Saturday, March 29, 2008


Of course, I only have a blog poster's word for it, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised:

'Fantastic coverage on the BBC of Earth Hour, starting in Sydney: all the lights turned off to save the planet. And how was this footage obtained? From a helicopter.'

Must be a wind up. The motive power for the helicopter I mean. 'Pong! More spicy soup!'

PR COVERAGE - - a nice and simple foodie site

Every lite bit helps?

I'd actually missed it all 'til now, but having just Googled something and found a reversed out screen have discovered 'Earth Hour'.

Not awfully sure what I am supposed to/can do (sitting around in the dark tonight around a burning candle seems daft, if not questionable enviROI), and my views on 'awareness' are well known.

I guess I could switch off my PC and not blog for an hour, which might mean something. I'm guessing such as Google and the BBC will not be going quite that far (mind you, BBC's woeful Forum system might just be doing the same thing), switching off power-hungry servers and all. There's raising awareness and not making such massive pots of money as you could, I guess.

See you in an hour, then.



Observer - Lights out? - An odd piece in an odd place, designed it seems mostly to crank up some COCP (hey.. another acronym - for Climate Optimist/Pessimist, and pronounced 'Cock-up) 'tis/t'isn't ratings 'heat' and little less. What was interesting were his stats on actual enviROIs, which I'd tend to believer as he is quite good on this count.

Too little of a good thing?

In the commercial world (and a few others, but especially PR), 'calling for' equates to 'looking at' in politics.

Whatever is being referred to is important, and the author acknowledges the fact, but actually there's either b-all that can be done, or they actually intend to do. But they do care, so that's OK. And it gets some PR.

Marketing Week - Sorrell calls for an end to deliberate obsolescence

There is some small significance that someone such as Martin Sorrell might feel the urge to opine this way, but that's about it.

I somehow don't see Steve Jobs grabbing the hotline to R&D to say 'Guys... the new i-Ownyourfirstborn.... make it last a lifetime!'.

But market forces do tend to work through. Speaking of Apple, though I can do sod all about it I am well miffed that I am now bound to FileMaker and its upgrades to work on Leopard no matter what, and will badmouth 'em at every turn. But I am well impressed that both our 12-year old cars have not a trace of rust on them yet. I have had to ditch a few in my time just because the floor pan dropped out.

But it would be nice if we could see a move to this: 'If people are less willing to buy items in large volumes because they have less money, make a virtue in advertising of how long your products last. Charge slightly more for them. That’s good for the landfill sites and good for your sales.' or this 'Or what about finding ways of getting people paying to ‘upgrade’ old products? It shows that you’re thinking about obsolescence while still offering people the sexy new functions and features they desire.'

It is, after all, what I have been advocating for long enough. I'll look forward to how Mr. Sorrell intends to turn his ideas into actions and not just talk about it all. Or, at best, stand ready to carry the next ad from someone who claim they are.

NEWS/GO3 PR - We're 'on track', apparently

Like so much here that involves a track, or conveyor, works out so well..

PR (from DEFRA) as provided, with no edit or further comment at all from me:

UK on track to meet kyoto targets as emissions continue to fall

Environment Secretary Hilary Benn today said that the UK is making progress on cutting Greenhouse Gas emissions, but there is still much work to do.

Provisional statistics published today for total UK Greenhouse Gas emissions for 2007 showed a drop of two per cent over the previous year, with 639.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent, down from 652.3 million tonnes in 2006.

They also show that in 2007, UK net emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) were provisionally estimated to be 543.7 million tonnes. This was two per cent lower than the 2006 figure of 554.5 million tonnes.

The decrease in CO2 emissions resulted from fuel switching from coal to natural gas for electricity generation, combined with lower fossil fuel consumption by households and industry.

Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn said:

"These figures show we are making progress in cutting emissions and are on target to go beyond our Kyoto targets. But there's much to do at home and abroad if we are to going to avert dangerous climate change.

"We need to see a major change across the whole of the UK economy if we are to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets set in the Climate Change Bill. To aid this, the Government will develop carbon markets and promote the development of low carbon technology, while continuing to work to get international agreement on global emissions targets.

"But while the Government can provide encouragement and incentives, we also need individuals and businesses to do their bit to cut their carbon footprint because it's only by all of us tackling climate change that we will achieve success."

Energy Minister, the Rt. Hon. Malcolm Wicks said:

"Today's figures show that we are on the way to a low carbon future. Energy efficiency, more renewable energy, new nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology will all play a key part in ensuring that greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall."

Notes to editors

1. All the statistics released today are estimated in accordance with the rules agreed internationally for reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union. As a consequence the statistics include domestic flights but not international flights since there is currently no internationally agreed method to take account of international aviation emissions.

2. These provisional emissions estimates will be subject to revision when the final estimates are published in early 2009; however, they provide an early indication of emissions in the most recent full calendar year. The majority of provisional estimates are within 1 per cent of the final figures.

3. The figures for 1990 to 2006 in this statistics release are from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), produced for Defra and the Devolved Administrations by AEA Energy & Environment. Additional results will be released as they become available, including a full report published towards the end of the year. For further information on the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, see the NAEI web site.

4. The climate change indicator is one of the 68 indicators supporting the Government's Sustainable Development Strategy.

5. There are uncertainties associated with all estimates of greenhouse gas emissions. However, although for any given year considerable uncertainties may surround the emissions estimates for a pollutant, it is important to note that trends over time are likely to be much more reliable. It is also important to note that the provisional 2007 estimates are subject to a greater range of uncertainty than the final figures for earlier years. For more information on these uncertainties see the Digest of Environmental Statistics.

6. Further details of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme can be found at the EU ETS section of the Defra website.

In the soup?

I am no great defender of plastic. But it is hard to imagine how we would exist without it and, that said, cease to use it.

Hence I tend to approach efforts like this with eyebrow-cocked: Warning on plastic's toxic threat

There's no doubt that the stuff is not great once it moves from its first use and gets disposed of.

But all the media/PR effort seems to ignore the main issue, which is correct disposal.

And, frankly, most of us are powerless in this regard, and hence there is little we can DO.

Hence a piece like this seems to be rather pointless other than being another 'woe is us' piece that gets a bunch of folk on a nice (if polluted) island to raise 'awareness'.

I can't see the value as a consumer news piece unless there is some connection to mitigation made.

However the science is interesting, and I do wonder how some of this relates to the effects of so-called 'biodegradables', which are often touted as 'solutions', but as matter can neither be created or destroyed do simply cease to be visible. The potential negative impact remains.