Killing off domestic low cost energy mix – Queensland style

It was some surprise amongst friends that Angus Taylor (thought to be the rising star of the Liberal Party) said gas was the future of a low-cost energy mix. This seemed at odds with Tony Abbott’s (the Prime Minister’s) view that coal is the key. Some react to that story as an OMG moment. We take the story as one that is a design to disguise and deflect on what is actually happening and lead the consumer to a path to pay more. Some might even say it is a centrifuge of fluid appeal. The opening line story is from:

So there is no confusion as to what we believe: Lets us declare we are pro-market. What we question is whether pro-business rent-seekers are slewing benefits for the rent-seekers at the expense of the consumer. After reading the article immediately below, the story should unfold as to why the…

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Project Homeless awards ceremony

Awareness projects are not all about protest, or colours, or training. Highlighting is crucial to understanding and this story deserves it place – Project Homeless awards ceremony

A partner of Co2Land org, Ecoprofit Management (EPM) is also a major partner with Screen My Shorts Inc.  Screen My Shorts are the festival organizers of project Homeless. To quote EPM: “This filmmaking initiative was purposely designed as a global event for filmmakers to participate, contribute and raise awareness whilst giving them opportunities to develop their craft. Their creative works then become a community resource for education, entertainment and inspiration. The principle sponsor of the initiative is Parramatta City Council.

The Project’s awards ceremony was held at Riverside Theatre, Parramatta on Friday, 11 July. With entries coming in from all around the world vying for $11,000 cash prizes, the films were of a very high standard.

Many of the films shown were emotive and thought provoking.

‘Being homeless seems not a pleasant experience, however, it is the purest expression of sustainability. In 21st century, sustainability is not solely about the environment, it’s also about human lives. A harmonic environment where nature and human co-exist is a Utopian dream. For environmental sustainability, of course we can apply all the kinds of R-methods (reuse, recycle, reduce, etc.) in construction; while for the human sustainability, we have to come up with solution which tackle both the physical and psychological needs so that they can live long in a healthy way.’ Reference:

The take away message for EPM is clear: people don’t choose to be homeless!

To view all the short film finalists, visit “.

Co2Land org would like to add – people do not choose to victims, it is the feeling of being helpless that makes us victims.

Fantasy and Budgets – a dream time.

Don’t pick that mushroom! Why – then it came back, Alice in wonderland grew a mile high after eating one. She was then subject to rule 42 which says that anyone taller than a mile must leave the court immediately. Just thinking out loud as I remembered our treasurer is a self-professed Lewis Carroll fan. So is the budget buildup all a big joke? Before we go on, rule 42 is a joke – said to actually mean the average number of lines on a page of a paperback book. Can we speculate what is contained in the budget is written down as 42 lines on a page?

Is this an allusion, a trip into the fantastic, extraordinary and, completely obvious. An amazing revelation and remarkable. WOW, it explains so much beyond the books. It even debunks the notion that a computer could provide an answer to the meaning of life. Do we have a Brian in parliament? Its ok it won’t hurt a bit! The pain is to be brought down on budget night.

Ok, Joe does not like science. But, he might still hope that science will come up with answers to the big questions. After all when looking for meaning, science has answered the most questions so far. However, it hasn’t provided answers to the most fundamental questions like why we are here, what is the carbon tax for. But just because it hasn’t yet, doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t when we own it. Having said that, it is possible that questions of meaning is simply of a different sort to question of what matters. We know the physical world is where science is proven so powerful. That being so, it is easy to understand why we are saying something rather than nothing, because just as with mathematics it might make no more sense asking if an equation is happy or if union people in a movement are friends, it can be satisfying just asking the question.

Now we get serious – do you know the mind of god. Is it possible? Let us pre-empt a possible answer: Though we haven’t run up against a class of questions that we couldn’t answer yet, it is a fiendishly difficult area, we have yet to exhaust all possible answers. Why all these questions are this some sort of deep thought madness?

