org - an organisation campaigning to reduce CO2 levels

350.org has been launched, to emphasise the need for humanity to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm). Scientists at the Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii say that CO2 levels in the atmosphere now stands at 387 parts per million (ppm), up almost 40% since the industrial revolution and the highest for at least the last 650,000 years.


28 May 2008

Oil hits $135 per barrel

The price of oil continues to spike upwards, reaching over $135 per barrel on trading in New York recently. This was an almost $20 surge during the week. Oil has gone up nearly 30% in four months. The effects of these prices are felt throughout the economy as oil is built into every product either as a raw material, eg plastics, pharmaceuticals, as well as a transport cost for the fuel to take the product from producer to end-user.



28 May 2008

Start Your Engines! Green Vehicles Make the Running

Which came first - the petrol internal combustion engined car or one powered by electricity? If you thought the former, you would be wrong: Robert Anderson of Scotland made his first electric vehicle around 1834. It wasn't until 1885 that Karl Benz created the first petrol-powered car. In 1900 when Rudolph Diesel exhibited his innovative motor vehicle, it ran on peanut oil: he had envisioned it being powered by biofuels created locally from nuts or seeds.


25 April 2008

Forthcoming green events

Low Carbon Strategies 08

5th June 2008

Climate Change One-day event, aimed at businesses to show them how to formulate their organisation's low carbon strategy. Venue: Excel London.

www.greenbizevents.co.uk




23 April 2008

Book review: Easy Eco Auditing by Donnachadh McCarthy

The indefatigable eco-campaigner Donnachadh McCarthy has just released his second book Easy Eco Auditing.

As its title says, it is a guide to making your lifestyle greener by “auditing” your home, leisure and work environments to reduce your carbon emissions, with a little of Donnachadh's fascinating journey from Irish National Ballet Dancer who had “not paid any attention to what was happening in the environment around me”, to ardent ecology advocate. Almost by accident he travelled to the Amazon rainforest in 1992 and visited the Yanomami Indians – here he had a damascene conversion: he resolved to return to the UK and do what he could to “stop Britain's consumerist lifestyle being so destructive to the planet and our fellow human beings.”




23 April 2008

Top tips for freecycling

Freecyclers should advertise widely, preferably several weeks in advance.

Join up with the local Freecycle group - use it to advertise the
event, but also offer to advertise their group at your own event.

Plan a date for a second event in advance, and give flyers about it to
people as they leave.




23 April 2008

USB Battery wins Design “Oscar”

A British-designed sustainable product, the USBCell rechargeable battery, has been awarded Gold status at the iF Product Design Award's (sometimes referred to as a ‘Design Oscar'). The battery recharges itself whilst plugged into a personal computer's USB port, so that toxic battery landfill waste and C02 emissions are reduced. Moixa Energy, the company behind the project, has been awarded Gold status at the iF Product Design Award's (sometimes referred to as a ‘Design Oscar'). It received a research and development grant from the London Development Agency in November 2005.


23 April 2008

Government Plans Eco-Towns

Gordon Brown has announced plans to house 100,000 people in 10 new eco-towns. The proposed areas could contain up to 20,000 homes and are intended to combine the need for homes with helping the environment.

Councils will be invited to bid to host the other settlements which Mr Brown said would have bus routes, cycle lanes and schools designed in a way to make the communities carbon neutral overall. The plans were first rolled out last summer but a recent announcement has fleshed them out with more detail. 70 applications have been received, 15 will be shortlisted, and ten settlements actually built. The towns will have to be “zero-carbon as a whole” and an “exemplar” in at least one area of environmental sustainability.




23 April 2008

Junk for Joy – how to Freecycle your unwanted goods

Junk. You've got a lot of it, clogging up the attic, in the garage, and festering in the cupboard under the stairs. It is said that one person's junk is another person's treasure, and that is where “Freecycling” comes in, which is just the greenies' way of saying “giving stuff away”. Freecycling events, Swap Shops, swapmeets, giveaways are where people get rid of things they don't want and take things they do. It's the same sort of thing as the local jumble sale.


23 April 2008

Trees for Business

Green is the new black. People want to be associated with green initiatives. Recent UK research found that over 82% of consumers want to deal with a company that is eco-friendly. Being green can boost staff morale – many employees want to take environmentally sound initiatives at work. A survey of top UK Graduates by an accountancy firm showed significant numbers wanted to work for environmentally responsible organisations. Numerous other polls and opinion samples show that increasing numbers of people want to participate in improving the environment. Tree planting is one option that is readily recognised by consumers as a positive eco-action.


