Hot Topic hiatus

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting less frequently – I’m donning my truffle hat and heading off to a conference in China. I’ll be checking in from time to time, as internet connections allow, and will try to keep in touch with climate news in NZ and overseas. You may expect me to plant some trees on my return.
Meanwhile, a few interesting links: British dairy farmers are waking up to their carbon footprint – which suggests that our farmers will need to do more than rely on their “global warming hero

Friday fun

HomerThere’s a good analysis of the activities of our own little band of climate cranks, the NZ Climate “Science

Air travel carbon costs

A380The Economist uses the climate protest at London’s Heathrow airport as a peg upon which to hang an overview of the difficult carbon prospects for the international aviation industry. An emissions trading scheme is being drawn up under the wing of the UN, and the European Commission plans to make carbon trading compulsory for all EC carriers in 2011. The Economist is admirably straightforward in its judgement:

The introduction of carbon-trading is a welcome step by governments that are not yet willing to consider a carbon tax. The air-travel industry should have to stump up for the pollution it causes. And anyone priced out of a cheap holiday in Spain might like to consider a week-long camping break near Heathrow.

Good job they didn’t mention long haul holidays…

Electric cars or coal-to-diesel?

TeslaThe carbon neutral flagship of New Zealand’s power sector, Meridian Energy, has announced that it’s planning to start trials on electric cars next year [Stuff, Herald] . CEO Keith Turner also announced a new service specialising in helping to design and build energy efficient homes, and a new environmentally friendly Wellington headquarters. Discussing the car trial, Turner said:

“The prize in making the move to electric vehicles comes when you recharge them with renewable electricity. Meridian will be able to demonstrate renewable, zero-emission, certified carbon neutral mobility.

How green is my skyline?

WindturbineReaders with functioning short term memories may recall that my local lines company, Mainpower, through its Local Generation subsidiary is planning to build a wind farm on Mt Cass, looking down over the Waipara Valley. The site (or a large chunk of it) can be seen from the comfy chairs on my veranda, testing my commitment to low carbon energy and landscape aesthetics. To help me (and others) come to terms with what this means, Mainpower’s main wind energy people, Andrew Hurley and Todd Mead, have launched a blog covering the planning and development process. It promises to give an interesting insight into the way wind farms are developed, and already demonstrates a refreshing openness about the process. Andrew’s commented here on wind issues, and has been up to Limestone Hills to talk climate blogs and wind, so I wish them luck with their new venture. Not sure about the turbines on the skyline though… 😉