When you have no answer, no meaning, no sense being made of the political universe, and you think you would not be any worse off if you had no government – That’s it the answer, install robots and computers for the job! But who would understand the need for life? Who would accept that life is a gift

To put it another way, life is a gift. It is good. It flourishes in experiences like love. But, such philosophy can no more provide meaning than science can. Why, because life’s giftedness, its goodness and its loveliness are essentially spiritual qualities. They can be assessed by rational enquiry. But they cannot be accessed by the cool calculations of reason. They must be experienced. I know now why Joe said we must experience pain! How else could we see a world in a grain of sand, and capture something of the world needed to be transformed through the beauty and meaning of his ideals.

Oh yeah, OK it was all a bad dream, I though I better write it down before I forgot it. Then someone really scared me and said the answer is rule 13! I must have dozed off again. Oh my god, he does talk like that! Bolt upright and awake now it is so real.

Sun, Wind and Fire – renewable positioning in a policy trilemma

Sun, wind and Fire is not a story of the Gods – except you could draw a conclusion there is a battle for policy supremacy as a renewable energy source. There is a very rapid growth in renewable energy deployment in recent times, driven by rapidly increasing costs of fossil fuel stocks, and the movement to a low carbon energy system and improvements in the renewable technologies and materials. Are there problems? Yes, the elephants in the room are obvious but largely ignored. Some examples: Solar requires rare earth materials for the products, as does voltage batteries storage systems, and wind needs magnets produced in such a way that land contamination is a major drawback. Ironically, fire can be a battery of capacity and availability and utilise only common earth materials and most importantly make use of waste – and there is more – even revert waste to original elements and products.  Of course the bigger elephant for Solar and Wind is when it comes time for decommissioning. Why is this so, the analogy could be asbestos and who is paying for the removal programs – you.   Few if any governments want that issue known as it would require a future funds program as an assurance when only the positives of the now conditions are ‘sold’ as policy.

If you did not know, renewable energy technologies differ greatly from one another, and a range of issues has arisen that are common to most. This could be taken back to the problem that these tend to be dealt with on a renewable energy industry level forum basis rather than accepting that the problems are technology by technology issues in their battles for policy gods acceptance. Rarely, do you see the fora of the renewable industry admitting to issues to include large deployment growth rates, intermittency with respect to electricity production requirements, distributed rather than centralised deployment and scheduling of loads, the relatively immature supply chains & support networks, the quality issues of the production points, the land use changes for the provision and production of the materials needed, and the need to update regulatory frameworks & institutional inertia outside of our current frameworks.

On that later point, A report prepared for the Consumer Action Law Centre by Allan Asher, Foundation for Effective Markets & Governance November 2012 on , reads as: “The title of the report—”A policy trilemma: creating an affordable, secure and sustainable energy market”. “Identifies the central challenge facing the energy market—the need for it to deliver affordable, secure and sustainable energy services. The report draws on international developments, particularly from Europe and the United Kingdom, where there has been acknowledgment that, in energy markets, the goals of efficiency and competition have not necessarily ‘trickled down’ to satisfy the needs of consumers in these three key areas. Throughout, the report makes a number of recommendations to inform a policy and regulatory framework that has a more rigorous focus on the interests of consumers. Following publication of this report, Consumer Action will engage politicians, policy makers, regulators, and representatives of industry and consumers on reform measures that will best serve the long-term interests of consumers”.

Co2Land org notes that the messages of the ‘trilemma’ is the view of innovation needs to be incorporated into the ‘system’ where technical and commercial innovation encouragement through: Incentives, responsibility passed on to third parties for their delivery, and building on low carbon funding models. The point is also made that a capacity mechanism or system be incorporated for incentives through both generation and demand management as one of the key elements of the energy market reform (EMR) package.

Fire, has extraordinary abilities to be all that is needed, and as it only requires either common materials or waste to be reformed and it has the capacity to act as a bridging technology it is increasingly likely policy will need to take stock of the realities of the ‘sustainable’ attributes. In terms of the energy market fire products can be assembled as a “package” that compliments a range of utilities and could be deemed part of strategic infrastructure. With advances in ‘smart grid’ systems this is more likely as before the requirement of a high level of automation and remote management on the system was a detractor. Now it is a positive.

This idea is particularly attractive for biomass plants, as the advances and the idea would be to differentiate biomass plants from normal generators and that they can be regarded as “load following batteries” as integral parts of the grid infrastructure, rather than a separate input to it.

