Monday, February 20, 2006

"I'm listening"

The following has caught my attention: 'Taxes aren't how Tories will save the world'  . 

And it brought to mind several scenes from the Simpsons when a clearly skeptical, but greedy for promised riches Homer encourages further explanation to be convinced... if not seduced.

It seems a Tory government would not come out with a huge increase in taxes,” according to Zac Goldsmith, he of Ecologist and Tory eco-committee fame. “The Conservative Party doesn’t like forcing people to do anything and I don’t think we have to - most of the obstacles are from bad governance.” With him so far, I have to say. "The best way to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and decrease greenhouse gas emissions is to make people aware of the importance of buying local food and introducing energy-efficiency savings in the home,“ he goes on: “No one thinks they’re going to change the world by switching their light bulbs, but if they knew you could push a button and make all houses change, everyone would push it. The Government has to make that button.”

Well, so far, I'm listening... I'm listening. If there's a chance of making such notions work, I know just the website to try to help make it happen:)

Driving Mother Earth Crazy

Well, they had to know it was going to be a rich source, didn't they? And I don't see why the major media (a few links below) should have all the fun with Mr. 2-Jags and his fellow Cab(inet) members.
And I quote: "All members of the Cabinet have been told by the government car pool that when their car is up for renewal they can swap it either for an XL Jaguar or a Toyota Prius."
Er, why just these?
I actually fully accept that for some selected pols (assuming Ma Beckett can be seduced from her helicopters and RAF flights), trying to escape a bunch of terrorists in a Prius (that's the minister, not the terrorists; one presumes the latter may not have the environment high on their agendas) may not quite make sense. But my R-reg Volvo & Golf fall between the two (and more Prius-wards when I can figure out the right option and how to afford it, LPG, Hydrogen, etc-wise) and would certainly do the necessary, even in converted modes.
In fact, I'm pretty sure that a recent Sunday Times had a selection of well interesting rides that could meet the requirements of all. I really fancied the Volvo myself, and it's not like The House of Commons couldn't sport a filler-station.
But if we're buying British (Toyota's excepted) I believe Morgan, a good British brand, has had a nice bit of grant-wedge to look at alternative fuel versions. Surely there are other options too?
But c'mon guys, is this not just pulling the other one a tad far when trying to persuade the rest of us to act responsibly?
Read more in the: Sunday Times

What's black and white a green all over? Well.. for a day or two at least.

As part of my weekend routine, I jogged, change in hand, to the local newsagents to buy my Sunday Times. But this day it was a double trip (good job I was using Shank's pony) as the change I had was not sufficient. Because the price has gone up... again. In fact I don't know why I was so foolish as to take the exact money as it has steadily raised, by arbritary inflation-busting amounts, almost incessantly.

The lady at the counter sympathised: 'A lot of people have complained,' she said, 'especially as most of it is stuff they just get home and throw away'.
So it's ironic that I am just about to chew now on an insert from the ST's sister publication, The Times, from the previous day, entitled 'How to be Green'.

And even more ironic that when I looked at the online version, the ad that popped up was for a Land Rover 4x4:)

I guess I'd have to say it was another BTN (better than nothing). At least there was a fair bit of positive, proactive content, and even some information and links that added to the value and extent of my knowledge.

The supplement itself was carbon neutral. But without looking into too deeply, I rather got the impression that it was just for this section, of this paper, for this day. Hmn.

Letting that pass, there was also this slight sense that it was being treated as a 'one-off' topic, with issues being cherry-picked. And in tone I felt ever so-slightly talked-down to.

For instance, in another of the multitudinous (un-carbon neutral?) sections called Style (I await with eager anticipation a future feature on eco-fashion, which will probably be between one on fur and flying to Asia to buy fabrics) there is an article about our yoof, titled 'teen queens', billed as a report on what today's teenagers think, including matters such as the environment. Now I am sure a lot of teens' views are shaped by those they are given by those they would wish to be (rich & famous & covered in the media), but I do wonder just how representative of most teenagers are 'Peaches and Pixie Geldof’s gang... gathered togther to help launch the Miss Selfridge spring/summer collection.

Peaches has views on the environment: “... rising sea levels, pollution ... Even if we don’t do anything about them, they are still a worry.”

“The hole in the ozone layer gives me nightmares,” adds Holly Gore, the 16-year-old daughter of the chef Skye Gyngell, who is rummaging through the studio fridge. Then her face lights up. “Oh. My. God. Purdeys. Is. My. Life. Mumalwayshastheminthefridge”.

And... er... that's it. The cure for the ozone layer is opening the fridge (small smile here, as I'm pretty sure ours is still packed with CFCs, being 15 yeasr old 'n all. I'm sure this is not the case Chez Gore) and grabbing a brace of Purdeys.

The article concludes by suggesting these lovely lasses 'are role models for their peers and an inspiration to the majority of inert British teens whose favourite sport is watching cheap telly.' O......k, then.

Moving up an age-bracket, though I suspect not too many postcodes away, by counterpoint we then had 'So you want to be a yummy-mummy', which advises that you don't need to live in a sprawling house in Notting Hill, driving a Mercedes SUV, or employing a full-time au pair.

But I'm sure it helps if you do. Especially when it comes top popping round to do a quick interview.

By way of left/right balance, media-wise, let me end with this, from today's Independent: 'Why I'm seriously cheesed off with my skiing holiday.'

Sadly the bulk of the text was part of the 'paid-for' sub section, so I was denied why the lady in question was unhappy with her lot, but I'm sure the trip was conducted to the highest standards of environmental responsibility.
Which is what role models are for.