Friday, June 22, 2007

The future's a wind-up

I wanted to end the week on a positive note so, despite the title, here it is: Why just a logo is now a no-no

It's an awful lot of journo/marketo guff for what is, in essence a nice simple, relevant bit of eco-A&P.

You're stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the mud, and your only mechanism of survival (seemingly) at a music festival is a device that enables you to spend all your time calling out, listening in or playing Tetris. Go figure.

And because all such activities suck the heart from it in a day (mine lasts a week between charges, and I'm rigging up the solar panel to do the job anyway) you need a juice injection.

So thanks to those nice folk at Orange, you can spend all day further not listening to any music (or at least seeing where it comes from) queuing up for a free handcrank of fresh minutes.

Not sure it's my cup of tea, but then, even though (or because) I'm a customer, I'm not their audience.

Altogether now, children: 'Make sarm noise!'

There are those who write for the major media. Those who they write about. Those who pay to read it. And the real world.

I don't pay. But I do read 'em. Mainly because I have to. But when you come across stuff like this - Three is the magic number - you just have to wonder.... why? Or maybe... who?!! Or, just settle for a: 'do what'!!!!!!?

I don't think I can add much to what a few less than impressed posters have already.

The whole overpaid, inbred world of the idle broadsheet generation has truly lost the plot.

Alberta's 'Black Goo' Rush

We all knew that a great deal more R&D funding would be redirected into renewables as the price of crude oil stayed high, right? Well, not really ...... in fact, hardly at all.

Although some of the Big Oil players ARE looking at some renewable energy forms, and indeed, buying up the rights to quite a few patents in this field, the renewables R&D spend pales into insignificance in comparison to what is happening right now in the Canadian oil shale belt.

The extended high crude oil price has finally made Alberta's Black Goo commercially exploitable, and the cost to the planet is ........ even higher CO2 emissions!

"The industry already contributing to climate change more than any other is frantically turning up the heat. The process of refining bitumen emits three to four times the greenhouse gases produced by extracting oil from traditional wells, making the tar sands the largest single contributor to Canada's growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Nonetheless, the industry plans to more than triple production by 2020, with no end in sight. If prices stay high, it will soon become profitable to extract an additional 141 billion barrels from the tar sand, which would place the largest oil reserves in the world in Alberta."

For a depressing read see the full article by Naomi Klein at Rabble News. The black goo rush was recently described by the FT as "north America's biggest resources boom since the Klondike gold rush"

All in all a bit of a one-sided match: Renewable Energies 0 - Big Oil 6

And the winner of the prize for the newest destructive eco-disaster is .......... Northern Alberta.

But, what's being brought to bear to WIN?

I always say, something is a lot better than nothing: Glastonbury fights climate change

You can almost sense it coming...


We seem to now have yet another awareness campaign to play with. At which you go to, and ... sign-up.

And in return you get a wristband, made (no matter what) from...?

At least there are a bunch of other BTNs in the rest of the piece.

I'm sure it pays a lot on campaign managers' salaries and airmiles offsets, at least.

So long as he* is so spot on, I just have to share

The ongoing genius of *Scott Adams' Dilbert satire (Green poke era)

And, sometimes, opportunities just get presented: NHS urged to cut carbon emissions

So the next time you go in for a one thing...

"Fill 'er up please." "Certainly sir ..... apple or pear?"

Could we be filling up our cars on fruit juice based fuels one day?

An interesting article on the potential of producing a new type of bio-fuels from fruit sugars. The chemistry appears sound but I'd like to know a little more about the catalysts they are using, and just how much energy is required in the generation of the fuel in order to determine its exact enviROI. Full text at

Imagine the FT headlines in perhaps 30 to 40 years time .....
"Big Oil takes backseat to Big Fruit!" Or,
"Granny Smiths lines up hostile bid for Exxon-Mobil".

IP, IP 'ooray!

I was away dawn 'til dusk yesterday at an ultimately very useful conference on Intellectual Property hosted by a West Midlands organisations called Fillip.

At first I thought I made a big mistake and was in for a loooong day, as I sat surrounded by what seemed every lawyer in the region, to be talked at by every other lawyer in the region. The seminar pack was certainly not encouraging, as the curse of PowerPoint was again to be unleashed - I cringed when one speaker actually said "I'll just read what's on the screen and, of course, in your notes". Thank the lor' that we were not being billed by the minute!!!

But, as with all things, you have to sift a lot of silt to get a nugget, and they did appear. A fact here, an anecdote there. Bearing in mind the target audience was the SME market, I was getting quite frustrated to have presentation after presentation that was pitched at companies to whom 'only a few thousand' is not a real issue to find, albeit for a key aspect of business such as IP. But one real beacon was Mandy Haberman, of anywayup cup fame, who was a real inspiration (her turning point was sending a prototype, filled with Ribena, in an unpadded box to a Tesco buyer... who called with and order by return), much like Heather of Wiggly Wigglers the other week, not just for her success but the fights she had to (successfully) take on to emerge triumphant. Though it must be said the sheer number of scumbuckets around worldwide (mainly in major corporates) there are ready to screw anyone for a penny is depressing.

I was there mainly for the RE:tie but, thanks to the trusty Lappy Sling, got a look in, too.

One of the speakers was from CadburySchweppes, and seemed keen to talk more and introduce me to the right people.

I certainly came away more than ever convinced of the vale of IP, but also the sheer complexity and cost of it. This honestly does put best practice out of the reach of many at the small 's' of the SME spectrum, and it is always worth trying to get that across.

That was my message, and it was welcomed. In fact, as a consequence of the day, I am now more than happily off on a another tangent, but one I hope will for once be more than productive and even profitable.