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31 responses to “Climate clippings 71”

  1. John D

    The key quote from the Indian monsoon article was:

    “We found that when the Asian continent is least heated by the sun, the northward movement of the rain appears to hesitate between the Equator and Asia, bringing less rain to the north,” said Giosan. “The fact that long droughts have not occurred over the last 100 years or so, as humans started to heat up the planet, but did occur earlier, suggest that we changed the entire monsoon game, and may have inadvertently made it more stable!

    One of the realities of climate change is that there will be parts of the world that will actually be better places to live as a consequence of global warming.

    But this doesn’t mean that climate action should stop.

  2. John D

    Like California, Australia has a big enough economy for changes in our standards to influence other parts of the world (Ex: The introduction of lighting efficiency regulations. The sort of things we should be looking for now include:
    1. Things to reduce/eliminate standby power draw. (10% of domestic power!)
    2. Insisting that household items are set up to work with smart power systems. For example, allow the range of air conditioner settings to be controlled externally during peak load periods and allow freezers to be run on an appropriate combination of off peak and on demand power. (Run on offpeak if temp is below the low set point, on demand only if temp is above a higher set point.
    3. Insist on the use of phase change materials to improve efficiency and/or reduce peak loads for things like air conditioners and fridges.
    4. Changing road rules and vehicle standards to aid the introduction of things like narrow track vehicles. (Ex: Define narrow track vehicles and introduce changes to traffic laws to allow two narrow tracks to travel side by side in a single traffic lane.)

  3. BilB

    It is good to see that we are finally getting passed the “Global Warming, is it or isn’t it?” to the “Global Warming, how fast, what does it mean?” phase.

  4. Sam
  5. wmmbb

    Some scientists have proposed including Frank Biermann the need to address the political structural impediments to effective action on climate change.

  6. wmmbb

    Oops, the references are contained in Jeff McMahon’s article at Forbes, “Scientists call for stronger Global Governance to Address Climate Change”.

  7. Huggybunny

    JohnD @2
    TYou are 100% correct, energy efficiency has ahuge role to play in GG reductions.
    I am taking the liberty of adding a few things to yor list.
    5. Mandat the installation of instant boiler taps instead of electric jugs/kettles they only boil the exact amount of water you need.
    6. Refrigerators must have improved insulation, also freezers
    7. Mandate variable speed motors in refrigerators not the on/off control that is used at present
    8. Mandate ventilation around refrigeration condensers.

    I could go on forever


  8. Keithy

    It’s a post 9-11 world! Change away from the old model is already on the cards… i.e. BOTTLENECKS ARE COMING FAST which means business opportunities abound to exploit a new paradigm!!



  9. Chris

    Huggybunny @ 7 – have a link to those instant boil taps that you’ve been talking about? The ones I’ve seen all have a small reservoir of hot water – eg they’re not really instant and so consume quite a bit of energy in standby if you don’t use much hot water. Works well in office scenarios but for home use its better to just use a kettle to boil the amount of water you need rather than fully

  10. Huggybunny

    CHRIS I think you may be right about that, the numbers I have give about 40% energy savings for the best of them, even though some of them have insulated tanks.


  11. BilB

    The problem with instant biolers, HB, is the current that they pull. You can’t run them on solar panels effectively, unless you have a lot of them with a healthy battery backup system (and yes one can be connected to the grid but if you follow Brian’s link to the IPART issue it is clear that in the not too distant future it will be far better to be independent of the grid). Secondly if they are installed to give instant local hot water at the sink to avoid the water wastage due to the long piping run from the main hot water cylinder but the water still comes via the main hot water tank, then they save no energy at all, only water. It is a far better strategy to have all houses with solar water heating systems, as in China, and achieve the energy savings that way.

  12. John D

    Bilb: The problem with electric jugs is that people tend to have more water in the jug than what is actually needed for the cup of coffee – hence the waste. Perhaps we simply need to get used to tipping the required amount of water into an empty jug and emptying all of it into the cup when the boiling is finished.

  13. Tim Macknay

    There are some electric jugs on the market now that can be set to boil a specified number of cups. I can’t remember the brand details, but the ATA reported it in an issue of Renew a couple of years ago.

  14. Fran Barlow

    There are some electric jugs on the market now that can be set to boil a specified number of cups. I can’t remember the brand details, but the ATA reported it in an issue of Renew a couple of years ago.

    Your point is beyond demur, though in my experience, electric jugs are pretty efficient at producing enough hot water for two cups of tea. The last one I used was ready to go in just over a minute. Perhaps that was because I wasn’t adding much more than needed anyway.

  15. BilB

    The discussion was about in-line water heating, John D.

    Kettle boiling is impractical for most family size applications other than tea and coffee as the volumes required are greater. For our Western life style the dishwashing maching provides the greates efficiency as it heats the water at time of use and only the amount required for the task.

    I have lived for some years with the primary source of hot water being a kettle over a kerosene stove, and it does work for one person. But for a family, not practical. On the boat I eventually installed a 100 litre water heating system.

  16. quokka

    Well, I think it’s a travesty that electric kettles are not internet enabled. As long ago as 1990, I witnessed first hand at the Interop trade show/conference in San Jose, California, the famed SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) controlled toaster working in a multi-vendor environment. What have we been doing for all these years as atmospheric CO2 rises inexorably?

