Archive for March 27th, 2010

ACT Government’s More Waste 2010

Remember the ACT Government’s “No Waste by 2010” strategy aimed at, as the name implies, ensuring that Canberra stops producing waste by this year? Well if ever you needed proof that the chances of reducing waste with this government were between Buckley’s and none, here it is.

This flyer arrived in my post box today:
More Waste 2010

The fact that it talks about waste collection isn’t the point (although it does show that we’re still producing waste)…the point is that it is advising me about a change to rubbish collection dates over Easter and reminds me that I should put my bins out on a different day.

The problem? I live in an apartment complex with communal bins. I don’t have to “put the bins out” as the big Rubbish Truck Monster comes in and roars at the communal bins every now and then. This flyer would have gone out to every suburb which has rubbish and/or recycling collected on Fridays. Reid and Braddon are both on this list and both have a large number of apartment complexes with communal bins, which means that in these two suburbs alone, many hundreds of these flyers have been printed and distributed unnecessarily at taxpayer’s expense…this is what we call government waste.

In fact, according to the ACT Government’s waste collection calendar, the following suburbs have their rubbish and/or recycling collected on Fridays and it would therefore be reasonable to assume, have received this flyer:
Acton
Ainslie
Barton
Braddon
Campbell
City
Deakin
Dickson
Downer
Duntroon
Forrest
Garran
Griffith
Hackett
Harman
Hughes
Isaacs
Kingston
Lyneham
Narrabundah
Oaks Estate
O’Connor
O’Malley
Phillip
Pialligo
Red Hill
Reid
Swinger Hill
Turner
Yarralumla
Watson

That’s 31 suburbs. If hundreds, maybe a thousand or so residences have received this notice in Braddon and Reid, imagine how many thousands of these flyers have been printed unnecessarily across those 31 suburbs. And as if that isn’t enough…these aren’t simple paper flyers; these are nice shiny glossy slightly heavy flyers. Waste by volume and waste per item.

No Waste by 2010? No Chief Turnip Stanhope, it’s More Waste by 2010, and it’s us that are paying for it.

Samuel

March 27th, 2010 at 06:35pm

Just leave the power on at 8:30 please

So Earth Hour is upon us again at 8:30 tonight. Thankfully though this year there is an organised call to leave the power running to celebrate Human Achievement Hour which, through no coincidence, is on at the same time as Earth Hour. Whilst technically Human Achievement Hour is just an extension of what I’ve been saying for years (as have others before me) and that is that at least some of us should turn lights on to help keep the power grid operating normally…just leaving your power on and going about your normal life and taking advantage of the human achievements which have contributed to our great standard of living is good enough.

Global warming arguments to one side (because we all know my stance on the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming), think about this from another angle…your wallet. Large sudden drops in the amount of energy consumption cause the voltage in the power grid to increase, and can cause damage to the power grid, and who do you think ends up paying to replace damaged equipment? Yes, that’s right, you, through higher electricity prices. In fact, thanks to Earth Hour, you’re already paying more as power companies have had to budget for extra staff time to prepare for the sudden drop in consumption, thereby ensuring that we don’t all end up in a permanent Earth Hour.

With lights set to go out again tonight from 8.30, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has taken precautions in recent days to ensure that Earth Hour does not prompt a breach of its operating standards.

The sudden drop in demand for electricity caused by Earth Hour can cause a spike in the frequency and voltage rates coursing through the electricity network, and there are strict operating limits for both that must be observed by AEMO.

Frequency rates relate to the speed at which power travels through the grid, and exactly five minutes before Earth Hour begins tonight, AEMO will start a 20-minute dispatch of extra frequency control services to prevent an unwelcome surge in frequency.

AEMO has also decided to operate transmission voltages at the lower end of the usual scale, in a bid to manage the rise in voltage that comes in tandem with the reduced demand for electricity.

Now, of course, Earth Hour sponsor Fairfax would never use the word “damage” but it doesn’t take a genius to work out that with all those good ole baseload power plants (coal, nuclear etc) producing a consistent stream of energy (something which “renewables” like wind and solar still can’t do), if the consumption decreases and the production stays the same (which it does as it takes time to adjust large power plants), then the excess has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is likely to be the sensitive equipment which distributes power, or on a smaller scale, the sensitive compressor in your fridge.