Why not call your local member of parliament or future hopeful to discuss innovative restructuring. Think of the idea of how a fixed return on biomass power plants is a true renewable and how other network upgrades can be addressed to accentuate ‘sustainable’, and the capacity requirements of balancing the system infrastructure.

No idle boast – helicopter parents not required

We was good and brung up PROPER – according to me mum.

It is time to congratulate ALL WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s

They survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank Sherry while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos…

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, bread and dripping, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, they painted our baby cots with brightly coloured lead-based coatings. Even our toys were hazards.

We survived even though there was no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our pushbikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. If we were really privileged we would paddock bash in an old car – because someone had a dad that didn’t need the car anymore – they might even give you the petrol to put in it!

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags, and some cars had dicky seats – the boot opened to give an extra seat. Even the back of a ute was OK – but you had to be sensible and sit down around town.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a PET bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips (not that cotton oil stuff either), no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and by midday Saturday, and didn’t open on a Sunday, somehow we didn’t starve to death!

Sunday was special – the pub was family day – dad had to buy a meal for us to get a beer.

Going to the corner shop was a treat – they knew your name!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, even without a straw, from one bottle and NO ONE we know actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy lollies or whatever like Bubble Gum.

We ate teacakes with icing on top, cupcakes with hundreds and thousands on top, white bread and real butter cut real thick, milk from the cow that left a white mark on your top lip from the thick cream, even milkshakes used sour milk with extra ladles of sirup because it tasted better, and we drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because…….WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No though no one was able to reach us all day. And we were OK and loving it.

We would spend hours building our billy carts (go carts) out of old prams and then ride down the hill without brakes.  And, what about the brakes you might say, why did you need them you would say, building them wastes time, time you can have to have fun.  Just yell and everyone get out of your way!

We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.  We were allowed to cry if we lost one – so long as we had a good reason.

We did not have PlayStations, Nintendo Wii, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY channel, no video/DVD films, or colour smart TV, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no iPads, no Internet or Internet chat rooms………WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We even knew what the weather was like outside – by feeling it.

We fell out of trees, got cuts, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents – it was learning to go with the flow.

Only girls had pierced ears! But being cool was fine – like leaving your buttons undone on your shirt.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. Good old Castor oil was yucky but did the job so mum said. Dad might argue a swig of home brew will fix that problem.  And grandpa would give you some grappa for the same reason. It worked all of it – I don’t have worms!

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time….and you knew what it meant.

We were given air guns and slingshots (catapults) for our 10th birthdays, for pest control of course.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them for them to come out.

Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet because we didn’t need to keep up with the Jones’s! Even though they lived in the street – we had our pride.

Not everyone made the rugby/football/cricket/netball team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on MERIT

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and sand shoes (gym shoes) and throw the blackboard rubber at us, if they thought we weren’t concentrating … even six of the best could be seen as a correction effort to help you on your way to be a better citizen.

We can string sentences together and spell and have proper conversations because of a good, solid three R’s education.

Our parents would tell us to ask a stranger to help us cross the road.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of – They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’ – not even ‘Tiger’ was used?

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

The local copper would clip us across the ears if we needed to learn respect, if we learnt from that we were going to be alright, if not – then we became problems and most probably ended up in the armed forces and welcomed back as hero’s.

When we grew up to thirteen , we were responsible – we made sure nobody else would get hurt if we were stupid – unless we was off our face – then some other responsible person would make sure your parents knew to kick your butt cause you we stupid – so you did not become a criminal while growing up.  But once you reached nineteen you better know you should know better.

Yeah, we were the lucky ones, a time when you had the luck to grow up as kids, before the bevy of lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

So now the question is: Should you be congratulated because of how brave your parents were? Would it be allowed today? Is that the real problem with kids today?

Why are we now so afraid to live our own lives, without being watched over all the time? Beware even reading this story is profiling you!

OTE – it means in sales and marketing jobs

What does OTE mean; in employment it usually means you will be paid a minimum hourly rate until you exceed a performance criteria.  Example: Salary $50k OTE $36k.  So if you are an entry level sales employee offered this arrangement – what questions and extra knowledge do you need when facing this situation?

