Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What first attracted to aging millionaire celebrity...

My views on polls, their methodologies and hence how and where they get used are well know.

So I loved this one. How 'green' are you?!!!

Thing is, look at the results. Those saying 'very' are in the minority! Well, at posting. I may have skewed the result with my vote for us.

Darn honest those Yanks.

I'm easily excited

And I feel like ending the day on a high.

Here's the latest RE:tie prototype, courtesy of the nice folk at the Jewellery Innovation Centre at BCU who are helping us with of product development.

This is not an evolution, but merely another alternative design, which we found was necessary to help our marketing following some feedback at the Caps & Closures Show, where a few nice production-type gurus suggested the flatter block orientation would work better in many hoppers and fast-moving lines. It's also less 'radical', so consumers will 'get' it as it's pretty much what they are used to... only with a hole. Hey, like I say... it didn't hurt the Polo mint.

OK, not so great as a chat up line, but we still like it lots! And as the first model is now getting noticed, and appreciated, as it does the rounds of some brands and retailers, here's hoping these new lovelies will keep the ball rolling in the right way!

There's a lot you can do from the rooftops

Another share from another group:

It looks like a cut and paste from a report, but comes unattributed:

Dirty nappies will be turned into roof tiles when a recycling plant
opens within the next year.

The recycling plant, the first of its kind
in Britain, is expected to divert thousands of tonnes of waste that
would otherwise end up in landfill sites. Nappies processed at the
facility will be turned into a range of products including roof tiles
and plastic cladding. The site will have the capacity to recycle about
30,000 tonnes of nappies and similar absorbant materials such as
incontinence pads each year. It is expected to open late this year or
early in 2009 and will be built at a cost of more than £20
million in Birmingham by the firm Knowaste in partnership with Alpha
Wastecare.It it estimated that up to 750,000 tonnes of nappies -
enough to fill Wembley Stadium eight times - are buried in landfill
sites each year in Britain as part of 29 million tonnes of the
nation's annual municipal waste. Local authorities are under
increasing pressure to reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfill.
Each year until at least 2010 tax per tonne, now standing at pounds 32
for every tonne of waste, will rise.

No sh...! Works for me.

Perfect for those with £199 to spare

Which, I am sure, many in London do.

Green Homes Concierge Service

It also spawns my latest acronym: NiWiYCGI - 'Niwikki' - 'Nice Work if You Can Get It'

Not like you cannot get info for free anywhere else on saving water or what car you should buy, or even good advice on what renewable energy systems to buy.

In addition to what £199 from your pocket could go to in terms of actual energy saving measures, I do wonder how much is spent running the scheme that might be better directed, too. Like many things, one imagines the ROI and enviROI might prove elusive as time goes by.

Still, if you are so moved... here you are . There are at least grants to scope.

Just a thought or two

Inspired by two others (on an often well-informed blog/forum that discusses sustainability issues) key points here..

If we can adopt ways of being and ways of action that are attractive, effective, compassionate, fun and wholly satisfying to us, (and which still allow us “to be a pleasure to be with”!) then there’s a chance that our way of thinking (ie that there is catastrophic collapse imminent) will be heeded, and our ways of action, contagious. Otherwise we surely just invite others to ignore us.

I truly don’t think The Establishment, Media and most professionals have any concept of how close our infrastructure is to collapsing, and as our resources dwindle we won’t be able to pay others to maintain and extend it for us,

My concern is primarily with communications to and hence influencing the behaviour of the public/consumer.

Rather unfashionably, I am devotee of the notion of persuasion-based methods that use reward and incentive as end-benefits for more enviROI+ actions.

What I am not so keen on is (what appears at least to be) more negative methodologies, from fines to guilt to nannying to shame to scare, used to varying degrees by the authorities, media and activist groups. And often with less than clear, or downright less than noble main aims, being less the good of the future and more meeting targets, creating empires/careers, driving ratings or securing funding/donations.

And, IMHO, the public is not buying. Little wonder, bearing the sheer inconsistencies of message and often rank hypocrisy of the messengers.

I simply don't trust almost any subjective pronouncement from HMG, the national broadcaster, all the 'quality' newspapers to not have a rampant agenda attached. So I have to trawl all and then a wadge of even more overt propaganda from all 'sides' online, simply to try and get to a more accurate middle line. Equally with most factual 'information'.

There's also the simple question of credibility. From politicians to many influential editors, one day we get mammoth issues regarding our environment top of mind and then consigned to oblivion the next as more pressing local, selfish issues arrive the next day... 'Minor Royal does something naughty! Meanwhile, in other news, the planet is past tipping point...'

I took the statements and findings of such as the IPCC and UN ('single greatest threat to humanity... etc) very seriously, yet the minute attentions get redirected it all gets dropped (often pretty quickly) in favour of making political capital, money or a quick rating.

No wonder 'we', the great majority who do still rely on sensible guidance from the Establishment (which I regard as encompassing the totality of influencers, who rather worryingly see and hence set themselves up as a separate, distinct and rather 'better' alternative 'we'), have tuned out, assuming we ever tuned in. And may now be cruising blissfully to an unwelcome surprise or two.

I wish I could be more positive, but will continue advocating, and practicing as far as possible, the notions of reduction and/or mitigation in any DOING ways possible and practical... that can still be fun and inspire.

Sites unseen, heard... or accounted for

UK government websites out of control

Report...the Government is not sure exactly how many websites it has, but believes there could be as many as 2,500. Nor does it know how much these websites cost or if anyone is using them.

Does this include quangos? I'm guessing not as they don't have the suffixes indicated. Yet they, and their comms budgets, still drain the public purse, do they not?
It's certainly not easy, especially when there are those who serve more niche social areas that may well be worth supporting... way up to those that really feed a major information interest and could be nice little earners if commercial.
Hence ROIs must be hard to judge, but I think the public deserves better in being able to assess them, from what they do, for whom, with what, at what cost... and to what effect.
Otherwise many seem no more than conveniently vague and unaccountable ways to employ lots of folk at best keeping them busy... or less nobly pushing agendas.
I recently had an emailing from one eco-effort, that seems to have been set up with a massive wadge of wonga with many noisy bells and confusing whistles, staffed by all manner of nifty titled folk, claiming a monthly visitorship of '50,000 hits'. Now I know what the average Reg reader can carry in a fingernail about IT and the web, but this doesn't sound like the best way to share such info, and even if it was doesn't sound like a lot.
And let's not forget, when thinking of bigger (and possibly 'better') sites such as or, you are also talking massive ad budgets in support to drive traffic.
It would be great to really challenge these in the same way those not so blessed by 'more benign' funding models are, yet can find themselves competed with for audience... often unfairly. I certainly have experience of going to one quango for help in an area their remit required, only to be rejected but then find what I pitched got cranked out subsequently as part of their offering.
Yet private sites often are much better in delivering public information at much better value, especially by not being constrained by the dead hand of public service agenda, committee mentality and ministerial oversight. You just have to start with some URLs to see how they have not exactly got what it takes to push the buttons of a public used to pretty exciting and entertaining fare.
I find it amazing those we do have to pay for seem to have no way currently of judging their performance and/or worth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

There could be trouble ahead .....

