Friday, January 05, 2007


Asa creative person, especially one who had some fun and did some good (King of the Die-Cut!)with Direct Mail, I am always now on the horns of a dilemma when it comes to this as a medium of advertising.

It's not looking too good for the industry: Industry braced for fresh backlash

Mind you, as I survey the DL sized kuk from banks, etc in my rubbish bin, I'm pretty sympathetic to the public's view.

But every so often a little bit of creative magic finds its way to being opened and read.

One such is this from Save the Children.

Basically, it's a boring brochure. But by making it a kid's exercise book and shooting holes I was hooked by it and the message. Which isn't a bad one either.

I doubt an email would have worked the same way. And I also assume that it did not cost a fortune to make this impact.

Year End Sail

This is another one that's a bit late, but still relevant: Santa's ship swaps gifts for garbage

But it also allows me to further test the links between our site articles, this blog and the newsletter.

Other than that, it rather makes you think... and want to weep.

An oldie, but a goodie

Long term blog partner Dave of Solarventi (see how sending us stuff brings its own re:ward) has kindly sent me this - Carbon trading for all will save the planet! - from last year.

He is old, I am old. The article is old. But we are all still gold!

It also lets me christen a new Blog category - CARB - which is where what I suspect a slew more 'let's make a killing out of green' tripe will appear more and more.

I have written to the author, as he is on the ball and I find his style more than in keeping with ours:

"I have just been forwarded your July posting (we may be slow, but we get there).

Bearing in mind how Sir Young and Thrusting is shaping up elsewhere in the environess, I found it fascinating, if a worry. I want to save the planet for my kids. Not end up making no difference except to some pols' careers and various interest groups' short, medium and long term cash cow rearing.

I'd be please if you could let me know when you publish any similar such analyses."

We may not want to beat them, but we can at least keep trying to knock them back onto the straight and narrow:)

If a tree gets recycled in a Council shredder, does the planet smile?

This is a 'just askin', because I don't know.

I just watched BBC lunchtime news, and at the end we had the obligatory and expected post-Xmas eco-pitch.

First up we had the tree man from the council, and then the Xmas card man from Woodland Trust giving us some free ads for Tescos, TKMaxx and WH Smiths, who will take back your old cards and 'use them' (not sure how) to plant trees. If I remember a recent Tesco ad right, they also get turned into loo paper. So no leaving any holly in them, now!

All better than nothing, I guess. Well, of course nothing is better than making, buying, sending, delivering and recycling cards that say 'Happy Xmas, How's Things' each year. I must did out my blog on how they really mean 'Hope you're still alive. We are', for all the useful information they ever hold.

We're on our 15th Xmas with out fake tree, bought in Singapore waaay before I decided to do right by the planet. And it will stay with us until the loft gives up.

Next year I intend to get to the bottom of the real vs. fake debate. No idea how it will turn out. On balance I figure letting a new one grow must be good for the carbon thing, but there is all the other stuff to factor in. Our fake comes down, goes up. That's it.

And it was the scene at the end as the vanilla with the mic and the worthies in their parkas watched a fir tree enter the maw of something like the 'Dip Dispenser' in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?'. It was huge. And had a huge diesel that revved and belched and turned out wood chips. I just wonder whether that met a target for recycling at the expense of serving the environment

Mouths of Babes

There's a site called postsecret, where folk post 'confessions'.

I only share this one because so far it is the one that's been used in every review I've ever read.

I wonder why?

A Mighty Wind

Nimbys can't be allowed to put a block on wind farms

Oh, really?

"Currently there is no turbine on my house roof. I got all excited by a B&Q ad that told me I could go green without going into the red, and with the initial endorsement of Newsnight's Ethical Man and one D. Cameron (though I believe both have now either decided against or been turned down), I charged ahead. And then stopped. The numbers didn't seem to add up. Not just the financial, but even the environmental ones. It's one thing to pay a bit more to save the planet, but quite another to pay a bit more to hasten its demise. I'm still checking, but when ROIs (on any measure) don't add up you have to question the value. I'm also assessing 'green' electricity. But now tempered by some legitimate questions.

A long time ago, I was granted a Civ. Eng degree, if only on the strict proviso I didn't try and build anything. So I ended up in advertising and, now, by way of karmic correction for the consequences of that career move, the cause of making the planet a better place for my ancestors. What this gives me is a fair grasp of science, with a slight sense of how the public respond to information, be it purveyed by government, experts, NGOs, the media, etc.

And to repeat the clichés trotted out before and here, what is amazing is the amount of hot air and/or wind being generated to so little effect. Almost without exception, we have 'them vs. us’ lines being drawn, just as they are with other enviro-issues, such as 4x4s.

The article author bears some responsibility. I rather view 'Nimbys' as a pejorative right away, closely followed by '...can't be allowed...' as presumptuous. The political leanings of councils is noted, but in a democracy they can be seen to reflect the wishes of those who voted for them.

"Every year, wind energy gets closer to profitability" is interesting. While profitability is one thing, what about enviro-ROI? Charge what you like to make it make money, but the eco-cost stays the same, especially if no one can afford to use its 'product' and stays away. It becomes a white elephant.

Labour should not feel smug if the things don't work on the bases they are supposed to do. It merely means they have gone for an easy option for short-term political gain.

And so I turn to the responses for enlightenment. Few moved my knowledge ahead.

"hoodlight - So close to a fact, but no more use than Ms. T's. I would love to see it attributed.

Rumplestiltskin - No answer to the question there then. As noted.

Swoosh - No facts there, either.

NickRouse - some good 'pro' stuff there, ta. I shall enjoy checking this out (sadly, I have found even facts to be subject to rather huge levels of interpretation/substantiation) and cross fingers.

addicksboy - Valid pros and cons, ta.

NevNumbat - I was aware of these, though they may be addressed, at least as e-ROI by the claims made in support of the cost of build and maintenance over lifespan vs. benefits of generation. I'd have to question the 'waste' argument, sorry.

tomper - A stat often ignored. And with finite earth upon which to stand, where does an ever-increasing population suggest as an end point?

redsquare - Another near fact. Any attribution to test reliability and assess capacity/capability.

MalachiConstant - If you would care to get in touch via, I would value your contribution and substantiation behind such claims for an attempt I am making to at least state the pros and the cons to help people decide, free of political, commercial or sociological bias.

snoepje - A very good point. But that simple?

shlick - An equally good point, and in part may be tied to the one before. Ignoring enviro and £-ROI's, can a windmill run our economy and expanding population?

ColvilleAndersen - I just ask, because I don't know (in the process of finding out), but what is the population of Denmark, and what is the ratio of wind available to power the demands of their economy?

Bonzaboy - The information exchanged here is certainly making a difference to me, and I intend it to make one to others. As to leaving it to the pols... yes, do all you suggest. As well.

contractor000 - The same offer applies to you as to your learned colleague. While citing qualifications helps validate opinions, I would hope that we can still allow those with training in assessing facts to stray into other areas. Otherwise we end up with a MoMo (Monckton/Monbiot) spat about who is more qualified to speak on a subject and/or for us mere mortals.

xhenry - Covered, but well worth repeating.

Personally, I think they can be structures of rare beauty, when placed with care. And if they provide 'free' power after payback that’s even better.

But for anything to be so pushed down our throats by the 'green is good no matter what, and anyone who disagrees is a Nazi' brigade, they also need to be proven as delivering environmentally. Which I do not see from this article, and still have several reasons to doubt.

Just the facts, Ma'am. Just the facts."