Friday, December 05, 2008

Messengers, messages and media

Green solutions to recession
The environment is more important than ever and its campaigners must ditch those fancy buzzwords

Couldn't agree more with most of the sentiments expressed (by author and posters).

But when dealing with a public whose plate is already quite full, and not that attractive, I'd also advocate (even though in many cases it may not be easy, if indeed possible) less bathing in guilt, scare, threat and nanny, especially from comfortably funded, well-travelled pedestals. Hence quoting the positive, proactive ideas such as the insulation aspect of the Green New Deal is more than welcome.

So long as it's appreciated that a wee bit of pragmatic honesty might also not go amiss, either.

Tough times can indeed require tough talk and maybe tougher solutions, but let's remember that not all that is green can or should be viewed only in black and white, and while much that is green is good, there are many areas where a degree of caution may still serve communications, establishment of trust with the public/consumer, and our kids' futures just as well as a more typical default 'ban this/build that' demand.

Very often the enviROI can be tricky one to assess. But when it's proven - without 'twiddly bits' (subsidies, idealised deliverables, impossible maintenance commitments, wistful international cooperations, etc) included or avoided to 'help' make things seem more attractive, but with clear advantages to planet and (hopefully, in time) pocket clearly spelled out - the sell to the individual facing everything from pay cuts to cost of living hikes might not be so tricky.

Or... keep on with what most have been doing 'til now. I'm sure it can be argued that it's all been good stuff, but I'm not sure that to date many are yet buying what's been tried so far. So maybe a change could indeed be in order. It might still take an impressive shift in mindset in some quarters, though.

"Any GM crops in this?"

"No sir, we don't use GM food sources at all in any of our products!"

Under breath, so as not to be heard - "we only use radiation modified crops".

Now I'd heard about radiation modification, but didn't realise just how widespread and what big business it had become. It seems that the use of mutagens can accelerate natural selection processes dramatically. And many of us have almost certainly being eating radiation modified foodstuffs for quite a while.

Some 30% of the Mekong Delta's one million hectares of rice-growing area is planted with VND95-20, a radiation modified species, which is resistant to saline conditions.

Despite some of the rather worrying terminology used (mutants, induced mutation, Gamma rays!) this technology has been around for donkey's years and yet seems to have eluded the radar of the world's NIMBYs.

Full story from IrinNews - very interesting stuff - looks like it could certainly help in a world with far too many mouths to feed.


Christmas is coming, the geese (well everyone making a green buck) are going to get fat...

I have decided to kick off a festive thread with things that pass my way that can spread the cheer... and lighten the load:

General Tips

Gaurdian - A-Z of tips for a green Christmas


Send an e-card this Christmas with Envirowise - not reviewed as yet

Campaign aims to recycle 100m Christmas cards
- still unsure what's wrong with the weekly kerbside recycle bin. But hey-ho, let's pop off to the supermarket then!

Gift tags - I'm doing/have done a separate blog on this to attempt to address the various other eco considerations. So this is just a home DIY link that does still use power, ink and paper.


Guardian - Avoiding unsustainable Christmas gifts - nice in theory. Do they have kids? Kids who do not watch TV? Who do not have friends? But some nice ideas as you 'de-tune'. I must say the poster who suggested they don't use the same paper to flog coffee makers that use individual plastic pots has a point.

Guardian - Should I send a cow this Christmas?


Guardian - Low-carbon Christmas lights


Recycling website offers free Christmas presents - No URL, but I'm sure it's track-downable


Recycle your Christmas tree
- our falsie has done us 15 years and counting, mind

Guardian - NEW - Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

As always, if you'd like to share, let me know and I'll add 'em here too.

Ho, ho, ho.