23 April 2008

Transforming the UK's Old Housing Stock

The UK's poorly insulated, energy inefficient housing stock could be
easily transformed into cheaper to run, low carbon homes by the end of
the next decade. But a new report by WWF-UK How Low shows that
without a radical shift in Government policy the UK is set to miss out on the biggest
opportunity to cut household energy bills, and reduce CO2 emissions. The
first-ever modelling of the country's entire housing stock shows that
solid wall insulation and low and zero carbon technologies such as
ground source heat pumps and solar water heating are key to greening our
homes and getting the UK on track to meet its emission reduction targets
for 2020.


25 March 2008

Top Tips for a Transition Town

Our main article is about the Transition Town movement. What if you wanted to “unleash” a transition initiative in your own locality. What should you do?

The method of starting a transition initiative has become more formalised. There are now a number of things that people need to know, or do, to start the group:




20 March 2008

A Crude Awakening – The Oil Crash

Oil has been variously described as black blood, the blood of the dinosaurs, the bloodstream of the world's economy, and the Devil's Tears.

A Crude Awakening is a documentary on the origins and future of oil. Described as “A shocking wake-up call that is set to do for energy what Al Gore's ‘An Inconvenient Truth' did for climate change”, it intermingles archive footage of the development of oil, a wide variety of interviews, and then speculates on what will happen after oil peaks and declines.




20 March 2008

The Carbon Footprint of a Burger

We all have become familiar with the method of carbon footprinting. Every product and service we consume has an impact on the atmosphere in terms of carbon emitted. Many of us are accustomed to considering the effects of taking flights or driving cars, but we don't necessarily worry about mundane everyday items. I wanted to find out what's the carbon footprint of the humble takeaway burger?


20 March 2008

The Burnt Offering

The UK Government is proposing to build new Coal Fired Power Stations. As coal is by far the most polluting form of energy production this seems the most retrograde step in terms of ameliorating our carbon footprint.


20 March 2008

A Green Day Out

Power: our society runs on it – the raw calories of energy produced by petrol, diesel, Jet A1, natural gas, uranium, coal and renewable sources. We can't do without it, unless we want to shiver in caves, but we do have choices about how we generate it and what we use it for.

Information is also power. Unlike the physical stuff, it's not likely to run out. Nowadays we often suffer from an excess of it – information overload. Ideally what people need is to apply accurate, useful information to sufficient physical power to make things happen. This is the concept of empowerment.

Carbon Managers wants to empower workforces with A Green Day Out.




20 March 2008

The Budget 2008: Green or Greenwash?

Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling delivered a budget that might be called “Watercolour Green” – a rather diluted transparent green wash. There were environmental measures, but not the decisive strokes that would position the UK strongly as a greening economy.


20 March 2008

The Great Unleashing: Transition Towns

“We are the most useless generation in history” says Rob Hopkins, pioneer of the fastest-growing social movement in the UK: Transition Towns, “most people in the past had many skills.” This is not a lament for bygone ages, however, but a call to action.

Fed up with obfuscation on climate change from central government people are voluntarily banding together to reduce their carbon footprint and green their area in transition to a low-carbon lifestyle. “A Transition Initiative is a community that is unleashing its own latent collective genius to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and to discover and implement ways to address this BIG question:”




19 February 2008

The 11th Hour – a new film about climate change opening soon

Fronted by Leonardo DiCaprio, a new eco-documenary called “The 11th Hour” is about to open in UK cinemas. The film explores how we’ve arrived at this moment -- how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. Featuring experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolsey and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau as well as over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who discuss the most important issues that face our planet and people.


19 February 2008

You’ve Had Your Chips

The origins of Britain’s humble but popular dish are hidden in mythology. Both Lancashire and London lay claim to having “The First Fish and Chip shop”, in the 1860’s, but the dish of battered fish and chips was almost certainly extant well before then: Charles Dickens mentions a 'fried fish warehouse' in Oliver Twist in 1839. Street vendors probably sold it to hungry workers who wanted a solid, filling meal on their way back from the factory.


19 February 2008

Conserving the Wildlife Treasures of the Pembrokeshire Coast

Sea Trust South and West Wales monitors the seas, educating people about the glories of Welsh marine wildlife. These include; “Porpoise Picnics” and outreach such as an exhibition which opened at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and then toured the UK.


18 February 2008

Congestion Charge Converts to Carbon Charge

In a radical new move to combat climate change, London Mayor Ken Livingstone has modified the congestion charge – first instituted in 2003 to reduce the volume of traffic on London’s streets – to become the world’s first anti-pollution vehicle tax, where users are charge ffor the amount of CO2 they emit. 


18 February 2008

Top Tips -The Sea

Don’t use plastic carrier bags – use reusable ones. The bags are made from oil which is depleting and causes pollution, but worse than that they can end up in the sea. If they don’t choke a seabird or fish, which mistake them for food, they could end up in the continent-sized plastic drift in the Pacific.


