Climate Action Warrior pedals through Grafton
Born in Scotland in the 50s, John Knox is a man with a mission to pass on a strong message about
climate change and the urgent need for individual action. He set off from Melbourne on his ride-of-
life tour of Australia by bicycle on the 29
July, and so far has worked his way up the continent's
east coast, giving up his father's day and his young son's birthday in exchange for an arduous
program of talks and demonstrations, in which he provides his audiences with practical tips to avoid
energy waste and help save them money.
John studied renewable energy at school, during an era when, as he says, anyone who believed
humans might be harming the planet belonged to the lunatic fringe. But by the time he started his
ride-of-life tour, that fringe, in his own words, had become an acceptable full head of hair.
John became concerned about climate change when scientific studies first proved a 90% certainty
that human activities were the main cause of the problem. Then, while working for the Alternative
Technological Association (ATA), he not only became inspired to do something about it, but also
learned exactly how to do it
ATA is a company with branches across Australia, which promotes renewable energy and
sustainable building and water conservation, by making available to all Australians information
about new ideas and advance technology before the products become commonplace on the open
In preorganised meetings along his ride John is now helping to pass on information about these new
methods of saving power. A 5w LED halogen replacement globe; a 6.35mm double glazing glass
called Low-eglass, LED downlight insulation covers, and a supremely accurate new digital power
metering device are just some of the innovative technological advancements he urges us to take a
look at, both in preparation for conditions brought on by climate change and to help slow the tide of
Other aids included on the company website (
) include a list of detergents that can
safely be used as grey water on gardens, information about the best television sets to invest in, and
tips such as putting aside money saved by these power-saving methods to purchase a solar hot water
In his recent visit to Grafton, John demonstrated to his audience a simple mathematical fact that in
a 24 hour period, where a computer is in use for 2 hours drawing 250w of power hourly, it uses
500w of power, while if it is turned off for 22 hours, but left on at the wall, it draws 29w, effectively
using 600w of electricity, meaning the computer has cost more with the power turned off than it did
while in use.
John's message is simple, and sincere turn all gadgets off at the wall, and take a serious look at the
range of exciting new power saving and helpful advancements. Save power save money! It may
not be an easy task for John Knox, but it really is that simple for the rest of us.
Patricia Edwards,
Clarence Environment Centre