First problem: Why is it so hard to get the information? Because most are enthusiastic and find an opportunity appealing – detail comes later.

Second problem: Am I being scammed or shamed or will I appear dumb to ask? Again it is hard to get the information, so you will satisfice that the details will come later.

Third problem: OTE $36k means minimum hourly rate being paid. In Australia that is what it is, and no obligation to pay you more without skills loading.

Fourth problem: The performance criteria need to be set at the time of interview, and you need to understand it. So ask – If I reach the target of 100% do I then get to $50k from that time on, or is my annual salary and components (super contributions etc.) adjusted including back pay? You then make the choice whether you are scammed, shamed or fair go given.

Fifth problem: The hurdle in the performance criteria. Ask the question – if I reach my 100% target this period, will the target be stepped up and to what extent will hurdles be put in my way? Expect to hear things like 120% next time and you keep you salary at $50k, fail and we may let you go.

Sixth problem: Are you strong enough? To survive in this type of arrangement you need to be strong in your resolve and never be happy with the level you are at in terms of potential, and your energy levels need to be high. Or you will be let go!

Why might you be confused, Consider some recent forum discussion:


The more common usage I have found relates to sales. OTE – On Target Earnings – The amount of your package including base and commission structure assuming you reach 100% of your objectives, that is the ‘at risk’ salary as part of a commission or other incentive programme.

Sometimes OTE is confused with – Ordinary Time Earnings – The amount you would be likely to earn in your total package prior to shift loading or overtime. Such as in a regular job like manufacturing, or clerical.

Yep, pretty much – $500 a week before tax. 

Most sales jobs have a structure where you could improve that by outperforming – 120% of objective results in double the commission payment.

OMG that’s low. 

I can’t seem to find a stable full time job (due to the fact that I am junior and don’t have much experience). I can’t afford to only do contract jobs which only last a few months and then I can’t find work for another 2 months or so. 
So I thought I would move into sales and marketing for now. Thats soo low compared to what I was getting.

If its a sales / marketing job, then OTE = on target earnings. That is the amount you can expect to earn if you are good at your job and can achieve anticipated sales objectives. 

If you are not good at your job and cannot meet sales targets, you wont make money and you will likely be let go.

e.g. an ad that says 120k+ OTE means that based on in place sales metrics, you will be able to make 120k per year gross if you can meet sales targets. Of this, 40k or so might be retainer, with the rest commission. If you aren’t a good sales person, don’t apply for a job with OTE.


Over to you – your choice!

SMART the Sustainable difference – Built environment.

Should we redefine ‘sustainability’ and can it still have substance in its objectives? The answer could be in redefining sustainability as ‘Smart buildings’. The redefine would be sustainability as a synonymic with smaller environmental footprints, and more importantly, tools to monitor and verify the impact of technology implementation in economic terms. In this way actions could translate actions into economic benefits. The cost benefit test that is linked to sustainability in this way would tick most boxes (output become outcomes – in the policy context) and these dollars makes the sustainability message all the way to the top line enterprise decision makers.

In a post published to IDC Energy Insights’ Smart Building Strategies Program.  It was said: “This new level of transparency and measurability will reshape the future of sustainability and generate radical efficiency.” More information about this program and report can be found here:

In a similar discussion at a meeting with Cogent in Sydney during December 2012, it was said:

We have the NABERS program (NABERS is an Australian national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. Put simply, NABERS measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment),

America has LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and is a voluntary, consensus-based, market­-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings), and

We both have a comprehensive Energy Star (The Energy Star program was developed by John S. Hoffman, inventor of the Green Programs at EPA, working closely with the IT industry, and implemented by Cathy Zoi and Brian Johnson.[5] The program was intended to be part of a series of voluntary programs, such as Green Lights and the Methane Programs, that would demonstrate the potential for profit in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gases by power plants.[5] Initiated as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy efficient products).

While much of this discussion was on water and energy efficiency and the application of embedded generation the dilemma of future fuel sourcing which includes the policies that affect the price is that prices will rise and it will be as much the fault of intervention as the demand curve.  What was agreed was that the next generation of ‘smart’ requires changes in rules and applications to be value for owners and operators. It is also in context the means to mitigate litigious actions.

