Monday, June 04, 2007

Well, they asked. But still don't care about the replies.

Telegraph - Can you and the free market save the planet?

There are plenty of ways to genuinely 'help' 'save' this planet.

Sadly, there are a lot more, and more profitable (though I'd like to try and convince a few folk that it's not a problem to be 'dealt' with, rather an opportunity to embrace) ways to simply look like you are.

And as these are good to stay elected, make more profits, keep the funding rolling in and sell more papers, the sorry cabal of politicians, corporates, activists and media that are currently handling it all to such great effect will keep on with the various dog & pony shows in the name of green that we are being subjected to from all quarters.

But to answer your question*, yes, I can, once I hook up with the vast majority of folk who care and want to DO something for their future generations, rather than make a quick buck now waffling, meeting targets and filling petty agendas.

We'll see them at the wall when the real green revolution comes. I will be the one holding a big barrel of payback to my shoulder.

*Actually, I really just wanted to go hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah...

Nothing like a good conference

I've never heard of PSFK until this: Green Marketing: Mind the Gap

Sorry I missed it. Sounds interesting, what with all the insights.

I'd have to say that aviation probably is the most unfriendly brand right now, and is unlikely to improve much with people like Richard Branson of Virgin talking about new planes and fuels and trying to look "less bad"... whilst announcing all Business Class services (see my earlier post - why won't the Times print mine?).

The rest reads like a list (Google did throw up a link to Ariel's effort, which didn't work too well on my streaming. Looks a hoot). Maybe you had to be there.


Here I am pondering how posts to old blog topics get archived and notified, and someone has helpfully added to the archive.

I think it best I repost to give it the best chance of being shared properly.

The post in question was Nothing like a good conference , and I am happy to share it again here.

Indeed, having read the link (sadly, finding the time for a 50 minute show is beyond me at the moment, much though it looks well worth the time over lunch or an evening surf) I am even happier, as it also introduces the PSFK site too.

As blogger replies can't, or complicate posting HTML links, let me repost it here.

As an ex(ish) ad-man, it is interesting to see the next generation struggling to get to grips with the dilemma of promoting rampant capitalism and one's personal duty as a green-aware individual to practice and preach the 'RE's'.

Other than the Hindenburg, what did hydrogen ever do for us?

I like the idea of hydrogen. It's just the practice of turning into a viable energy resource without equal or worse consequences to where we are now that has me concerned.

Still, every so often, into a worrier's life a little sun may shine, and in so doing prove the solar solution to my point at the end... possibly.

So I share this via Dave at Solarventi: Another somewhat slightly reassuring fact on hydrogen and the water vapour output when burnt.

Now, by way of balance, I'd have to say that anyone who hails from an outfit called the 'Campaign for a Hydrogen Economy' might be expected to up it big-time, but I'll allow the facts as likely valid unless disproven.

My main point at issue though, now and into the future, is the energy used to make the stuff. How is that going to be produced?

We can't all siphon it from Stuart Rose's Beemer.

Bumper (crop of) Stickers

I'm confused. Just a few days ago I blogged (not very flatteringly) on the latest proposals on pack-side eco-labelling that 'may' be brought in, and here we have, wham-bang, it's happened: Morrisons unveils on-pack recycling scheme

Thing is, this looks a bit like it yet another one-off by one outfit, and again we are treated to the same choice we were faced with food-health, namely a version of traffic lights.

Is it just me, or is this all unravelling already?

ADDENDUM: Just had a nice chat (poor girl, she got a full-force hobby-horse rant first) with Nathalie, the author of this piece. I'd called simply to make sure of my facts, and that I hadn't missed something in the last announcement and this wasn't simply a spin-off from it.

No, it seems this is pretty much another version that's been rushed out.

And, more encouragingly, journalists like her are well aware that this is all not adding up to much that makes much sense.

Brand Republic - Morrisons flags recyclable levels

How will this integrate with the proposed industry-wide initiative I read about the other day? Is this an 'as well as', an 'instead of' or an 'until it arrives'? And, if so, what is the consumer going to make of it all, especially if, one presumes, it is sharing what must be getting a pretty crowded space with the health labelling which, if I recall, will already be one of the competing traffic light/bar standards issued more to look like something is being done rather than having any hope of actually achieving anything.

