Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Procrastination can have its merits

A wee while ago Dave of Solarventi wrote asking me my thoughts about M&S's 'There is no Plan B' eco-conversion.

My reply at the time was that I'd be more impressed if they would answer my calls and those of some others (like Dave) who had a few actual suggestions on reduction and reuse that might actually do more than spin the hype turbines. Then I forgot all about it as I now have 500 emails in my in-box since the weekend.

But then I read this: Is Rose's footprint as green as it seems?

Now I have been a bit exhausted by the venom flying about when critics address the man (sorry, PC-types) and not the science, but I do rather share the notion that if the message the messenger is bringing is one of 'do as I say!' then not doing it personally chips at the old pedestal foundations a tad. Especially when these folk are either rolling in it and/or have long since ceased to have any grasp on the realities of paying the bills by being in waaaaaay too much power.

So to the merry ranks of Tony 'Well me not flying isn't really isn't practical when I have lectures to fund my mortgage(s)' B, David 'See how it spins... and the turbine' C, Richard 'My whole fleet is flying on old chips, including the geriatric billionaire space tourists' B et Al 'But I only fly my own jet because I'm busy' G, I think we can add Stuart 'My Beemer may be saving the planet, but the fleet of trucks following behind with liquid hydrogen refills may not be' R.

PolPorkies.info almost has enough to kick off.

Ya think?

Though I doubt I'll ever get my calls answered now.

You never know

Green and pleasant

'The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.'

Now... don't get worried, get weaving!

At least you have been moved to try, and are to be applauded. All I ask is that we don't get subjected to yet another Islington version of making a difference, so those of us not blessed with the speed dial to a rocker with a tight schedule may feel equally inspired to do our bit as well, with perhaps a little less of the green that makes going green more pleasant for some.

Stop thinking interest-group (that includes Govt.) agendas. The heck with carbon trading (so long as guys in suits are in charge of them). Recycling is great. But reduction is better. And in between are reuse and repair, which can be fun and very rewarding.

I'm staking my kids' future on it. And it's a heck of a legacy to leave.

Click the link to find out more. We can all be bipolar explorers together.

Funny old thing, irony, eh?

Are we all explorers now?

'Package holidays are in such steep decline that holiday companies are taking drastic action.'

And here was me thinking folk were getting the green bug and staying at home.

Nope, they are just going even further.

Next thing they'll be punting themselves into outer space atop a pillar of greenhouse gasses just to take a picture of what the planet used to look like before, well, they started punting themselves into outer space atop a pillar of greenhouse gasses just to take a picture of what the planet used to look like.

Funny old thing, irony, eh?

Way too much time on his hands

It's OK, MPs are recycling hot air

"How, I hear you ask, did your old chum W. A. come to be the leading "green guru" (dread job description!) to all three major parties?"

To be deadly, if unfashionably, serious juts this once, for a scribe the mandatory is also to live only within the London C (as in 'centric')-zone.

That way the fool-miles are easier to justify:)

I'm a poet. But you... would probably disagree

A host of plastic daffodils

I drove my G reg, gas-guzzlin' Silver Cloud
Bought for naught but now dripping bills
When all at once by light as indicator flickr'd
A hedgerow decked with witches' knickers
Atop the lake, hanging from trees,
Sod the planet, we've tourists to please.

No FT, no...?

A healthy debate

FT stands for Flippin' Time. If I haven't got much spare, and there is no end benefit, what's the point in wasting any?

I'm really only interested in what might score some readers back to my blog, which needs a link, or furthering my pet causes, which needs some open minds online.

The Telegraph 'moderates' a lot, which can be off-putting. The Guardian does not. The former puts last first, while most you have to scroll all through to get to the latest. All can add, or detrat, to the appeal of offering free editorial.

I have a cut-off of a hundred, because usually that means by then a core brigade are trading shots, which gets no one anywhere. A shame, because often a good post can come in late as the poster has only just arrived and still feels they can contribute.

That said, I often wait a few days and lob one in just to have the last word. Though to be professional, that does mean reading all inbetween, which can be a chore.

Like digging for the gold seam, you never know what you may miss if you give up to soon.

Curse this damn urge to discover and share!

Hey, it's lunchtime. I had a banana in one hand and some time on the other.

Nothing like a bit of editting

Manipulating 'weak-minded Westerners'
Take a careful look at the comments that are posted to your favourite blogs. They could come from Muslim extremists in disguise. Honestly.

Take a careful look at the news from your daily newspapers. They could come from agenda-driven hype merchants disguised as journalists. Honestly.

