Monday, July 02, 2007

Live Earth - The Biggest Show On Earth?

Live Earth appears set to break all records in terms of TV viewing figures - see The Guardian. With the broadcasts going live to an estimated 800 million in China alone, they estimate a potential 2 billion people will actually view the Live Earth shows at some stage.

Profits from Live Earth will go to Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. But the entire event has been questioned by Bob Geldof, organiser of Live Aid and Live8. In May he said: "I hope they're a success. But why is he [Gore] actually organising them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that for years. We are all f**king conscious of global warming."

Oh dear, if these numbers turn out to be true, Sir Bob will choke on his guinness!

Junkk Male adds:

Guardian - Public doubts on global warming - This is interesting (and scary) more for the replies. There is either a very well coordinated collection of BOFDis out there (possible) ready to pounce on any such thing in such as the Guardian, or a high level of disenfranchisement (sorry, I think probable) due to how all this is being (mis)handled.

Thing is, there seems to be a woeful effort to accept this latter possibility and work to change it effectively. I'm afraid that sticking with the 'we know better than you and you're an idiot for not accepting what we say' doesn't seem to play too well. And, frankly, I can see why it doesn't.

Be it those paid to wallow in GW/CC from government to academia to even the media, it simply isn't getting through in any meaningful way to those who really matter: the masses.

And if this is the reaction in Guardian PiousVille, just imagine what is going on in Mail MondeoLand. Actually, without wishing to get too 'demographic' (which sounds better than a variety of 'ists' I could be accused of), as I do spend a fair while in Times/Telegraph/BBC territory too, I can pretty much attest that a large chunk of well-educated, highly-paid professionals are not exactly on board either. And it's making me as popular at parties as a poo in the pool.

I'd say those who have self-appointed themselves as 'our' saviours need to have a bit of a rethink, and at least change their tunes a bit. Or find another cause to feed off if they are part of the vast army sucking bazillions out of talking a lot but evidently getting very little DONE.

I'm back, by the way. Wish it was good to be so:)


I have now listened to the Al Gore Today interview, which was preceded by a piece about the MORI poll in question.

Interesting. I have to say I was perhaps listening out for it, but what came across a little to strongly in both was, again, this notion that any other opinions are wrong and, more importantly, should not be allowed to exist.

While I am obviously quite convinced that 'something' is deteriorating, and whatever mankind is up to sure isn't helping, I cannot help but feel that being so smug or, worse, arrogant as to deny those who would wish to exercise the right to a contrary opinion, is a poor strategy.

If their arguments are causing doubt, the more important question is to why they still feel that way (are they really so prepared to be the last of their lines, or at least labelled as those who stood by and/or contributed to the end?), and others are inclined to agree. Once this is understood one can work to persuade, using all fair and ethical means possible (especially by example, of which sadly I find many elements of the forthcoming concert, human and otherwise, to be sending at best a mixed message), those who are not acting to start doing so.

There will doubtless be plenty of commentary following the event, and I will be interested to see how it pans out short, medium and long term. But I have to say I will not be one of those signing yet another online 'pledge', if that is deemed to be of great significance. At the Oxford Climate Conference I watched, heard referred to and indeed met a few 'hard-nosed men'... and they don't get moved that easily by such things. What will... I'm working on.

From the Today Blog on this - I'm afraid to say that, as with all the other climate change 'debates', as the extremes dug in and the artillery/entrench war settled in, I tuned out. And I really do care enough to try and stay with it.


Gaurdian - Why rock won't save the planet - Well considered in my (JunkkMale) view

My bank's greener than yours!

So just how green is your bank?

An interesting question and one which we might increasingly ask as nearly all of them have jumped onto one of the green bandwagons somewhere along the line.

Following the recent launches of the American Express Red, and the Co-operative Bank charity card, today we have the launch of the 'Green' Barclaycard - story from The Guardian. This promises to donate half of the profits to PURE, a UK charity that invests in low energy projects.

As the authors put it .....

"Many of these initiatives have been greeted with scepticism by critics who accuse the banks of jumping on the climate change bandwagon to get more publicity."

.... Quite! It seems a peculiar way to donate to charity if you ask me!

And on the same day, HSBC appoint Sir Nicholas Stern, author of the government report on climate change, as a 'special advisor'. From TimesOnline.

"His appointment further demonstrates that sustainability issues are at the forefront of HSBC’s agenda.”

OK ...... I think I'm with the general idea so far .....

It [HSBC] said that his role would include "providing direct advice on specific strategic issues in emerging markets where the bank has aspirations to grow its business; advising on the socioeconomic implications of climate change and representing HSBC on these issues; contributing to management development programmes ... and providing advice to major clients of the group who seek to develop sustainable business strategies or other programmes relating to climate change and to economic development issues".

.... A nice, clear, concise remit that means ....... just what, exactly?

ADDENDUM (form Junkk Male):

Mad - Green backs…I mean banks

Or, worse, if not done with genuine intent, long term commitment and tangible follow-through, does it just add to the level of 'green noise' that is already saturating the airwaves, and further contribute to the public tuning out?

My little site gets a press release every few days from some bank or other saying how they have gone carbon neutral, or some supermarket to say they are switching to green energy.

Good on them! But as a consumer, other than meeting a legislative obligation or reducing running costs this impacts me how, exactly?

I have always written back to applaud their moves, but go on to suggest that to get my little online resource to publish their PR it would need to be a tad more tangible in the area of actual savings to planet and said consumer.

In the case of banks, this could take the form of low or at-cost loans to put in insulation. A loss-leader to get custom at a later stage. If they end up saving money on energy, once they go into profit then they may wish to buy into something else that requires finance... hopefully something equally responsible.

Some have moved in that direction, but most, sadly, seem more keen to bank the money and invest more on spun veneer than actual substance.

Which seems quite a waste.

Make fun of the big boys and you end up getting hurt.

Remember the prank pulled by The Yes Men on Big Oil about the spoof product Vivoleum?

Well, it appears that the big boys at Exxon were not amused - it seems that they actually managed (allegedly) to get the ISP to pull The Yes Men site and their email capabilities, for a while at least.
See The Inquirer for details.

Isn't it amazing just how much the school playground pecking order and real world big business are alike? Make too much fun of the big boys and you will usually end up getting hurt.