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Articles in the Science and Technology Category

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[1 Sep 2010 | 5 Comments | ]
The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook

I was interviewed on Monday by a researcher from the University of Wollongong about my experiences with installing solar hot water at our old house. They’re looking into why people choose solar, how they choose the system and supplier, what their experience has been, etc.

Sitting in on the interview was an interesting guy from CSIRO named Peter.

We got chatting about hot water and home energy usage, and I mentioned something from the book I’m reading at the moment – The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook. “Oh,” said Peter, “that’s my …

Science and Technology »

[30 Jun 2010 | 5 Comments | ]
Visualising The BP Oil Disaster

Thanks to the web site IfItWasMyHome.com, this map gives some perspective on the size of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico (click to see full-size image).

I’ve centered the spill around Kiama (NSW, Australia) to show its sheer size in relation to the Illawarra region.

You can see that if the spill area were here, it’d stretch south to around Ulladulla and Braidwood, way past Canberra almost to Tumut, and north to Cessnock and Newcastle. All of the Illawarra and Sydney areas would be well and truly covered.

That’s …

Electricity, Science and Technology »

[14 May 2010 | 18 Comments | ]
Residential Solar Power: Is The Income Taxable?

There has been a bit of a storm in a teacup lately in the Australian press, claiming that all those people who “bought into the hype” and installed solar panels on their homes will now have to pay tax on the income they receive for any electricity generated.

Of course it’s very easy for the media to scare people and stir up reactionary outrage, but then when the situation turns out to be a little different, the reporters move on to the next football scandal and never bother to clarify the …

Science and Technology »

[1 Apr 2010 | 4 Comments | ]
CSIRO State Of The Climate Report

I don’t normally talk much about climate change.

I don’t enjoy debating with people over whether the climate is really changing or not, or whether humans bear any responsibility for the change, or even whether the change will be a bad thing. It’s a polarising subject, and I don’t want to put people off my sustainability message just because they don’t share my views on anthropogenic climate change.

To me, the whole climate thing is just a side-effect of the way we’ve been pillaging this planet. The real issue is to get …