Monday, September 03, 2007

What, no spin cycle first?

I point you at this, ironically via the Daily Telegraph: Google News prods newspapers towards the future

I guess getting stuff with one less level of journalistic input may be better, but I'm sure it will get spun a bit en route.

Some rubbish even I can't take

I actually applied for this, I think: Dumped recycles an old idea

I clicked on at the moment some blonde with access to considerable makeup resources was telling some bloke that he wasn't making them feel useful. And then HE said...

I'm sure it will be taken as a compliment but it was just so much of the same old rubbish I could cope with no more.

Big Brother in a bin.

A bullet got dodged, I know. And I should have stayed to watch, but even I have limits.

Telegraph - Shame on the schedulers

Pipe Dreams

This seems a potentially worthwhile example of eco-cooperation: Toyota and EDF launch recharge points for electric cars

On the matter of semantics, they may be (are they in all uses, or just urban?) 'more' friendly, but no matter how wizzo cannot be deemed to actually help the environment by being made and/or driven.

It must be true; it's on the BBC

Golly. You don't get much more unequivocal than this: Green taxes 'are making billions'

Though it does in turn refer to a report, there are no 'may's' here. Simply, 'The government is raising billions of pounds more in green taxes than it needs to remove the UK's "carbon footprint".

Either the BBC is in pendulum swing mode after its rather slavish eco-reporting to date, or things are getting 'interesting'. Why can't we just get the real facts???!

Personally, I am not so concerned about the amount taken in the name of green (though any excess is, well, excessive), but I do care very much where it is all going. Especially in a climate when targets take precedence over tangibles where it matters.

For a start, finding out if it is to support genuine CO2 reduction initiatives at all, and if it is how good they are. Funding a dodgy turbine scheme or the bonus for a quango re-director does not make my kids' future much better as far as I can figure.

BBC - Costing the Earth - And it has impacted on others, directing to an FoE reply which, sadly, I found a tad thin on substance.

Cutting to the heart

Maybe this should be called... when good ads go bad?
I'm just not sure advocating carving your name in trees is that healthy.
But I guess it is getting knocked down soon so it doesn't matter:)

Offsetting journalistic integrity

This will make me popular. I've tried to answer a Telegraph travel writer's (how do they get to afford 2nd homes?) question: Corporate guilt breeds corporate jargon

At least you care enough to ask the question. I'm not sure the two answers derived so far are going to help much, though. Or indeed most others you may get (from the carbon 'industry') that may seem to be more factual.

Personally I can think of worse things than a second home, so long as you don't leave the heat/aircon (preferbaly it's fan-cooled anyway) running (depending on location) when you're not there. And if it's rented out then the person there is not 'emitting' elsewhere. Other than travel... which is just the start of how complex all this is.

On balance offsetting seems to me at least marginally better than not doing anything at all in mitigation, though certainly not as good as not adding more C02 than you otherwise might (again, a tricky call. I'd prefer you in a villa in France accessed by EuroStar than flying business to report on a property fair in Dubai, staying in a 6* emissions column - read Leo Hickman's Final Call ).

So you're right that we have become a nation obsessed with our footprints, fed in no small measure by 'awareness' campaigns such as the latest, ActonC02, that really do little else than make us worry a lot with little real information. And that opens the doors for the unscrupulous to pounce, seemingly with little regulation.

Because, like you (and with the dubious advantage of being exposed to perhaps a bit more info in my line of work) I have no real idea what 'it' actually involves in all its manifestations. And until I am, preferably with help from those who profess to care about my kids' future (from activist to government - didn't Davids Miliband (when Enivro dude) and Cameron both 'float' offsets trading as part of their respective proposals?), I'll have to suspect those not being clearer about their Green intentions, and hiding behind faceless jargon, are doing so with good reason: serving their interests. I doubt corporate guilt has much to do with it, as they only have that if and when caught out.

And those seem to have naught to do with my kids' futures if it's to create a decent enviROI, which may (another debate, but I'm sold on man's negative contribution) be derived from reduced CO2. You're right that whacking a fir in the firmament hardly seems the best way (better, to me, if you are in the need to 'make up', is to reduce deforestation - I could argue the science from my own limited background, but an existing carbon sink being lost that's in excess the USA's total annual emissions annually seems like a quick fix worth not losing). Though not all offsetters, to be fair, are just in to trees as the 'solution' .

Wouldn't it be nice to have more clarity from all involved in the 'carbon' industry, including preachy media, and rather than ratings-producing 'tis/tisn't facts and debates that get us nowhere, we have tangibles that let us assess the situation and act on it sensibly and in good conscience?

I have tried to be fair and balanced. But I hope my frustration with a media more keen on stirring the pot (look at the replies she got) than getting to a useful solution does not come through too negatively that my point does not get made.