Wednesday, January 24, 2007

'Bah, humbug' - le son et lumiere

When I crest the last hill on the remaining few miles of the M50 on my way back from London late at night, one of the most welcome sights is the spire of St Mary's in Ross. It is a sodium yellow-illuminated symbol that I am almost home. It is also, by virtue of needing several dirty great big lamps to achieve this effect, a rather major consumer of juice, and hence cause of the dreaded GeeGees (greenhouse gasses).

Now, do I storm up the the next parish whatever meeting and insist they blow them out right away? Well, it's a consideration, really, is it not? And hence a socio, enviro, and all sorts of other 'io's' dilemma.

'Cos that being the case, I should equally well be lobbing up at the next meeting of the guys who run Wembley Stadium, which as I leave London on the A40 is also rather pretty. Or the Millenium Bridge (pictured).

Sorry, no solutions. Like firework displays, I rather see me getting into hot water between heart and head just with myself, let alone with anyone else.

But as is my way, I do think it a question worth pondering. And I wonder how many stalwarts of the nan-e state and guilt-e activism have also decided these glowing icons to be best left out of the tsk-tsk finger-pointing.

Maybe one for a Prof's Poser... or London's Mayor. Relative to the additional emissions (above simply driving around in, say, a Prius) of all the 4x4s in the city, what would be the negative GeeGee impact be relative to purely decorative illumination of public buildings? I'm not even sure which side of a hundred it would go.

Make that 11!

I am hoping against hope that a medium such as the Indy (which, to be fair, has mentioned us in passing before), will give us a 'BIG UP' in such as the campaign they are running. I've tried to reach them and offer some input. No return as yet. Never say never.

It can just be so frustrating seeing headlines such as this, making out there is everything going on elsewhere and nothing here, when so much is being done on our doorsteps. Just... maybe not by those paid millions to do it.

Anyway, fingers crossed they will register us again soon and 'gis a mention.

I sent our January newsletter out the other night, after much faffing about with the technology... again. I think it's improving with each issue, and with luck is set to get better, and more useful soon.

I've been pretty blown away with the response, which has been a double-edged sword: yet more things now on top to edit and add to the site.But this is, of course, a 'happy problem'.

PRW - Excessive packaging under spotlight

The Ultimate Promo?

You (unless you are a certain police cadet) have to hand it to Michael O'Leary/RyanAir: they know how to get in the news. And what's that again? Oh yeah, 'there is no publicity like free publicity'.

So to drum up a petition of 1m to Gordon Brown, he's popping out a free flight offer to get you to do it.

And the media are cooperating big-time. Sure they do point out at the end that it's pretty p*ss-poor, time-sensitive offer (a bit like the normal flights), but hey, news is news. I'd also guess a few will accuse him/them of bribing 'votes' with a freebie. Well, just so long as they check their own pages for 'Fly to.. free' competitions on the ad and promo pages before they get too sanctimonious about doing pretty much the same thing.

I could also point at the road pricing petition (link on our Jan newsletter - via About Us on the site) that got 1/2 a million on no more than people feeling strongly.

But I have to question the value of these e-things though, and who signs up and what notice is really taken of them. Especially when you are paid to respond.

Burning Bush

There'll be links on this later I'm sure.

But the State of the Union report on BBC was clear: Less petrol use. But no targets on emissions.

That'll sort it then.

Telegraph - Bush seeks 20% cut in petrol

Steal £200. Get out of Jail free.

Remember Monopoly money? It had less value(s) than the real thing. I think we have arrived at Monopoly society, presided over by Monopoly Government and reported on by Monopoly Media.

So now the solution to full jails (one may ask how the trend has not been noticed over the last 10 years, or the causes of it - both in terms of creating customers and failing to prepare to accommodate them) is to a) not put any more in or b) let some out. I must find a Gatso right away and speed past it, and then fail to pay the fine. I bet they'll have a mugger out before you can say 'the law is the law'.

Meanwhile, Ms. Jade Gobby is rewarded for her performance and contribution to race relations with an all expenses (if not salaried, and PR/TV crew in tow)-paid trip to the country she didn't seem to rate.

Well, let me state here and now that some Singaporeans don't take their turn at the washing up, and I wish she would. Also, do they eat with their hands (Ans: some do, (even Chinese ones, like my Missus) sometimes, as do a few Ang Mohs, if they are at a Banana Leaf restaurant)?

There. I hope you are all suitably offended. Now, me and the family would like to visit the rellys this summer, if you would like to put us up in Raffles and fly (sadly our 2 week holiday allowance precludes the QE2 or getting an oil company to sponsor us to drive there - but rest assured we will write a blog for the book tour and whack a palm in our back garden in time for it to croak come winter (or maybe not, way things are going)) us SQ.

I had to do that last bit to make it re:levant. But really it all is. If the guys at the helm can't set an example, is it any wonder we follow our leaders to the easy options?

BBC - Limit Jail Sentences

Declan Does Davos

I'm just about to walk the boys to school (no e-smugness intended; we only live about a mile away, it's a nice(ish) morning and I need the exercise) and caught the tail end of BBC Breakfast's coverage of Davos.

So we have their cuddly reporter there, and to intercept reader's email challenges as to why everyone is flying in to discuss (amongst other things) global warming, a solution is to hand: Offsetting! Yes, Aunty is, along with all the rest, going to bung 13 quid into a bucket and throw it on the forest fire. That'll sort it then.

I would rather have hoped they might have sussed by now that such simplistic buy-offs are a little under the microscope; not just for what they don't do to help, but for the fact that they simply say 'keep on doing what you fancy', and by giving some guys in suits some cash it will all be hunky-dory.

For what it's worth, I think it obvious that major leaders have to meet, but it may be nice that they start erring on doing so in less poor ways environmentally (as well as rich financially), whilst propagating the D2AID2AIS hypocrisy (Sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel - ask me here if you want to know what it means).

BBC - Green Agenda