Friday, April 18, 2008

Onside rules

My deep appreciation of bureaucracy is , to any who read this blog, well known.

Especially when in complement to grants that seem more designed to put money in the pockets of those tasked to dole 'em out than actually getting anything worthwhile to the beneficiary.

So when a chicken comes home to roost, especially on a Friday afternoon, I am soooo onside already.

However, when it kicks off 'You are required to take part in the programme evaluation ...' I feel less than inclined to jump to it. And as it didn't come registered, I feel I might just stick it where de sun don' shine until asked again. Maybe more pleasantly ('We'd appreciate your help with... as agreed when the award was made...'). But that, I doubt.

What really gets me is the majority of the form is stuff they have already had from me, scores of times. And almost none has any bearing on the key aim as suggested by the line 'it is important that we continue to highlight the positive impact [the programmes] have on local companies.'

How pointless is that?

There's no opportunity to give any qualitative analysis, so they are simply designed to get in ticked box form what they want to hear to justify their existence.

So many things these days seem to operate on this idiotic basis. Surveys that take as gospel the word of a person saying they don't smack their kid whilst recycling 110%. Job references that forget that a glowing positive might not just mean they're keen to pass on a deadweight, or a negative might mean a good candidate has fallen foul of an idiot boss. Or the 101 times that an honest reply means censure where lying through your teeth gives a clear pass.

These things are totally self-serving, and offer no value to the recipients or those who pay for all this. The only thing they do is keep make-weights in fruitless nirvana.

It's amazing what needs looking at*. By whom. And for how much.

Thing is, who pays?

It's from a post on a blog in the Guardian, and hence for now is unconfirmed:

'Natural England spent 233 Million pounds last year. 90 million was salaries. And you think that there is no monetary benefit to accepting AGW?'

Just wondering, and all the more when I notice the ROI and enviROI suggested by the (Natural England spent 233 Million pounds last year. 90 million was salaries - unconfirmed) funding numbers above, what form(s) all these efforts into looking at 'climate change' and its effects on stuff will take, to what end, and whether or not a bunch of other equally green largesse-blessed folk are not doing pretty much the same thing(s)?

Also will the impacts of a entity that spreads like wildfire, requiring new ecotowns and affordable homes and hybrids and trips to Antarctica (I'm sure you'll find an ad banner around here somewhere), be part of the bigger picture... or broken out separately as another issue?

Yes, what we punt out globally is well worth concerning ourselves with, but what we stomp on in our own back yard must not be ignored.

I am just trying to get my head around those numbers, but especially if they are duplicated, as I am sure they are, around lord knows hwo many other NGOs, quangos, etc, 'in the name of green'.

* In politics, it means 'Getting caught having done b-all, and now buying some time talking to continue doing b-all'.

Stocks and scares

And I don't mean the trendy Big City variety!

No, it seems to be time to get medieval on our a**es.

This from Dave at Solarventi:

Definitely one for you.

Bit scary though as in the ultimate sanction that Bromley uses…. “residents who don't recycle face not having their rubbish collected”. Now that’s a big stick but it just might make people recycle more readily! Wonder how they enforce it?

Somewhat tied to this was my eyebrow cranking on the subject of cost when there seem to be hordes of waste officers running about. Is this solving a problem or creating a self-funding new empire? I have a rather jaundiced view that those who are not of a cooperative bent may find others ways to deal with their waste.

It is a problem, but there seem to be a lot of well-funded sticks around and not many equally well funded solutions or benefits in complement.


- formerly, but now still including, EAST Journal
greenyour - US-based



National - nice, simple info source, with links. Plus a free newsletter.
smartplanet - ditto



Gloucestershire - to be reviewed. Their blurb - A comprehensive Guide to green businesses and services in Gloucestershire. With over 300 entries it features a wide variety of organisations and acts as an invaluable tool for the environmentally conscious individual. The online guide also provides beneficial services to green organisations; including a webpage hosting facility and a Featured Supplier page.

It boasts an easy to use search facility, whereby businesses and services are divided into easy to navigate categories. It also provides an opportunity for users to 'Suggest a Supplier' - so if you know of a green business/service provider/environmental organisation or initiative in Gloucestershire log on today to get them included! - HINT HINT!!!!

Yeah, I know, there are scag-loads. I'm just drowning so I'll do 'em as they crop up, I get time... or you prompt me:)

Industry - NEW
Talking Retail
Wave Energy Today -

Fingers crossed .......

.... that genius cartoonist Matt of the Telegraph is just not too prescient!

Another very thought provoking article...

.... from Mother Jones (US based journalism website) on the approaching energy crisis, and more. Coming on the day after crude oil hit a new record of $115 a barrel, very worthwhile of a couple of minutes reading.

"Greenhouse gases, geology, and geo­politics give us no choice but to change our ways."

Shame the current US leadership team doesn't seem to have recognised this as yet, even though the cost of fuel is already hurting the American economy big style.

Language of the Beeb

Had BBC News 24 on the goggle-box briefly last night. There was a wonderful piece of horrendous English grammar on the scrolling headline news ticker.

It was reporting on Ol' Golden's visit to see Dubya, just after "Gordon Brown met with both three candidates for president."

Looks like the Beeb is moving to a street-talk style of English. Maybe Ali G am doin' strap lines for da nooz ticka?

Snap Happy

Not directly enviro, but as we are moving towards increased monitoring and fines as regards such as rubbish disposal, it does become pertinent.

I just watched a BBC piece on a photographer who was taking street scenes, and was approached by a Community Support Officer who required him to delete the images because what he was doing was 'against the law'.

There was some discussion, with, all of all people, the editor of a shutterbug magazine, but no input from more relevant possible interviewees on the much more critical issues... IMHO.

Hence I have been moved to write:

Regarding the police support officer requiring someone to act against their wishes and rights by invoking a non-existent 'law'...

What is are the consequences, especially as regards this officers' career in enforcement and the greater issue of how the public responds to official instruction?

Personally , I now feel even less inclined to listen to and/or comply with anything from some jobsworth in a hi-vis jacket, which could lead to some less than helpful confrontations, but possibly useful precedent come a court case.

Come on BBC, we need answers and advice beyond a little 'outrage' human interest flutter. This goes to the heart of how the individual works with the state.

I certainly have concerns that there is an expanding class of individual who seem to think they can wield 'the law', with little tangible comeback from those they are meant to be serving if this is abused. If someone doesn't know the law, they should not be given the opportunity to enforce it.