Thinking

Bellingen New Energy Festival

Matthew Parnell - Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Bellingen New Energy Festival will be on this year on Saturday 5th June, with the preceding North Coast Energy Forum on the Friday 4th June. This is one of the great sustainability fairs, and the setting in a country showground in Bellinger Valley is beautiful. 

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Foil insulation in flat ceilings - A reflective view

Matthew Parnell - Sunday, March 14, 2010

In all of this debacle that the installation of foil insulation to flat ceilings is inherently dodgy. Both as a result of the electrical dangers and also due to reduced insulation values. The insulation values of the top surface of the foil must be discounted due to dust build-up: in the old days we used to treat such surfaces as having zero reflectivity, thus zero insulation. Unfortunately, many of the houses with such insulation are  not only potentially dangerous, but are not delivering the insulation values claimed by the suppliers. The suppliers always count the full reflective value of their product, and do not account for the dust effect. This could reduce values by around R1 for summer conditions. Depending on what other insulation has been installed under roof cladding, foil insulation is clearly inadequate in any climate zone (see figures below). In all the media beat up about the insulation debacle, I have not seen any references to this point in any media discussion. Other criticisms are: 

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Comments on A Modern Moses with Beliefs Set in Stone

Matthew Parnell - Monday, February 22, 2010

My comments on David Burchell’s article in today’s Australian regarding Peter Garrett’s and the Labor Governement’s failure to properly design their sustainability schemes: 

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Topsoil loss in timber production: a thermal mass equivalent?

Matthew Parnell - Monday, January 04, 2010

One thing that is never touched on with wood production cycle is the loss of topsoil with every harvest cycle. I know it is considerable – having seen many examples of such loss. It would be interesting to know how many tonnes of topsoil are lost per tonne of finished wood product. 

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Liberal Party and their Clayton's position on Climate Change

Matthew Parnell - Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The following extract from Bernard Keane of Crikey.com is the best summary of the dilemma the Liberal Party is now in. If it wasn’t so pathetic and with such dire consequences for all of us, one would almost die laughing at the prospects of seeing how they twist and turn in the wind to try to come up with a solution to climate change when the climate denialists, flat-earthers and anti-science types are running the party. Do they think the Australian electorate is that dumb that we would buy such a stupid and clearly hypocritical position? 

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