Friday, January 30, 2009


I have done it mentally for so long, but more are springing up daily here's a growing list of where to find stuff out online, and often get to comment upon. When I get time I'll also 'review'.



iplayer - in theory (!) you can access archive stuff via this. There might be a 7 day window limit on some/most/all

Andrew Marr Show - Has a reply/blog
BBC Green -
cbeebies/ecobeebies -
Green Room - Has a HYS
The Editor's Blog
Newsnight -
Ethical Man - now over. I wonder how much he has stayed with his ethics and how much was just for the duration?

Guardian/Observer (PT)
Ask Leo - Like Prof's Posers, only with answers ready supplied
Climate Change
Climate Change
Environment Weekly - no clue what it is, who is doing or why. Or watching. But here it is. -
Ethical Living
Tread Lightly
What Can I Do?

Independent & Sunday (PT)
Ethics Girl
Green Living (inc Green Goddess)
The Environment Channel

Observer (PT)
The Green Gauge
Magazine - has a thing called Ethical that can lead to a Dilemma

Reuters - Environment

Eden - NEW -

Telegraph (PT)
Earth - leads to more, which I'll look at soon

The Economist

The Times (PT)
Battle of Ideas
Eco-worrier Blog
Green Central - With Blog

Yahoo -

I've just realised that by trying to compartmentalise I have in fact scattered similar resources across a few category headings. I'll try and bring most under here, including news in the future and others already posted when I get a moment.

One thing seems silly and that's my country separation. This is the net and all things are global. But where necessary I'll break out a place of origin.

Wikipedia - just remember it is not always served by well by those dedicated to objectivity, especially in areas of contention.

Green-err (as in erring on green) Media

ivillage/igo green - US based - online

Not a definitive list, so feel free to suggest and I'll add them here.

Put a lid on it. Or... not?

Credit where due...

What should we do about plastic milk bottle tops?

A good post from a useful site on a worthy topic, and the journey to get there. I have replied as there may be a decent dialogue to follow on some issues raised.

Ah, conflicting 'advice' from the authorities. Where we would be without various box-tickers contradicting each other, he asks, rhetorically.

John's final para is bang on, though I fear a vain hope.

I have long since given up trying to get my head around the logic of the stated instructions. The request to collapse surely makes sense to improve the weight:volume ratio lugged by a dirty great truck, but squashing these devils is easier said than done. And having done so, as a matter of physics, without screwing the cap back on I rather suspect they may spring back out.

Thank you for the link to GHS. I have some concerns about logistics, enviROI+ wise, but it's great that there are folk thinking around this. The solution is perhaps in that 500kgs payment threshold.

Now, what if local communities could be coordinated (as you suggest, but on a bigger scale) to drop-off sufficient quantities of any recylate material or reusable item such that it was worth the while of a business to come and get it... and pay. It's possible paying individuals may be a problem, but injecting benefits into the community is still a powerful motivator... and reward.

I have given up on government and LAs, and businesses can be a a tad short-term bottom line (especially at the moment), but am working on it using the postcode location facilities of such as my site,

Thanks also for the associated ideas on reuses. Readers may wish to share any they have on too.

Interestingly, I am still in the thick of promoting my RE:tie re:evolution second use design of the little tamper-evident strap that links the cap to the neck piece (which can be retained on bottle with some closure designs, though not milks) of usually higher end organic milks.

In today's climate, it still amazes me that many high-ups in departments theoretically devoted to reducing unnecessary waste still cannot get their heads round how people might very easily be directed to keep things, reuse things or at least donate in a useful, segregated manner... if well directed, helped and encouraged or, better yet... rewarded.

The time has yet to come. But it will.

Big issue. Small minds?

Now is the time to think big about man-made climate change

I found this tucked away in the Telegraph today.

That's significant.

Because while I have done, and do most of what I do because of concerns about the possibility of 'our' impact on climate change, albeit in what I consider the more tackleable if possibly minor area (energy consumption and emissions dwarfing all else) of reducing waste, I have noted rather piecemeal, and often contradictory levels of approach and attention paid by 'The Establishment' (Government and media) to date.

If we are about to be toast, the messages we get, and when we get them, and the examples set, don't really... at least to me as one of Joe Public... quite convey the magnitude or urgency that often gets claimed when the topic is 'hot'.

So I have sympathy with Mr. Clover's basic premise. At least the headline and intro.

Not quite so sure on some of the solutions he is advocating.

In fact it is a pity that he gets diverted quickly to these details, when the big one he has raised remains unanswered. Frankly, like too many, and especially those in power, it comes across more as if he is too busy just playing in a lucrative field that he is in, rather than looking more ahead at the main goals.

I think I'll call it, for want of a better word, 'Envirodabbling'. Not sure it's that helpful when pondering the bigger picture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


There is already a 'REPAIR' label at the end, but this is to try and start pulling things together under a category.


Observer - NEW - Sack the builder, do it yourself


- Ta to Dave of Solarventi for the tip - ditto

Observer - NEW - Don't be a dipstick: Get your spanner out

Repairpal - US-based


Observer - NEW - Pretty darn good -

HOME - - Niiiice -

ask rick -
A worthy specific one on PC maintenance: BOOT CAMP 554 – Make Do and Mend, part 6
crucial - Mac upgrade advocacy as greener option. O...k, I'll bite. - Monitors -
ifixit - OK, it's a tad niche. But I use a Mac and it's in for me! - -

ROADS - A little off our patch, but hey, it's repair and nifty, so why not?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

enviROI anyone?

