Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pick a pocket or two

DEFRA - The environment in your pocket

Looks fun... well if you're into that kind of thing. Hey, maybe there will be too many reapets on Tv to bear. Here's the blurb I got:

(DEFRA) The environment in your pocket 2008

The twelfth edition of The environment in your pocket is published today by Defra. This is an annual publication containing material on various environmental themes including climate change, air quality, waste and recycling, land, coastal and marine waters, radioactivity, wildlife and inland water. The main theme of this year's publication is climate change and a larger section has been devoted to topics relating to climate change.

It covers almost 60 key data series and focuses on providing trends over time, including performance against quantified targets and commitments set at the national and international level. It includes several environmental indicators of sustainable development.

Examples of facts and figures reported in the booklet include:

* 2007 was one of the warmest years on record with a mean Central England temperature 1.05degrees C above the1961-1990 average.

* In 2007 an average of 1,029 mm of rain fell across the UK, making it 12 per cent wetter than the 1961-1990 average.

* In 2007, 72 per cent of river lengths in England were of good biological quality and 76 per cent were of good chemical quality.

From those wonderful people who brought you...

Wrap defends bonuses for senior staff

Just wondering.

If public money is used for massive comms budgets that inevitably lead to increased public 'responses' (if this can be included in the term 'delivered the vast majority of its objectives' - is there a definition of what these were anywhere?) that in turn generate bonuses from the public purse for those who approved the expenditures in the first place, is there not a slight conflict of interest at work?

At the very least, the system would seem to 'encourage' anything the drives a bonus than what might actually serve our kids' futures on this planet a tad better.

Mind you, I simply can't comprehend any system that includes the concepts of 'bonuses' for public servants.

As it is seldom possible to 'make' anything, if it's based on financial performance the main way to effect 'savings' would seem to be through cuts, which is really not that tricky to do. And can prove less than satisfying to those public being 'served', as evidenced as here.

Targets, box-ticking and enviROIs

Kyoto is worthless (and you don't have to be a sceptic to believe that now)

I'm not a 'sceptic' (optimist). But I am not a total pessimist either.

Perhaps that's the problem. I still lack the conviction to get to the level of extremes that may be necessary.

However, those who would try to persuade the likes of me are a sorry bunch, as this piece suggests.

At least the activists are mostly sincere, if often frightening and, crucially, off putting in their self-belief.

But it is the highly paid pols and hangers on that really take the biscuit, and undermine any serious efforts to address the issue.

Kyoto was a rallying call, yet I read this: The EU has managed to claim success while increasing emissions by 13 per cent

Doesn't help, really.

Then we had Bali, when half the world flew to the other side of the world. That seemed to achieve little more than many of us noting how many went and how little they achieved.

Now we have Poznan.

And, as always these days, we seem to have a total belief in process over and above result.