Monday, March 03, 2008


Indy - Buying an eco-home: Finally something's clicked

Indy - Better than new: Give you home an eco facelift

As I have created the category already, but now need to add a complement (though creating a more eco house is very different to an entire new custom town, there are obvious similarities):


Guardian - Eco-towns are the greatest try-on in the history of property speculation

Indy - Protesters' fury as ecotown shortlist targets 'unsustainable' locations

Guardian - Now that's my kinda town - good point on the tokenism of the ten.

Times - Just the spot for a new Milton Keynes - I still take some persuading a town is better than no town in purely enviro terms.

Times - Government must clarify its eco town policy - As do these guys

Indy - We're ready to rise up against eco-towns - I'm guessing 'not keen'

Times - Whitehall to force through eco-towns - May the force be..?

Times - Ecotowns: for and against

Indy - What are eco-towns, and how green are they in reality? - Looking at the 'Yes' and 'No' summary above, and comparing them with the main body text, it seems more that 'where there is a 'will there's a 'may'', and even that downward spiral of confidence in the enviROI can be soon extrapolated downwards as those with boxes to tick adjust their targets.

The Register - Tories pledge to flush away eco slums - Safe to say they are not keen.

Telegraph - Time to talk about eco-towns

BBC - Eco-towns plan 'may be unlawful' - From driving to knives, and now this, it rather worries me, as a law-abiding citizen, when those who might be expected to know better about what consitutes breaking 'em use words like 'may'.

BBC - Newsnight - tip off from poster. Missed it and may not get time to catch up, but the blog might point places.

COI - Eco-towns set to face toughest ever green standards

Gaurdian - Put away your prejudices - ecohomes are not ugly - Must be today (5 Aug 08) but all the Guardian Greens are knocking spots off each other for being not green enough or too rich to care about what it costs... odd).

Telegraph - Government paid charity to produce eco-town 'fact' leaflets - Now I have pretty much put anything on a leaflet on the high-irony side of eco-awareness already, but such as this does rather expand the list of those I wouldn't trust even further.

Indy - Eco-town's green benefit exaggerated, ASA rules - The ASA weekly list is a good, if depressing source of Grenwash. I almost passed on this, but as the Indy did not...
No mention of how 'eco' it might really be, mind.

Gaurdian - Green and unpleasant - Still not feeling the love

Gaurdian - We are not nosy parkers - we simply need to measure success - '...we simply need to measure success' . I merely ask, but is that how the way studies work is phrased?

I know bonuses depend on meeting targets, and meeting targets mean pointing at 'success', but wouldn't it be better to set out to discover what the overall enviROI of these things is, good... or.... not so much?

FT - Only one eco-town site classed as suitable - Bearing in mind what has already been consumed to get to this point, is this ratio... acceptable as a measure of the ongoing competencies of those who would claim to lead in these areas?

Gaurdian - Red faces over green towns

Guardian - Eco-towns' death throes - The headline invites a Twainian response, but.... oops! I wonder how many well-meaning folk and how much money was suckered into this one?

Telegraph - Eco-towns bill soars to more than £3m before a house is built - but think of the boxes that got ticked!

Telegraph - NEW - Country diary: the folly of eco towns


Dave said...

In terms of the eco-towns, it all looks like yet another bad idea, ill thought through, botched from day one, and doomed to abysmal failure.

Oh well, it helps to meet some government agency's targets, no doubt!

Peter said...

There is a flood of fascinating, well-argued, experienced feedback on this in my in-try from architects, surveyors, builders, etc on this... and hardly any can see any sense or merit in what is going on.

I hope to collate and add to this section soon, though I fear it will be more a tale of woe rather than any positive solutions.

Cloe_F said...

Peter, g'day, good Newsnight last night, don't know if you saw it/think it worth mentioning..

Eco-Towns: first item on programme but only available temporarily, unless NN makes it available in their hall of fame, on iPlayer (UK only, until 30 July), or on WinMedia/RealPlayer (no geo restriction, until tonight 1025pm or so).

Artic expedition: a report by Susan Watts on an Artic expedition during which three of the scientist should be blogging on NN website (although there doesn't seem to be a specific address for that blog as yet).

Hope you don't mind this comment - do add the links to a proper post of yours if you think them interesting, they'll get viewed by more people that way.

Peter said...

