If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a series of new films narrated by Leonardo Di Caprio. We all saw him speak at the UN Climate Summit in September this year, as a UN Messenger of Peace, however Leo has been busy doing much more to change the hearts and minds of people everywhere. His own not-for-profit, the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation has been protecting Earth’s last wild places and implementing solutions that create a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world” since 1998. Continue reading Leonardo DiCaprio’s new movies stir up a storm
In the last week, Australian Ethical Investment (AEI) announced they have taken a 9% stake in the Atlantis Resources new tidal stream energy project, based out of Scotland. This is a world first ocean power project that will see the construction of our planet’s first multi-megawatt tidal stream project to create a clean energy source for domestic use in Scotland. The MeyGen project aims to supply power to 86,000 homes (once at full capacity), with the second phase potentially powering 16% (398,000 homes) of Scottish domestic demand by 2023. Continue reading Australian Ethical Investment buys stake in world first tidal stream energy project.
Last week, Sustaining People looked at 6 websites to inspire and innovate, so this week we thought we would turn our eye to green technology around the world that does the same thing, but also has the potential to sustain. Some of these inventions are operational, others are dreams that are slowly being realised. Some look as though they belong in a sci-fi movie. Take this first one for instance…
1. Altareos Energies
Altareos Energies is a really exciting wind power tech company that provides us with an alternative to current grounded wind turbines. Groups opposed to windfarms say they are an eyesore and affect birdlife, but the Altareos Buoyant Airborne Turbine (BAT) integrates ‘proven aerospace and wind turbine technology’ to create a floating power generator that can take advantage of the stronger and steadier winds that flow at altitudes over 300m (1000 feet). Continue reading 6 green innovations that make the world a better place
Whilst not the first casualty of Australia’s energy policy quagmire, the 100 jobs lost at Keppel Prince – a sustainable engineering company in Victoria – is perhaps the largest that Australia has seen so far. Due to the cost associated with scrapping the RET, Keppel Prince is no longer able to support its Wind Farm division, which has no incoming projects after November 2014. The Greens have labelled it “a tragic day for clean energy and for the workers involved”. Continue reading 100 new casualties of the RET
Two weeks ago, the Perth Diocese announced it would divest its fossil fuel investments, and last week its Canberra counterparts did the same. This week the Melbourne Diocese has followed suit, resolving to take “all reasonable steps” to divest its stake in corporations whose revenues from fossil fuel extraction or production exceed 20 per cent of their total revenue.
At their annual 800 person strong General Synod (akin to an AGM), Professor Kate Rigby, Chair of Monash University’s Environmental & Humanities Department spoke about the changes to the energy paradigm in the present day. “While coal might have been cheaper [than renewable energy], this is only because its environmental impacts have not been factored into costing and because coal and other fossil fuel industries receive massive government subsidies.”
According to Environment Victoria, the Australian Federal Government spends approximately $10 billion per year on handouts (subsidies, tax breaks, infrastructure and cash) to the larger fossil fuel polluters. Continue reading The real cost of fossil fuel subsidies
Four years ago, architect Michael Pawlyn recorded a TED Talk at the TEDSalon London 2010, where he spoke about the benefits of biomimicry and how it can be used to change the way society approaches sustainable design. Watch his presentation above, and you will be excited about the wonder and simplicity of natural systems that are guiding the way that our cutting edge developers and dreamers are creating a sustainable future.
The second half of his talk Using Nature’s Genius in Architecture, focused on the potential of the Sahara Forest Project (SF Project). Put simply, the project is ‘…a combination of environmental technologies to enable restorative growth, defined as revegetation and creation of green jobs through profitable production of food, freshwater, biofuels and electricity…’. Essentially this project aims to revegetate large areas of arid desert, whilst simultaneously using a closed loop system to create food, energy, freshwater and natural building products on the same land.
Four years on, the Sahara Forest Project has strong backing by many nations, and Qatar has hosted the pilot facility to asses and nurture the viability of the project since its completion in December 2012. In June of this year, Jordan signed an agreement to build a Test & Demonstration Centre, which will act as a hub for innovation and capability to showcase the economic viability of the project.
So what can we learn from this amazing experiment and its successes to date? Here are five lessons that will have a profound impact on the future of this project, and other projects that are in the pipeline around the world. Continue reading Lessons from the Sahara Forest Project
Since the repeal of the Carbon Tax and the debate around the Renewables Energy Target the future of Australia’s energy seems more and more uncertain every day. With this in mind, and given that it is friday, Sustaining People would like to lighten your load with some good old fashioned satire from our friends at The Shovel.
The Shovel has an alternative to our future energy problems and it’s hilarious. Read the article after the jump and enjoy the rest of your friday!
Last week Sustaining People attended the United Nations Association of Australia’s Conference on Securing Australia’s Energy Future. Facilitated by Kane Thornton of the Clean Energy Council, Continue reading Securing Australia’s Energy Future
The 2014 Commonwealth Games are well underway in Glasgow, and our green & gold army is at the top of the medal tally, with England not far behind. The real ‘Green-Medal’ winner of these games, however, is the city of Glasgow which has made headlines in the lead up to, and during the games because of its focus on sustainable outcomes. Continue reading Glasgow 2014: Green & Gold