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on 25 Oct, 19:39

MESYM Documentary Night #38: “Power to Change”

MESYM Documentary Night #38: “Power to Change”
Past Event
8 Nov
20:00 - 22:30
Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok

MESYM’s Documentary Night is held every 2nd Tuesday of each month. Everyone is invited to come hang out, watch a documentary, meet like-minded friends and take part in the discussion. Admission is free!

For our November event we will watch Power to Change, a film about a great vision—and the people turning it into reality: the rebels of our day. The future of world energy lies in decentralised, clean supplies stemming 100% from renewable sources. That is the message of the documentary Power to Change — The energy rebellion.

Join the event on our Facebook Group.

carl_a_fechner

Skype Q&A with the film director, Carl A. Fechner

Carl-A. Fechner is a qualified educator, journalist, filmmaker and producer. A winner of the European Solarprize and the B.A.U.M.-Environmental prize, he has long been advocating the need for fundamental change. In 1989 he founded fechnerMEDIA GmbH, which since its inception has been promoting examples of sustainable living and has won numerous international awards for its documentary films, PR campaigns and crossmedia projects.

About “Power to Change”

Germany faces the biggest structural reform since the beginning of the industrial age. POWER TO CHANGE – The EnergyRebellion is the cinematic experience and exploration of this millennium challenge.

This is the story of a quest – a search in which questions are raised and answers found.

  • What does the energy turnaround mean for us?
  • What are the economic, ecological and social implications?
  • What are the challenges and risks?
  • What is at stake and what is the price?

The film shows the conflict over an energy revolution, which began as a grassroots movement and is being advanced through decentralized, regional players. It draws upon the personal stories of people who have taken the responsibility for their energy supply and the protection of their natural livelihood into their own hands. By weaving together people and places it creates an authentic record of our time. With a journalistic-analytical approach, supported by in-depth research, the film shows the daily struggle of activists, entrepreneurs, skeptics and critics in dealing with this energy revolution. It seeks to attract international media attention in order to project their struggle onto to the world stage.

It’s a film that aims to put an end to the doomsday scenarios and the cynical discussions over the feasibility of the energy revolution. It’s entertaining, exciting and fascinating, without succumbing to moralistic preaching. But it is irreconcilable where reconciliation is not possible.

power-to-change

#documentary

on 8 Jun, 11:39

MESYM Documentary Night #33: “10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate?”

MESYM Documentary Night #33: “10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate?”
Past Event
14 Jun
20:00 - 22:45
Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok

MESYM’s Documentary Night is held every 2nd Tuesday of each month. Everyone is invited to come hang out, watch a documentary, meet like-minded friends and take part in the discussion. Admission is free!

For our June event we will watch 10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate?, a documentary addressing the raising concerns on food shortages: How do we ensure that the 10 billion people who by 2050 will share our planet will get enough to eat?

Valentin_Bild-2heller_small

Skype Q&A with the film director, Valentin Thurn

Award winning German film maker, writer and director Valentin Thurn will join us for a Skype Q&A after the screening.

Join the event in our Facebook group.

 

About “10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate?”

 

During the twenty-first century, the world’s population will grow to 10 billion. With a sixth of the world already undernourished, where will the food come from that everyone needs daily in order to survive? How can we prevent mankind from destroying the basis of its food supply through nothing but an increasing population?

In his last film, director Valentin Thurn revealed the vast quantities of food which nowadays are simply thrown away. His film touched a nerve and sparked intense public debate in Germany and beyond. He’s now going one step further in his new documentary 10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate? by focusing on agriculture – the basis of the world’s food supply.

How can enough food be produced for 10 billion people? Two camps claim to know the answer. One of them is industrial farming, which relies on ultra-efficient mass production and which is continuing to expand globally. And on the other hand there’s organic and traditional agriculture, which produces smaller amounts of food but goes easy on our limited resources. Valentin Thurn asks both sides how they intend to feed tomorrow’s world. The film shows the global interactions in agriculture by interviewing people involved in the key areas of production: seed, fertilizer, pesticides, animal feed production, animal husbandry, wholesale and retail. While critically analysing the current practices of both sides, the film also impartially presents their proposals and visions for the future.

