Friday, February 02, 2007

Navel Re:view

And so it rumbles on: How green should we be?

"I always have trouble with these blogs because there are the questions asked in the headline. Then those asked in the body. And then those answered and asked in post replies that can be arriving in a moderated scenario out of sequence, if at all (system permitting)

So on the day of the ICCP report, in answer to the headline at the top, I’d say ‘as green as you can be, realistically!’.

That last word immediately sets up a whole can of worms. What is realistically? You are a public broadcaster. How do you best serve the public. With information and facts? But whose? Offer both sides and if you err on a view then you can be accused of bias.

And then there is the sheer volume of fact AND opinion, multiplied by blogs. I have almost given up trying to cope with all just on the Newsnight one alone about this issue, much less the BBC and then on to the major media. My blog (accessed via my site above) has tried to list all the competing majors, with more to be added.

And it can all get sidelined by trivia.. if with
some validity. Jeremy makes a pretty gutsy stand, with fair points, and then we have by way of response that he may have not switched his monitor off, so who’s he to talk? Helpful?

I’d agree with the poster who is a tad surprised that you don’t feel its your job to save the planet you are standing on.

Just make sure that if you do it, you do it for the right reasons and in the right ways..

That’s an even bigger can of worms I’m debating with some sincere, smart cookies on my site now.

I hope I’ve offered enough to fulfill your needs here for now."

So little rare. So little well done.

Another reply to another featured link: Science forward, Bush backward

"I can comment little on the ICCP report, etc

Maybe tomorrow we'll avert it. Today we'll get parents heated up about kids getting heated up about heating up. If there is more debate tomorrow I shall return perhaps better informed but I doubt with some forming views much altered about the issue, and how the various protagonists (gov, med, interest/activist groups and biz) have, are and will treat it. Even in blogs. Who knows what lobbyist, PR or press officer lurks behind a "Clarkson for PM' or 'Green of Bristol moniker'.


At least the trains will run on time. If there are any.

One climate post was this: What the world needs now is a green fascist

I had to write:

"Dear Mr. Carr,

I have been meaning to write before, most recently on a good commentary you passed on joined up government, and the media’s role in reporting it – The rising tide of generalisation.

This one has at last moved me to get finger to keyboard in good order.

I do hope what you meant was a 'good authoritarian'. While he skirted pretty close, having lived in Singapore for several years Lee Kwan Yew 'got things done' under that mantle, and got away with few applying the fascist accusation either internally of externally. Indeed the PAP seems to sail along, fairly democratically, under his watchful eye still.

Which is more than I sense happening here (as in this country):

As you arch an eyebrow at Ms. May's suggestion, so I have, do and will ask how much will be consumed (if not wasted) throwing good money into the globally warming inferno, and to what effect.

I am currently writing to Mr. Miliband and his many other co-green ministers to ask why one of his vastly funded enviro-quangos a) never helped me when it could and should, and b) now seems to be competing with me, using my business plan and taking 'sponsorship' (ie: ad money) to do so, when they originally said they couldn't help me because I was commercial (whilst being free to all, at the same time as funding Tesco and Heinz, when the last time I looked a tin of beans wasn't).

This is one social entrepreneur who is fearing for his sanity, along with his kids' and their kids' chances."

This is very likely one of the more important posts you can read here... date.

For a start, I am going to say little, because not only have I not read the ICC report yet (if ever, at least in its entirety), I have not thoroughly read all these reviews. So maybe an even more important post is yet to come.

For now... enjoy (or not, as the case may be - I'm certainly not looking forward to all I have to wade through this weekend):

BBC - Humans blamed for climate change
Guardian CiF - Science forward, Bush backward
Guardian - Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study
Indy - What the World needs now is a green fascist
Indy - Alan Johnson: Children must think differently
Indy - Ten years left to avert catastrophe
Indy - All pupils to be given lessons in climate change
Reuters - U.N. panel says global warming man-made
New Scientist - Blame for global warming placed firmly on humankind
DEFRA - Debate on climate change science is over - international political agreement now urgently needed/Climate change film distributed to all secondary schools
Telegraph - Man's guilt for global warming clear

I have chosen as the visual today's Indy cover (I would have liked to have used for its awesome irony the pop-up ad I got of a Land Rover on top the world, but didn't hit page capture before it disappeared). I do so because I note no other has taken this as the lead, and indeed nor has the Indy, which is odd when we have a headline on offer that reads Ten years left to avert catastrophe

Maybe tomorrow we'll avert it. Today we'll get parents heated up about kids getting heated up about heating up.

I have to say that if I was a minister of indeed sub-editor, as a parent as well I'd be more inclined to go the route of 'We must help kids get informed and inspired in the best ways to engage with the challenges of CC/GW'. As it reads what I see smacks of nanny and big brother or, god forbid, another total waste of funds on a 'campaign' by target-hitters whose only knowledge of pushing kids' buttons is by fining 12 year olds for putting the wrong type of paper in the bin.

I'd go for fun, education and re:ward, with such as What are the chances of that? Or there is support from well-known kids' reads such as broadsheets like the Indy, who still can't bring themselves to mention us (much less get in touch in reply to our outreach) in their campaign on packaging.

You get the picture and [fill in dis-organisational gov, media and biz entities here] ... you deserve.

