May 2008
Go Carbon Neutral Tree Planting Corporate Days
 
 

Start Your Engines! Green Vehicles Make the Running

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.

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Oil hits $135 per barrel

Oil hits $129 per barrel

Photo: Julian Jackson

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.

It is a general theory among many economists that oil price spikes cause recession. Professor Andrew Oswald, of Warwick University has studied the phenomenon. He says that slow-downs and recessions follow sharp increases in oil price, “We saw this most notably in 1974, 1979, and 1990. On each occasion, an oil price spike was followed by recession in the world economy.”

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

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.

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Major Windfarm Loses Investor as Costs Increase

Major Windfarm Loses Investor as Costs Increase

Photo: Sandi Baker

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.

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

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

Photo: FoE

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.

Tony Juniper of FoE, who have campaigned steadfastly for the bill, said at a packed meeting in Central London recently, “We have a popular mandate for what will be very likely the first law in the world setting a trajectory for carbon dioxide Greenhouse Gas Emissiona.”

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Ecobutton™ reduces your computer's carbon footprint with one small click

Eco Button


This great USB device enables you to power down your computer every time you take a break (long or short), at the touch of a button - saving you money, electricty, and helping to reduce your carbon footprint.

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

By Will Anderson

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.

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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.

Service your car at least every year.  Get the engine tuned, the wheels aligned and catalytic converter checked.

Make sure that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure.  Under inflation by 7 psi wastes half a gallon of fuel in every tank, so it's worth inflating to the manufacturer's specifications.

Avoid overfilling the tank when refuelling as spilled petrol evaporates and releases harmful gases.

Take off roof racks and trailers if they're not needed.

Avoid short journeys – walk or cycle them instead.  61% of journeys are under 2 miles and arguably a waste of fuel.

Drive smoothly – pulling away too fast uses 60% more fuel.

Don't be a boy racer.  Driving at 70mph can use up to 30% more petrol than driving at 50mph.

Watch the road and traffic ahead to avoid sharp braking - it just throws away energy and causes increased wear on your brakes.

Change gear between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm – this can also save up to 30% of fuel.

When driving at higher speeds, keep your windows and sunroof shut and open the air vents instead.

Switch your engine off when in stationary traffic.  You use more fuel with the engine idling for 45 seconds than if you switched off and restarted 45 seconds later.

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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/

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Editor: Julian Jackson www.julianjackson.co.uk