At the end of the film, innovative approaches to safeguarding the food supply at a local and regional level are shown. They all reveal the tremendous impact of our eating habits. We’re all active consumers – and 10 Billion: What’s On Your Plate? provides a sound basis helping us decide how to act.

Stills from the film

 

10billion_poster

on 29 Oct, 13:51

MESYM’s 50th Documentary Celebration: “This Changes Everything”

MESYM’s 50th Documentary Celebration: “This Changes Everything”
Past Event
10 Nov
14:00 - 17:00
Pusat Rakyat Loyar Burok

We are celebrating our 50th documentary screening! From 2013, we have held 28 MESYM Documentary Nights and 21 MESYM Crossover Documentary Series. “This Changes Everything”, a very important documentary on climate change and capitalism, will mark our 50th event. Admission is free as usual, please come with your friends!

Here are a few things to look forward to for our 50th:

  1. Refreshments! We will have homemade cakes and coffee.
  2. The launch of the newest version of MESYM.com.
  3. Announcements on some latest developments that we are working on.
  4. A lovely afternoon discussion led by Hilary Chiew from Third World Network.

Please note that this event is held from 2-5(.30) pm, it’s Deepavali and therefore a public holiday on that day.

Join the event on Facebook.

About “This Changes Everything”

This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines around the world with the proposition that we can seize the crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Discussion lead by Hilary Chiew

hilarychiew-sm
Hilary is a researcher from the Third World Network and a member of Climate Justice Now!. Her area of expertise is tracking the UN climate change talks.

“This Changes Everything”: Videos

This Changes Everything international trailer.

Interview to director Avi Lewis  and writer Naomi Klein about the book/film project.

“This Changes Everything”: Synopsis

What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Over the course of 90 minutes, viewers will meet…

Crystal, a young indigenous leader in Tar Sands country, as she fights for access to a restricted military base in search of answers about an environmental disaster in progress.

Mike and Alexis, a Montana goat ranching couple who see their dreams coated in oil from a broken pipeline. They respond by organizing against fossil fuel extraction in their beloved Powder River Basin, and forming a new alliance with the Northern Cheyenne tribe to bring solar power to the nearby reservation.

Melachrini, a housewife in Northern Greece where economic crisis is being used to justify mining and drilling projects that threaten the mountains, seas, and tourism economy. Against the backdrop of Greece in crisis, a powerful social movement rises.

Jyothi, a matriarch in Andhra Pradesh, India who sings sweetly and battles fiercely along with her fellow villagers, fighting a proposed coal-fired power plant that will destroy a life-giving wetland. In the course of this struggle, they help ignite a nationwide movement.

The extraordinary detail and richness of the cinematography in This Changes Everything provides an epic canvas for this exploration of the greatest challenge of our time. Unlike many works about the climate crisis, this is not a film that tries to scare the audience into action: it aims to empower. Provocative, compelling, and accessible to even the most climate-fatigued viewers, This Changes Everything will leave you refreshed and inspired, reflecting on the ties between us, the kind of lives we really want, and why the climate crisis is at the centre of it all.

Will this film change everything? Absolutely not. But you could, by answering its call to action.

on 9 Sep, 16:41

Movie: Climate Change Disruption (Wednesday 10 Sept @ 6 pm)

Movie: Climate Change Disruption (Wednesday 10 Sept @ 6 pm)
Past Event
10 Sep
18:00 - 19:30
Syed kechik

Join to watch the Climate Change Disruption movie (50 minutes), which calls for action before the big Climate Summit later this month (23 September) in New York.

After the movie, we will discuss what climate action we can take in Malaysia.

See event details + venue here:

http://act.350.org/event/disruption_attend/9113

disruption_poster_export

on 16 Jan, 11:50

Energy Conservation & Efficiency – The Hidden Fuel in 21st Century that Malaysia Needs to Utilize.

Energy Conservation & Efficiency – The Hidden Fuel in 21st Century that Malaysia Needs to Utilize.
Post

The greenest light bulb is the one that you switch off. That familiar phrase which i often use to reflect on the need for thoughts on energy conservation and efficiency before one talks about renewable energy. While obviously, it is no happy news for a fuel driven economy to save energy, it is an inevitable approach that needs to be tabled as some have said that the Renewable Energy scene is not doing much to cope up with the forecasted energy demand. According to the Ninth Malaysian Plan (2006-2010) RE was set to achieve 300MW by 2010, but only, a far cry 88MW is achieved.