.... according to this from today's Indy. Yes, its full of that nasty little word 'could', but ......

"As many as one billion people could lose their homes by 2050 because of the devastating impact of global warming"

"Hundreds of millions could be forced to go on the move because of water shortages and crop failures in most of Africa, as well as in central and southern Asia and South America"

"Rising sea levels could also cause havoc, with coastal communities in southern Asia, the Far East, the south Pacific islands and the Caribbean seeing their homes submerged."

Sounds like a pretty bleak outlook, doesn't it?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oo, look, a wolf! And another one. And this time it's HUGE!

I like Treehugger. They have a nice wadge of fun stuff and info and articles and even spirited debate.

However, I don't think they are doing themselves, or any with a concern about what's going on climatically (just had hail and sunshine alternating 3 times in the last hour) and how to address it, many favours with headlines like this:

Bye bye Greenland

Whatever else might happen, I doubt that Greenland is going bye bye. The name itself suggests an earlier incarnation. I believe vineyards were harvested by the Vikings.

All this will do is pit the Two Opposing Corners of the Apocalypse (acronym alert: TOCOTA) against each other... again.

It doesn't really matter much what the end point is, or is not, really, but if there is a direction we're headed, and certain stuff might be wise now, I simply advocate, again, that we look at sensible mitigations.

There is a case for figuring it all out as well long term to ensure resources get directed when and where they will do most good, but this end of the world stuff now kinda just feeds fuel to the absolutists (on both sides - you are either for us or agin' us) to talk us to death for longer.

Hence my not pitching in over there. I think that one is a fight that will last forever, with no middle ground allowed.

The natural CO2/temperature balance

Probably the most important piece of climate research for years.

For some 25 years scientists have argued that there must be an entirely natural mechanism that regulates the level of CO2 in the atmosphere and the planet's temperature. It is this assumed natural mechanism that is the basic evidence that skeptics use as a primary argument against mankind having anything to do with climate change.

Well, according to new research published in the journal Nature Geoscience and reported by Reuters, there is evidence that there IS indeed a natural mechanism in operation.

So, there IS a natural CO2/temperature cycle. Should all the climate change 'deniers' start celebrating?

Well, errrmmm, no. Why? Because the evidence from Antarctic ice indicates that the natural cycle prior to the industrial revolution shows that "The average change in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the last 600,000 years has been just 22 parts per million by volume, Zeebe said, which means that 22 molecules of carbon dioxide were added to, or removed from, every million molecules of air." I.e. All of the pre-industrial warming (vineyards in Greenland and Northern England) and cooling periods (mini ice age etc.) have occurred naturally over long periods of time with a variation in CO2 levels of only 22 ppm!

But, since the industrial revolution, "the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 100 parts per million". "That means human activities are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere about 14,000 times as fast as natural processes do"

And the rate of increase in CO2 levels appears to be speeding up.

The natural mechanism will eventually remove the excess CO2 from the atmosphere, but we are talking about something that would take several hundred thousand years. As we appear to be accelerating the natural mechanism by some 14,000 times the norm, I rather suspect that mankind does not have that sort of time frame in which to address the problem!

It will be interesting to see how widely this gets reported. My guess is that as it is pretty bad news, it will generally get ignored. Let's see.

Addendum 29/4/08:
As I suspected, nothing really mainstream at all - the only coverage I can spot so far is from News.Com.AU, TreeHugger (the first to state what this research actually means - global warming IS man-made) and RedOrbit. I'll keep checking though.

Because graded greens means fewer flowers

Grading Green: The Watchdogs CMOs Must Appease

You know, whilst I broadly agree I rather think there might now be a few more than that. Certainly as I look at my inbox daily from the funded/subsidised/donated whole (and I am sure I have missed a ton) sorry lot of them. Which may be part of the problem.

By already having such diversity, especially without any real knowledge (without a ton of digging) of provenance, objectivity and accountability of these entities all competing for consumers' and/or worried/cynical brand owners' money to pay for empires and comms budgets, what value do I think most of them actually present to the planet.... few. These may be exceptions. Sadly, in comparison that is a tad more than I would so far accord most efforts so far from my own government or major media, at least in terms of clearing things up and offering comprehensible methods of engagement for the average Joe.

The business of telling people about green seems now to have easily outpaced, at least in terms of trying to grab attention and hence sources of revenue, any of those trying to actually do much about it.

Hard to see how we can get back to simpler, trusted ways to make decisions based on meaningful enviROIs now. Too much, and too many, invested in competing for our eyeballs... and wallets.

Who grades the graders?

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I share this for no good reason at all, save that it does refer to my favourite quango, and shows Jeremy Clarkson to be every bit as adept at cruddy acronyms as me.

Though mine are often better...IMHO:

Potato heads are talking rot on food

'A sinister government agency called Wrap (We Rape and Pillage) has spent vast lumps of our money to determine that...' [actually he does specify something, but I'm happy enough to selectively edit here as it seems to apply]

The article is also quite fun, as much as for the comments it inspires. The Times use to allow links, but as it does so no longer I don't see much point, so I'll just lurk on and quote this one.

Nero would be proud

Tory hot air on carbon offsetting

I'd love someone to explain how this offsetting works to reduce emissions and not just redistribute them with an extra cut of City-slicker lifestyle thrown into the mix to reduce the remote chance of a positive enviROI even more.

The only way I can see this working, or any other Carbcon prefixed initiative, other than yet as another a get rich quick obscene green scheme, is that if the whole planet cooperates.

Good luck with that, so to mix a few metaphors, why not make hay on fiddling futures while Rome burns?

Up a GM tree

I have tended to steer clear of GM. hence I share this as is, but more because of the referral to the issue of population.

As the world begins to starve it's time to take GM seriously

This I am also a bit of a wuss on when it comes to commentary (GM is more a case of absolutely not knowing enough to do so, despite doing a 1/2 a degree in something pretty close. Mind you, I was at college with Mendel - the extremes of 'fact' in the thread comments cases in fact).