I personally support the idea of turning on everything I can find (see one of my previous efforts for an example) as, despite the number of people who believe in this anthropogenic global warming nonsense decreasing every day, some people do still believe, and they’re as zealous as ever. Those of us who are turning things on are helping to balance out the energy fluctuations caused by those who will turn everything off, and are therefore helping to protect the power grid.

That said, I applaud anybody who simply goes about their normal business during Human Achievement Hour, as you’re doing your part to keep the power grid safe as well.

Sadly this year I won’t be in a position to turn everything on as I will not be at home, but I will be increasing my energy usage anyway. I’m attending an event where a nice big generator will be providing power in a spot which is not on the power grid, and I will have to drive there and back, plus use extra power to record The Bill and then keep the lights on to watch it after I get home.

If I wasn’t going out, then as I said to Mike Jeffreys yesterday morning, I’d be quite happy to replace all of my compact fluorescent bulbs with the hungrier incandescent bulbs for the hour.

I am quite pleased to see though that this year, more people seem to be taking my stance. I’m pleasant surprised by the overwhelmingly positive feedback which I’ve received over this on Facebook. Normally my anti-Earth Hour message leads to me having to spend a day or two defending my position. So far, it looks like the need for me to defend my stance and educate the masses is smaller than in any previous year…people are getting the message that anthropogenic global warming is a crock.

Regardless of what your plans are tonight, I’m just going to echo the sentiments of the Conservative Leadership Foundation and say to you “Don’t be stuck in the dark with the communists. Turn your lights on!”

Human Achievement Hour Poster

Samuel

1 comment March 27th, 2010 at 01:15pm

Sun Hill Police Station to close later this year

Some very sad news has just crossed my desk. ITV have announced that they are cancelling long-running UK drama The Bill after 26 years on the air (27 if you count the original show Woodentop). The move is understandable seeing as the show is only bringing in half the ratings that it was in 2002, but is disappointing all the same.

The Bill was revamped last year and moved to a later timeslot in the UK, allowing the storylines to become more serious. Of late, I think this has worked really well in terms of production quality as the show seems to be getting better every week, however for the first month or two after the change it really was a pale imitation of The Bill and felt more like a CID-centric spinoff series as uniformed officers almost didn’t exist and certainly didn’t have any useful role. I believe that the new format would be rating well if the first few episodes hadn’t been such a let-down in comparison to the six-week storyline which led up to it.

I also think the show’s producers erred by replacing Inspector Gina Gold with Inspector Rachel Weston. With all due respect to actress Claire Goose who is a fine actress in her own right, her character had a cardboard personality in comparison to Roberta Taylor’s character, and detracted from the show. She made a good Sergeant, but Gold should have been replaced by Sgt. (now Inspector) Dale Smith straight away rather than in the revamp. Certainly these aren’t the only things which contributed to the ratings decline, but I feel that they were the important bits in recent history.

On the bright side, the show has about half a year left, so this should be plenty of time for the producers to write a decent ending. They’d better not take the Third Watch approach though and have the station burnt down (again) as it has survived fires more times than I care to count and it would not do the series justice. There is already talk of the series potentially moving to BBC, but I can’t see it happening as it would be very difficult to move a show to another station after such a length of time. I’ll be very surprised if Sun Hill Police Station doesn’t close in the final episode, especially given the timeslot giving the show much more freedom to go out with a bang.

My only hope from all of this is that it speeds up the release of the show on DVD. Currently only a very small number of early seasons have been released and it would be great to see the rest of them released. I’d also love to purchase one of their police cars but I’d imagine that I would have to remove the word “police” from the side of it in order to register it in Australia, which would defeat the purpose of owning it.

Anyway, the show will finish up in autumn in the UK, so we should see the final episodes here in summer. I’m not looking forward to the end, but I am looking forward to seeing how the show’s stories evolve between now and then.

Thanks to MediaSpy for the news

Samuel

March 27th, 2010 at 12:03am


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