Then on 27 December 2012, we heard of the resignation of:

The Obama administration’s chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global…

Prior to the 27 December 2012 announcement the IDC EI report said “media attention has fueled heated debate around the inferior energy performance of some certified LEED buildings.  While USGBC and its LEED certification program have been very successful in bringing efficiency and sustainability front and center in corporate consciousness, these programs do not prescribe actions to ensure ongoing efficiency.  The next step is determining what will best promote ongoing efficiency and superior building performance.

VERGE at Greenbuild, the two day launch of this year’s USGBC annual conference, tackled the continuous improvement challenge head on.  The big takeaway is that the adoption of new data-driven technology can deliver ongoing efficiency and sustainability with unprecedented success.  Data, however, is only as transformative as the tools that make it actionable. If data is to define the future of sustainability, then the future of information technology will define how facilities become radically efficient — true smart buildings.  IDC’s four pillars of the future of IT are the answer to call for radical efficiency.  Social business, big data analytics, cloud computing and mobility will be the IT enablers for the new future of sustainability”.

Co2Land org encapsulates in brief these findings:

1. Social business can accelerate the transformation of facilities into smart buildings.  Improving practices, tactics and strategies.  “These platforms are also venues to showcase the benefits of technology implementation and successes”.

2. Big data analytics. Integrate new generation technologies and system architectures as reliable valuable grid resources. Thereby, the design will extract value from very large volumes of a wide variety of data.  These tools focus on automated demand response programs.

3. Cloud computing will be an important enabler of scaling smart buildings through the cost effective and flexible delivery of essential analytics and data management tools.

4.  Mobility will ensure facilities managers adopt and use smart building solutions.

Co2Land org see the defining of sustainable this way carries the promise as ‘Smart buildings’ generate business value for owners, occupants, and utilities through next-generation IT architecture utilizing social business, cloud computing, big data analytics, and mobility.  Our other reference included SMART the two way difference!( Posted on November 25, 2012 by co2land  ).

We should also expect 2013 to be a year of great change and challenges with or without GFC II.

Simplicity, Obviousness and Human Factors with Windows

Why take the chance of alienating the faithful? It is possible that Microsoft must take a chance, to reach the new wave of technophiles. After being the masters of obviousness since 1987 “Microsoft Corp.’s net income fell 22 percent in the latest quarter as it deferred revenue from the sale of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system to PC makers”. It also comes at a time PC sales in general took a dive. You could argue taking the chance is about the need to improve the bottom line and the magic metric is the ability to scale beyond its own organisation as we know it. Windows 8 is aimed to be the magic system that will perform better for the company in the long term.

However as well redesigned this system is and planned as truly elegant, indicators are they could be affected by black swan events (improbable happenings – left field whams – disasters). Critics are saying in the quest for simplicity, they sacrificed obviousness for the joy of technophiles. But, alas thus rejoice may be the ultimate human factors conundrum: The relationships among windows users and the machines and processes they operate – lost.

To put this in perspective on June 19, 2012 co2land posted “Culture of sustainability in a cloud” and the story focused on Apple’s ability to use a robust metric to reduce risk and having a communication platform that can be maintained throughout any event. More recently, it is suggested Microsoft is trying too hard to show they can trump the software market with their own niche and make it with Windows 8, make it with simplicity. Interface and form simplicity with the operating system platform that is portable from PC to Tablet to Smart Phone.

So why is it even before the release date, reported to be 26 October 2012, that so many are critical of how they put at risk the most important following of the brand: The obvious relationship loyal users have between the machines and processes they make? They may have underestimated human factors!

A group called REALInnovation network (a voice of the network is, says human factors is an entire arena that has become a major area of focus. As time goes on, we change and our expectation is the changes around us will make it easier to interact with machinery and how we see and interpret information. It is taken for granted that it is the ergonomic and practical need we have to aspire. There is a classical contradiction with this as we have all experienced that providing a new one size fits all is simple and appealing, and yet at the same time we must forgo access to our obvious need to be comfortable with what we currently know and use.