As with the two 'E's, I do find I lack patience with the idealistic, simplistic and totally self-serving pronouncements of those who wish to ban something without any clear suggestion on how the consequences of such a ban would be handled.

Taketh away. And giveth back.

For years I have been spouting nonsense.

Somewhere along the line (no doubt for its complementary name associations) I picked up the notion of 'Junkentag', a day in Germany when you stick unwanted stuff out on the kerb to be collected by passers by. A delightful notion that does not require state intervention of meddling, save for permissions.

Well, it seems I had the name, at least, wrong.

It's “Sperrmüll”. I think I liked mine better, but whatever it is called, the concept is tops.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What goes up...

Climate 'fix' could deplete ozone

Gotta love a headline that has so many of my favourite journalistic words and punctuation in one sentence: Climate, could, fix and 'quotes'.

In this case I rather hope that those involved may take a moment just to ponder what 'we' are all doing: 'We'll save this planet if we have to kill it off to do it!'

That would be a no, or, rather, 'Are you out of your tiny freakin' minds!!!?', Houston.

Getting the answers she wanted?

Feasting on famine - As the food crisis intensifies, no one is asking why the companies making huge profits from increased prices remain unaccountable

I almost passed on this one. The comments in the thread make it worth reading. Tricky things, blogs.

Times - Britain's dirty business - Also as applicable to the post before regarding a LabourMP/Liberal Media luvvie's notions on what 'we' should be doing.

Times - Is your job bad for the Earth? - Rats... My day jobs are down there twice.

It's a vote winner, luv

The climate change movement must be inclusive

At first I thought this a sentiment worth checking further. Then I read on...

'The climate change movement must be inclusive
The climate change movement must broaden its social base ...'

I'd say a good place for change might be your terminology. What on Earth is 'the climate change movement'. I don't recognise it, it doesn't make much sense and I don't very much like the sound of it.

A vast swathe of what ifs and must be done, with almost zero tangibles on what and how, especially in terms to engage and inspire those not so blessed to feed in the Westminster political or Islington media trough.

And that last para is priceless, showing our current leadership's true grasp of the issues and mindsets of those they claim to represent.

Par for the course, mind.


I have a fair idea what the responses from Dalston and Stoke Newington might be, but as an insider what do you reckon the deep thoughts on this might be from No.10?

Britain's Dirty Business

You guys get paid to come up with stuff like this, and then more to opine on how the general public are not getting with the 'green' programme?

Or is this another left-hand, right-hand minor issue that has slipped passed our elected representatives. I'm betting 10p it is.

Friday, April 25, 2008

NEWS/GO3 PR - 12 Lords a... tilting at windwills

Bit heavy for a Friday afternoon, but as I have been banging on about it for long enough... this just in:


PR as received, E&EO*. Some top lordly names in there. Only one I recognise, and he is out and about at the moment not seeing what all this climate fuss is about.

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee are today launching a new
into the economics of renewable energy.

The Committee will look in detail at the prospects for the increased use
of renewable energy which under EU targets should make up 15% of the
UK's total energy use by 2020. Figures show that only 1.8% of Britain's
energy came from renewable sources in 2006.

The inquiry aims to set out the costs and benefits of renewable energy
and compare those with other sources of energy. The Committee will
deliver an objective analysis that provides an economic assessment of
the Government's policy towards the increased use of renewable energy.

Commenting, Lord Vallance, Chairman of the House of Lords Economic
Affairs Committee, said:

"Renewable energy is expected to play an important role in reducing
carbon emissions but we know comparatively little about the possible
costs and benefits.

"Our Committee will analyse in detail the potential costs and benefits
of an increased use of renewable energy sources and how they stack up
against non-renewable sources.

"We would welcome evidence from any interested parties to what will be a
thorough and detailed inquiry."

Some of the issues the Committee will examine are:

* How does and should renewable energy fit into Britain's overall
energy policy? How does the UK's policy compare with that of other

* What are the barriers to the greater use of renewable energy?
Are there technical limits to the amount of renewable energy the UK can
absorb? Will technological changes make renewable energy cheaper and
more viable?

* What can the government do to promote the greater use of
renewable energy and encourage more investment in the associated

* How much investment in Britain's electricity transmission and
distribution networks will be necessary to enable a significant increase
in the use of renewables?

* What are the external costs associated with different forms of
renewable energy, such as the impact on rural areas of an increase in
wind farms?

* How do the costs of generating electricity from renewable
sources compare with fossil fuels and nuclear power? What are the
estimated costs of carbon capture and storage technologies in future and
how do these compare to renewable generation? What impact do these
various forms of generation have on carbon emissions?

* What are the costs and benefits of the current generation of
bio-fuels? Will there be a second generation of bio-fuels and, if so,
how will its costs and benefits differ?

The Committee welcome written evidence from any interested parties.
Evidence should reach the Committee by the 16 June 2008.

The current membership of the Committee is:

Lord Vallance of Tummel (Chairman) Lord Macdonald of Tradeston
Lord Best
Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market

Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach
Lord Moonie

Lord Kingsdown
Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Lamont of Lerwick
Lord Paul

Lord Lawson of Blaby
Lord Turner of Ecchinswell

Lord Layard

*See label links for explanation(s)

AWARDS - Resource Awards 2008

WHEN: Nominations close 19 May 2008.
WHAT: Resource Awards 2008
WHAT... MORE?: From site - Do you know of a community recycling project that deserves recognition? Think the scheme where you work is the most innovative of its kind? Are you putting real value back into the community and diverting an impressive tonnage of material from landfill?

If the answer to any of these question is ‘YES!’ then you should nominate your local community recycling project for the Resource Awards 2008 and give yourselves the chance to win £2,500!

Jennie Chapman of the Vine Project, winner of the Community Recycling Project of the Year 2006, said: “I would encourage people to nominate an organisation that they know, even if you think that the organisation is too small or new for such awards.
HOW MUCH: Not clear... might be free!
COMMENTS: Another we'll be gunning for (well, first we need to get nominated, nudeg, nudge), and were tempted not to share. Ah, what the hey... may the best... and us... win!

EVENT - UK Aware show 2008

- May

STOP PRESS!!!! - 2 for 1 online booking offer - use code IT241

FIELD: Enviro-related
WHEN: 10-11 May
WHAT:UK Aware show 2008
WHAT... MORE?: Green ideas for everyday living
WHERE: Barbican... London... again
WHO: Co-blogger Dave of Solarventi is exhibiting there!
HOW: £5
COMMENTS: Looks like another nice day out!

