Monday, February 26, 2007

What they said

A Rubbish Outcome
Electoral expediency and refuse costs lie behind the latest council tax figures

'The real solutions are a radically simplified tendering process for waste disposal contractors so that more of them bid, more competitively; a serious effort to require food manufacturers to cut back on packaging; and vastly more practical household recycling systems.'

Amen. And, one might suggest, investment in any and all ways that
are attractive by incentive or reward to the individual householder and/or
consumer, such as repair, reuse and reduction.

Recycling, while very worthwhile, still pretty much puts the onus on the
individual to act as an unpaid sorter and logistics operative for councils
and vastly overpaid contractors who are motivated more on targets
than any benefit to the environment. And all funded to the tune of
multi-tens of millions by poorly monitored monopolistic quangos with
more interest in empire-building than seeing money go to where it can
and should to deliver the most benefits.

The people know it, and are getting to resent funding words, pensions
but no actual delivery.

One law for you. And one for me.

Fines clampdown ‘will hit innocent drivers’

Let me get this straight.

Without due process or any burden of proof being established,
someone's rightful property can be seized and impounded against
their proving they are innocent?

And the justification for this being it's 'needed to help tackle the problem of unpaid congestion charges by drivers registered outside London.'

Now, what if Gordon Brown phoned them up and suggested a fellow
Ministerial colleague's Caravan-tower was in breach?

Why don't they just line-up against the wall and shoot each other?
It would save the rest of us the job.

Circular Argument?

Honda F1 scraps sponsorship logos

This is a vehicle that rushes round in circles at vast speed using fuel and emitting global warming gasses right?

You know, maybe they read my blog on what the effect of someone having a fag was, and that's why they ditched the tobacco guys.

Hey, I'm scooping the big guys:

Being Green

They could always suggest car-sharing.

All the drivers get in one car and rush around really carefully. Then get Richard & Judy's
& Sunday Kitchen's production company to hold a a phone competition on who was the winner, as it really could still be anyone's guess!

Honda go for green with logo-free car made to save world one pixel at a time

I think I'll pass on the Civic Hybrid. It's got a bit too much baggage (literally... for all my non-urban trips I'd be lugging round a battery)

Why pay for something pointless? That's why talk is cheap.

The global revolution

A few previous bloggers have addressed some opinions stated here as fact, but let me lob in a few of my own:

“...the electorate's demand for action is growing.”

Everything is relative. Considering the amount of money and media thrown at promoting such demands I’d say it blooming well should grow. But by how much in relation to what has already been invested?
I was stunned that the IPCC report got reported for about 3 days tops across all major media. Then I believe it was back to normal. Tipping point minus 10 years less a few weeks, according to the calculations of some...2500 top scientists. No wonder no one is too bothered.

“Until recently, Exxon Mobil and other companies paid lobbyists to try to distort the public debate."

Have they, and others... stopped now? Doubt it. Wouldn’t expect it. And frankly I think it’s good for debate. If all dissent was shut down, who would believe anything, especially as most solutions are little of gain for not much gain (well, except for the mankind surviving – if not with a Hummer beach holiday with A/C – thing)?

‘Yet truth has triumphed over political manoeuvres.’

I think you’ll find there’s life in the index-linked, short-term career, target and self-serving agenda’d dogs yet. Sadly.

‘...leaders such as General Electric, are also sending a clear message: we can solve the problem at modest cost if we put our best thinking and action into real solutions.’

Well, some may be sincere. Some may just be doing it either piecemeal, badly, or for the money. And GE just got sued did it not, for not delivering shareholder value as much as it could but for all this green innovocationaeering? You gotta love lawyers. I wonder if they will be all that’s left, along with cockroaches?

‘... we must start now and act on a global basis, using carbon taxes and emission permits’

Established and controlled by which government geniuses and their corporate, IT and city mates, on what enviROI, and for what or whose benefit? Road pricing as a kick-off anyone?

‘...create market-based incentives for companies and individuals to make the necessary changes.’

Couldn’t agree more. Now sell me on it all with ideas and tangibles. All I see is platitudes on one side and scaremongering, nanny stateism, fines and duties on the other. Very little inspiration and reward out there to get the public on side... or even designed to help them grasp the issues in terms they can relate and respond to.

‘The Kyoto Protocol was the first attempt...’

It’s good to try. But it was, how shall we say... a tad flawed by being no more than a bit of spin with no practical substance. And like so many such things, backfired by devaluing the real issues and insulting the global electorate’s intelligence.

‘All of that will have to change. All countries will have to shoulder their responsibilities to the rest of the world and to future generations.

No, really!?

‘There is now a way for individuals and companies to make their own voices heard. The Earth Institute at Columbia University...’