In the context of this discussion, you will know many professionals, stay at home people, students, and tradespeople that are comfortable with the PC and are happy with the tradition of the software – once you know the fundamentals you go from generation to generation as steps to a better place.

In Microsoft’s defence they need the innovation, and shifting to simplicity is improving practices. However, improved practices include a balance of simplicity and obviousness. In this new release they may be pushing the paradigm to simplicity in a way that will leave the traditional Windows PC user alienated and lost!

So when we use our ‘tools to communicate’ is it simplicity we crave or obviousness? “Take this example blogger Chris Pirillo posted a YouTube video of his father using a preview version of Windows 8 for the first time. As the elder Pirillo tours the operating system with no help from his son, he blunders into the old “Desktop” environment and can’t figure out how to get back to the Start tiles. (Hint: Move the mouse cursor into the top right corner of the screen, then swipe down to the “Start” button that appears, and click it. On a touch screen, swipe a finger in from the right edge of the screen to reveal the Start button.) The four-minute video has been viewed more than 1.1 million times since it was posted in March”. “There are many things that are hidden,” said Raluca Budiu, a user experience specialist with Nielsen Norman Group. “Once users discover them, they have to remember where they are. People will have to work hard and use this system on a regular basis.” In defence of obviousness “Michael Mace, the CEO of Silicon Valley software start-up Cera Technology and a former Apple employee, has used every version of Windows since version 2.0. Each one, he said, built upon the previous one. Users didn’t need to toss out their old ways of doing things when new software came along. Windows 8 ditches that tradition of continuity, he said. “Most Windows users don’t view their PCs as being broken to begin with. If you tell them ‘Oh, here’s a new version of Windows, and you have to relearn everything to use it,’ how many normal users are going to want to do that?” he asked. “I am very worried that Microsoft may be about to shoot itself in the foot spectacularly. Windows 8 is so different, he said, that many Windows users who aren’t technophiles will feel lost”. “It was very difficult to get used to,” he said. “I have an 8-year-old and a 10-year-old, and they never got used to it. They decided, and: ‘We’re just going to use Mom’s computer.” – the old one.

CO2Land org extends to Microsoft the wishes that they have made the right decision to change. However, the cold turkey approach appears odd in that they do not plan to cushion the impact of such a radical introduction, and it is further posted that computer companies have no choice but to make Windows 8 standard on practically all PCs that are sold to consumers. If we take this literally, after 26 Oct you have no choice you will go for simplicity (Windows 8).

Co2Land org source for quotes comes from “Early look at Windows 8 baffles consumers”


— Oct. 19

making by makers and encouraged by maker spacers.

On the USS Enterprise: “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot” and a cuppa would magically appear, via the Replicator. Here now, the Replicator exists – limited but here, 3D printers, laser cutters, and digitally controlled milling machines are here and priced for consumption. The Replicator, marketed by MakerBot Industries, costs $US1, 750, “fits on a desktop, and prints designs, made by the user or downloaded from the Web, using a nozzle similar to the one in an inkjet printer, spewing successive layers of molten plastic onto a moving platform. As each new layer of plastic is laid, a plastic mug begins to rise. Depending on its size, it might take 45 minutes to complete”.

With some imagination you can conjure whatever, and print instant prototypes to manufacturers who want to customize small batches of products. The operative here is making by makers and encouraged by maker spacers.  This concept encourages community workshops, where tools and expertise is shared. According to Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired, knights “these makers as future industrialists will drive a new age of manufacturing”.

It is just another story of innovation, how change is made by the courageous that dare. Imagine if the Web was too difficult, how the world would not be aware of the what is changed in the world – possibly before it was too late to realise the damage done, why the information really could be distributed, and sped up in time for us to make a difference. Think how the diffusion of information created business opportunities along the way, how we become flexible enough to change.

CO2Land org considers how these changes lead to desktop production and design as a means of change in manufacturing. It will move from the process of capital rising to a flexible one based on creativity. Anderson’s estimation is the change will be orders of magnitude with direct effects on the economy. In developed economies the Web is significant but currently a lower economic driver than making, moving and selling consumer goods. Anderson accounts in the US less than 20 percent of U.S. gross domestic product is currently originated via the web. That will change, at first seemingly in an amateur way, and Anderson again writes, “It’s exactly what happened with the Web, which was colonized first by technology and media companies, who used it to do better than what they already did. Then software and hardware advances made the Web easier to use for regular folks (it was ‘democratized’), and they charged in with their own ideas, expertise, and energy. Today the vast majority of the Web is built by amateurs, semipro, and people who don’t work for big technology and media companies.”

