Sunday, April 13, 2008


I'm evolving a new format for stuff I come across or get sent. Let's see how it goes. I quite like how it's shaping up.




US Department of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy - Don't ask. It is what kicked me off on this new category. I found it useful. Now I must get some from the UK!


See labels below for previous notes. If you have anything to add to the headings above... share 'em! Direct to info[at] or via the comments on the blog.

What's better than waste? Duplicated waste!

Government ignores energy-efficiency policy

It would be interesting, if likely depressing, to get a handle on the sheer number of well staffed gov. departmental and quango empires there are, plus massive associated comms budgets, deployed in 'environmental' pursuits, and what the actual enviROI the public and planet derives from them. Especially, as suggested here, many are either overlapping or even competing.

Lest 'we' forget

I mean those of 'us' of a green bent, who do get some compo for our efforts:


At least the little things you, and I, do can lead to a bit of text that can (as writers) go towards our paying for stuff. I'm guessing you get paid for these pieces, and I have high hopes for Google Adsense on my site and blog.

So let's spare a thought to all those being exhorted to join 'us' in our eco efforts, but whose reward stays very much in their hearts, and often at some cost, as you point out.

Charitable Aims

A slightly 'easier' day newswise, as the BBC seems to have ditched all in favour of the London Marathon.

I think I might give it a miss. Barely started, and the 24/7 news-gathering machine is already struggling to find things to talk about.

But I just watched one piece of some interest, which was a noble group of Masai warriors here to run and raise money for their village. I recall these fine chaps from news several days ago.

However one thing did strike me. They are hoping to raise £600, a more than modest aim, and amazing what it will achieve back home. I am also pretty sure that, with such coverage, they will get a wee bit more than that... if they can find a use.

Thing is, bearing in mind there were a good few of them, I couldn't help but wonder how that amount equates to the flying and accommodation costs.

This does crop up quite a lot. I have been invited to sponsor charity runs/rides, etc in all sorts of exotic places, and the funding seems to kick in only after the participant's costs are covered. Many times that seems like me paying for someone to have a fairly nice holiday with a bit of exercise on top.

I am sure these guys were/are sponsored, but one does have to wonder what the chaROI is in many cases. It is not so satisfying and community bonding 'n all, not to mention no coverage means no PR means no support in the first place, but in terms of getting the maximum amount to where it will do most good you have to wonder whether the aims are being best met for those one presumes it's all intended for.

I'd like to see what the numbers are. Maybe it's all better than nothing as without an event there would be no contributions at all, but it would be interesting to see who the beneficiaries are for each pound generous souls contribute.

Times - The ego marathon - only to show I am not alone on the chugger deal when a sunny clime is involved.

Times - e-mail chuggers, take a hike

CATEGORY - Doublespeak

Indy - Brown: I am staying away from Olympics opening ceremony – but it's not a boycott -
ie: 'ceasing or refusing to deal with something as a protest, and to force it to become more acceptable'.

Reuters - U.N. chief will miss Beijing Olympic ceremony - seems GB is not the only world, er, 'leader' who didn't know about the Olympics this year and didn't RSVP properly to the party ('scuse pun) invite properly with first checking his diary.

BBC - Curiouser and curiouser

Ah well, he's not alone I guess. Looks like other World, um, ers, such as the Head of the UN didn't check their MySpace calendar well enough either to avoid a schedule clash to give a proper RSVP to the party ('scuse pun) invite.

So it seems were all confused, still. I certainly am. The British government seems to be. And our media. Even the BBC...

To infinity... and beyond!

But many posters are right, this pales into insignificance compared to such vital high-profile prime ministerial outings on pressing issues such as football manager selection, plastic bags, George Clooney and US charity phone ins.

Guardian - The accidental hero - It's getting rather fun, in a tragic comedic way, swapping between various partisan media (Nick Robinson and Mihir Bose of the BBC and their blog threads are currently tying themselves into Gordian Knots!) to see just what was and wasn't said by whom, and when... as none seem to able to agree! But this is the leaders of countries and national reporting organs, remember!

Guardian - Opening comments - Gordon Brown and the Beijing Olympics

Indy - When is a boycott not a boycott?

The Times - Junior culture minister Gerry Sutcliffe and his adroit U-turn over alcohol taxes - which are either far too high or about right, depending on when you catch him - and his deft explanation for the apparent difference: “My comments do not accurately reflect my views.”

Indy - NEW - Defence Secretary Des Browne, pressed by Jon Humphrys on troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan because of inadequate equipment: "Well all of those cases have been examined and in each case which has been examined where the lessons have been learned we have learned those lessons."

I can see this category becoming a bit of a feature.

Will the next target please step up...

Because you're worth it...

Can't disagree. A ton of marketing to flog a very small amount of goo that is of questionable use. Thing is, it all rather smacks of another tokenistic 'Planet Ban-it'. In the example I allude to below, the total of my aftershave commitment (no other regime for this old-age male, bar soap, shampoo and toothpaste... all packaging under constant Junkk-potential probing) is about ten small glass bottles. Plus a few cardboard boxes that got recycled. In the great totality of all waste, I am not too sure this is up there priority-wise...again.

Mind you, this one might be fun, as I rather suspect it will see quite a few luvvies on board with these rather puritan advocacies finding things hitting home... or at least the mud-pack-coated weekend retreats this bunch seem to be able to afford.

A wee check in the bathroom cabinets of those (male and female) often very vocal in other 'green' related ban-advocacy might indeed be interesting. Maybe they are just lucky to be able to afford very good skin.

As to my Fahrenheit aftershave, after several years' loyalty I almost have enough empty bottles to make my bathroom mirror light shade surrounds.

Indy - Cosmetics and Excess Packaging

I'm sorry, but I think in this case the best way is to allow the consumer to decide, but provide such as Lush and Body Shop every opportunity to promote their less impactful options. As I will.

Mind you, I still need a few more of those Fahrenheit bottles to finish my mirror! Oh, the dilemma.

Getting Fry'd

A Google ad link popped up on site (hence, I guess, paid for):

Stephen Fry on Climate Change

I know he's just another celeb. But he's bright lad and I rate his intellect. His piece is too short and very simplistic, but the main plea he makes resonates well, if not addressing how one deals with some of the other consequences of such advocacy (which sort of proves the problem, and his point, by providing an angle for those who would do nothing to highlight. Hence I think one has to at least tip to the 'Economics vs. Environment' balances). Sadly these are the down sides of what some say must be done (or not), and are in the hands of our hapless pols.

Interesting comments in reply, pro and con, though following my recent thoughts on where moderation becomes censorship, and the need for some rules, I do note the system on does seem to allow some comments to stay up that I would not.

The % agree/neutral/disagree bar is a surprise. Without letting my own bias intrude, I would have thought it would reflect more sympathy to this view, and makes one wonder about the value of such things (if used to explain or justify anything, but certainly 'CO' vs. 'CP' views, as all too often can happen in news hungry 24/7 media environments) as valid, viable information tools. One is, after all, talking a base of... 31 (at time of writing). As one thread contributor posed, in light of his popularity, and as this has been up 4 months, it is surprising how few have engaged, especially in support. I had heard of Friction tv, and am signed up I think, but it has not passed my radar for a long while.