Hi, there.
You are better at this posting lark than me! I can never get the HTMLs to work.
All worth a share. Comments and links to interesting stuff always welcome.
I used to be a faithful NN watcher (usually on the next day link in their emails), but it really has lost it, at least most of the time. And I find their snottiness to any who do not follow their narraative hardly worth taking time to pen a few pithy words to ask why.
Will try and catch up... hope the links last. Ta.

If the Artic guys blog I'll look forward to that. I have been a little eye-cranky of folk heading to a pole to tell the rest of us how awful we are being heading anywhere, so it will be interesting to see how it is portrayed.

Just got booted of a blog by suggesting that while Ch4 shot themselves in the foot by, well, making stuff up, the BBC wasn't exactly the epitome of scientific rigour and agenda-free objective balance either.

And now I feel almost obligated to watch Burn Up as it is being touted as the kind of wake up call we need, when the trailer I saw looked more like a bit of action hokum lite rather than a real investigation into the issues and protagonists from all sides.

I'm guessing we won't get a TV movie of Michael Crichton's book either.

And there's the rub. All sides have pushed things to such extremes I am dubious of all. Hate to think what those less inclined to engage will make of it.

Cloe_F said...

Yeees... Burn Up got panned by NN review (and others) for lecturing too much, kinda 'idiots guide to green theory'.. Haven't watched in though so I should bite my tongue :)

I'll ask NN to create an Environment category in their hall of fame and add reports like the Housing one to it.. maybe, just maybe, if I ask nicely they'll make my wish come true.

Here's a quick guide to HTML links in the comment fields. Paste the http address of the webpage between the quote marks (make sure there are no spaces) and type the text you want to appear in your comment between the > and < that follows the quote marks (there can be spaces but no ampersands etc.)

Eg: for my link above I added between the quotes and typed HTML links (without italic) between the angled brackets.

Peter said...

Interesting. Which day was that NN review? Many I have read seem to think it to be hokum but fun. Mind you, most also seem more than influenced by a 'do no wrong' dishy hero. The question of where legitimate entertainment based on opinion stops and agenda-driven inculcation starts is an interesting one. Ch4 is rightly held to account for a 'documentary' that shapes a view using, essentially, 'editorial techniques' (leaving stuff in and out... plus plain porkies). Seems we might get served up 'Inconvenient Truth' yet, despite its flaws. I wonder if, to show 'balance', the BBC might consider a TV version of Michael Crichton's book? Doubt it. It just all seems so partisan. I really don't feel comfortable having to watch my TV, and thinking 'This is the BBC; they are pushing this...this is Ch4; they are pushing that'. Oh, well.

Ta for the HTML guide. I'll bookmark that. Dave tried to educate me a while but I must be a dinosaur. At the site I'm called the LCD screener... and not in a good way. It means 'Lowest Common Denominator', because if I can cock it up I will.

Good luck with your request to NN. My experience of getting answers, let alone action is, as you know, not optimal.

Cloe_F said...

Burn Up was reviewed on 11 July, but the NN programme is unfortunately no longer available.

Blogs from the three Arctic scientists are now available via Susan Watts' page, and there's also the SAMS blog on the expeditions website.

Yes to partisan/biased reporting on the environment. You get the same problem with any other highly complex topic where personal interpretation and overly simplistic generalisations override factual consensus.
My pet topic's the EU, on which, like you with environmental issues, I'm trying to work out what's going on and where this is all heading.. most of the coverage is so blindly biased either way, it makes me want to tear my hair out.

Peter said...

Ta. Sahem to miss that review. The 'crew' do tend make such things fun, especially when they get deeper than one suspects the author even managed.

I once daydreamed in an Englsih lesson that Dickens popped up and told our daft teacher that it was just a quick story he'd knocked out to pay some bills, and half the social meaning being attributed was mostly from that person's own set of values and agenda.

I too have more than a passing interest in the EU, but mainly how it affects me personally (so far, not great, as far as I can judge) and the environment (ditto). I am not big on big government, and actually celebrate differences between folk, so long as you don't end up invading Poland. Trying to homogenise the human race doesn't seem to be working too well so far.

Oh, and I really don't like hypocrisy and/or waste, so that kinda puts most of the Brussels/Strasbourg Cayenne-driving shuttlecockers low on my list from the off.

But I will defer to someone who, I suspect, has delved deeper, and for longer, than I have:)

At least in weather like this a chrome dome is a nice feeling!