Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Carbon trading

And in reply to this great call...?

All I can hear is a big, fat, empty echo.

The journey of a thousand steps...

Want to save the planet? It’s your little changes that mean the most


And to all the other reader who sees this and feels enough to get motivated to do something at home and peronal...ly re:warding, try re:use at junkk.com.

That way you can save the planet, and some time, and some money.

Kinda win-win. Which is nice. If rare.

Speaks for itself, unspeakably

Plane beats train on cost and speed as discount fares prove elusive

You know what we need... another 'initiative'. With a charge on it.

That'll help.

Divide and Fools

This is going to the BBC right now.

Following an interesting and touching piece on Alzheimer's (ironic, since I only heard it having had to drive to Gloucester to collect the card I left in the chip 'n pin doo-dad on Sunday. Oddly Sainsbury's have no policy on letting you, or your bank know. They just keep it a while and then bin it), the Jeremy Vine show descended into the worst example of the sorry state of ratings-driven media I have ever heard.

I think this will be cited as one of the nails in the coffins of our public broadcaster being accorded any credence as an objective news organisation, and certainly raises questions as to why it is allowed a fine-supported, non-opt-out monopoly to collect funds to create and broadcast such trash.

First up we get a 'piece' 'inspired' by some Yuppie Hooray with contacts in PR, who makes a kids' level version of Why the US Is Lovely, condensing several decades into a few tens of seconds of 'what if?' nonsense. Maybe it got 1/4M 'hits' on YouTube. So what? But it was enough to get him in to boost his ad banner rates by sticking him up against some bonkers ex-Guardianista US-phobic who could barely string a sentence together, let alone allowing any form of reasoned debate get in the way of her single-minded prejudices. Then it gets thrown open to 'us', the listening public, so after the break for music we get a bunch of raving pro and antis selected especially by researchers to vent their ill-informed spleens over a completely staged, specious premise. And so it spirals down...

That was bad enough. Then, in the era of discredited phones-ins, to follow we have an 0900 'vote' to see which vehicles should be banned, with another set of twofers from each extreme venting spleens and spewing half-considered, factually irresponsible bile at each other, and us, as Mr. Vine and his producers wet themselves over their soaring ratings.

What public service was served by any of this claptrap? And with this complaint how do I get past the low-level munchkins in the 'file and fob-off' department who will a) sit on this for a week, b) claim they have looked into it thoroughly, then c) find no issue to answer so d) they won't.

This is not a valid process of sincere self-improvement, from a public-service and public-funded entity that has done little lately beyond losing the plot.

I demand to be put in coherent contact with some form of decision maker who can explain these decisions from a position of responsibility and accountability.

The world's a bad enough place without our national broadcaster dividing us all in warring camps for cheap media points. It must be stopped before it is too late. Or... I want my money back.

9 April - It took a while (doesn't it always?) but they have come back as, of course, they have to. What do you think? A fair reply? one deserving of file & forget?

Thank you for your e-mail regarding 'Jeremy Vine' transmitted on the 6
March 2007.

Firstly, please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know
our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have
had to wait on this occasion.

I understand you have some concerns about the above programme.

I must explain that this was a week-long poll giving the British Public the
chance to select the vehicle they would most like to vote off our roads, if
they could.

It is hoped the programme team can raise the findings of this poll on the 9
March edition [I got this a month later] with those in Government who make/influence transport policy.

Ultimate aim to tackle some big, important questions about road traffic and
the positive measures that could be taken by those in power to alleviate
the anger that so many road users feel: i.e.: How can speed limits be
enforced? Should there be compulsory road tests for cyclists and
horse-riders? Who should pay for the upkeep of the roads and how should
that tax be collected? Does the driving test need to change or be repeated?

Nevertheless, I appreciate you may continue to have some concerns about the
two items you have specified as a whole. Please be assured that I have
registered your complaint and concerns on the daily log, this is an
internal document which will be made available to the 'Jeremy Vine'
production team as well as the senior management of the BBC.

May I take this opportunity to thank you again for taking time to contact
the BBC.


Katherine Tsang
BBC Information

The BBC Trust wants to know what's important to you about your BBC. Want to
help it set the BBC's strategic priorities? To get involved just click on

What ever floats their boat. Which it will, eventually

I just glanced this:

Scientists from 63 countries to investigate polar melting

And without reading it, I just pray it will not involve hordes of them going up to snowy bits in planes and copters to figure out why it's all melting.

Carb-con gestion?

They keep popping up, don't they?

'Carbon allowance' plan for drivers

Motorists could find themselves facing a ceiling on the amount of carbon they are allowed to emit...

This would be 'motorists' where, doing what exactly and when?

I look forward to how they spin this one. Can't be any worse than the road pricing effort.... can it?

Indy - Miliband: 'Time for a green industrial revolution'
Times - 'Make car drivers pay for their pollution'

Patents and le absurd?

We, the Patent Office

In a month's time I'm off to Geneva as part of the UK stand at an International Invention Expo.

