Friday, September 28, 2007


I might think I know what I know. What I don't know for sure is what I don't know. And with that Rumsfeldian intro I give you this: Clarity on uncertainty

I honestly had trouble getting to grips with it, and I once assembled an IKEA bookcase.

But this is Nature, and there are certain issues raised that I feel I should share in case you lot can make head nor tail of it.

Where I perk up is here: 'Even IPCC scientists have acknowledged that their treatment of uncertainty is "difficult to communicate". Effectively communicating to a wider audience and reaching the level of transparency now being asked of the IPCC will require a careful balancing act.

And, as I think was indicated in the piece as well, have caution on how the doom and gloom gets sold with such enthusiasm, as it kinda sets the cause back when it's shown to have been a tad over-egged.

I still think we need to cut back and stop wasting, though.

And as I am on a balancing act with this post let me share this one, which I was debating bearing in mind the origin (I think they are a bit on the Republican side, so keep that in mind): Are sunspots prime suspects in global warming?

Mainly, I genuinely liked they way they have embraced the term 'climate change optimists', which I have to say is less pejorative in debate. Now if we can find one for those of an equally passionate disposition on the side facing them in many discussions, we might even see a move to more civilized exchanges and possible compromise. With a view to joint action.

OK, it's Friday. A guy can dream.

Reducing aspirations

As I stare at my Dell LCD screen (Mac mini as CPU), I was attracted of course by this: Green: The New Black - Dell pledges to end carbon emissions by 2008.

"That's clever," I thought, "what are they going to do? Grow 'em?"

Sadly, it was yet another headline to subhead to copy reality check.

But they are boasting about being the first major computer company to become carbon neutral by end 2008. Because it plans to eliminate or offset all of the greenhouse gases it produces worldwide.

Now, as a captain of industry you may not be surprised that I read such worthy tomes as Forbes, but I wasn't too surprised that their greater concern was what it's going to cots, and how the share price will be affected.

I, for one, cannot see anything so terribly bad about computer makers tallying up their "performance per watt," or how much processing power a system can provide while consuming the least amount of power.

But reading on, it seems that scant details about how he hopes to measure the company's green campaign have been provided. Hmmn. Maybe one should talk loudly a bit closer to the time there is something to say might avoid such cynicism?

The Sun Microsystems open-source software program that allows companies to track their carbon emissions sounds fun. I wonder how it works... if it works. Has it got enviROI at its core, for example.

But in ending this seems... sweet. Dell's reforestation program, "Plant a Tree for Me," is now called: "Plant a Forest for Me." That'll do it. I guess 'Steve' from head office (though from his accent I'd say it was Texas) who just called didn't get the memo. He's very keen for me to upgrade to a load new stuff. I wonder if these are grown in the forests?

Oh, you are cards

I hate to be ungrateful, but this was a bit too much not to comment upon. See that picture. It's 250 business cards.

I nice compnay had offered me free sample, and when the word gets free I'm you're man.

So when postie knocked on the door I wondered what the big box contained. I remained none the wiser as I encountered the gorgeous laminated box with a huge brochure inside listing printing prices.

And then I found it.

Guys, I love ya to death and AM impressed with the work. But if you are sending stuff out to a company that is trying to save the planet (or anyone else for that matter), I'm sure you can get you message across without quiet such a show of resource .

More Directorial input

This just in: WRAP Retail Team restructure

On an equally positive note: WRAP Funded Project Leads to Packaging Savings for Marks & Spencer

By all accounts, it 'can save at least ten per cent of the packaging material used on those products'.

Which must make for a big saving in costs to retailers who are funded to try it.

How do you lean on balance?

Gosh, this is a tricky one: Legal battle on Gore climate film

On the one hand, if someone said they were/are going to show my boys a film that raises questions on most any topic, especially climate, I'd say 'go for it'. And then, probably forget all about it.

I'll still say it (though we have it in the DVD library downstairs... they were not keen on a night of Daddy's choice in films, sadly), but might now reserve the right to chat with them afterwards. Think of those spoof school videos from the Doug McClure character on the Simpsons. Mayeb with Groundkeeper Willie intoning 'Ye're alll doomed!'.

My first thought is that we've moved on a lot since then. The warnings are still apposite, but the detail is dated. Or, if this from the objector's counsel is to be believed, open to question on some key bases: "Given the serious inaccuracies in the film and the misrepresentations it contains, the film is irredeemable". I'd certainly like to see this pack.

