Friday, January 04, 2008


Had to be started:

Guardian - The quad squad - My fav so far:

Worldwide, every single year, a number of people greater than zero are killed or seriously injured in newspaper-related accidents.

The solution is clear.

Ban newspapers.

Why am I not surprised?

Government set for another missed target.

Now that's something that doesn't happen very often, isn't it?

ADDENDUM (by Junkk Male) - Depends what you mean by 'often', I guess. This took a few hours: Suffolk puts "aspirational" 60% recycling target on ice

You can see where this might lead

And hence I do no more than share... Scientists find hot spot on Saturn's chilly pole

But, is it art?

This in Treehugger: Stockholm's Feeling...Pale Green

This from me:

I may be missing something here, but in the great environmental awareness scheme of things, how does 'emblazoning with massive mood lighting' work, exactly, enviROI-wise?

How is this different to chiding anyone with a massive outdoor Xmas display (which, if one is serious, and Grinch-accusation immune, a fair point)?

Maybe we shoudl get 747's to do coloured contrails and call it art?

Not the message intended?

I too, have followed the one laptop per child cause quite carefully (from my laptop), so when I came across this it was of interest: Intel says bye to One Laptop

Sadly, or maybe I should say fortunately, where once the BBC weighing into a clear example of corporate abuse would have had me onside, I now find myself wondering about the full... accurate... story (a few avenues raised already in the thread replies). Nice one, guys.

Anyway, another thing popped into my head as I read:

'Yes, it is truly awful when a corporation says one thing but does another.

Just wondering why, with climate change and all, the BBC felt the need for two technology correspondents (you can never have enough of those to promote endless new consumer must-have juice gobblers) to go to the same far flung outpost?

Speaking of which, I hope Las Vegas is nice this time of year, too.'

I can see it now: 'Ah... but this is different. This is our job.' And no irony plugging the latest i-Tat in the same segment as the blonde and bouffant scold us on our wasteful ways.

Reuters - Intel drops out of One Laptop Per Child program

Accolades on toast

At least between a snake and a ladder you can eat the snake (tastes like chicken:). Sadly, I remain unsure of the relative nutritional values of a swing and/or a roundabout.

Anyhoo, while it does not (yet) put food on the table), the mail has brought another accolade, this time from FMCG Magazine's 'Best of 2007'.

What is also worthy of note is that the headline feature in this annual round up of all that is great and good in the world of what we consume is by the Director of Sustainability and Competitiveness of the Food and Drinks Federation.

His first line on the vision of the industry for 2008: 'Making a real difference for the environment'.

Ready when they are.

Who, or what, pays?

The last few blogs have cited examples from the morning Indy trawl on matters environmental.

But I have decided to write about one which I had honestly ignored as peripheral, but now realise is a worthy metaphor for the whole environment vs. economic growth debate.

And that's factory farming.

In the effective front page visual style for which the paper is often justly lauded, one is confronted by the space a chicken gets to exist within until converted into ingredients.

And it ain't pretty.

Yet, as the floor high stack of trays in my basement testifies (yes, I do keep 'em all, and in four years they mount up - one day I'll find a use for them), despite being told this before has not made a whopping difference, in this household at least.

Why? Well as meat eaters we do like variety (and I doubt most other choices exist through much better lives), but mainly it's down to money. As stated, I can feed a family of five for £2.50. Ethics kinda go out the window.

What would stop us? I can only think of a few reasons. There's health, and these dasy it seems there's always a bit of research that the guv'mint can whip out for the BBC to print any time we need to be steered away from something. But it's always short term. And memories are short.

Next up is money. The more expensive it gets, the less we'll consume. Market forces forcing the market to shrink? Possible, but not so hot for supermarket profit or political popularity. Skiing in Verbier or Goujons for Sunday lunch? Hmnn.

Or you could just ban it.

Like I say, not a bad metaphor. I guess we'll just live with the odd front page in the Indy then. And the guilt.

A tale of two 'e's

Here's something you won't read too often on these pages: I feel sorry for the PM.

