Monday, November 05, 2007

Online Green Hue (Or Cry)

Here's an interesting online Gizmo: BadBuster

Frankly their strapline line itself is enough to make me like 'em: Because good planets are hard to find.

How it works (from their 'About'): 'We collect environmental ratings of brands and companies into our BadBuster database. We don't rate brands or companies ourselves. By installing BadBuster, all brand names and company names (in our ever-growing database) in web text will be tagged with a color and an environmental score. The color and the score tells you how environmentally responsible the brand or the company is.'

Looks like it's only for IE, so I have not tried it out on my Mac/Safari combo, and the PC is on Firefox.

There is a download involved, but make sure you're happy they're kosher 1st - not all who save the planet are as nice at you'd hope (which is kinda what this site seems to be about).

I'd say worth a go!

Ideas (often enviro) -sharing sites

From time to time I get told of or stumble across (and on occasion post to) something where you can share an idea. And so I (will) in turn share:


CAUTION - As with any idea, only share what you are happy to have taken (if it's good, it will be), and/or have first IP-protected up the waazooo!

Saying ain't believing, much less doing

Survey time again! - Most ready for 'green sacrifices'

Again, I have to cock an eyebrow at what exactly was behind this poll, and hence its methodology and conclusions. And who paid for it?

While on the surface it's encouraging, who was going to say 'Sod the planet, it's all me, me, me!', especially with no consequence to saying it.

And from line one on there seems to be a weasel... 'The poll suggests ...' If any politician has a whiff that the public might go for something they'll have thought of the idea before you can say 'attribution'. So why are they not?

There's a link to the report. I guess I'll have to get around to reading yet another mighty tome... again.

I wonder what I'll find?

ENN - Poll shows people will pay more to help climate change - Funny how it can get reported, isn't it?

By way of another view - from the wonderfully-named Monkey-Tennis Centre. A sterling exercise in links gathering at the very least.

Don't like the answers? Get rid of it!

This little article reports on some Canadian scientists who are involved with the IPCC reports. It seems that their government has withdrawn the funding for further research into some aspects of climate change. It "it has shut down a federal climate change research network and blocked new studies on the impact of rising greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere."

I guess in many ways, it is the prerogative of the funder to decide whether or not to continue funding. Yet this is another in a long line of climate change research projects which have been terminated by governments who appear to be in thrall to the companionship of the big oil brigade.

Meanwhile, others seem to have little or no problem in obtaining research funding

Talking of big oil, Exxon has lost its status as the planet's most valued business to Petrochina whose valuation exceeds $1 Trillion! (That's larger than Russia's entire stock market value!)


A simple question in response to what I see as a rather over optimistic comment - "UK can meet an 80 per cent CO2 target".

We are already miles away from missing the 20% from renewables by 2012. An 80% reduction in total emissions by 2050? Well, that's going to require some catastrophic events to occur in order to catalyse the political will to really push for genuine reductions.

But, I suppose, its just another target, so it doesn't really matter, does it?

The elephants on the sofa

I was not going to feature this or comment on the BBC RyanAir story this morning as neither, in isolation, seemed quite worth it.

Together they just seemed 'worthy'.

What I found interesting was the premise Declan Curry seemed to be working from, and Mr. O'Leary could give a stuff about, was all the nasty 'extras' that he loads on. Now I have little patience with sneaky marketing, but I'm pretty sure that you can see what the costs are before you hit 'commit'.

So at the end of the day, his airline is popular because people are prepared to pay what they ask. No one is being forced to fly with them.

What it's all costing... is another issue.

Mixed Messages

The other day I expressed interest in the Sunday Times theme of the week - climate change.

Well, it arrived, and very comprehensive it seems too.

In fact, so comprehensive I have barely scratched the surface of all it contained, from the DVD (not so sure this will be that informative, as it simply seems to be 'Nature's Greatest Hits' - at least in terms of natural disasters, packaged as evidence of climate change) to the poster (more to come in following weeks), to several articles to freebies (GOFBON! - get one free, buy others now (plus p&p)!. I'll be buying a few as they are on offer and look like they may be good sources of info... but am betting few mention (sweet letter follows if not... for the reprint. I'll re:view 'em anyway).

One thing is for sure, that's a lot of 'stuff'. It's going to take me a while to digest it all.

I also couldn't help but notice the ads that were littered about... literally... as most were either useless (mainly big corporates saying they are thinking a lot and 'care', without too much on what they are doing that will actually make one's day much better, but will play great at the CSR section of the AGM. Plus a few more hundred thous blown by various quangos who need to ditch their comms budgets) or... interesting.

There was one for Range Rover, headed 'Go Responsibly', with the line 'All new Land Rovers are fully Co2 offset for 45,000 miles. Not quite sure what the basis of that is, or means. Including manufacture, or a few trees to cover 20mpg?

Strangely, few 'greener' products seemed to match the marketing/media opportunism on display, so we had the usual consumerist wet dreams, especially in terms of places to go and people to pollute en route.

Sadly, the Volks guys seemed to decide a Bluemotion 'carrier bag' ad was not so relevant as one for a Touareg which, at £419 a month, the only thing that it won't plough through is your money. Well, that and a load of hydrocarbons to do its 20mpg:)

Anyone get the feeling that we are being served two very different sets of messages on the same platter?

Climate change: well oiled - Roughly half the oil we account for individually is burnt up on our behalf by the industries that feed consumerism or provide public services

Climate change: the visionaries creating a greener future

Top energy-saving tips - Not mine, even by definition, but hey

Climate change: we have the power

Climate change: a home to make you green with envy

Climate change: city salvation

Sauce: ecofriendly wine - that'll sort it all!

And last, my horoscope: Your stars for 2007
2007 is all about healing the planet and it starts with balancing your own personal ecosystem. No mention of the financial turnaround my fortune cookie predicted, but here's hoping!

Ban-er Headlines and Ban-wagons

I caught up on some lifestyle publications over the weekend.

Unsurprisingly, most had one, or more, pieces on matters green. And often, as is the way, they were focusing on individuals. Fair enough. The efforts of people are what interests us most (though the activities of rich, part-time yummie mates of yummie Islington journos are wearing a tad thin... for me at least).

However, while a few were about those who were making or doing something positive and/or proactive, the huge majority were pretty negative.

Not in terms of criticism of the person. Far from it. But almost without exception these were folk who had coordinated a protest or ban.

Now in itself this is also not always a bad thing. There are certainly things that need considering. and bringing them to broader attention can be lauded.

But in too many cases I felt the person was getting a lot more credit 'for saving the planet' than they deserved, because there was a) little or no consideration of the enviROI consequences, which too me were often potentially negative, or b) a total lack of positive alternatives put forward, at least in terms of things that seemed any 'better'.

I'd really like to see our media spend a little more time looking at the issues more broadly and deeply before jumping on a' ban-wagon', and for sure focusing much more on clearly positive issues and those involved with them.