Bon. Mais.. cinq minutes!

I wrote about public building illumination recently, so this caught my eye:

Eiffel Tower turns light off to signal climate risk

I know there's safety and all, but what is the symbolic message here? And is there a better one? Off during the week? Hour earlier? On hour later? Low energy bulbs? Make it a thing to come to see once a year?

Son mais pas d'illumiere.

Charity begins, at 17.5% of spend

At least it used to when I ran my agency, unless you did a deal and waived the media commission on top of doing the creative and production for free (which we did, but usually on the understanding we could really go for it with the concept).

Save the Children overhauls marketing

This is a story in a specialist publication about a specialised industry, but the numbers and the players (and numbers of players) makes me queasy at what actually may be going on here.

I know it should be as simple as getting money from a donor to a worthy recipient, but no longer can be. And I know 'marketing' is a legitimate part of making that match. But... how many people are feeding off the money before it even arrives?

Mad - On the plus side (not sure about the media)

Let the (blame) games begin!

I don't play much sport. I watch even less. Especially now that the whole thing has become a business on one side and I can appreciate the abilities of most sportsperson no more than the money spent on training and success at finding new, legal 'aids'.

However, I am now a (poor, in every sense) student of cause funding, and I do not like what I read here: Good causes miss out as Olympics soaks up half a billion in Lotto funds

As I bang on about specious ROIs being used, even trumpeted in the environmental world, I should not be surprised that the small matter of setting a budget and sticking to it seems to have been neglected.

A lot of Pols these days (have to) start of their interviews with 'I'm not in the business of blaming anyone'. Well, I'm afraid I think we need to get back to this a lot more. Every inefficient, egotistical and especially corrupt individual who is engaged in a project and cocks up, especially because of self-interest, should be named, shamed, fired and not compensated.

Can we now move on? Clearly.

This Man's guilt for global warming clear seems pretty, er, clear.

Though I would wish that headlines and facts tallied more closely, to avoid Achilles Heels that others can exploit:

Scientists are now overwhelmingly confident...

The exact phrasing of the report... was still being negotiated by scientists.

The best estimate is that...

This is expected to mean...

If it is as alarming as experts predicted...

'Scientists' or 'experts' are pretty catch-all terms, and I think need to be put in context much more clearly and up-front to establish credibility.

And those disclaimer terms seem to be the work of a person trying to steal a march. Wait until you know, and then state it loud... and clear

Finally, without sounding like a denier, I am not sure if Man's guilt for causing GW in totality is proven, but there seems a clear case for us making it lots worse and hence needing to do something about making it better. Again, I hope creating an opening for such semantics will not in turn lead to more pointless debate.

Some get more airtime than others...

...which, in a media-driven age, means they end up more equal.

I had to pitch in to this: No Special Treatment

'This seems a game with no winners, except maybe those who create conflict and those who feed on it.

I think all parties playing it, especially some press, needs to assess the creation, acceptance and status accorded 'community leaders'.

Are they elected? If not, who says they speak for anyone other than themselves and their own agendas? Interviews with these guys (and gals) seem at best lazy and at worst ratings-driven (to extremes) reporting. And it’s frustrating to be fed a politician or ‘leader’ claiming to speak for the majority, when the only credible evidence of any frequent contact they do have is with a news channel researcher’s speed dial.

I watched one such 'representative' yesterday given national news coverage to demand, it seemed, that he be involved in the police investigative process from the outset.

If granted, can I please sit in on meetings where speed cameras get sited in my area?'

If only because it happens so often in the environmental debate. 'The people of the UK want..' gets bandied about by both sides, when I suspect (how can I do any more without asking 60M people?) most wish they'd all shut up and go away and leave it to those who are trying to do something to just get on and help make things better.

When blogging goes bad

Blogs can be great. But the system can frustrate both poster and readers, as highlighted by this from a Newsnight post I took part in (and couldn't resist answering):

Ref: vikingar

Or... it might be the system is not working too well.

Calm down, dear, it's only a cock-up.

Usually after posting you get an immediate return to the board with an acknowledgement. These days 2 out 3 I have tried (I used to and still do make the same mistake) either result in half an hour of the spinning pizza of death (I have a Mac - maybe the cause?) and/or eventually a failure sign.

So you retry later. Well, YOU don't, but some of us do because we don't know if it has been received or not. It has and is happening all over the board.

That said...

As it is moderated one wonders why the moderator can't just lop out the duplicates?

And I agree that of all major media I appreciate most the immediacy, reassurance and openness of the Guardian system. Though I have seen a few folk complain they have been removed with no good reason (must take something pretty egregious). The Telegraph is very good - or bad, depending on your view - at moderating out stuff it doesn't fancy, which in a free press is editing that can rather make one doubt their commitment to balanced debate. Despite the BBC’s rather unique status this one is pretty good, but again I have seen folk complain they are not being heard and can only wonder why. Maybe that's why Duncan editted down to repost later?

ps: I'm a MORON - that's Middle Of the Road, Outside Nomenclature – and proud of it. I find political labels (or any mild pejorative, such as 'denier' or 'mentalist' in the enviro debate) to be often inaccurate and lead to further name-calling. A view is a view and you can span the political spectrum without slavishly adhering to one doctrine.