CO2Land org postulates it is about individuals, with ideas that grow and evolve by those that dare to dream and develop the dream. As we evolve we develop tools and be a revolution in different ways, as an inventor as an engineer, as a designer. Why quote Anderson? In 2007 he started a company called DIY Drones, which sells open source mini helicopters and airplanes with programmable autopilot. Most of the design work comes from an online community, which serves both as customer and engineer. The company broke $3 million in revenue last year, and the CEO of DIY Drones never graduated from college but didn’t need to, today there is no need for a résumé, you just have to prove you are capable of extraordinary things.

So what is the reality, unfortunately producability will not allow makers to be largely more important to the economy, this is not disagreeing that makers will increase the impacts of their presence it simple means local production will not meet the demand, it will however produce it’s cool stuff and going to change things. The issue will be inspiration fatigue, and robots don’t get bored with the grunt work of assembling. So we must accept Replicators development will be inspiring, but production will be uplifting with good ole process machines.

This evaluation is a critique of Chris Anderson in Makers: The New Industrial Revolution.

Apples in the tree of greenhouse – GreenPower

Carbon Management 101 – GreenPower must be additional to LREC[1], LREC generate RECs, 1 REC = 1MWh Qt*EF, 1 Carbon Offset = 1t CO2-e. Therefore GreenPower payments help meet project costs and do not count as a carbon offset, nor is it a REC, it is a project additionality – it would not have happened had it not been for the desire of the buyers to reduce emissions from the need to generate energy for their needs. Simple isn’t it?

Then, along comes a matter of days into the ACT Elections cycle, the Green MLA saying:  “There are significant issues with GreenPower’s operation and management, which are placing unfair price pressures on GreenPower customers,” Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury said yesterday. Read more:

Possibly it might have been wiser for them to say there is a need to rethink ‘what’ is marketed for political purposes. If we start with the word ‘Carbon’ you will notice governments – including the greens, get hung up on ‘additionality’, and there are two definable types that need to be understood. That is project additionality, and environmental additionality, as mention earlier project additionality is ‘had it not been for …it would not have happened’. Environmental additionality is what is written into carbon legislation. You would notice from the article the ACT Greens selectively leave this point out when they criticized as ”misleading” marketing of GreenPower electricity schemes. It would be far more correct and honest to say there is a need to call on parliament to address the legislation and the issues of GreenPower as project additionality. We also notice the ACT Greens are now freely calling the Carbon Price a ‘tax’.

So who is at fault that many GreenPower customers have been angered by not being exempted from power bill increases linked to carbon pricing? Is it the Greens for being silent until days before an ACT Election? Is the problem that GreenPower customers are wising up that a 49% shareholder (ACT Government) of the dominate energy provider is benefiting from GreenPower customers willing to pay higher power bills in exchange for their provider purchasing the equivalent amount of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar farms projects. In other words willing to invest in project additionality for MWh displacement.

CO2Land org therefore must conclude: It is correct that GreenPower customers should be spared higher costs linked to carbon. Carbon is the issue here; it does not fit to use that term, as they are two different spheres.

It makes no sense to levy a carbon price to an emission reduction tool and is the same argument that successfully separates LREC’s from being claimed as a carbon offset for an carbon liability, and to expect them to be lumped together is nonsense and misleading. What would better serve the customers of GreenPower is for adequate notice of what you are buying to be clear in labeling of the benefit assessed in terms of a difference of emission factor reduction by region. Why do we need a Climate Change Authority to do what is obvious – call it for what it is: An emission reduction scheme that customers volunteer to participate in – a means of counting the apples in the tree of the greenhouse!

[1] Renewable energy certificates known as Large-Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LRECs) are created to conform to Schedule 2 Part 1 Section 4 of the Act. Wood waste is excluded from being a LREC.