Sunday, November 04, 2007

As 'could' reusable clay pigeons

Some stories just make you blink: Biodegradable car could 'clean up' Formula One

Well, yes, I suppose it - my favourite word - 'could'.

But will it? If it happens?

I'm no so sure. And hence what these pieces are for. At least without the green blinkers on.

How a machine that biodegrades into a pool of goo and cloud of (what, I wonder?) on lap 12 clean up the rest of the consequences of F1 is unclear to me. Darn right Jeremy Clarkson is unlikely to approve... he's too smart to see this for anything other than it is.

What I do give it credit for is an investigation into alternative technologies. And that is how it should be described.

Paying Green to get Green?

I cite this mainly because I like the headline: Ethical investments on a different planet

It's also a good summary of the current situation, I think.

Though I concern myself when those in suits start according labels according to hues of green. Most, I suspect, will not grasp what lies behind these definitions that will as surely be used in tomorrow's ads as night follows day.


Targets can seriously damage your health - Simon Caulkin in the Obsever

My views on targets are well known. So I am pleased to share this. It covers a variety of sectors, and sadly no mention of environment, but I think the picture it paints is clear.

I love this quote: 'The only problems that have simple solutions are simple problems. The only managers with simple problems are those with simple minds. Problems that arise in organisations are almost always the product of interactions of parts, never the action of a simple part.'

And this: 'What do "targets" accomplish? Nothing. Wrong: their accomplishment is negative.'

This, too, both quote and comment: 'Management by numerical goal is an attempt to manage without knowledge of what to do'. This is what makes it so attractive to bad managers. Unfortunately, in absolving them from the effort of thought, it is also junk management, which has the same effect on the consumer as junk food: obesity, flatulence, discontent and demoralisation. - [As Junkk Male of, I am proud of the attitude demanded by that extra 'k'].

Gosh, I must just go on quoting: Lack of method explains why the public sector absorbs so much resource for so little return. It also explains the stop-go, curiously disembodied experience of engaging with it: it's not reacting directly to you, the individual citizen, but to management's abstraction of you, as embodied in the target. Hence the obsession with 'choice', which simply transfers the question of method to you.

Sound like most enviro 'initiatives' and they vast comms budgets to get 'us' to compensate for institutional failings? Think ActONCo2 or the latest food waste weeping tomato ad assault. All, I am sure, with a nice bonus for the guys at the top if the money spent (from whom?) gets enough of us to say we are more 'aware' to tick a box in some self-justifying research.

Where could this money have been better spent on actual things that can be DONE and which can make a tangible difference NOW?

I hope this guy turns his sights on other areas soon. This situation must be outed, understood... and changed.

ADDENDUM - I have been moved to write to encourage him to do so:

Thank you for writing this. I hope it resonates.

I am simply appalled at what the culture of targets, especially in complement with the proliferation of what seems to be unaccountable quangos with mysterious ROIs (financial and enviROI), is reducing this country to. Seeing to do is now much more important than doing. And this has not escaped the attention of all protagonists when it comes to forging careers and generating income.

ADDENDUM 2 - I have noticed it is guys like this who are polite enough to reply (mind you, I am usually agreeing with them!):

'Many thanks for your generosity! Much appreciated — and very encouraging.'

Sex sells. But Green sex even more....

From the first posting from a new feed: Virgin Media engineers get on their bikes and ride

Not April, so it can't be a wind up. Plus that picture had to come from somewhere (probably going on my boys' walls).

I just note the beginning and end of the piece: '...customers might find service...' and '...the could be rolled out...'

So, maybe it's just a bit of bandwagon PR jumping? I note companies with the Virgin prefix do seem to crop up a lot here. And not always for actually helping the planet as much as they and their PR chaps are hyp.. hoping we'll think.