I went to see Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" mainly to see if I could pick up any new presentation tricks to make my talks better. Anyone that does a talk 800 or so times must have picked up a few neat things.
And I'm happy to say I've nabbed a couple of tricks from him, that I hope to try out soon.
I also realised, seeing it, that now I'm paying my own electricity bill it's about time I at least compensated for the carbon used powering my apartment and PCs.
I'm also going to have a stab at seeing if I can justify "neutralising" my flights as well. Along with getting an apartment where I have an underground station on the same block and so no need for a car, that at least takes care of my ongoing carbon budget (well, except for respiration, but I'm not sure how to calculate that).
Of course this doesn't take into account all the stuff I have to buy to fit out this apartment (fridge, washing machine, furniture) not to mention work equipment (laptops, desktops and so on). I do try to at least limit the things I own (I'm quite like the minimalist style, much less to clean) and the number of machines I run, although in the computing case that's as much because I am the World's Worst Sysadmin. Hardware and I haven't got on very well since University.
I ended up going through a third party (accredited) carbon credit trading group to buy my energy. The math of carbon trading gets a bit complex admittedly, but I've taken for an option where 25% are forced to be sourced from new Australian accredited Green Power wind and 75% sourced from New Zealand Gold Standard wind energy carbon credits (which are currently about half the price of domestic green energy credits here at the moment).
So after all the math is done, in effect I'm directly donating a reasonably small but appropriate amount of money each quarter (plus big chunks if I can afford to absorb the carbon cost for flights to the US or UK) to help build new wind power capacity in Australia and New Zealand, and I'm cool with that.
Personally I find the wind power generators quite pretty, in a sort of sci-fi or Total Annihilation way. They demonstrate the sort of engineering beauty you get from structures where the form perfectly follows their function.
I went with third-party carbon credits in the end because it was simply too hard to do it through the power company, primarily because they are so incredibly coy about what it will cost.
You can get your power costs (at least roughly) in cents per kilowatt hours, but the additional premium for green power is measure in "dollars per week for the average home".
How the hell am I supposed to make an informed judgement when I can't just make a simple comparison and see it costs 25% more, and go ahead on that basis.
It's no wonder that most of the people signing up for green power in this country are doing it at lowest (10% green power) level. I've gone with 100% from the third party group, but I'd sure as hell hesitate to take 100% option with my power company, because I have no idea how much extra changes I'm in for.
Beaurocracy and this sort of crazy math just plain suck.
But what about you (assuming that you can afford it of course).
I'm now at least doing my part to cover the basics, what about you guys?
(Let's ignore the stale "does warming exist" please. It legally exists here now, so I'm obliged to believe in it)