Energy Forecast vs Reserves

Nuclear as the Base Load?

It is disturbing to know that TNB is supporting the fact that Malaysia has to head for Nuclear because “we have no choice”. The graph above illustrates peninsular’s current demand forecast and reserve margin, while the tabulation is based on the assumption that electricity demand of peninsular will grow 3-5% annually from 2010 until 2020 and there is no new plant scheduled for installation from now until 2015 (TNB). However some industrial player speculate that the reserve will go up as high as 40% when ST (Energy Commission) is trying to develop the large generating capacity.

What “Hidden Fuel”?

While the intention of nuclear studies has been long ago since 2008, questions arise when there are no news for the nation’s energy efficiency studies. The NEEMP National Energy Efficiency Masterplan has been delayed as long as almost 4 years now! I express agreement towards Dr Zaini’s (Ex Director of SEDA) concern HERE. There is simply insufficient argument tabled to the parliament or within the public, or the media to question on how much energy we waste in the first place before asking for more.

EE1

Referring to a Energy Efficiency Market Report done by IEA International Energy Agency,  a research on 11 developed countries shows the potential of energy efficiency and conservation to avoid unnecessary energy usage as well as improving efficiency. The research puts the point across, that between 1974 and 2010, energy efficiency was the largest energy resource, thus i can’t put the thought away thinking IF Malaysia can have such projections as well.

EE2

The largest fuel contribution by far, hypothetically context speaking, is energy efficiency and conservation, by avoiding the energy use. The graph above illustrates the magnitude of energy that can be saved. It contributes 63 exajoules (EJ) of avoided energy use in 2010, larger than the supply of oil (43 EJ) and (22 EJ). IEA also broke down the EE potential by sectors to show the two-thirds of the economic potential to improve energy efficiency remains untapped in the period to 2034.

EE Potential Savings to Industry

While this is just an international studies on developed countries, i am sure it is convincing enough to stir up our thoughts on putting Malaysia in this context. What kind of savings are we probably talking about? I am pretty much sure that energy conservation will play a huge part of savings before we even talk about energy efficiency. But what are the factors that drive energy efficiency? It can be triggered by policies, financing, economy, technology, or even socio-culture factor.

ESCO

SAVE Sustainability Achieved Via Energy Efficiency

We did have a good program on EE on board. The SAVE programme rebate initiative program is part of the ETP master program, it is aspired to catalyze the energy efficiency market by giving out cash voucher rebate to any application to purchase energy efficient equipment. The RM50.2 million initiative by the government in 2011 has been fruitful, starting from the implementation in july 2011 till august 2012, an estimated energy savings of 179.68GWh and electricity bill savings of RM39.17million was seen. The savings can also be translated into avoiding unnecessary additional power plant by reducing the capacity needed. (More details from Dr Zaini’s blog)

SAVE Article (Credits to Dr Zaini)

SAVE Article (Credits to Dr Zaini)

At a side note, i have identified few energy efficiency advocates in the professional industry. Feel free to follow the LinkedIn Malaysia Green Professional where i notice a couple of interesting insights on the RE,EE scene are being discussed.

Dr Zaini and Ir Lalchand with their views and thoughts at their column at TheHeat

Dr Zaini and Ir Lalchand with their views and thoughts at their column at TheHeat

Jevons Paradox / Rebound Effect

But today i am writing to draw the attention to the crucial need for energy conservation as much as EE is significant as well. At some point energy efficiency practices can be a false campaign when energy conservation effort goes down the drain. They call this the rebound effect, or jevons paradox when  the rebound effect is greater than 100%, exceeding the original efficiency gains. It’s pretty much the same as supply demand curve, a decrease in the price of good/service will increase the quantity demand. Thus in a way, with a lower price for work, more work will be ‘purchased’.

