Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Just for a wee moment......

.... I thought our PM had emerged from his bunker (reported in Luton Today), but it seems it was just another anti-aviation protester donning a mask.

Ol' Golden seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet. So just where is our PM?

Anyone have a clue?

It takes two to tango?

That's a dance of passion with a lot of to'ing and fro'ing right? At least it looks great and entertains. Unlike most serious climate-related discussion.

Newsnight - Monday, 7 April, 2007

Well, there's a big climate surprise.

Another Newsnight twofer with only protagonists from opposing poles ('scuse pun - I wonder if they bumped there into any reporters/advisers/analysts/gurus left who are not en route to Beijing, doing a slot about melting ice due to folk flying up there to do slots on melting ice).

One saying there's nothing to worry about so let's do nothing much (ps: there's a book to plug and he used to be 'something famous..ish'), and the other saying there's heaps to worry about, so let's do lots less (but keep the funds coming).

I meanwhile, remain none the wiser. Still.

Is there anyone who might get on screen who is not in the pay of someone or servant of a rigid agenda in this regard?

Now things are getting really serious!

As reported in the Inquirer.

Australian and New Zealand Pubs are going to run out of lager beer as the shortage of malting barley hits!

This is an effect of GW that is going to cause real panic!

Addendum(Junkk Male): I'd been looking for aplace for this: Challenges ahead for brewers' 'green' beer drive

NEWS/Commercial PR - Educational Tool for School

PR as supplied, with edits for space.


Novelis Recycling has launched free site ‘Think Cans in the Classroom’ as part of its ongoing programme to link aluminium recycling to core curriculum subjects. The web-based resources provide a range of interactive activities for teachers in primary and secondary schools, plus supplementary information for parents and pupils.

Novelis Recycling has developed the resources in close consultation with teachers and education professionals; including experts from Catalyst Science Discovery Museum
and Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. In addition to updating the site’s existing resources for primary schools, new features have been added, including lesson plans for Key Stage 4 (14-16 years) Enterprise and GCSE science.

Think Cans in the Classroom also includes updated resources for primary schools, with activities that can be used across the curriculum in subjects ranging from Science to Design Technology. There is also information for parents to help them reinforce children’s learning at home.

It's not just me, then


'..got me thinking...'

You and us, all, mate!

For a start, I first of all defy anyone to come up with a clear, coherent notion of what these 'carbon' prefixed notions (offset, neutral, footprint..) actually mean, much less as tangible, trustworthy measures of positive enviROI when put into 'practice'.

It's such a pity. I am no great fan of targets, but in the great scheme of things some measures of what is happening are needed to get a handle on what is going on... at the very least to figure out what may or may not be helping.

But it has all become such cowboy territory, pretty much the whole lot has become totally tarnished, especially in the key area of consumer awareness. And in so doing has dragged some potentially worthy areas down with it all.

I try and stay objective, and informed. But thanks to all that has gone down so far I find it hard to find greet any initiative/message that has 'carbon' in it, and especially when in marketing materials, with anything but an already well-cranked eyebrow.

It simply conjures up visions of those silly bankers in some Andalusian retreat trying to brainstorm up the next superficial spin, to cover up rather than actually addressing the real issue.

The environment can be a great opportunity to see gold in green, but only if the mindset goes from trying to address it as a 'problem' to be 'dealt' with. Or purely exploit short term.

It can indeed be a great opportunity, but only as part of an overall ethical whole, and not just to score a quick bit of PR or slogan.

There is a crying need for some measure, including gold-standard, peer-reviewed provenance chains, that the individual can trust, to help them arrive at an informed decision (and not just a sop) in their purchasing patterns.

But on past and present evidence, from international governance to national commerce or even media involvement, I am not holding my breath (well, we all might have to soon, but that's another story).

What a hummer!

This from WhatCar had me smiling somewhat.

Seems that Hummer have made huge inroads into improving the efficiency of their engine for the Hummer H2 (Yours for only £48,995!!).

The new engine has reduced CO2 emissions 20%, some 100g/km. Sounds great, doesn't it? But the new engine still emits a stonking 412g/km!! Oh, and its fuel economy has improved from 13.2 mpg to 16.2 mpg.

Still, I reckon it demonstrates that even the really 'dirty' players in the auto market are starting to take note that humanity needs to do something about reducing carbon emissions.

NEWS/Commercial PR - And the next logical step is... reuse!

What's not to like about Lush? Even the name gives you a warm fuzzy glow. Well, now their packaging can make that feeling radiate from within even more... by becoming made from recycled plastics.