I’ll have a gander later. It may turn out to be ‘a’ way, along with a load of others, to help. My measure as to whether it is one of ‘the ways’ is if it gets beyond ‘we must...’ rhetoric and gets into tangible DOING stuff pronto, and does not just turn out to be another talking shop so highly paid consultants (who decides who or what actually are ‘leading businesses, environmental groups, and other international organisations’? Or ‘leading scientists’? Maybe the Guardian, who has PR’d this event, can help answer this... as a journalistic medium?) can whiz around the world Club Class staying in 5* hotels to figure out how to save the rest of us not privileged or connected enough to understand what is bearing down.

Me, I guess for now I’ll stay here and keep trying to suss out the substance from the spin in the comfort of my own home, whilst DOING something, no matter how small, with ‘a’nother effort, , and my blog.

piMP my ride!

Ministers put foot down on carbon emissions

'The number of miles driven by ministerial drivers has increased sharply...'

Well, hot diggedy. Anyone would think they say one thing and do another.

Swallowing your Greens. That's ratings.

Eco-label will create green standard for food, says Miliband

Will this be run alongside the one from the other retailers, which will be designed to tell a very different set of stories and totally flummox the consumer? Instead of traffic lights what will we have? Eco-stars? Green thumbs up? They are going to have to make the packs bigger at this rate (oh, the irony)! How many lobbyists, consultants and 'experts' will feed off this one for the next decade. Ship-borne dried apricots vs. airflown prawns vs. Spuds shunted from one end of the UK for scrubbing and then back to be deemed 'local' to where they are bought.

And are we going to have sub-sets where there is what is good for local farming, the local MP, the national purse, global environment, targets, media ratings and all the various pulls on green issues that can often be... at odds. Me, I vote less CO2... and unproductive civil servants and other talk-onlys to monitor and debate it all.

This is actually a great idea in principle, but when I see a PR piece floated telling me only something 'will be announced that is to considered' I have to wonder what exactly is going to be done at all, if ever.

For a change.

DEFRA - Mr. Miliband's Speech
Telegraph - 'Traffic light' labels backed by parents
Marketing Week - Parents reject GDA labelling system
BBC - Public want food 'traffic lights'

We're in with the 'in' crowd. So there.

I was watching BBC news yesterday morning and they had on Andrew Marr on selling his show later on.

On it, he was going to have Rory Bremner, who had just pulled what I thought was a rather fun stunt, though its ethics are under debate.

Of more interest to me was Andrew Marr's reaction to his colleague's question as to the competence of the No.10 switchboard and system such that this could have happened.

He was quick to defend 'his girls'. Without him being the BBC's political editor I wonder if they would be so helpful in putting him through in future had he had, as did I, some doubts? How did RB know what must surely be the oft repeated manner in which GB asks for folk? 'Hi, Gordo here, is Madge free..?'

Guardian - Beckett shows how to survive in politics

Ask. Don'tell. Don't worry about it.

I saw a strange, worrying and all too frequent performance get played out on BBC Breakfast 'News' this morning. Check 'ONGO' labels for others, such as the latest on my spat with them over not posing the question I provided in answer to their request for... questions.

Apparently, a large number of NHS frontline staff are getting assaulted these days, which is terrible and a damning indictment of some sections of society, how they are created... and dealt with.

So after the stats we get a 'victim'; a nurse who suffered a terrible assault. Now I didn't catch how long ago it was, but her distress was clear. Thing is, her distress was wielded by the anchor as a symptom of her attack. Not to detract from what happened, was it not possible that it was just as easily to do with being dragged, albeit willingly, in front of the nation's cameras to perform live?

And this particular person's view (representing?) was that there should be a police person attending every treatment. Now there is a slight issue of practicality here. I'd like my own personal copper when I am out and about, but it ain't going to happen. And, as in her case, I am not sure this SAS, kung-fu-lighting-reaction doughnut muncher would be able to do much about a booze or drug fueled pyscho grabbing a needle and stabbing the nearest poor sod in A&E. The logic of this was not debated very much.

What we did get was the now obligatory Title Wearing Admin Template in suit and shaved skull (on £xxx,000/pa doubtless), whose job (something to do with security) it was to say nothing much really, beyond it was 'not acceptable', and waffle about measures. Meanwhile the blonde tries, in vain, to make him say something so her salary can go up with a 'gothca' on her CV. Which is why he will say... nothing.

'And that's all we have time for.'

All parties served. NHS. BBC. Just maybe not the issue. Or justice.

I've now regsitered another website:, where we will post examples of articles or broadcast clips and simply ask viewers what public interest was served at the expense of simply filling a slot and/or getting a senior talking head to fill it, or a highly subjective and limited viewpoint to stir up ratings value. You never know. It may stir up an answer. In this way, with my zero resources, I can use the major media to scare up the stories, and then use public pressure to actually get answers.

BBC - Violence costs NHS '£100m a year'