Credits to Wikipedia

Credits to Wikipedia

Let us put it in perspective with a hybrid car, a lot of times environmentalist try to use the different way of explaining fuel efficiency through monetary benefits. One can save money compared to typical combustion car on a same mileage comparison, then the consumer may then interpret the message that ‘i can drive further with this with the same cost’!

Jevons-paradox3

It doesn’t take much to discover how this paradox is right behind our backyard in Malaysia. With cheap electricity now, thanks to EE products, companies are willing to spend more within the same budget allowance, LED is an irrefutable evident of so. Just look at Bangsar with how many potable LED screens with big flashy ads. Lloyd Alter from Treehugger illustrated it well enough in NewYork when a truck is modified with entire LED panels for advertising purpose.

What really push for Energy Conservation Practices? Monetary? Social?

I agree with the thought that the approach of saving the environment by raising peoples awareness is a long lost battle. Let’s face it that almost all of us have heard about global warming and the need to save energy but almost none give it a care, unless the person is one who does not demand any incentive in return but purely by the good will of social responsibility. And thus, i think that the only way to deal with it is monetary and social factors. Our economy system today does not justify the cost to environment, and only when new financial scheme such as carbon crediting comes in (ok i am novice to that topic) , then we can see a balance in environmental economics.

The Raise of Electricity Tariff?

Speaking of Monetary approach, then that was a good example i thought about. During December last year 2013, electricity tariff was set to be up by an average of 15% effectively by this year 2014. However this does not affect domestic users between 0-300kWh usage. Then the next thing you get is complaints from the industry or commercial sector such as the Malaysians Employers Federation as electricity accounts for 6% to 15% of their business cost. I think it is great! then only then you will think of how to save your energy usage!

Series of events after raise in electricity tariff. Screen dump of TheStar.

Series of events after raise in electricity tariff. Screen dump of TheStar.

Then, series of measures follow up. With the hope that this raise of electricity tariff will make people think twice on their energy expenditure, the Malaysian Associate for Shopping and Highrise Complex Management is advising its 400-odd members nationwide to set their air-conditioning at t 23°C or 24°C. To me, that’s the easiest and most energy saving approach that can be done. So easily! Just by raising the tariff and such measure is taken.

This made me think on the possible implications on several similar fields, such as waste disposal. Malaysia has one of the cheapest sanitary landfill tipping fee,RM28.80 and RM36 per tonne, compared to Germany, which charges between RM1,000 and RM1,400; Australia, RM215; and China, RM60 to RM75. This perhaps explained well enough why our effort to recycle is low! people just do not think twice on reducing their waste because there is no monetary disincentive to it. Perhaps soon we shall increase our disposal fare as well?

Social Behavioral Science affects Energy Conservation

Besides monetary measures, the other way for energy conservation is to mobilize the power of social pressure, or social behavioral science. Alex Laskey made an energy software to make end users aware of their energy expenditure, not only that, and compare it with their neighbors! If you are thinking it’s just small deal, the large scale reductions in energy usage are no joke. Since its launch in 2008, it has cumulatively saved utility customers more than $200 million and 2 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy — enough to power a city of more than a quarter million people. It’s all through a powerful combination of behavioral science, data analytics and good marketing.

There are a variety of methods to put this social behavioral science across many fields. I can recall in Japan where many basic good environmental practices are not enforced by policies or regulations however by the upbringing of community, or just a part of their culture. Energy conservation, however is still a topic not much talked about in Malaysia, media is part to be blamed perhaps?

JKR Block F – Simple Energy Conservation Measures

This project is a good example of addressing necessary energy conservation before we talk about energy efficiency. This project, which won the ASEAN Energy Awards 2010 was started in July 2008 with 744 occupants but the number increased significantly to 836 by the end of December 2009. The energy saving measures carried out were of the no cost and low cost with an investment of RM30,000 for submetering and posters. The payback period is just 3.29months!

Graph illustrating the drop in kWh/per person/year as the measures are taken

There is a 9.83% of kWh saving from the baseline which translates into 570,308kWh. The BEI kWh/person/year results in 16.39% savings from the baseline. The baseline BEI is established at 203.50kWh/m2/year, and this was seen to be brought down to 183.49kWh/m2/year after all the measures taken. A conventional office building has a BEI of around 210kWh/m2/year. The measures are relatively simple!

