Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Careful who you wish to be

It comes with my Sunday paper, but the 'Style' section is one I could well do without.

It usually has me reaching for the bucket, but now the luvvies have 'discovered' green it's more like the AK.

I was going to pass this one by, but as a poster pointed out, 'Socially Conscious Upwardly Mobile' does have a certain ring: Scuppie power

NEWS/GO3 PR - All in a good cause

Some will know I am tad weary, and leery, of many 'awareness' efforts, and have of late been a often dubious of various advocates going off hither and thither in the name of climate.

However, I will share this, simply because its footprint is low (at least they are not all flying to the Antarctic to see what flying to the Antarctic does) and the return to a necessary group (our young) is high.

PR as provided, E&EO.


As part of its Low Carbon Futures programme, The British Council is launching a nationwide search for 30 motivated young people to take urgent action to cut carbon use by joining Challenge Europe, an ambitious pan-European programme designed to change the way we use carbon.

Developed by the UK’s international body for cultural relations, the British Council, Challenge Europe is recruiting 30 Climate Advocates aged between 18 – 35 years old in Wales, England and Scotland to work together to develop innovative solutions that will reduce our addiction to fossil fuels in the public, private or commercial sectors. UK Climate Advocates will work in partnership with local scientists, entrepreneurs, academics, politicians and community leaders to ensure that the boldest and the best of these ideas are turned into reality.

Challenge Europe aims to show that individuals currently outside the climate change arena can bypass debate and make a profound impact on a pan-European scale. The British Council aims to engage over 200 genuinely motivated Climate Advocates to work together to develop over 40 innovative solutions that will change fundamentally the way we use carbon.

The British Council is actively partnering with a number of organisations across Europe, who will support the Climate Advocates throughout Challenge Europe by sharing expertise, best-practice and offering guidance.

Successful applicants will be selected by independent panel, and will come from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds, offering skills from the scientific and technical, to the creative and voluntary sectors. All will be adventurous, driven, knowledgeable in their field and highly committed. They do not necessarily need to show evidence of previous work in the climate change field, but will be ready to commit a minimum of 150 hours of their time to the programme.

To apply, visit www.britishcouncil.org/lcf-challenge-europe by 26th May 2008.

'Why won't 'they' do anything?'.. we ask, without irony.

The war to end all wars

It's a shame that such threads usually deteriorate into 'tis/t'isn't happening AGW advocacies.

I used to believe that such certainties were unlikely to be achieved, and hence rather beside the point. Being proved right as a climate pessimist is a Phyrric victory at best. But as my greater interest is in what motivates the masses (or, in the case of most that is 'green' from all self-appointed bodies (activist, government (when it suits), business (ditto) & media (double ditto)... so far, not much) I tend to ponder more the messages as well as the messengers to try and understand why most still are not engaging.

As an example, BBC's Newsnight trailed a major piece with Mr. Miliband on this 'major' issue and invited pre-feedback for during the show, with the promise of answers afterwards.

A 100+ questions were posed. A few (very... few) were asked live. And a selected half dozen dispatched later (much... later).

Before even watching this, I wrote on my blog that if this is not front page news today, throughout the UK at least, I will have answers to some key questions.

As stated by many world leaders, repeated here, and summed up by Ban Ki Moon, AGW 'is the single greatest threat to humanity'. Hard to get on board with this by most current piecemeal, contradictory, politically opportunistic and frankly hypocritical behaviours.

Yet government is still just tinkering around the edges when the mood suits, with most efforts by this country more designed to distract from other issues, or to raise taxes that are hard to relate to tangible environmental benefits.

I was fascinated by an accompanying piece, where it was stated it will take a 1,000 more computer systems to confirm this issue once and for all, one way or the other.

So why not just DO it? This is the future of the planet, apparently.

Look, if there was a leadership contest announced I bet (and almost won during the show - AGW soon got dropped in favour of probing 'juicier' news options) you'd be hard pressed to get an imminent meteorite strike on even the Science & Tech blog of most media for the next few months.

If this is as serious as claimed to be, why not make it as serious on every and any agenda 'you' (government and media) can think of, starting now, where practical to the exclusion of all else?

Government, and even 'climate-sympathetic' media organs have so far proven totally unsuccessful in persuading the majority of the electorate on almost any aspect of this issue to date, despite billions being spent (quangos, comms budgets, PR... some subsidy-driven efforts) with almost nothing tangible to show for it all.

I wondered if anything said, discussed, promised and (though probably subsequently reneged upon) shared during a minor late-night news show watched by a small minority of the population, complemented by however many here, or there, is going to make a blind bit of difference to what the government, the UK , the EU or the rest of the world actually DOES any time soon, vs. waffling on.

Front page news? It barely raised a serious % of commentary the very next day even on the site. Now, what's gracing the key pages of the Guardian today, and not some niche blog tucked away to keep a small audience entertained?

That... is the legacy of those who would claim to lead, and inform, and have brought us to this point.

And so, sadly, I have my answer.

You can't build on Greenbelt ......

..... well, errrrr ...... except when you get the Gov's approval to redraw the boundaries so it is no longer classified as Greenbelt! Full disgraceful story from the Telegraph the other day.

"The move will see the land redesignated so it can be sold to developers to try to meet ministers' house-building targets. Official documents warn that the process "will result in significant change" for local communities."

Oh, so its being done so that yet another set of ministerial targets (probably erroneous) can be met. Sorry, but don't these chumps realise that once land has been built on you can never change it back (OK, 'redesignate' it) to Greenbelt!?

And I just love that term they use - 'redesignated' - I seem to recollect that there was a similar term for this back in the old days when parliamentary constituencies regularly had their boundaries changed - wasn't it called gerrymandering?


One more for my new ad-related blog, Bordello Ivory Tales (link RHS), but it still applies here, if not more so.

In case the image is not clear, 90% is of a plane. You can see the headline.

Now, honestly, has that got you running to book a train?

I'm sorry, but waaaay too many green-related ads are a total waste of money. This was 2/3 page colour in the Sunday Times.