PR as received, with the usual edits for space:

Brand Lush have launched 100% post-consumer recycled bottles and pots. They know that the best kind of packaging is no packaging at all, but recognise that some packaging is necessary, for liquid products such as shower gels and moisturisers, for example. This initiative means that they save about 115 tonnes of CO2, and are also saving nearly 90 tonnes of virgin plastic or 900 barrels of oil each year. The plastic in the bottles and pots can also be recycled again, and customers are encouraged to reuse* or recycle themselves, or to bring clean pots back (to encourage customers to do this Lush are offering a free fresh face mask for every 5 empty pots brought back to the store).
*Top start. But another reason we're running this feature is that we're hoping to persuade them to also upload their range details, as have the likes of those nice folks at ecover, onto the Junkk.com site to see what can be made of them afterwards as well! Which kind of works for all in the mix... consumer, brand... and planet:)

A voice in the wilderness?

Like I can get this lot to change their minds: Striking a balance on climate warnings

Navel-gazing is, one has to concede, hard to resist. And for some it can be profitable. While there's no doubt that some self-analysis can be worthwhile, if not downright necessary.

This piece raises some key points about the mindset of what, I rather suspect, is a vocal minority, and generally from the extremes of the (Probably man-worsened, negative impact - my preferred prefix) climate change 'debate'. And it is a fair complement to another, raised recently on these pages, which sadly was closed for comment before any could be made:

(now I have.. a cheeky fix, sorry)

I prefer not to get into these endless 'tis/t'isn't happening' matches as they seem, frankly, unwinnable exercises in going nowhere... if loudly and painfully.

And with the vast pressures of environmental issues having to be weighed against the equally potent influences of economic factors on a finite living space with increasing population, I have nothing but sympathy with those in power sincerely (important distinction) trying to understand where 'we' are, where 'we' are going, need to go and hence make some well tricky decisions whilst keeping their jobs.

But as a matter of principle, in motivating more than those who just like to tick a box or score a debating point, I'd simply like to advocate that those who truly do care about the future, and would like to try and influence our progress into it (I was going to add 'for the better', but that opens new cans of worms) spend a wee bit more time on encouraging the positives. And certainly a lot less blowing up, and blowing up over the all too frequent nags, nannies, bans, woes, fines, guilt trips and other less than inspiring or motivating methods that are mostly being used to such 'great' effect (not) in getting the majority of the public as individuals to try a bit harder to change their collective lifestyles.

Seek end-benefit-driven, reward/incentive-based actions, make them work and share their successes. And people may well get on board. Seems to work with most advertising in our consumer-driven systems.

Endless doom and gloom is not the best motivator. Which is why life assurers don't sell policies based on 'You're gonna die!' as the primary message, no matter how accurate and to the point it may be.

But sadly, 'Good News' is accepted as a tough sell in the media world. Maybe time to rise to the challenge of making it work... and profitably?

Yes, the title does say 'striking a balance', which seems to accept that the near total commitment to 'we're all doooomed' is not working, but I fear the advocacy to seeking a new way of persuasion is too little... hopefully not too late.

I just want to achieve a result. Don't care too much how it's done, so long as it is done well, for the right reasons... and quick.

CATEGORY - COMPETITION - Post-it/Win a Smart Car

Now, these are without doubt 'commercial', but as they are enviro-related (with, usually, a 'green' prize) I figure they are a 'worth-sharing, 'why not?'. As advised:

WHEN: Now.. 'til the 29th of April
WHAT: Buy it. Plant it. Win it.
WHAT... MORE?: Via the URL
HOW MUCH: Well, you do need to buy some Post-its
URL: http://www.3m.com/intl/uk/GetSmart/index.html?WT.mc_id=www.post-it.co.uk/getsmart
COMMENTS: I have some views on whacking a fir in the firmament at the first offsetting opportunity, so make sure you think it's kosher..


I just got this:

'Unfortunately the survey was posted on several promotional websites without our permission, resulting in a very high number of unwanted survey responses which we are unable to separate from valid responses received from our selected addressees.

We have therefore had to abort the last survey and discard the information but we are still keen to receive your views and kindly ask you to complete the survey again.'

Well, guys, good luck with that. I get a bazillion emails a day, and this one struck a chord as a not bad freebie. I'm sorry if I passed on what I got as a mass email 'without permission', but frankly didn't think I needed any, and didn't see any advice on restrictions to entry or broadcast. However, my apology is to all I shared this with who it seems, like me, pretty much wasted their time on a bit of marketing that was not exactly well thought through, or at least explained. I wonder if it will pop up in the ASA adjudications.