BBC review - 'Most glaring was the pitifully small screentime he gave to solutions'. I know a sequel to correct that (with, fingers crossed, enviROI included) is en route. Maybe it would be better at least to wait?

I wonder what else my kids get shown that has been sent by those who think they should see what they deem 'necessary, and leave it up to a teacher to decide how it gets discussed for balance. The phrase 'can 'o worms' springs to mind.

Brand Republic - Al Gore's environmental campaign appoints global agency

I'm a celebrity, get me a Green gig!

Rik Mayall stars in green TV campaign for Devon council You know I love choosing the best messenger for the message.

Presumably the perils (to nature) of little 4WD off-roaders didn't feature.

Now, who can we commission to look into this?

Consultancies 'more interested in billable hours' than expertise

Excuse me, I'm still rolling around on the floor.

AWARD - Future Friendly - November 30th

WHEN: Friday November 30th
WHAT: The Future Friendly Awards?
WHAT... MORE?: They are looking for people who have promoted sustainable living. An individual can only nominate themselves or a group or project that they are involved in for a Future Friendly Award.
COMMENTS: If you qualify... why not? I'm in!

It's a 'why not'?

I just had an email through headed 'Be Future Friendly'. Sounded a bit of a demand so I almost didn't open it, but curiosity got the better of me.

It's from one of those myriad initiatives that get issued almost daily, though this one is commercial in origin. So far, so what.

Well, it has a widget that you can download to get daily tips. I had a quick gander and thought it was more a 'why not?', as the first one was about water saving. Now I almost clicked off when it started by pushing one of those things you can buy for the cistern, but it saved itself by adding that a water bottle did the exact same thing (and didn't involve money of more plastic).

So, like the tips I get from such as the FoE daily, I'll now be getting these too. If there are any of note I'll pass them on.

ps: As a technonumpty the one thing I really don't like is how these downloads work. Yes, it allowed for a Mac in the deal... yay! But did what I get look like what I was told I'd get? Noooo. And to now I don't even know if it's working. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

Two wrongs

I don't seek to excuse those who may not be doing as well as they could, or should, by pointing at those who are doing worse, but this is worth looking at so long as it's in objective terms: Kyoto participants under reporting emissions

With the caveat it's a blog I read via another blog (and some of the links seem to drop in and out), so take the opinion as provided by the source, but there are links worth checking.

In particular, it seems counter-productive to bash the USA, and Bush in particular, especially when some do so using information that is plain wrong... or at least selective. You know what happens when you back anyone into a corner... especially sleeping giants that can get filled with terrible resolves.

Surely better to get to a more integrated, inclusive approach asap. Sadly I think those who see their mission (and funding/careers, etc) more in the confrontation zone will prevail.

You're nicked. Maybe.

I am not big on some aspects of the law. Often what is obvious and/or 'fair' gets short shrift as the letter is deemed to trump the spirit, often where fines are involved.

So I was a bit confused when I heard a report on BBC Breakfast News (link coming later I hope) about the latest issuance from our dear leaders, and was moved to write in (and featured in part):

I haven't read the new Highway Code. Am I required to?

I also don't smoke, but can see how a burning, smoke-emitting stick could be a distraction whilst driving.

But how on earth 'may' this be a reason for police to deem it a reason to prosecute for dangerous driving?

It surely 'is' or 'isn't' illegal. Which is it?

Such vagueness makes a mockery of the law.

I've just watched another Minister of Mendacity waffle away, but again thanks to a National Government/Broadcaster combo remain none the wiser on my question.

How on earth can society proceed when we have all these 'things' that 'may' be a reason to prosecute in existence and being added to constantly without honest admission by the sorry crew who conjure these things up.

This clown (why do we pay for people who contribute nothing but obfuscation?) seemed to be saying that if you were not holding the wheel at 1o to 2 you are on the way to being dodgy. So... changing gear? I guess we'll all need automatics. Glancing in the mirror? Better to stare straight ahead.

Indy - Expanded Highway Code tells learners to drive with courtesy

2p or not 2p

I just got a call to sign another petition; this time on petrol: Vote to stop 2.35p extra tax on fuel next week

Fuel hikes are a fact of life, and frankly I am most likely to shrug and absorb the things. I doubt I'll sign this petition (unlike the road pricing one), at least on the reasons stated.

My main thought is to wonder what the money is going towards.

Also, in this will 'e/won't 'e 'election fever' (well, in the Westminster Village) period, how it will play outside of London where some voters still drive because they have to, not want to sit on the M5 each day for an hour each day.