Quote of the day - Don't build it, and we'll just come and take over

A nice chap in an earlier discussion about our woeful national coordination of anything to prevent waste sent me a discussion piece.

I just want to share this from its midst, as I'd heard of it before and now see it in all it's... unfortunate... glory:

"Toyota are now using the knowledge gained through their production system to deliver more sustainable(higher quality) corporate facilities at zero extra cost.

In 1984 the DTI arranged a ‘mission to Japan’ and asked why they let us look at their factories, the Japanese said “because you are already ten years behind and anyway we know you won’t do it!’

Just how did this country get Great again?

Just how much does it cost to be smart enough to save... well anything, really

Study says smart meters will cost £16.1bn

I just had a water meter put in. Cost me zippy. And now I am watching our consumption like a hawk. So I am in principle in favour of any measure that measures to help us lead more thrifty lifestyles.

On such a basis, this ain't one.

Our house, is a very very fine house..?

House of Commons Debates 24 April 2008 - Topical Debate - Supermarkets

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Joan Ruddock): I beg to move, That this House has considered the matter of supermarkets.

Lumme, I am going to have to give up the day job at this rate just to keep up with all this! Very interesting insights into the knowledge base and interest of our elected representatives.

I saw Ms. Ruddock in action when in was Sainsbury's turn to play on the BBC (I think it was Newsnight). Possibly some effective divide and rule being attempted by someone, as this was pitched as a counter to the M&S/Daily Mail PR effort of a few weeks previously, but we do seem to be getting a lot of lengthy commercials for brands dressed up as green concern these days on our national broadcaster.

The only constant is the waffle from the followship, who seem pretty keen on any distraction from what seems a total lack of national, coordinated, complementary ground back to ground (dig it up, make it, ship it, store it, sell it, use it, ditch it, dispose of it) waste policy and logistics. Certainly putting systems in place to cope before fining for not using those that are currently so woeful, confusing and contradictory might get the public on side a wee bit better.

I notice today the big news is an OFT probe in price fixing. Hope it works out a wee bit better than the one that resulted in a stonking great compo payment to Morrisons. Donated to charity, it was billed as 'made by the government/department'. Now, where did that money come from I wonder? And were there any tangible consequences borne by those responsible?

Talk is proving very cheap these days. And even some actions pretty free of worthwhile accountability.

Throw enough mud

And you may eventually end up with a... very expensive... hut.

This from a blog:

The Environment Agency - Science Report - The economic and environmental benefits of resource efficiency in construction

Resource efficiency could save construction industry millions

Ten million tonnes of new construction products are wasted every year, at a cost of over £1.5 billion. This is the result of a study by the Environment Agency to evaluate the potential economic and environmental benefits of the UK construction sector improving resource efficiency. This is equivalent to about two per cent of the overall construction sector output. Reducing the amount of waste by one per cent would mean annual savings of £15 million and 104,000 tonnes of product.

The report estimates that 6.1 million tonnes of construction waste, mainly paints and finishes, floor coverings and light fittings, are sent to land fill every year, at a cost of £917 million. It also estimates that 3.9 million tonnes of construction waste such as ceramics, concrete and cement, worth £583 million are recycled.

The construction sector is hugely resource intensive, using an estimated 400 million tonnes of resources each year. This makes it the single biggest user in the UK economy, accounting for about nine per cent of gross domestic product. In addition, the sector also produces over 30 per cent of England's total waste along with 32 per cent of its hazardous waste.

As Site Waste Management Plans become mandatory for larger projects from April 2008, it is becoming increasingly important that the sector efficiently manages the resources and waste products from all processes during construction projects.

During this project the EA developed scorecards that can be used as a quick and easy tool for identifying opportunities and improvements for site waste management. Separate scorecards have been developed for new build, refurbishment and demolition projects. They are designed to be used by clients, contractors, waste management companies and the Environment Agency to benchmark the performance of on-site waste management.

The report recommends that the construction sector works together with a common goal of resource efficiency*. For this to happen, each part of the sector needs to understand its role in terms of the resources it buys that are subsequently wasted and apply appropriate solutions. Better data is required at a product level for this to happen effectively.

I haven't read the report, nor do I have time to, but from the summary it surprises me that we are still today seeing such as this, and the stark warnings on waste being issued, when the likes of WRAP, NISP , Knowledge Transfer Network and I am sure many other well-funded and often overlapping bodies/quangos (who must have been mentioned) have surely been on this case* for a long time now? Heck, I am on so many lists now I am sure this may be from one of them!

Is national coordination so fragmented/poor and, possibly answering my own question before, is progress really this slow?

*'The report recommends that the construction sector works together with a common goal of resource efficiency.' - So... are they saying that they currently are not then? I really am flummoxed. There is tons going on with this aim/target already!

I am still not sure I can believe this**

Darvaz: The Door to Hell

I've always wondered/worried about the waste/consequences of the burn-off flares on oil rigs and refineries, but this seems grotesque.

Equate it to a few seemingly much more pressing AGW issues in the media.

I wonder if it counts to their Kyoto commitment? And which is better (relatively), the pure gas or the consequences of its combustion?

Surely it is not beyond the whit of man to pop a lid on and harvest this as a resource?

*via a link from a very surf-savvy Singapore Aunty. I had never heard of it until now.

**One slight concern is neither this entity, nor its location (Darvas) is picked up by Wikipedia

Quote of the day - Publican service broadcasting

Let no one excuse the BBC of lack of balance.

Thing is, I do sometimes wonder if they think things through. Following weeks... months... years... of nanny state preaching (with some good reason, and value) on the ills of youth alcohol abuse, we have another Declan commercial break (I know the line between fair PR sharing as news and blatant free exposure for a brand is a fine, and hence difficult one, but really, this isn't some retail boss flogging their latest fluff under the pretext of a news item), this time at the Bushmills distillery. Something along the lines of:

"How do we/you (didn't catch it properly) improve its appeal to younger drinkers..."

...followed by a few minutes free commercial, including mixes (with cranberry juice!) for the younger palate. Nice.

This was, irony free, followed by a piece on kickboxing , introduced along the lines of 'how we improve our kids' behaviour?'.

I have one small suggestion... don't glorify and promote hard liquor cocktails in this manner on the national broadcaster, especially one that has been sanctimoniously trotting out youth binge drinking messages at the same time, when my 11-year-olds are having breakfast. Just a thought.