    I’m off to make a cup of coffee.

  17. Keithy

    So, when is Australia getting high speed rail?

  18. Chris

    BilB @ 15 – actually I think huggybunny was talking about the instant boil systems like you have here: http://www.billi.com.au/

    Not general hot water systems which don’t heat the water hot enough for tea/coffee anyway.

    The instant boil systems have a small reservoir of hot (and often cold water) and they are more efficient in office like situations than kettles. Because rather than a full kettle being boiled and reboiled every 10-20 mins, only a small amount of hot water is used each time and the systems are well insulated.

    The one they have in one office I worked in is also on a timer so it only operates while people are around. So they try to be energy efficient, but I rather doubt it is worth installing in most residential situations.

  19. BilB

    Why do I get annoyed at pedantic little tantrums?

    HB @7

    “5. Mandat the installation of instant boiler taps instead of electric jugs/kettles they only boil the exact amount of water you need.”

  20. BilB

    The top of the range Billi tap at $3400 delivers 20 litres per hour of hot water and draws 2400 watt. And that was my original point. The delivery rate of instant water heaters requires either 4800 watts or more time.

    Everything at the kitchen tap is a compromise one way or the other, so bite the bullet and install a solar water heater, and get full energy efficiency from day one.

  21. Chris

    BilB @ 20 – perhaps I’m missing your point, but what you use water from an instant boil system is quite different than what you’d use water from your instant hot water system or even solar hot water heater.

    The former is generally only used for very low volume uses such as making a cup of coffee or two at a time.

    If you have a solar hot water system you still need something to boil water for making coffee as most hot water system these days are limited to 55-65C. And lots of kettles out there will easily pull 2kW.

  22. BilB

    So to conclude, Chris, boiling a 1.5 litre variable content kettle for several minutes versus boiling a 10 litre fixed content ZIP type over sink water heater makes more sense for efficiency and practicality.

    An example of an “instantaneous” water heater, the InSinkErator, turns out to have a 3 litre holding tank which it keeps to temperature and tops up to boil the water on exit. Not so efficient in the manner imagined.

    And then there are the the high energy solutions such as


    which pull 7 to 13 Kw depending on the model. And if the power is out, you have no hot water at all once the small holding tank is flushed with cold.

    The good old kettle is not such a bad boy after all.

    The real energy efficiency is the one on the roof absorbing the sun’s heat. Or the ultimate is the old faithful chip heater, one of my fondest memories.

  23. Ootz

    No worries Brian, look forward to your post on the Wivenhoe findings. Meanwhile we should support you by contributing important information and developments.

    With no policy change, continued degradation and erosion of natural environmental capital could be expected, ”with the risk of irreversible changes that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards”. For openers, the cost of inaction on climate change could lead to a permanent loss of more than 14 per cent in average world consumption per person.

    We’re not yet at the point where the sources of official orthodoxy are ready to concede there are limits to economic growth. But this report comes mighty close.

    Ross Gittins, on the new OECD ENVIRONMENTAL OUTLOOK TO 2050: The Consequences of Inaction. Highlights (pdf)

  24. John D

    How efficient is a microwave at heating a cup of water?

  25. Ootz

    If these guys were around when Columbus set sail, they’d be charter members of the Flat Earth Society.

    A classic line, thank you President Obama.

    There is a reason for the stalling tho Why generators are terrified of solar

  26. Ootz

    Oh and remember me mentioning painting your roof white as an insulation in CC70. Well apparently this has been confirmed by researchers commissioned by the City of Melbourne. This morning on RN Breakfast, Cathy Oke,Chair of the Future Melbourne Eco City Committee, reported you can keep buildings up to 3 oC cooler and reduce their energy needs simply by painting the roof white.
    “It’s estimated that if every commercial building in the Melbourne CBD got out the paint brush, 1,500 tonnes of carbon emissions could be saved every year.”

    There is some fancy space age paint available but ordinary acrylic does work just as well. However, you have to check for and clean mould regularly, particularly up here in the tropics.

  27. jumpy


    However, you have to check for and clean mould regularly, particularly up here in the tropics.

    Apparently it’s not mould but moss that grows on roofs. Copper sulphate that is found in some algaecides you can get at a swimming pool shop is said to work. 5ml in a 10L bucket, spray it on and when it’s dry, broom the moss off ( as dust)
    I don’t know how environmentally friendly it is but it has to be better than some of the chlorine cocktails iv’e seen used by the gallon.

  28. Ootz

    Jumpy, perhaps off topic, though it highlights some of the complex issues climate change/energy efficiency can throw up.

    Dealing with exactly that issue, Copper Sulfate and its environmental impact vs chlorine vs mechanical (Gerni) when managing a large public amenity. Made my decisions on individual cases based on ‘chemical load’ and ‘down stream’ capacity to absorb. I have seen what a seemingly innocuous copper pipe can do to an aquatic system – respect.

  29. jumpy

    3D PV is an interesting thing.
    Here to here

    Time to get Erno Rubik involved.

  30. jumpy

    The IPCC’s Special Report on Extremes, released March 28, reads, “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized [property] losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.”

    Translation and interpretation please?