I will have in my clutches a small prototype of a big idea that I hope will a) save planet and b) make dosh, not necessarily in that order.

For either to happen, and for there to be a happy ending on b), I have ventured into the mysterious world of Patent applications, assessments and agents and god knows what.

So far it has been like a stag night in 70's SoHo, looking for the naked ladies in strip clubs but going through endless velvet red curtains and being relived of cash at every turn with a promise that 'soon you will be there'. About halfway you know you have been conned, but are too far in to not keep on going.

So I know diddly squat about this process.

However, in the great 'protection of your idea' scheme of things, is such an open season on its intimate details wise, or even desirable?

BusinessWeek - Inside Nathan Myhrvold's Mysterious New Idea Machine
Times - Patents 2.0 comes to Britain

Dragon's Breath

Tel Blog - Some issues remain untouchable

I think I read elsewhere that China has decided enough's enough and the whole corruption thing must stop now. So that's OK then.

As I flit from blog to blog looking at trendy liberals knock spots off each other as to just how much Fairtrade latte you can fit in a Prius' trunk, I read this and have to wonder if the world really has a chance in hell.

BBC - Global impact of Asia's pollution

Open to what... exactly?

Is it just me, or could one wish that journos from one side of a paper actually ponder what those at another my be writing about, and attempt to cover all the issues?

BA fears ill wind may blow from 'open skies'

George of the Rumble

Another from Grist - Turn Up the Heat

Makes you proud to be a Brit, eh?

For every two Beckhams, we have a Monbiot. So at that rate... we're toast. Celebs. And anti-celeb celebs. Can live with 'em, can't... er... no that's about it. And I guess that applies to me too, as an anti-anti-celeb (as I can often 'wonder' in places such as this just how sincere some are themselves or, if sincere, effective on a planetary scale as opposed to on a nice little personal earner basis).

So thank you for this link.

It's so odd. By any measure I trawl the e-pages of the UK media a bit more than most (who needs to get a life?) and until this moment I had no inkling such a thing existed, even courtesy of our George's usual hunting grounds, which I read daily and have done for a few years.

Well worth a gander.

I wonder what other people think of it? I'll have to declare an interest, I had/have something similar in mind, called Pol's Porkies, which stands for POLitician's PORky Pies, which is Cockney slang for lies. But I soon extended it to anyone in the public eye who said one thing and did another. Even better if the former was high-profile and the other low rent.


Now I have registered it, but have yet to build it. So it's a might miffing when GM crops (geddit?) up and it turns out he has beaten me to the punch.

Popping over the parapet, and with glasses tinted green with envy, I have had a scope and do feel moved to cock a critical eyebrow, as I am wont.

First and foremost, and with no book in the offing... yet... I am always a tad suspicious of anything that is associated with a sales effort. Somehow it seems to weaken the purity of the concept.

Next, and purely subjectively, though with a few decades as a designer under my belt, it all comes off as a bit placard waving graphically, typographically and in copy terms. I thought I'd arrived at a Marxist rallying point to march on Westminster - to protest the price of non-Fairtrade lattes en route through Islington.

This, and the style makes me almost sympathetic to Chris, Richard and our Tel, etc. 'George' is watching you! Which makes 'George' Big Brother, which makes him...?

I also note, and Grist readers will hopefully appreciate this, a distinct lack of humour here. Hard to empathise with very much, frankly.

Which in one way is a pity, because having read his home page mantra I can't disagree with it at all. But in another it is good, because I think, immodestly, I can do a lot better. Mainly by not doing much at all. I intend Polsporkies.info to be of the people, by the people for the people, in much the same way as Junkk.com is. Frustratingly, he has also similar version to my TushTissue (for highlighting 'papering over' jobbies, rather than 'dealing withs') and even NewsFlip, as in the bird, but also as 'flip' commentary, highlighting news that is so superficial as to muddy already murky waters.

But for these I intend to just create the system, probably tabular (said, done, date, attribution, date, etc) make it as user content manged as I can. Then retire immediately having lit the fuse. I very much see it as a factual grid with a only a little moderation to ensure factual accuracy, minimal law suits and perhaps scope to inject a bit of fun to keep things bubbling.

And when I collect my award from Nelson Mandela (it's in there on his site - if you are going to drop a name, his is well worth it), I will worry very much how I detour from my global book tour to do it with out looking down the barrel of my own gun through the hole in my foot. Glad to see he is not all talk though (the actions being...?)

Because there does seem to be a new breed of Green elite whose jobs require them to buzz about (legitimately, by some logic) telling other folk that they should not have jobs that require them to buzz about. This, on occasion, has seen the odd mention of the phrase 'double standard' and even the H word being levelled back. With some justification I may add. And which does weaken the foundations of certain pedestals. And as I have opined before, a fallen idol can do more damage crashing down, and undo a lot of good they may have achieved whilst evangelising.

Fortunately I don't tell folk how to behave. I just ask questions, share information and try to lead by as best an example as I can.

It's less stressful.

Uh-oh... incoming!!!