The Voyage: Roz Savage
Blair and Schwarzenegger: Fiddling While Rome Burns?
15 Aug 2006, San Francisco, California

Am I the only one having difficulty imagining this combination of characters having a chinwag round a table? In July Tony Blair made his first visit to San Francisco as prime minister. Richard Branson and others joined him and Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger for a meeting on global warming.

Apparently "They agreed to collaborate on research into cleaner-burning fuels and technologies, and look into the possibility of setting up a system whereby polluters could buy and sell the right to emit greenhouse gases. The idea is to use market forces and market incentives to curb pollution."

I haven't read such a weaselly 'statement' of weak intentions since I read Starbucks' commitment to fair trade coffee.

I believe that Blair, Schwarzenegger et al absolutely meant it when they said it, and that their intentions are good. But the road to a global-warming hell is paved with good intentions.

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Environment California
14 Aug 2006, Palo Alto

I was ambushed today outside the Apple Store in Palo Alto by these two students (Lisa Day and friend) gathering support for Environment California.

The state is the 12th largest source of global warming pollution in the world, more than most countries. They're also at the forefront of the fight to make a difference, with good old Arnie Schwarzenegger (now generally known as Governor) leading the charge.

But there still seems to be a lack of joined-up thinking in some quarters. Electrical power consumption is still rising. On 7th August a new record for power demand was set, coinciding with the peak of the heatwave.

So let me get this... the hotter it gets, the more power is consumed, presumably to run airconditioning. So as the planet generally gets hotter, more and more power is going to be consumed to keep the Californians cool.

Moving to greener sources of energy is definitely a step in the right direction, but mightn't it help if people learned to use less power as well?

Many environmental objectives seem to be painfully far into the future - fuel cells, hydrogen, new wind farms. If every single person used the aircon for one less hour a day, today, it would start to make a difference with a zero lead time.

Is air-conditioning essential, or is it a luxury?

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Outdoor Retailer Show: Freebies!
14 Aug 2006, Salt Lake City

The Outdoor Retailer Show is yielding all kinds of goodies. Here is my haul from today - not easy to fit Bridgedale socks, a UV monitor, an underwater pen, a head torch and a Tilley hat into one photo, especially when one hand is occupied with holding the camera, but here is my best shot. There should have been some Larabars in there as well but I've eaten them all.

The weekend yielded some intangible (and inedible) goodies as well - meetings with Eric Larsen and Lonnie Dupre, Will Steger, and Ben Saunders - all polar trekkers.

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Ghost Of A Machine: Carrying On Regardless
09 Aug 2006, Palo Alto, California

My MacBook may have gone off to hospital in Memphis for 10 days, but nothing gets in the way of the Pacific sponsorship campaign. There is a marvellously handy technique called 'cloning' or 'ghosting' a computer, that creates a phantom version of my MacBook on an external hard drive. So I can sit here in the Palo Alto Apple Store, using one of their MacBook Pro machines hooked up to my external hard drive, and it's exactly as if I'm using my own laptop.

Not just my data, but also my applications, bookmarks, passwords, settings - absolutely everything is replicated. I used Carbon Copy Cloner, a free application, to create my ghost. It's so lifelike, it's almost spooky....

Here's another Google Video Giggle.

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