Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Volt face?

How to earn money from your roof

Sadly, I am finding anything originating with our government, even if it arrives having passed through multiple eminent media organs, to be immediately suspect - especially if it is transmitted as '...under proposals to be announced'.

When it's '...commitments that have now been honoured and initiated' I'll take note and cheer.

A while ago the majors and then even the local media told me that secondary schools (like ours) would be offering our kids Mandarin. Then... nothing. So I checked to see what progress there was, only to be told that they were having trouble finding enough teachers to handle French, let alone another, more complex language. In fact I was made to feel silly for not realising that such guff is put out with no intention of delivery, and is mostly copied from a press release and left unchallenged by most media with pages to fill, as all assume it just gets forgotten about anyway.

I also concern myself that if 'Householders will be able to make money by fitting solar panels or mini wind turbines to their roofs, under proposals to be announced in the Budget next week', I do trust the various pros and cons will be clearly shared to ensure the 'long-term financial security to homeowners who instal the expensive electricity generation equipment.' promises are deliverable.

No way to run a country. Or a coherent renewable energy policy. Or, too often, the odd medium.

Return to sender

Dilemma time again.

The mail has just arrived, and it was telling that the majority of it was from those, in theory, on the side of green. And unsolicited.

So a few things did stand out more.

First up, it seemed necessary to send us stuff by mail. Maybe they didn't have our emails, but this was erring on the excessive, especially as both were essentially pitching for money, either to 'the cause' by filling out and sending back a survey (FoE) or via a free magazine copy to try and get us to sign up for a sub.

Which brings me to the importance of list management. Not always easy, but both did come 'a deux', which is what rather made my eyebrow raise.


Every now and again you find something that attempts justification which is very difficult to comprehend, occasionally you come across something where such attempted justification appears insane. This from Reuters is one such. It attempts to justify whaling because the CO2 emissions associated with whaling are less than those associated with rearing beef!

What's next? Someone suggesting cannibalism as a low CO2 emission activity? Mind you, (tongue firmly in cheek), the planet is rather overpopulated isn't it?

Whale meat again,..... don't know where,.... don't know when..........

The friend of my enemy is no longer my friend?

The green betrayal

It needed commentary.

Sorry to be flip, but I did wonder to what extent our media report on government based on stances taken in other media.

Because I do suspect that while he may have scored a hit with a greater readership (if not votership), our Dear Leader's grasping the nettle of the massive environmental issue that is plastic bags may have not gone down quite as well elsewhere as it did in the Daily Mail.

Rightly so. And though the audience base in papers such as the Indy does not compare, their front pages do get a lot of on-air profile.

And that headline doesn't mince words.

What is worrying is what follows - Green lobby turns on Government over failure to curb air and road travel - as that smacks of something divisive, which often means divide and, well, if not rule, fail to persuade.

However, the facts are clear, and don't make impressive reading, especially for a spin-obsessed government.

Trying to balance environmental imperatives and economic drivers is not an enviable task, but may trying to appear (whilst cynically not even attempting to 'be') all things to all people, such substance-lite, spin-over-decision fudge (what I think you get trying to mix Brown and green) is proving to be nothing to anyone.

Indy - Brown bowls a no-ball - Read and weep. This is what our national followership has brought us to.

Indy - Darling has the chance to practise what he preaches - Note the last section.

Indy - Rural dwellers are the victims of betrayal - And no one said it would be easy. Most eco-initiatives, especially regarding making us pay to travel (which we are either forced by circumstance, or addicted to) will hit hardest where?


I thought I'd float it.

It's another 'green'-prefixed descriptor that might be applied to behaviour (often of the celeb kind) when 'greenwashing' or 'greencloaking' as applied to products/services and their pr/marketing messages really doesn't apply.

I can actually see it as part of a sequence, starting with 'greenspinning' and maybe ending with 'greensnapping'?

What has inspired this?

Well, it was just watching the BBC News with HRH Prince Charles, missus and entourage on their latest visit (I am sure there is a better word for its function) to somewhere a long way away, hot and sunny.

Anyway, it seems the big news is that to make the effort more eco, and PR it in that way, they are going to tour the area in a yacht.

So... let's get this straight. In the unlikely event I win the lottery (or RE:tie inspires a big cheque next week) and fulfill my dream of a Greek Island-hopping holiday (several years either in a wet tent or visiting relatives beginning to pall), I can actually claim I've gone eco because a bit of it is swanning about on a boat with sails?

A name only a mother (of 4) could love

EU directive to ban BOGOF promotions

This... is a dilemma.

As any who read this will know, I am not exactly pro-ban, especially when it comes to peripheral tinkering, but here's a case where market forces seem to be at odds with genuine enviROI common sense. Leaving what... as an alternative?

We have a normal (well..) family of four. And we do like our fruit and veg. So on my big weekly shop and the odd mid-weekers I am always on the hunt for a bargain. And, by any measure, BOGOF might be tempting.

Thing is, we have noticed that two nets of satsumas usually does not get consumed before the last few have gone West.

What to do...what to do?

It really seems there are no winners here. Well, save the supermarketers, who must do it because it works. But if it was possible, I'd vote for half price on smaller portions guys.

All that said, reading the thrust of the piece, the main issue seems to be the use, or not, of the word 'free'. With the only outcome being the end of an unlovely acronym.