JKR2

As you can see, these are just basic best practices, which again, points back to the potential of tackling energy conservation via social behavioral science. I cannot help but to express my frustration whenever there are windows opened from office buildings that clearly adds to a huge air infiltration which poses unnecessary energy demand to counter it.  I attach the full picture here for your convenience of reference. (pic credit to Khim Bok, IEN Consultants).

20131128_143048

20131128_143034

Think Twice Again, Think with the Energy Pyramid In Mind

So, the question here is rather, what are the immediate steps that you can take to adopt energy conservation and energy efficiency measures?

Before thinking about switching to energy efficient fan, think of whether fans are necessary in the specific area in the first place, or do you just need a small task fan if you are working with your laptop?

Before thinking about switching to LED, think about personalized task light if you are doing laptop work, you certainly do not need the whole room to be light up when you just need a task area to be illuminated.

Before thinking about buying an energy efficient fridge, ask what capacity of fridge do you really need first?

If you ask me, Air cond for residential, is just really unnecessary.

Think critically on energy conservation again, then talk about energy efficiency, and ONLY talk about Renewable Energy the last. That’s the way forward for our energy security concern which no policy makers are questioning about!

I shall end the post with a good illustration chart of energy pyramid. (Credit to MNenergy.com)

pyramid-of-conservation

on 6 Jan, 11:30

Get Paid to Bicycle to Work

7-minute demonstration of the Monec$e app

Stuck in traffic – is there anything worse? Yes, being stuck in traffic on the way to the gym to ride a stationary bicycle. Crazy – but sadly also true!

So, why not incentivise people to do their daily commute by bicycle – and hereby killing two birds with one stone: 1) Alleviating traffic congestion and 2) Giving people exercise without having to go to the gym.

Apart from improving bicycling infrastructure in our cities, I also propose a monetary incentive. Pay people to bicycle (or run) to/from work at a rate of US $0.35 per km. In other words, if you have a 10 km commute to work, you can earn US $3.50 by bicycling to work, or US $7.00 for your full daily commute. Not bad, right? And the “Moneci$e” app for your smart phone will make it easy and come true automatically; see video demonstration below. The rate of US $0.35 per km comes from a detailed economic study of cost impacts on society from commuting by bicycle compare to by car. This Danish study (2005) found the socio-economic benefits of bicycling over driving to be US $0.35 per km. The principal economic savings come from the improvement of peoples health caused by the exercise from bicycling. This makes people less sick and less of a strain on the hospitals. People who bicycle become more energetic and have higher productivity at work. Moreover, the negative health effects of air-pollution are avoided when people shift from cars to bicycling.

Traffic congestion has a huge cost to society. In the USA, traffic congestion cost 0.7% of the GDP. For a person living in a big city, this hidden cost corresponds to about US $1000 per year from wastage of time and petrol while stuck in traffic.

So, with the Monec$e app, let us channel some of the huge expenses stemming from traffic congestion to the people, who chose to commute by bicycling, running or walking and hence help to alleviate the traffic congestion. The 7-minute video below shows how the app, whose name is the combination of “money” and “exercise”, works. The video demonstrates the concept for the app, which was presented at the Clean & Green Hackathon in Singapore, 28 April 2013, organised by the National Environmental Agency (NEA).

If you are interested in commercializing the Monec$e app, please let me know?

Kind regards,

Gregers Reimann, +60122755630, gregers @ ien.com.my
(concept designer)

on behalf of the rest of the team members

Yong Kuan Tan
Wong Koi Hin
Ching Kang Ong
John Cheng

 

VIDEO  |  Get paid to Bicycle to Work

7-minute demonstration of the Monec$e app

 

Key measures to improve bicycle infrastructure of cities

Key measures to improve bicycle infrastructure of cities

 

Surprising facts on Safety & Traffic flow priorities in Copenhagen, Denmark:

Remove car lanes

 

 

Slides behind the Monec$e app video

Download (PDF, 848KB)

Welcome to MESYM!
Connecting the green dots

MESYM.com is a crowd-sourced platform and a living database for environmental movements in Malaysia. There are many good actions being done out there. Our goal is to bring them together. We connect the green dots.