Archive for March, 2012

College-bound Guernsey musicians can apply for bursary to 4 May 2012

March 31st, 2012 by Deutsche Bank International Ltd.

The ‘Keith Dawber Memorial Bursary’ is being re-launched for musicians in Guernsey wishing to study classical music at university or college.

Guernsey residents who intend to pursue further studies relating specifically to instrumental or vocal classical music are encouraged to apply for a bursary that is returning for the second consecutive year.

Deutsche Bank sponsors the Bursary, which is worth a total of £1,500 annually and aims to assist students with the cost of study materials, books and tuition fees. Continue reading

Vallourec develops new system for anchoring offshore wind turbines

March 31st, 2012 by Vallourec

Vallourec's Preon Marine patented tube system is designed to anchor offshore wind turbines to the seabed (click image to expand - image courtesy of Vallourec)

Vallourec, with 22,000 employees and €5.3 billion in sales, has developed a patented PREON® marine tubes system, which is designed to anchor offshore wind turbines to the seabed.

Developed by Vallourec’s research and development teams, this technology means that offshore wind turbine foundations can be installed with less effort, noise and at a lower depth, compared to the two existing solutions.

The area needed to install the PREON® marine system is considerably smaller than that of the “gravity system” based on concrete foundations. The lighter system with a smaller external pile diameter is drilled approximately 20 metres into the seabed, compared with the usual 60 metres of systems with anchoring piles. Continue reading

Extended-range electric Vauxhall Ampera is European Car of the Year

March 31st, 2012 by General Motors

The Vauxhall Ampera, European Car of the Year 2012, has a sophisticated propulsion system, which offers drivers all the benefits of electric driving, without any of the range anxiety associated with pure electric vehicles (EVs).

The Ampera is not a hybrid. Electricity powers the wheels of the Ampera at all times, with a 16kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeding an advanced 150PS electric drive unit, delivering between 25 to 50 miles of battery-powered electric drive and zero tailpipe emissions. Continue reading

Wind power increasing contribution to UK’s renewable energy supply

March 31st, 2012 by RenewableUK

RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind, wave and tidal industry, has hailed the publication of UK Government figures as a clear demonstration of the significant role wind power now plays in Britain’s energy mix.

Wind power capacity increased by over a gigawatt in 2011, and output increased by over 5.3 gigawatt-hours to 15.5GWh – equivalent to the annual demand of 4.7 million homes.

Growing contribution of renewable energy to UK energy supply (click graph to expand - Source: UK Department of Energy & Climate Change)

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK’s Chief Executive,  said “wind Continue reading

Marine Protected Areas work if they are large enough

March 30th, 2012 by British Ecological Society

Ecologists in New Zealand have shown for the first time that Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – long advocated as a way of protecting threatened marine mammals – actually work.

Their study “First evidence that marine protected areas can work for marine mammals” published in the British Ecological Society‘s Journal of Applied Ecology, was based on 21 years’ of monitoring.

The study reveals that a marine sanctuary off the coast of Christchurch, New Zealand has significantly improved survival of Hector’s dolphins, Cephalorhynchus hectori, which is one of the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins.

Hector's dolphins, Cephalorhynchus hectori, in the Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary off New Zealand (click image to expand - image ©Steve Dawson)

Banks Peninsula Marine Mammal Sanctuary covers 1170 square kilometres of sea off New Zealand’s South Island. The sanctuary was designated in 1988 to prevent the dolphins being killed by gillnet and trawl fisheries, which had reduced their numbers to less than 30% of their original population. Continue reading

Using bacteria to recover dwindling phosphate resource from sewage

March 30th, 2012 by Society for General Microbiology

Bacteria could be exploited to recapture dwindling phosphate reserves from wastewater according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s Spring Conference in Dublin in late March 2012.

Phosphorus – in the form of phosphate – is essential for all living things as a component of DNA and RNA and its role in cellular metabolism. Around 38 million tonnes of phosphorus are extracted each year from rock. Most of this extracted phosphorus goes into the production of fertilizers to replace the phosphates that plants remove from the soil. However, it is a scare natural resource and current estimates suggest that reserves of phosphate rock may only last for the next 45-100 years. Continue reading

A Guernsey law required to protect against disability discrimination

March 29th, 2012 by Guernsey Disability Alliance

Everyday, in all aspects of life, disabled people are routinely discriminated against in Guernsey.

We believe that in order to achieve true equality and social inclusion, we need to change attitudes in society, and we need laws.

A bit like seat belts, everyone knew they made sense, but many didn’t wear them until there was a law.

The majority of the world’s population is now legally protected against disability discrimination – 153 nations have signed the UN convention.

To highlight the gap further, there are 79 English speaking nations and island states with a combined population of two billion people.

Only two of these, the Falkland Islands and Guernsey, have not at least begun the process to protect disabled people in this way.

Guernsey requires a law to protect against disability discrimination.

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Kevin Stewart who is a candidate for Deputy of St Sampson records his impressions of the Guernsey Disability Alliance speed hustings and interviews GDA Chair Shelaine Green on 26 March 2012.

(please click on logo to go to Guernsey Disability Alliance website)

 

Many major UK businesses not prepared for climate change

March 29th, 2012 by DEFRA

(click on cover to download report)

Less than half of major UK companies have plans in place to protect them from climate change even though over 80% of businesses say climate change is a substantial risk to them, new research commissioned by Defra has found.

Environment Minister Lord Taylor has today called on investors and shareholders to keep the pressure on their business interests to prepare for climate change so they can achieve long-term growth.

The research, carried out on behalf of Defra by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), found that while 80% of FTSE 100 companies surveyed identified substantial risks to their business from climate change, only 46% said they have included adaptation plans in their business strategies. Continue reading

The Climate Change hoax

March 29th, 2012 by Andrew J. Gunther and James J. McCarthy

Dr. Andrew J. Gunther is Executive Director of the Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration in Oakland, California.

James J. McCarthy is Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University.

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We are scientists who agree with critics such as US Senator James Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, that there is a climate change “hoax” being perpetrated on the American people.

We just don’t agree on what the hoax is and who is being fooled.

Senator Inhofe and his associates want us to believe that the science of climate change is the contrived “hoax.”

Their claims cannot withstand even the most cursory scrutiny.

Does this “hoax” date back to 1896, when Nobel Laureate Svante Arrhenius presented his findings that human activities releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could change Earth’s climate? Continue reading

Volunteer.gg website connects Guernsey charities with volunteers

March 28th, 2012 by Volunteer.gg

Volunteer.gg provides an easy and convenient online platform for Guernsey volunteers and charities to connect with each other.

Guernsey has over 360 registered charities. Demand for volunteer support often exceeds available ‘helping hands’ and looking to find the right cause, or looking for the right occasion or event to help at can be difficult.

Volunteer.gg is a re-brand and simplification of the original Volunt-here.org website.

Charities can register and ‘own’ their own information page, as well as post important events or occasions requiring volunteers.

The website allows potential volunteers to browse the different charities, their events, and their specific notices to see what best suits.

Importantly, communication between the charity and volunteer is direct.

With adequate enthusiasm from charities (in keeping their needs regularly updated) and the volunteer sector, we hope that Volunteer.gg will become the first stop for Guernsey’s ‘helping hands’.

(click on logo to go to Volunteer.gg website)