And not just him, but any politician these days.

The reason is that screen grab from my daily Indy.

Because those two sequential headlines epitomise the rock and hard place that anyone in power faces, especially and ironically when it comes to... power: economy vs. environment.

Ignoring any enviROi considerations/arguments for the moment, just look at those in terms of stark political choices.

No one said/says it's going to be easy, but one things for sure... I don't feel too keen on trying to warm my home on endless supplies of the Brown stuff: fudge.

ADDENDUM - thank heavens I put in that caveat about the envROI! As I was posting this Dave is posting the same thing with a much more focused view on the detail.

Unlike many arguments, and I see Dave and I maybe diverging, at least on a pragmatic basis, when it comes to the realities vs. ideals for such as nuclear in the future, the lack of carbon capture in the design seems plain bonkers.

Indy - A test of the Government's environmental credentials

Save money. Polar bears, possibly not.

Time we had a picture.

I cut this out before Xmas.

Bearing (geddit) in mind that the new generations of TV screen are quite thirsty I thought the imagery was... cute.

Indy - Plans to drill for Alaskan oil threaten polar bear numbers - OK, it's still about oil, but I think also makes my point that it's more likely that man will directly finish these poor guys off way before the consequences of climate change will.

When it comes to fighting for territory, there will only be one winner. And once we've stuck a condo on all the territory we can find, then I guess Darwin kicks in, closely followed by Malthus.

Guardian - Bearfaced lies - there may be some facts in all this, but I'm not sure

'Sheer negligence'

From today's Indy, commenting on the proposal to build a new coal fired power station in Kent. (Hell, the project doesn't even include for any CO2 capture! Though the 'new technology' is 20% more efficient than older coal fired power stations.)

"The Government is also neglecting the energy conservation and micro-generation front. Mr Brown has promised new environmental regulations for new housing. But much more is needed to encourage conservation in the existing housing stock. Why have government grants for the installation of domestic renewable energy systems been cut? Why is there no right for households to sell domestically-generated power back to the grid, as exists in numerous other countries? This is not the excusable behaviour of a government caught on the horns of a difficult energy dilemma; it is sheer negligence."


From UKWatch.Net, taken from CIF, and clearly stating just why coal simply cannot be the way forward.

Peak oil / peak water.

An interesting article from Online Journal on how peak oil might affect America. One or two quite interesting observations and comments, not least of which is the suggestion that "Peak Oil and the steps we must take to solve its effects upon our society will naturally contribute to also slowing down the escalation of Global Warming." I also find it interesting that peak oil might just indicate the potential demise of the huge global supermarket entities.

Now peak water usage in the UK apparently occurs in the South East of England, where average use is greater than anywhere else in Europe, according to Times Online. Well, that didn't really surprise me overtly, but I was surprised to note that "
the South East of England has less (water) available per person than Sudan or Syria".

Between the lines

I was brought to this by a climatically optimistic post that inspired the inevitable pointless fisking exchanges thereafter. However, my attention was focused more on what happened after the headline: 2007 to be 'warmest on record'

That would be the line of copy you get to, having first read a rather different message via some rather odd new journalistic 'weren't me guv' technique of sticking something in apostrophes by way of shirking any responsibility for journalistic accuracy or editorial objectivity.

So we then get...'The world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007, the UK's Met Office says.'

I really would wish our national broadcaster would stop shooting itself in the foot like this and handing such distractions to those who would have us debate the detail endlessly at the expense of the bigger picture.

Personally I could care less if 2007 is or isn't the warmest year (OK, it does matter statistically as part of a trend), but I sure don't see it helping the cause of encouraging restraint and mitigation of our race's possible impact on climate, to try and crank out scare stories that may end up looking plain daft by being not, as such, true.

Just give us the facts as they are known, guys. At this rate I half expect to soon see that 'No 10 is expected to say that the PM is considering supporting this claim' by way of a front page that says nothing by tries to convey much.


2007 'second warmest year' in UK - see above