As with things environmental, if the media can't get consistent with their messages, there is little chance of our youth getting it. I think of AGW scare stories and consumer tut-tutting in complement, followed immediately by some celebs excesses on a far-flung beach. It is inconsistent and divisive. And not a little hypocritical. There's a surprise.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More on plastic bottles ......

... from an answer provided in 'Ask Umbra' from Grist.

Further to our earlier post, they also highlight the potential problems that Bisphenol A (BPA) may cause, but they also point out that Styrene and PVC also carry some pretty nasty environmental consequences too.

Time to dig out my old stainless steel water canteen perhaps?

Houston, we have Peak Oil

I didn't pick up on this a few days ago, but it appears to signal a major change of tactics by our planet's largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia. According to EV World, King Abdullah has ordered some newly discovered, smaller oilfields to be left untapped for future Saudi generations, and he has also effectively put a cap on oil exports at 12.5 Million barrels per day.

"This is likely to result in an earlier occurrence of global peak oil output than many consumers yet recognize."

"the geologic oil supply constraints that we are feeling in many other parts of the world are going to close in on us earlier and more severely than we previously thought."

Genuine 'Peak Oil' may, or may not, have already been reached, depending upon whose data you consider, but it looks as if 'tactical' Peak Oil is definitely already here. With fuel prices currently at record highs, and some oil futures already trading at above $130, expect a rough ride ahead.

So, the big question is, what will come first - the £5 loaf of bread or the £10 gallon of fuel?

When I were a lad .......

.... I was definitively told that 'it' was dirty and nasty, and 'it' would even make you go blind. But, according to this from, it would appear that 'it' actually has quite an impact on reducing the chances of prostrate cancer in the males of our species!

I wonder how the NHS will tackle this information? I rather suspect that NICE may well have some interesting 'prescription guidelines' to work on here. Hmmmm .... Fiesta magazine on prescription for all widowers?

Ask a question...

Is humanity's restlessness a threat to the planet?

'Is this restless addiction to travel - and our desperate demand for more fuel to feed it - our fatal flaw as a species?'

Don't know about fatal (in comparison to say, staying in one place and cooking dinner on a fire the size of Krakatoa, or heating the home with the Siberian tundra.. if you happen to live there of course, and not on a 'must-see' trip courtesy of the Guardian travel pages) but if (yawning gap for the black/green corner to slug it out) one accepts the premise being touted by some/many in government/media/evidence-of-our-own-eyes that carbon is causing a problem, and if we (next yawning gap) as a species are responsible for the consequences of more than is ideal getting out and up then, on balance, I'd have to say it sure can't be helping. Now what?

Then again, having watched Star Trek, maybe our hunger to travel is our only saviour as we seek whole new worlds to breed across and pollute. So it could be Mr. Branson has a point with Virgin 'Have a greenhouse gas Kodak moment' Galactic.

Guardian - I'm trying hard to be eco-friendly. But please don't ask me to give up flying to visit my family - The perfect complement. So much one could say, so much one knows one should not. Bless.

Brain strain

Fares fair?

I'm up for doing my bit for Queen and Planet, so this initially cheered me up as to positive influences on my potential options from Gloucester to London.

However, I don't get the impression I'm better off if I do get a last minute call, or seek to travel outside the now very restricted 9.30ish am to 3.30ish pm or post 7sih pm (fat chance of a connection - my missus has put on more miles driving to Swindon to pick me up to then get may car than if I'd driven round trip) off peak windows.

And as to a discount for a family of four...? Actually, why not a business group discount to get ;'em out the Mondeo?

This looking like you're being all in what you're doing,when in fact you're doing b-all.

It's almost as if money was really all anyone really cared about. Especially HMG.

Just wanted to say.. you are all jus'... Marvellous, darlings!


Praise seen as good as cash to brain

It does, of course, having a bearing on what we (inc. and via are trying to do.

I really must start the day job

From a blog that I have no idea how to link to:

BBC - Begging for more than small change

This is quite a thought provoking article which focuses on the need
for intrinsic change in behaviour rather than focussing on small
scale changes in the hope it will lead to bigger ones. The main
arguments are:

"Having embraced one simple change, some people then tend to rest on
their laurels and be less likely to engage in other more significant

"Environmental problems can often be traced to our appetite
for "stuff", items that demand resources and energy in their
manufacture, sale, use and disposal"

"unless I am careful about how I spend the money that I've saved. As
long as campaigns to encourage us to change our behaviour are based
on appeals to self-interest or financial incentive, they will be
fraught with difficulties"

Hence marketing green products could be counterproductive.

Whilst I agree with this, somewhat more worrying is the belief that
Businesses will be interested in this philosophy, it continues:

"The Environmental organisations should also work with leading think beyond the opportunities offered by green
consumerism; preparing for a world where we will inevitably need to
consume not just differently, but less"

But why should they? Private Businesses and the political doctrine
that underpins them are driven by the desire for growth and profit.
To expect them to think otherwise is as irrational as expecting an
Abrahamic religion to stop believing in God. Even if some did change
how could they survive in a commercial market? Perhaps the only
solution is a control type economy, not traditional socialism, but
one that is focussed on quality of life rather than material
production? I can't see this happening anytime soon.

If ever this was one for The Two E's, this was it. Hence I have been moved to reply/add (to the blog, not the BBC site, which is a poor effort/reward one, as I often try and point out to them):

Good share. And thoughts on it. I saw this as well, and not in the most positive of ways, in another blog which, charitably, could be deemed 'climate optimistic'.

I passed on, but then it came back to the top of my mind as I surfed through some debates on Earth Day, again not very complimentary to the cause of green (at least in its rather unfortunate, and over-simplistically used and abused sense).

I am not so sure it's the changes, large or small, that deserve the attention and debate, but many of the messengers bearing a welter of them that are not always easy to get behind, and for all sorts of reasons (including, now, the fact that the pain of paying is biting at more fundamental levels than just buying off guilt).

On top of the negatives of greenwashing/toshing/cloaking by some rather cynical bandwagon jumpers in the corporate world, there seem to be vast armies of well-paid and pensioned folk from governments to LAs to NGOs to charities all doing very nicely just talking up a storm, and thrusting many plump fists out for funds to keep the conversations bubbling along.

I, for one, would be keen to see a lot more from the public purse going into DOING stuff.

I totally agree that the principles of marketing in the capitalist, consumer-driven world mean it's unlikely that reduction is high on the agenda, but at least one can often see some efforts that may still work, a bit, in mitigation. So bashing them for not doing more to do less seems optimistic, at best. And, without more coherent strategies for dealing with a global population of 6B+ and growing, mostly with the vote and tightrope-walking ' followership' who know it, a tad in the 'idealistic' corner.