If i am in the market for Tarte au Citron and Morrison's version doesn't do it for me greenly, I shall certainly put it back on the shelf to go past its sell-by date and drive across town to by the ASDA one. Oh, hold on... that wouldn't help the planet at all!

Stuck on a rut

As readers of the last few blogs will gather, there seems to be a new form of thinking to solve all our problems: stick a label on it and it will go away. Or at least become someone else's to deal with. I have my doubts.

Labels will tell passengers the damage their flights do

OK, this is possibly an effective piece of guilt-tripping, but effective in any other way? Hmnn.

And in light of the report on the effectiveness of offsetting schemes, this airline-endorsed (and why not?) solution seems a very dodgy form of compensation. But I bet Mr. Blair will trumpet all the ways he's working with his big City mates to deal with the 700-ton consequence of his ('not really practical not to, well, you know, for guys like ME') latest jolly.

It probably makes more sense in Chinese

At least I hope it does: China says climate policy must make room for growth

To boldly reprint a press release...

I know it's just business, but...

Virgin planning elite fleet with business-only flights to the US

Is Richard Branson still part of Virgin? That's the Richard Branson
who is doing all he can to address climate change, with his good mate
Al and others. The Richard Branson who is listed in the top ten of a
recent survey as an environmental champion?

I don't know too much about the fine details of aeronautical
engineering, so there may be some mitigation in the reduced weight,
but on a passenger miles/fuel basis, might this not suggest a pretty
darn retrograde step on the old emissions side of things? But I'm sure
we can plough over what's left of Brazil to compensate with magic
hydrogen plants.

If one concedes there is a problem, the only real solution is doing
less that causes exhaust fumes. But if we have to, I'd suggest cramming
the most folk in to one flight is better than having a crew, four
passengers and a mile high bowling alley.

Personally whoever thought up such a scheme should be given a
rocket. Oh... what am is saying... they have.

Target for tonight

I only buy the Sunday Times. I surf all else, but for a lazy am read in the garden that is my organ of choice, mainly Becca's of the TV guide, In Gear and sheer habit.

So it was with certain wry amusement, and a sinking sense of Petunia-like 'Oh, no, not again' (you have to read the Hitchhiker's Guide to understand. Do. It's worth it just to figure out once on for all why the universe is at it is, and there is no alternative to laughing about it as trying to make sense of it all will drive you bananas) that I saw, on the front page, this:

‘Recycled’ waste dumped in landfill

So I'm guessing that, no matter what the facts, when a 'quality' such as the Times weighs in where the likes of the Daily Mail and Express have already gone, the perception in media, and hence consumer land is less than positive about where we are, and who is leading us there in this regard.

"...while residents face tough action for not separating recyclables from general rubbish, many councils are operating seriously flawed schemes. Many cannot even provide basic information on where or how the raw materials they are collecting are being recycled.'

I wonder why? Oh...

“The councils are operating under legislation which is geared to stop landfill and use weight-based targets. They often don’t want to know what happens to material but just want to get it off their hands.” Where, it is claimed (why don't we KNOW?) '...these depots are routinely run at overcapacity because of the pressure to hit government targets..'

Apparently, 'Industry leaders have been reluctant to speak out about the country’s flawed recycling infrastructure for fear of undermining householders’ confidence in collection schemes, but say the situation is now so serious that action must be taken.' Don't worry chaps, our confidence, or lack of, is irrelevant. We'll simply get another multi-million £ campaign to work for free and the chance of avoiding a fine, to serve up stuff that can't be handled but at least meets a target.

Here's a key point: “It’s a misunderstanding as to what can be recycled in this country. Lots of local authorities want us to recycle all the plastics – your yoghurt pot, your butter dish and sandwich wrapping – and we can’t use those.” Before anything else we need proper systems in place that addresses what goes to waste from point of manufacture, through to disposal, but almost everything seems to have been dumped on the poor consumer in the middle to work out for themselves, and/or work for free under threat to resolve the mess those who have had decades to sort it all out have made, or hiring legions of consultants to act as a highly-paid buffer for their incompetence.

But fear not, 'The Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), which works with councils and businesses to increase recycling... accepts there is a problem in some depots with contamination and said there was work to resolve this.' Er, what 'work'? More like first topic on the agenda is 'how about those tonnage-based bonuses, chaps?'