tip off

Sacrebleu! The French repeal female pants ban!

Strides towards equality. The equal rights for women campaign has reached a new level in France.

It may soon even be legal for females to wear pants in public! French Senator Maryvonne Blondin has introduced legislation to repeal a ban on pant wearing introduced in late 1799 by Paris’ police chief who stipulated than any woman wishing to “dress like a man” must seek special permission from police.

The original law was amended in 1892 and again in 1909 to allow women to wear pants “if the woman holds the hand of a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse.”

Cut emissions — forget wood, build with steel. Climate conscious home builders should be turning to steel as their material of choice according to an intriguing study published on the Climate Progress website. The study compared three different materials — steel, timber and concrete — and found that use of steel created less carbon emissions than the other two.

And get on to the cloud too. Getting into cloud computing can help cut CO2 emissions as well. Jon Koomey, Consulting Professor at Stanford and a leading expert on the energy impact of electronics and the internet, describes on his blog the considerable energy savings from companies using cloud services. The professor concludes that the economic benefits are so large that we’ll see a whole lot more cloud computing in coming years.

Renewable energy keeps growing. The growth in renewable energy sources continues apace thr0ughout the world and supplied an estimated 20% of global energy consumption in 2010. The latest report by the Renewable Energy Policy Network shows that by year’s end,  renewables comprised 25% of global power capacity from all sources. R

enewable energy accounted for approximately half of the estimated 194 gigawatts (GW) of new electric capacity added globally during the year.

As the Nimby debate continues in Australia, the growth in wind power generation continued elsewhere.

Farewell to a friend.

Dear Press Gallery Colleagues,

I’m very sad to inform you our much-loved colleague Rob Chalmers has died.

Rob was the Gallery’s longest serving member, having joined 60 years ago!

Rob, 82, died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon surrounded by his family, after a long battle with cancer. He will have a private funeral.

Rob was a great bloke who gave the nation six decades of insightful and independent political commentary and scrutiny.

He was an inspirational example to many Press Gallery members of old-style journalism. He remained passionate to the end about policies and ideas.

His death marks the end of an era. Rob came to the Press Gallery in 1951 to the provisional Parliament, just 24 years after it opened.

Rob began his association with Inside Canberra in 1957, including its short-lived venture into polling for the 1966 election when his colleague Don Whittington decided to branch out. Rob and Don declared Labor would win. It turned out to be Labor’s biggest ever defeat to that point and there was an announcement shortly after that Inside Canberra was getting out of the polling game.

Rob took over the business when Don died in the mid 70s – and grew the business by producing the jam-packed 4 page newsletter every week.

Rob was a one-man repository of knowledge about political journalism, politics, policy and their interaction.

Rob’s family wanted me to thank all Gallery members for their support and for the flowers and card that arrived an hour before he died.

The Press Gallery salutes Rob. We have been richer for his membership. We will miss him greatly.

Phillip Hudson
Press Gallery President

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    John Bennetts
    Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    It makes no sense to discuss wind and solar in terms of peak or nameplate rating of the installation. Depending on where in the world these plants are installed and how they are operated, the energy output of them averages about 20 to 25% of the nameplate.

    In particular, solar in Germany is virtually uneless in winter and at night, so the energy output of 8MW of PV in Germany is about the same as 1MW of coal fired or nuclear or other base load generators.

    Take another look at the graphs above and think of them in terms of energy output.

    The author might choose to put on rose tinted glasses and accept what is written in an article in a partisan journal. If it’s authoritative data that you want, rather than optimistic spin, I recommend a look at the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2011 (http://www.bp.com/sectionbodycopy.do?categoryId=7500&contentId=7068481) or perhaps the International Energy Agency’s site, http://www.iea.org/.

    Both have country by country breakdowns of electrical generation and other energy forms such as oil and gas, expressed so that fair comparisons can be made.

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