February 2009
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Taken at the Flood

Special Carbon News Feature on Dinorwig Pumped Storage Power Station

Taken at the Flood

The Underground Tunnels

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 to 1728 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.

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World's Leading Climate Scientist Writes to Obama

World's Leading Climate Scientist Writes to Obama

Photo: realjameso16

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.”

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UK Natural Gas Problems

UK Natural Gas Problems

Photo: clawzctr

Businesses should prepare contingency plans

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

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Vertical Farms

Is this the new urban agriculture?

Vertical Farms

Illustration: Pyramid farm by Eric Ellingsen and Dickson Despommier

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.

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Case Study Aramis and Designer Fragrances Partner with Trees 4 BusinessVertical Farms

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 4 Business programme, which will have positive effects on the environment for decades to come.

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Ten Technologies to Save the Planet: Review

Ten Technologies to Save the Planet: Review

Chris Goodall
Profile Books
Price £9.99
Paperback, 224 pp
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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.

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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.

1.  Wash and rinse your clothes with cold water. About 90% of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water. This tip will keep your energy bill and carbon emissions down.

2.  Bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping. As an added bonus, you won't have to take as many trips to the car when unloading since more items fit into the sturdier cloth bag than a plastic carrier.

3.  Use revolving doors instead of swing doors when possible. According to an MIT study “a single person walking through a revolving door in February saves enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for 23 minutes.” This is a tiny change in behaviour that, over the course of a lifetime, save quite a bit of energy.

4.  By your food locally whenever possible. Each pound of local food you purchase prevents a 110 grams of global warming (C02) emissions that result from food transportation.

5.  Kick the bottled water habit. In the UK we consume 2.2 billion litres, or 36 litres per person of bottled water per person By using a refillable cup, either for water, coffee, juice or fizzy drinks, you cut down on oil needed to manufacture plastic and save space in landfills. 


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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.brightonper
maculture.co.uk

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Editor: Julian Jackson www.julianjackson.co.uk