Meanwhile I am struggling to see much enviROI in the bazillions going to an awful lot that is not going anywhere (Executive salaries in quangos or activist groups to come up with such stuff, for one) much that is actually making positive differences.

Addendum: To some responses, I have amplified thus:

I'm not sure but suspect (rather proving my following point) we're all agreeing with each other as to what is most desirable, but might see different routes to this common end point.

The situation reminds me of a very down-to-earth client I had in my advertising days in Asia.

I was doing my best pitching to him and made the mistake at one point of saying 'I think you're not understanding me', which really meant I had yet to see him come round to seeing the obvious brilliance of my concept.

"No,' he said, 'I don't think you are making your case clearly enough to persuade me yet'.

I think we all agree that green cannot be viewed in black and white, so immediately we are into that scary no man's land of greys between what is and should be, can be and will.

And bearing in mind my town of a few thousand has, well, a few thousand opinions, with all sorts of influences (money, ego, selfish-interest, concern, money...) shaping them, it's a miracle any consensus happens at national much less international levels.

However, sadly, if what a lot of us are swayed by is to be believed, we don't have much time to get to some sort of global consensus.

Now there's an ideal, but just like the Prisoner's Dilemma the fly in the ointment is human nature.

Thus it only seems sensible to accept certain realities rather than rail against them.

The trick therefore is to push as far as you can before those you need to persuade push back.

Hence my advocacy is one of end-benefit and persuasion via incentive and reward. Unsurprising perhaps, considering my background.

That said, I do have to concede a certain amount of stick might be needed to ease the effect of the carrot. Not an easy balance I'll admit, but that's why there are some gunning for the big bucks running the show.

Sorry, but most, as far as I am concerned, so far do not warrant them. And/or the soapboxes they enjoy.

They are spinning in one place very nicely with some core converts for sure providing enough to suck in a fair amount each day to keep the thing whirling, and self-sustaining quite healthily for those within. Especially at the top.

What I am not seeing is the necessary outreach and successful conversion of those, in the vast majority, who need to opt to flag down a ride that may be bumpy, but which they have come to accept is a heck of a lot better than staying where they are.

If the bandwagon's message is not proving attractive or comprehensible enough for the audiences to stick their hands out and up, that's not their fault. Maybe it's just that the message is just not being pitched right yet.

I for one am a little less than inspired now by 'awareness' and such like, yet still seem bombarded by vast numbers of meesages citing this alone, supported by immense comms budgets I'd prefer directed more more tangibly.

This started with a piece on marketing green products. Some may well be getting pitched 'as well as', which is a shame. As a mitigation of lifestyle 'instead of' seems more acceptable if genuine. But the Holy Grail is not to buy, which is a hard sell to guys whose rent gets paid on profits.

So yes, let's recognise good works that are about doing and add to these indeed.

Addendum :

Somehow I fear I have stumbled into an arena where, possibly by my replies, I have become a minority of one who is 'them', vs. a mightier 'us'. Whilst more than polite, my point (which maybe I still could not make myself, to all the ironies) seems lost that telling someone something is so does not make it thus. However, we now are in culture where process dominates over product, and you get paid by the word and not the result. In fact, it seems you get a bonus by spinning extra words to explain why even the few targets you do accept you were aiming for, and missed, were not the actual ones those who bought into the initial argument thought they were.

Not sure how I ended up as (or deserve the honour of - I did not initiate this thread) a prefix to an &Co or et al (Gore?), but you find me this sunny morn still fresh, if jaded from being told by my government, national broadcaster and some media that their inability to explain how night becomes day is actually my fault for not being able to decipher the wisdom of their actions and reporting of same.

And it extends as far as it does wide. Take the recent issue of that wind farm being denied planning in Scotland.

In the black (Big Oil? Birdwatchers? Strange bedfellows) corner we have those quite passionately 'anti'. They would seem, for now, to have prevailed, for good or ill, as inertia will.

While in the green corner, an overwhelming tide of analysts, senior researchers, lobbyists, quangos, carbon traders and whatnot (whom I am sure can all easily afford the time and costs of limitless courses as much as they can conferences in Bali) telling the other side how wrong they are.

Me, I am stuck in the middle, still bereft of clear, concise, persuasive (if often subjective, which is still cool) argument, backed by well-considered objective facts that I can grasp and engage with.

Hence, if I were not through interest fairly well informed on some aspects of what my future family faces, there is a powerful incentive to sit back, accept the status quo and pay the mortgage.

If those who would claim to speak for the future - so many (and growing into empires so vast) and so well funded - seem unable to get things across persuasively enough as yet to those still in the majority paid for more traditional labours, I simply question whether they are of much value, and hence simply represent a vast green hole redirecting funds that could be used to make real differences.

I love to debate, but it can be time consuming and though talk is cheap it still imposes a cost. I sense my notions are not favoured by the majority in reply. So be it. But to do justice to maintaining the exchanges I would need to devote a lot more resources than I currently have access to or can afford. Equally, the vast swathes of material often (not just here) that get lobbed around, often by those paid to stay abreast of the issues in minute detail, still seem not to be changing my core views either.

And here we are, I think, in agreement on the objectives, if not methodologies. Fundamental changes to governance are for governments, and/or oppositions to pitch to me as a voter. I am feeling a little overwhelmed by many, too many, whose responsibilities, accountabilities and allegiances are none too clear. And while often their hearts may be in the right places, speaking personally (and it is amazing how many challenge me on what my own mind thinks, or should be allowed to) I feel that by staking too radical and/or extreme a claim on redirecting a global supertanker of hundreds of nations, there is the chance that the opposite of what is intended, and necessary, may be achieved.

I deal in the world of selling by changing how people feel about things. And it is so comforting when you work with a USP or a receptive target and can spin away to positive responses and accolades. It is much tricker when you are dealing with minds already filled with white noise to start, and competing pitches on top. Just saying 'but my view is clearly correct and you are foolish to not see that' is certainly a way to advocate. Equally you can rarely sell life assurance successfully by telling folk they are going to die, no matter what the truth of it may be.

So, with regret, and meaning no disrespect by ducking out, I fear I must get back to doing something I think will help in mitigation, whilst also advocating by word and deed reduction. And hope it continues to bring a few like-minded souls along for the ride after their day jobs, school and/or commitments, until those we place in power grasp the bigger picture and sell the necessary solutions to us all.

But I do very much enjoy and value the exchanges here, and especially the links provided, but will simply from now be content to simply lurk.

