A short newsletter giving practical advice on minimising your energy for heating and cooling focusing on low cost easily implemented ideas.
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Buying an air-conditioner
The Weather Makers-Book Review
To minimise Greenhouse Gas production ask yourselves the following questions:
Tim Flannery's book The Weather Makers (Text Publishing) http://www.theweathermakers.com/ is an excellent contribution to the debate on global warming. Tim Flannery's credentials are impeccable (Internationally recognised scientist, director of the South Australian Museum, chairman of the South Australian Premierís Science Council and the Sustainability Roundtable) and this is reflected in the quality of the book.
He starts with some easily understood background on how our atmosphere works, which readily leads into a discussion of previous changes in our climate and the associated species extinction. He then discusses the current climate changes and what that will probably mean. He uses (as I have previously done in this newsletter) the fact that governments and industry managed to address the ozone hole, to show that change is possible, it doesn't need to be anti-business and it gives us a model of how we need to approach the problem. Flannery gives a much more extensive critique of those who oppose action than I have been able to do in this newsletter. He concludes with recommendations for the actions we all need to take to achieve the 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required to stabilise the climate.
The book gives an even-handed treatment of many contentious issues, for example, can nuclear power save the day? It also addresses the fact that some areas will benefit from changes in the climate (but concludes that most of the world will be worse off). He raises the interesting thought that maybe lawsuits and insurance companies might combine to force behaviour change by business (in a similar manner to the effect they had on the tobacco industry).
The book is readable, but the facts and well reasoned conclusions on the need for action are supported by extensive references. I strongly recommend the book.
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Pergolas and other external shading devices are a well known way of minimising air conditioning energy use and increasing comfort. However the increasing trend to cover them with transparent or translucent sheeting in lieu of the more traditional vines or shadecloth is creating problems. Many designs used actually trap heat under the pergola. This:
This is particularly a problem with courtyards and other enclosed areas.
When designing a pergola follow these rules:
Information on shading coefficients for Laserlite products are available from their company website http://www.laserlite.com.au/Back to Contents
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