Friday, February 08, 2008

'I got wet 'cos it was raining' shock!

I'm probably setting myself up for a fall here, but this made me giggle (and at this time on a Friday you need to): Yell Group blames reduced advertiser budgets for revenue drop

Thing is, like the mighty publishing empire (and indeed many commercial entities), their main product seems (to me at least) to be, well, dependent on clients buying their stuff.

So if the clients buy less, then one presumes revenue will follow.

I know it could be a bunch of other stuff, like the CFO running off with the Xmas petty cash, but it just seemed an odd way to put it. Maybe saying such stuff in this way is why they get the big bucks.

More facts, figures and statistics!

Yet another set of facts and figures that may be open to question.

Addendum below. Post redated from 02/02/08 accordingly.

I spotted the gov's official CO2 emission figures the other day and thought that as the supposed reduction was so small, it was hardly worth commenting on. However, as reported by Channel 4, some green campaigners claim the figures are 'misleading', especially as they "ignore emissions from international flights, which are increasing."

In fact, they reckon that if you add in the international flights factor, the gov's figure would show a 5.5% year on year INCREASE in CO2 emissions.

Errrm ....... just who the hell are we supposed to believe?

We are simply left in an unknowing dilemma when facts, figures and statistics are massaged to suit a particular argument, as we have already commented on before.

ADDENDUM (Junkk Male) - Now here's a useful thing. A little effort of C4's I subscribed to only recently, called Fact Check. And looky here: FactCheck: have UK emissions really gone down? Neither hyped up nor spun down? I think they're being generous.

ps; And as the typo king I'm one to talk, but have to love their spelling of 'largerly'

Tears in me eyes

From Greenbang - Gordon Brown’s nightmare

Maybe there is a chance that people might get interested in politics again!

What amazed me was the smiles I saw and laughs I heard from t'other side!

On a totally... well almost related topic, I have often found in environmental legislation, and reporting of same, that green and Brown keep trying to be brought together.

But the result seems to be a rather unappealing fudge.

How does he do it?

Now I know he is reading my blog!
After all the fun and games I have been moaning about these last few days, dealing with funders and VCs and the like, and not being very good at making up 'projections' that are in fact wild guesses, but po-faced stating them as done deals... this is who gets the money.

Well, there's a thing

Marketers warned against making false eco-claims

From Mad - Companies trying to ‘out-green’ each other in the battle for consumers’ hearts and minds are creating a potentially dangerous minefield for marketers, warns a new study from Getty Images.

Getty, which specialises in the creation and distribution of visual images, has launched its latest MAP (What Makes ...

Want to read more? If you do, you can, and it's free. But it's a trial. Here.

I think I've seen enough to get the message. Think is, have the... 'companies'.

ADDENDUM - polar-bears-fail-to-give-right-message - the full-er, story. So see, it pays to know folk who know folk

Just look at the blogger label below

Life as low-carbon man

I say no more.

Well, other than to add it does keep luvvies in Fleet Street and Islington occupied. Plus me:)

Shame we can't run things on 'awareness', especially of the misguided kind.

Plugging away!

When it comes to doing good by Gaia, glory is good, but I'm always keen to up the ante to actaul, tangibel re:wards: The glory of glass recycling

In the spirit of ‘every little helps’, and acknowledging the minute (though still relevant) extra it may contribute, let's not also forget re:use, too!

Not so great for helping meet targets, but often a lower energy option... and a highly self-rewarding one!

Take this for example, a stunning lamp design made from Perrier bottles:

Inspired by Jason, I have a few more modest projects underway. One is a shaving mirror surround that is awaiting the dozen Fahrenheit after shave bottles I have almost accrued in the last several years (I knew I'd find a use one day! However you may find your local Boots may be able to speed things up with discarded testers), a transparent wall section from 1l Lambs Navy Rum hexagonal bottles, and a solar-powered driveway buried lawn edge night landing system covered with wine bottles.

Still trying to figure what to do with the several thousand other varieties now spilling into the living room which the missus is none to happy about.

Any ideas?

Actually, I forgot to mention I am also looking for some on pledge caps (the cans are a no-no, being pressurised).

Could ya? Would ya?.... Should ya?

Thanks to being told by the missus to get back to the day job, I have of late been attending a welter of networking events.

More abbreviations than you could throw a spellcheck at (still busted, eh, Blogger?), there are only so many 'Full Englishes' or personal coaches and aloe vera sales ladies I can afford, both financially and psychologically.

But I have noticed something.

At three recent events, the near obligatory mortgage broker/IFA has stood up and said ''What if I said I could wipe out your mortgage obligation? Would you be interested?'.

It would appear that there is the potential for some bit of legal jiggery-pokery to do just that.

I don't know the full details, because those making the pitch suddenly got all vague, but this is not compo for mis-selling, more a bit of 'no-win, no-fee' financial ambulance chasing based on no actual wrong-doing, but simply poor contract wording.

So the issue is not so much 'could', which it may well be possible to, or 'would', which it seems many might. But what about 'should'? This does rather strike me as a short-term pyramid at best, which will profit some but damage the majority, from the rates of those paying now, to the chances of those to come in getting a good deal.

So I said so. And I was pleasantly surprised to find the room agreed with me. Now it may be this is not being explained very well, but as it stands it's looking like the next 'dodge' from an already bizarre sector that I hope will get sorted... quick.

What's this to do with matters eco? Not a lot. But I am minded of the time a very big multi-national got a few £M from a very big quango to help them cut the size, and hence costs of making their commercial product.

If it's there for the taking, why not grab it? But really, and ignoring the more pressing question of the responbility to the public of those doling out the dough, should they have done?

Sticking your oar in

I've cut back a lot on stuff that flies around the e-ther via other media, and am especially dubious about sharing the welter of stories that involve research or scientists, but this is worth popping up: Biofuels make climate change worse, scientific study concludes

No 'may' or 'suggests' here. We have a 'make' and a 'concludes'. So I take more notice. And, though noting it is 'just' in a UK quality national, according to The Independent this is the '...first thorough scientific audit of a biofuel's carbon budget.'

And the words used subsequently are not minced: 'damning evidence' ... 'biggest environmental con-tricks' ... 'actually make global warming worse'.

Hold that last thought. enviROI anyone? I take no pleasure in this, but here we have a very telling example of what headlong rushes into 'anything green that must be good' can possibly lead to.

It is to be hoped that we can expect this salutory lesson be applied to ensure the real e-value of all manner of other green initiatives, from wind turbines... to simply banning plastic bags with no thought for the consequences of the alternatives (or lack of).

So I would wish government, activists... and media... would all learn to give pause before the leap on the green band, and/or banwagon as they too often do.

Indy - Michael McCarthy: 'Free lunch' that could cost the earth

Gaurdian - Biofuel farms make CO2 emissions worse