You know, one day I'd dearly love to know just how many folk their are now on the public purse (GO3, GOv, Local GOv & NGO), plus charity funded and essentially corporate parasitic (Carbon trading sprigs to mind) as a % of the working population. Not to say some don't have value, but to mix twenty metaphors, most seem to be making hay out of green like moss on a well-wedged rock.

I know what I am DOING as I write and debate. My patience with and respect for those who make no real tangible contributions, especially from high, salaried pedestals simply saying 'we're doomed... unless (usually preceded by 'fund us first')', is wearing quite thin. And I do have a day job.

Addendum - NEW: Oh, the irony. I am now spending the next hour fielding off-bog replies direct from those who agreed/agree with (some of/all of) my views, but didn't want to stick their heads over the parapet lest the green snipers picked 'em off (our emails hence employers are open fro all to see). At least there is that 'off-blog' feature. But when you fear your 'own' 'side' more, then that is a time for concern.

BBC Green (it's different, and odd to see ads on Aunty!) - Save money and the planet?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lawn Ranger

Peter will not be happy.

Keep off the grass

One can indeed get on dodgy turf weighing the economically-driven (though when it's with the truth it becomes quicksand) and the environmental.

You're (on the side of) right, they don't have a blade worth standing upon in word or deed in trying to make money from green this way.

Now, time to pop back to the travel section of this paper where, apparently, 'Angel Falls' is a must see:)

Peter is the lovely chap who pops in once a week to kick me from being creative eco-luvvie into self-sustaining business person. He thinks the two are compatible, but some compromises can and need to be made.

And as the belt tightens, I am seeing his point. Better fed than dead. And if you are fed, you can keep doing what you do... to support the family ... and, with luck, make an enviROI+ difference.

I don't think such as the Guardian is doing any damage, and in fact has a long history of keeping the green flag flying, often persuasively.

But it's just that, well, sometimes the rather overt Planet Ban-it in one corner tends to jar with the corporate money making going on a few pages over. Often it can, and is used by those who might disagree to highlight if not flaws in their advocacy, but certainly selective campaigning. I am sure many in Islington will gladly return their back lot to natures' best, but also that it will be well up on the priority list of green guilt compared to giving Angel Falls a miss.

For what it is worth, I have to say puring gunk onto weeds is not the best eco-option, but I do confess to zapping a few dandelions with something last summer, as excavating them made my lawn look the Somme.

One day at a time?

Is Earth Day enough to save the planet?

As with all things, it is a question of degree. And the sad inevitability that what was once small, personal and intimate pretty quickly becomes big, corporate and a monumental overblown bore.

The first I knew about Earth Day was an email from one of the x zillion well funded ngos/charity newsletters I subscribe to to try and glean some worthwhile information on worthwhile things that get or can be DONE.

A banner ad in the middle informed me that ''we' didn't wait to act'. I am guessing it was meant for the US, because the picture was of the Normandy landings, and I am pretty sure 'they' did wait a wee while until nudged a bit by Adm. Yamamoto's frequent flyer programme.

First click got me to the donation page.

As I was unsure how much of my contribution would go on private jets for the management board, guest celebs and media hangers on, and how much would go on media comms budgets (plus sponsors - I was also treated to an Earth Day ad from a Fortune 500 company promoting its bleach) for awareness of their next concert, day/wheeze, I gave it a miss.

And got on with just another one of the 365 days each year I try and DO my best for my kids' futures.

Comments are now closed... no wonder!

Becuase I doubt I was the first poised to hit the keyboard!

Should you 'green' your CV?

What pure, unadulterated tripe dressed up under a question about an issue, even if mocking. Good job it's not April 1. But I still think the author has tongue well in cheek.

Shame the moderators did not see fit to let the thread even start, let alone run.

At least fish4PR got what it needed out of a 'survey'.

Too much spin; not enough substance

Again, on the subject of wind farms I read a lot on subjective passion; very littel that allows me to add anything up.

Tutting at wind farms

Somehow this has all seemed to be devolved into some kind spat between ramblers, shredded seagulls and.. the END OF THE WORLD!!!!

Whilst all aspects - social, tourist, etc - are certainly of consideration, a few priorities are in order. Especially if we are to remain addicted to unlimited procreation and hence energy addiction in support of demand... and man-worsened negative climate change via greenhouse gas emissions goes from possible to probable to... worth doing something about.

However, in all such pieces, I would dearly love to see also included some clear ROI and enviROI figures for the relative values of the various alternative energy solutions being proposed and, it seems often championed and/or funded without question by simply not being something else.

I have to presume these numbers have been produced and show clear advantages to our futures on this planet. And if so, would be quite potent to me when being required to weigh against more local ecological or lifestyle issues.

I can see by its location and ambient weather conditions how a facility like this one does look more likely to be able to generate electricity in a 'greener' manner than some alternatives, but do all that are proposed? What about downtimes? Maintenance? Transmission logistics?

Sorry, I still feel there is a wee bit too much spin going on (from the inevitable extremes of such 'debates'), and not enough substance.


This is becoming the talk of the blogosphere.

BBC - Proposals to build one of Europe's biggest onshore wind farms are turned down by the Scottish Government.

As have added to the above to one:

This has stirred things up a tad, but I do wonder if in the right way, and amongst the right folk.

Some things are very hard to quantify, so I have total sympathy for those trying to place a value on something as subjective as a view.

However, as a mere MoP (member of the public) trying to wade through a morass of advocacies that may require my cross in a box one day, the whole thing seems to be maintained at a very simplistic, and emotional level.

And I for one, would REALLY like some confirmed, hard numbers on this.

Without them it all comes across as a battle of interest groups, and as belts get tightened, what (possibly incorrectly, but it's a better attitude than being against anything at all) may seem affordable indulgences for many might drop off the options list in favour of what may seem (often incorrectly) essentials.

BBC Green - Blow to wind power

Guardian - Endangered birds come first: Scottish ministers say no to huge wind farm on Lewis peatland - some numbers, but how good are they?

Earth to America .....

.... can you hear? An amusing little video clip from Love the 'please take a minute to note the emergency exits ..... there aren't any' bit.

A simple message but quite funny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Just, not sure by whom, or if in the right way.

Earth Day Roundup: Cool Things You Can Do

Rather unfortunate ad currently on this page from 'we can solve it', to this Brit at least (footage of the Normandy landings with the line 'we didn't wait'. Well, not until Pearl Harbor, anyway).

But if tactlessly put, perhaps a better message than the one from SJ Johnson at top (also currently), a family company who are working on making better the health of our family and the environment with... Windex, Pledge & Shout?

