This is the TeamArrow solar racecar. TeamArrow are based here in Brisbane and compete in the World Solar Challenge (2017 Challenge starts 8 October). They finished 8th in 2015 and I got to climb inside their racecar.
The car is 220 kg, cruises at around 85 kph and has a top speed of 126 kph. Surprisingly, it does all this on the same amount of power as your average toaster. Phenomenal.
Part of the reason is aerodynamics. After all, this is a racecar. Even the wheels are covered in an aerodynamic fin and the height of the car is quite low. I've had to squat down to be at the same height as a driver.
Of course I couldn't let the day go by without taking the opportunity to sit inside an actual racecar. After this photo was taken they put the aerodynamic lid on (you can see it in the first photo). It wasn't exactly spacious in there, but that's part of racing I guess.
On the day they were talking about their new car for this year's World Solar Challenge.
It will be in the "Cruiser" category, meaning it's a 2-person car and looks less like a racecar and more like something you might drive on the streets.
They hope to have them available for sale to the public soon after the race.
Today I saw the episode 5 True Colours - following two US state governors.
It was stunning what a difference party politics makes to their ability to serve their people.
One moves his state forward on renewable energy and the jobs of the future. The other, despite his state being terribly hit by Hurricane Sandy, ignores climate change science. The science says this area will be increasingly hit by extreme weather events as climate change worsens. But because of his party's stance he continues to pour billions of dollars into rebuilding in the same disaster-prone area. PS. The cover photo for the series is from this episode. That's actually the damage to someone's house.
If your favourite coffee shop offers a discount for bringing your own cup, suggest they register on the website.
If they don't offer a discount, suggest they do. It's good for the planet but it also good for business to be listed on the site.
PS. The reason this is a big deal is because of the enormous waste of disposable coffee cups. This tram contains 50,00 coffee cups. Australia throws away a billion cups a year. That's 20,000 trams full. To put it another way, we would fill this tram every 30 minutes with our trashed coffee cups.
Sometimes I get feedback that doing things for "the environment" isn't really worth it. That human convenience is more important. But there are so many real human impacts of our high-emission high-waste low-efficiency living.
This is one example. Episode one of War on Waste showed the enormous food wastage that occurs before food even get to the shelves. For example millions of bananas get thrown out before a customer ever sees them. Meanwhile, Foodbank gives these stats on hunger - even if a wealthy country like Australia.
The last stat is probably the saddest.
Definitely food for thought (pun intended).
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