18 February 2008

Polluting Our Seas

The sea round our island have long been a source of food, jobs and recreation. Most of us enjoy walking on a sandy beach or along majestic clifftops. Fish and Chips is one of our national glories.

This resource is being eaten away. 52% of global fish stocks are fully exploited, which means that they are being fished at their maximum biological capacity. 24% are over exploited, depleted or recovering from depletion, according to the Marine Stewardship Council. Much of our domestic fishing industry is under threat because “stocks have run out”. Translated this means there aren’t any fish left, or at least not enough mature ones to breed. Global warming plays its part – Cod, for example, spawn in very cold seas, but with the temperature of parts of the oceans increasing, they are not breeding properly. Many fish take quite a long time to reach maturity, such as Plaice and Haddock, which cannot spawn if they are caught before they are adult.




18 February 2008

The Tide is Nigh

Britain is blessed with an abundance of potential renewable sources of energy. Besides wind, there is also wave and tidal stream power. This is an industry in its infancy, despite being a source of electricity going back to the 1970s, because finance and innovation have not been forthcoming. If the German wind industry is a guide – the UK is in a position to create jobs and profits by being at the cutting edge of a new technology. In Germany a quarter of a million jobs have been created through the design, manufacture and maintenance of wind turbines. 


10 January 2008

Interview with Russell Smith of Parity Projects

Carbon News interviewed Russell Smith about his decision to take on a deliberately challenging retrofit of an existing, and very non-ecological 19th Century end-of-terrace house for his showcase development.


10 January 2008

Heat by George Monbiot

George Monbiot’s book Heat tells us how we can save ourselves from the Faustian bargain we have with fossil fuels. If we don’t want to roast – literally – we need to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by 90%. That is what the latest scientific evidence shows.


10 January 2008

Top tips in the home

Save water by putting a plug in the washbasin, and have showers rather than baths. You can reduce the amount of water used by flushing the toilet by putting something into the cistern to use up space, like a small plastic bottle filled with water; don’t use a brick – it could damage your toilet’s workings. Some water companies give out free “hippos” – little devices to do the same thing.


10 January 2008

Hold the Front Page, it’s Printed Solar Panels

TSolar Panels are, along with wind turbines, one of the two poster children for alternative energy. But like all technologies, they have disadvantages as well as advantages. The main one is that they are expensive and complicated to manufacture. Silicon, the basic material, is incredibly abundant and cheap. However making it into sheets is a very technology-intensive process, and in UK and similar latitudes, photovoltaic solar power generation is for specialised applications.


10 January 2008

Grand Designs for Low Carbon Buildings

Is the building you live or work in a stinking, carbon-emitting eyesore? You probably think not, but appearances can be deceptive. Many of the UK’s buildings waste enormous amounts of energy – it is estimated that nearly 30% of Britain’s carbon emissions come from buildings. New construction can be very eco-friendly, but unfortunately many of our buildings are very old and leak energy all over the place, wasting money and adding unnecessary carbon to the atmosphere.


10 January 2008

How Green is your Desert?

Picture a desert: baking heat, nomads on camels, burning sun, endless sand ……surmounted by arrays of polished aluminium generating massive amounts of electricity….excuse me?




28 November 2007

Eco Driving Tips

Be an Eco Driver! Efficient and economical driving style is a great way to save money and cut carbon dioxide emissions at the same time.


28 November 2007

Testimonial for the Carbon Managers

The Keyboard Company, UK specialist keyboard and pointing device supplier based in Gloucestershire, has recently been in touch with Carbon Managers in search of consultation and help implementing a revised environmental policy. As a supplier of equipment to all sorts of locations in the UK and beyond, The Keyboard Company were keen to discover how they could operate their business in a more environmentally friendly manner.




27 November 2007

Carbon Managers visit “Business Start Up” show

Taking the message to the public is part of the challenge faced by Carbon Managers. Whilst there is a vast amount of information and general awareness of environmental issues, our objective is to increase awareness through action thereby contributing on two fronts to the goal of reducing the carbon footprint of UK business.


27 November 2007

Its that time of year again….. Beat the Winter Chills…

Every year our national energy consumption rockets as soon as the first frosts arrive. Its early November and right on queue here they come! The natural first reaction is to turn on the central heating (if you haven’t already) turn up the thermostat, spend more time indoors (with the heating on!) hunker down for the big chill. BUT….is it all really necessary?


27 November 2007

Clean, Eco Friendly. The future is under your feet!

Those who support it see geothermal energy as a near-perfect source of clean energy with virtually no carbon emissions.


27 November 2007

UK’s carbon footprint far too high, according to WWF

Some parts of the UK are more carbon friendly than others. For instance people living in Plymouth and Newport are having the least impact on the UK environment while people in those living in Winchester are having the most, according to a new green league table of mainland UK cities.
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