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If you're interested in environment issues, you may like to know that I have updated the Environment & Technology section of my web site.

The updated parts include The "Negawatt Revolution", Hybrid and plug-in electric cars, Recycling, and Environmental documentaries, movies and videos.

Although the section is quite large, you will hopefully find that it is easy to navigate. I have tried to make it rich in high quality links (many of which have also been updated), so that what you see on the pages are just the tips of many interesting icebergs, so to speak.

If you visit it and really like it, then please share it anywhere you think it would help the environment - thank you!

I am sure that the section could be further improved. Any suggestions would be really welcome.



(Original post: September 1st, 2010)

I have updated my Environment & Technology web page again, with new sections on microgeneration, recycling and green jobs, as well as a few other things.

Visitors to the page will discover that it is more about solutions and good things happening than about problems (although it doesn't ignore the problems). If you are interested in investing in green technology and other green developments, which is a smart thing to be doing right now, you will find a lot of ideas to follow up.

Although the page is quite large, you will hopefully find that it is easy to navigate. I have tried to make the page rich in high quality links, so that what you see on the page are just the tips of many interesting icebergs, so to speak.

If you visit it and really like the page, then please share it anywhere you think it would help the environment - thank you!

I am sure that the page could be further improved. Any suggestions would be really welcome.




It baffles some environmentalists that many people (by no means all of them living in the U.S.A.) feel no connection between their use of electric appliances and the size of their electricity bills (and still less any connection to their effect on the world around us).

It's not really surprising. If I ruled the world (happily for both me and you, this is not the case) then I would decree that every everyone should ride one of those generator bikes connected to a 100W light bulb for about 10 minutes, generating enough electricity to keep the bulb well lit. If you have done this yourself, or pedalled on one of those fancy exercise bikes that monitor the power you are generating, you will know that generating 100W isn't particularly difficult, but you will certainly feel the work involved after 10 minutes - and that's the important thing.

Now imagine hooking up 7 of those bulbs, and trying again (this time to generate 700W). You would actually be trying to generate nearly 1 horsepower, which (unless you were a horse) you would probably find somewhat difficult!

100W is a good number to have in mind, since you can feel it with your leg muscles. You can roast a chicken in a couple of hours with a 100W light bulb if you place the light bulb and the chicken in a well-insulated box. Since you probably don't want to roast a chicken with a light bulb, you can replace it with a 20W low-energy bulb that doesn't waste 80W on heat (and your electricity bills). There are still an awful lot of old-fashioned light bulbs burning on this planet...


The Open University and the BBC's Bang Goes The Theory took this idea of connecting people to the power of their appliances a lot further. They built a "Human Power Station" that had enough generator bikes (over 80) to power a typical house. They hooked it up to a purpose-built studio house, installed a normal family in the house, and told the family to carry out their normal daily routines. The family knew this was an experiment, but had no idea what the experiment actually was.

The film "The Human Power Station" shows the result, as the family used various appliances throughout the day. The whole film is no longer available on-line, but if you click the above image you can still see the clip of what happened when the father used the 8 KW electric power shower (equivalent to 80 100W light bulbs).

(My apologies on behalf of the idiot who mis-titled the video clip "The Human Power Shower", instead of "The Human Power Station")

The film was effective and entertaining, even if you didn't need to watch the whole hour to get the idea.

Since watching it I do things like switching off our super-fast (3,000W) kettle as soon as it boils, without waiting another 20 seconds or so for the automatic cut-out. This is because I have a mental image of 3,000W being equivalent to 150 low-energy light bulbs, which would illuminate a good part of the large apartment block in which we live.

Food for thought, anyway...

If you like this...

[How much electricity does my stuff use?]

From my web site:

[The Negawatt Revolution]
[The Smart Grid]