Words, almost, fail me

A celebrity-endorsed bag proclaiming 'I'm not a plastic bag' is expected to sell out within hours

But I may just manage a quick comment that this pack of eco-morons and their sheep like media luvvies think it is helping the planet to get the brain dead, more money-than-sensisats to dash out to buy another bag to do their shopping in.

What chance doing if they are still not yet understanding

Gordon the green engine?

Whatever measures Mr. Brown does take, and lord alone knows some are necessary, it is to be hoped that they will be thought through and 'sold' to the public a darn sight better than they have been to date.

One major hurdle is to convince those who do not live in the London-C - for centric- zone (between the BBC in the West, Canary Wharf in the East, and all the various political and activist hotspots in between, which are easily accessed by tube, bus and bike (weather, lack of kids, more than one shopping bag, not living in a flat city... permitting}) that this is not some half-baked notion cooked up by an urban elite with no idea of the real world most of the population is struggling to live and work in.

So how one financially dissuades a squillionaire Yummy Mummy in her annually renewed Cayenne, whilst not bankrupting a farmer in their 30 year old Land Rover (how much is produced simply in in a car's manufacture?), to get both in a Hybrid (good log pullers, I'm sure) is anyone's guess.

Especially, as I understand it, in London (all hail) the EverReady-buggy can buzz about all day, emitting away, for free, while a Suzuki Vitara would get busted for a 3 mile trip to and from Paddington from Wandsworth to be parked, CO2less, all day. Kensington to the City and you're golden... er.. green to go in a Hummer, of course.

So how long 'it' emits is surely as key as what? But then you need to work around the district nurse in the Dales with her Fiesta, and you have a Gordknotian problem to unravel.

As for air travel, well let's just not go there. Really. Let's not. At least, if you are serious (Tony B, Al G, all climate 'experts' with conferences and/or book deals, etc, please note).

I wish any pol good luck signalling their understanding of this. And in ways I not only understand... but believe.

If not... see you at the voting booth.

Telegraph - Brown's green tax rise on 'gas-guzzling' cars

Title Fight #2 - the US primaries!

More prompted by Grist:

The latest debate on 'overselling' climate science

In an earlier post on these pages I have cautioned against a defensive mentality... Hiding behind the veracity of science is comforting as a justification, but care must be taken that one only sees one aspect of science as 'the truth', and remains didactic in fighting from only that corner. These are challenges to be addressed...

But in light of a few posts above I'd like to share an exchange I had in the UK media:



Titles matter.

Does an Ace beat a King? A King a Queen, etc.

Of course, there is the small matter of the Jester.

Because when it comes to climate science, this has become key.

I am guessing a Professor beats a Doctor, but maybe not.

Then there are qualifiers.

Does 'eminent' mean more than 'noted'. And in what combination?

And is the quiet guy, who knows his/her stuff and gets on with it, better to explain than the one with a slick sound bite and speed dial to the media?

Frankly, I do not know what to believe any more, because I do not know who to believe.



To which I had what I consider a fun, but still helpful reply:

Personally I'd be inclined to proceed by a lexicographic ordering on the following:

1. area of specialisation (climatology > geology > chemistry > mathematics > other science > arts, etc.);

2. level of qualification (in the UK, professor > senior fellow > lecturer > postdoc > PhD student > graduate), i.e. prefer the lecturer in geology to the PhD student in the same subject;

3. host institution, i.e. when faced with conflicting opinions from two climatology professors, prefer the Oxford professor to the one hosted by some US big-oil thinktank.


Sadly the majority of the other artillery exchanges mirrored those I too often see here.

To make it a more of a global wa... rming affair, you may enjoy playing with these too: http://www.badscience.net/?p=386

Mirror, mirror

I rely on the very excellent Grist for many things, and will continue to do so, but where it strays into Global Warming territory I think they are in danger of losing the plot. I don't doubt their sincerity, but as to the methodology... well, they've lost me.

A long rant about facts, persuasion, and global warming

'If only God the gift had gae us, to see oursel's as others see us'
Robert Burns

Re: A long rant about facts, persuasion, and global warming

I guess it's OK here (though while I am personally interested, I don't feel qualified and hence any more able to stay adequately focused on all this, possibly along with a few others who may not feel motivated to make it even as far as this fine forum), but here are a few subjective points to offer.

While some facts do need length for the full stories to be adequately told, when talking about persuasion on global warming, I suspect few media outlets are prepared to permit anything more than a sound bite that will feed the next headline.

Hiding behind the veracity of science is comforting as a justification, and its purity over realities of communication a possible consolation, but care must be taken that one only sees one aspect of science as 'the truth', and remains didactic in fighting from only that corner.

These are challenges to be addressed, whist avoiding a few other things.

High on the list, possibly, could be rants?