Tag archive for "energy"

green guilt

Future Earth

My name is O.C. Heaton and I’m a polluter…

No Comments 29 September 2011

After posting about corporate environmentalism, it occurred to me that I should be practising what I preach. Even writers generate a carbon footprint, but I have never taken the time to analyse how much CO2 I spew out into the atmosphere.

When my eco-thriller, The Human Race, was published, I traded in my Grand Jeep Cherokee 4.7L V8 engine for a Brabus (a Smart car). I hasten to add that this had nothing to do with the publishing advance I secured for the book! Instead, it was a conscious decision. If you are a regular reader of A Rush of Green, you will know that after researching the environment inside and out for The Human Race, I was struck by green guilt and became a reluctant environmentalist. My Smart car was a first step in the right direction: my miles per gallon soared, from a measly 16 on a good day, to more than 50. Even so, at the rate of 200 miles per month the carbon emissions from my tiny car still amount to half a tonne of emissions per year.

Driving accounts for a mere fraction of my daily emissions, so I decided to work out how much impact my business – writing – has had on the environment. As a writer, I was unsure how to separate my downtime from my writing time and eventually decided not to bother. I treated them as one and the same. After all, the business is me. I am the production engine as it were, so everything I consume has one output: books.

Here is a breakdown of my household’s energy consumption:

Heaton energy consumption

Using www.carbon-offsets.com I calculated that, based on those figures, our family produces nearly 14.89 tonnes in one year. Because I write at home, I am the heaviest user in my family of four. I am here all day, using light, power for my laptop, gas for warmth, cooking and the occasional shower! Given my heavy usage, I have calculated that I am responsible for 40 per cent of our household emissions

Writing the sequel has taken nearly two years. If I consume 40 per cent of the household total, that puts my carbon emissions at a shocking 11.91 tonnes.

And that’s not all. The book research that I have undertaken outside the home has also produced a significant carbon footprint. Since a large portion of the sequel is set in Washington DC, I invested in a research trip. Including return journeys and accommodation costs, I “spent” an additional 1.21 tonnes.

So while writing an eco-thriller, I have produced approximately 13.62 tonnes of CO2.  It doesn’t look good on paper, does it?

It gets worse. I haven’t included my car’s output, and I haven’t factored in the carbon cost of publication. As for the latter, however, rest assured that after my recent evaluation of paper books v. electronic books, the sequel to The Human Race will be heavily promoted on Kindle and other e-readers!

As for what happened next… Find out in tomorrow’s post!

This post was selected for Everything Home End of October Edition, hosted by My DIY Home Tips.

Future Tech

The energy debate: what would you choose?

No Comments 17 August 2011

Let’s play a game.

Imagine you’ve just been appointed Energy Czar for your country and you have the opportunity to restructure its future energy policy in an environmentally acceptable manner. What would your chosen policies be? Continue Reading

Future Earth

Could America’s ‘bigger is better’ attitude help save the environment?

No Comments 02 August 2011

I’ve just spent a week in Florida and the trip involved quite a lot of driving – nearly 1000 miles in total. As ever, I was amazed at how huge the place is compared to England. When I got home, I did a little research and discovered that the Sunshine State is even bigger than I thought. Way bigger in fact. England has just 50,337 square miles of land. By comparison, Florida is thirty per cent larger with a land mass of 65,755 square miles. And that’s just one state in the US. Texas is more than five times bigger! Continue Reading


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Reviews of The Human Race

Unputdownable. Yes, I know it's not a word, but it definitely applies here, anyway. That's the word I'm going with, to describe The Human Race by O.C. Heaton. - Hira N. Hasnain

An outstanding first novel from O.C. Heaton that catapults him into the Best Seller league… - Justine Bond

"This is an exciting, fast-paced read. The Human Race is a book that is very easy to forget to put down. Bring on part two!" - L. H. Bowers

"If you are looking for a well-plotted and well-written thriller to while away the hours of a long flight, this offering might suit you very well." - David Bryson, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer

For further reviews of The Human Race by O.C. Heaton click here.

Author Bio

Charles Heaton British thriller writer O.C. Heaton, author of The Human Race, is fascinated by the past, present and future of human evolution. (Image credit: Ross Parry Agency) Read More>>

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O.C. Heaton in the Guardian

O.C. Heaton's post about Harold Haw was featured in the Guardian.

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O.C.'s bookshelf: read

The BeachThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-timeLife of PiOuter DarkThe FirmAlexander 3: The Ends of the Earth: A Novel

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