I kinda feel 'working on' and anything suffixed '-er' might best be kept in the 'Jobs in progress' file before splashing on the media spend, especially for Earth Day.
Lest one be accused, however unfairly, of allowing Corporate America to co-opt and monetize it.

Your tax £ being subsidised

Father fined for overfilling bin

The law is, of course, the law.

But there is a certain lack of PR savvy in the choice of person to make an example of, and the way it has been done so far.

In one, more tabloid, account, the authoritarian protagonists seemed to be quite hung up on the fact that it was claimed to be gaping 4" when in fact they had measured it at 7".

At least it was in the silly bin, you silly billies!

There are a few areas of outstanding natural despoiling in our area where the stab-proof sporters from even the local plod don't fancy tackling the visiting inhabitants for a few weeks of each year.

They also seem to have not yet had adequate advice on the problem with too much waste, and hence seen fit to look at what can be recycled.

One question. If you do end up with an excess, even after all the recycling options have been exhausted, what are you supposed to do? Flytip?

I also wonder as to which aspect of LA funding the proceeds go? Better services? Or payroll and pensions?

Acronym-spinning time: WASTCAN (Wielding A Sledgehammer To Crack A Nut). I like that one!

The devastating virus 0157 .......

..... otherwise known as eco-smugness.

Never let it be said that we don't comment on both sides of the enviro argument. This from The Times is actually quite an amusing rant against the environmental movement.

"What is becoming so fascinating about the new puritanism is not just that we are all being brainwashed to accept the inevitability of hair shirts, but also their unquestioned moral worth. That somehow or other, this life of sackcloth and bicycles is going to benefit our souls and make us all better people."

"My real problem with the eco-alarmists is the pleasure they take in austerity; their evident desire to strip away pleasure. Deep down, they disapprove of skiing, even on a Scottish scale. They dislike colour, excess and fun. They really do want to see us imprisoned in a narrow, grey, scratchy world of recycled car tyres and hemp lingerie (and no, I didn't make that up)."

Ooooo-errrrr! Something has definitely gotten up this lady's nose!

"we will chant a litany of carbon offset, recycling and composting, the buttresses of a new religion that makes radical Islam resemble Methodism."

"the thought of life in this smug, dull, joyless, labour-intensive, recycled, fair trade, waste-free world makes a woman yearn to be already dead and buried in her eco-friendly coffin, fertilising some field for methane-free cows."

Methinks she is taking something of a micro-view of the whole issue? Or maybe her hemp lingerie is itching?

Of Greentosh and Earth Day


We have had the hour, which worked so well. I guess some, better funded than most, have seen fit to expand with another 23. Keeps the roof over their heads I guess.

Greentosh... LOL.

I like it, especially in its less sinister incarnation. Other than this blog I would not have know it was Earth Day save for a press release advocating I ditch something I have and replace it with the new, eco version they are offering.... for the planet. Bless.

So long as they don't fib, good luck to 'em, but with one small caveat on the overall effect all this if having on the credibility and patience of the consumer.

I recall at copyriter skool the story of a Canadian canned salmon brand that was suffering because the flesh was white. The solution, which worked gangbusters, was the line 'guaranteed not to go pink'. Sex may sell, but perceived negatives can shift loyalties. Just ask the Democratic Party candidate machines.

The sad fact is that there is, very probably, a fair bit out there now that I would like to know about and act upon because it is, genuinely, better for the future of our kids. And may not even cost a premium. Sadly all but swamped by the dross.

Thanks for sharing. Cheered me up a bit.

I have to question one stat though: 'The average dustbin contains enough unrealised energy for 500 baths, 3500 showers or 5,000 hours of television.'

If it's true, then 'Back to the Future's' Doc Whassiname's Radio Shack fission plant must be closer than I thought.

As to the Howie's scheme being a lot less fun, I'd say it rather depends on who you ask. I guess if it's the agency, client, models and production crew left at T5 I guess you are right. As to getting the job done with least eco-impact and zero carbon-hypocrisy... top marks.

Speaking of which, make sure you catch the latest BBC green effort tonight. Something about kids' fashion. I got a DM piece the size of a LiLo on it last week. And it was on the Breakfast News this morning.

First point of business in boosting our awareness: flying a bunch of folk to India for what seemed like 'The Sulky Six Go 'Whatevah' in Mumbai'. You can't get irony that good any more.

Happy Earth Day.

Cache as cache can

And another acronym: CACA.

An interesting take on global politics and reporting of same, courtesy of a chap evidently with no life, a worrying grasp of IT and too much time on his hands (but thank heavens for such folk):

BBC - Capitalism harms planet - Morales

Seems to have become (as no trace of the former can be found):

BBC - Leaders warn on biofuels and food

Thing is... why so coy? It's a debate worth having. I'll need to look up the definitions and hence difference between capitalism and consumerism, but it's pretty clear that economic growth almost inevitable equates to wanting, making, using and disposing of ever more stuff, and a limit might well be nigh. Then what?

Not a debate I'd fancy being within collateral damage range of, mind. I can see why they bottled... er... robustly handled it.

Olympics costs - to infinity and beyond!

Back in February, the DCMS admitted that the cost of staging the London Olympics 'could' (yes, that horrid little word again) quadruple to the staggering sum of some £9 Billion.

We mentioned on this very blog the lack of accountability and the astounding cost estimate spiral for the Olympics swimming pool complex which had been awarded to a sole bidder.

And earlier this morning I heard Tessa Jowell on Radio 5 attempting to defend the fact that the overall estimate has now reached £9.3 Billion! Not that she actually answered any of the questions directly, it was an absolute masterclass in prevarication and the avoidance of real answers.

Well, here's a piece from Sky News reporting on the fact that the Commons Public Accounts Committee is taking the view that "the British public have been "grossly misled" and the original estimate for the Olympic Games was "totally unrealistic","

Difficult to argue with that conclusion, isn't it?

"There was no initial contingency fund set aside. In other words, no allowance was made for the possibility of overspending."

An original estimate without any contingency built-in, a failure to account for VAT, and a minimal security and policing allowance (Hell's teeth! The torch relay through London cost almost £750,000 alone!).

Anybody in the real business world responsible for putting forward such an original estimate would have been sacked long ago by now. But this is our Gov, and accountability, at least at that particular level, doesn't really seem to matter anymore, does it?

More on Greenwashing

A very 'across the pond' perspective, from PRWatch, but with very common parallels over here in the UK.

Plus a link to SourceWatch, which provides examples of Greenwashing from all around the planet.