Stressing this 'a' story about 'a' comment, I share it as it does highlight my preference to being really green as opposed to just ticking boxes.

Which I bang on about enough.

Recycling 'could be adding to global warming'

In passing, I also sense a move towards a related 'eco' issue, namely energy from waste, and wonder if there is some coordination at play.

Whichever way, I simply hope that the enviROI of the 'next big thing' is factored in.

WRAP - WRAP responds to current debate on recycling - 'It is still a better option both financially and environmentally [my highlight] for councils and their council tax payers to recycle rather than send to landfill, even if councils face higher storage charges temporarily.'

Wrap - Recycling continues to be the best option - 'Reports in today’s media suggesting that recycling adds to global warming, rather than tackling it, are misleading and factually incorrect, said WRAP'

Telegraph - Is recycling just an evil ploy?

MRW - Recycling operations could be adding to global warming, says former Biffa director - In posting the ebbs and flows to this story, I am struck by how important 'knowing' is, and yet how little the wiser I still am in all this. Plus the various agendas at play. Some have a vested interest in getting away from recycling, some in slagging it off, and some, conscious of their target-driven bonuses, love collecting the stuff and the heck with whether it makes any sense.

Packaging News - NEW - Waste adviser Peter Jones defends position on recycling - I think I have learned more about the state of our media than the actual issue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More doom and gloom

These reports seem to be coming so thick and fast at the moment it is becoming quite easy to, well, simply avoid reading them, but this, from the New Scientist, is short and quite illuminating.

The essence of the piece? Even if we stopped all fossil fuel burning right now, the planet could take over a thousand years to recover from the excess CO2 in the atmosphere.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Now, bear in mind that for the last several years, or family (well, me) has not thrown anything away.

Well, that's not quite true. Between five of us we can still fill a bin liner in a week.

Don't quite know how, as there's an awful lot not in there that I think would be from most households. And of course a fair amount of paper and glass goes off with the RE-Box kerbside collection.

And so the collected bits and bobs that didn't make it are all around the house and grounds in one way or another.

I have this odd notion that I will one day find a use for it all.

However, with the recent flurry of activity from councils on bins, plus the downturn in interest in separated recylates, my wife asked me if we'd end up being lumbered with a stonking bill if we had to get rid of it all.

I assured her not, as those who collect such things appreciate clearly sorted, clean recylables, and other than a few days with a wheelbarrow to the various local skips, we'd be fine.

Or... perhaps not.

Rubbish hoarder ordered to pay £38,000 clean-up bill

Now, my first thought was... 'so this is how you get a feature in the major papers!'

Closely followed by ... 'Uh-oh'.

I was going to also query the cost involved, but now note that most of the sum in question was not for the actual clearing, but to my favourite profession to 'handle' it all.

Not rats here, but ~I might have to review the collection and storage policy soon.

Telegraph - The thin line between junk and treasure -

You have addressed a serious topic with sensitivity.

And I don't wish to hijack what is essentially a piece on mental health and the authorities' reaction to it, but the topic of 'hoarding' has come up and it is one I am both personally and professionally engaged with.

Like your mother, my clutter habit is still within manageable limits. And my marriage still firm, if tested on occasion by my acquisitive tendencies. This is, I suspect, due to the various end of garden composters and cones, a weekly kerbside collection system (soon to be 'improved' away from segregated items back to mixed waste wheelies!), but mostly thanks to a big garden, some sheds, a cellar and a few lofts.

Hence, with a few nasty exceptions, 'we' have thrown nothing away for several years (all washed, dried and stored). This is partly because I am interested in what a family can generate, and seeing scores of the same thing can be eye-opening, but also because I am fascinated by what may be done by way of money-making, planet-saving reuse.

Hence, I use this opportunity to suggest that 'dealing with' some hoarders might be worth redirecting, and for the benefit of the community.

Such as Messrs Cockerham and Stewart are unfortunate extremes, but could there be others - who might be erring on the compulsive - but also offer some value?

Wouldn't it be great to locate such folk and connect them with others?

Yes, most of what I collect is for own use, and I feel the odd tug when even a couple of things are whisked away, but equally I can't use all and space is an issue, so if the local Scouts ask and I can help then handing over a few score cardboard loo rolls or a couple of hundred red bottle caps, it is actually quite rewarding, emotionally for me and, for them, financially.

Hence may I commend sites such as Freecycle and to those who do see value in not throwing all away, as they can offer ways and means to redirect 'waste' into perhaps more productive areas than the bin or landfill. Plus possible valuable social interaction components, too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Try googling 'Oops'

In so many mirror gazing ways it's hard to know where to start.

By not sharing this, for one, probably:(

Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches

Kind of puts' do no harm' under the spotlight.

Frankly I figure we need to get back to priorities, and with luck this may make those a tad to quick to invoke a ban or point a finger look a bit closer to home before they get all selective of what 'they' want 'others' to not do.

I don't see googling being off most folks menus any time soon.

I wonder if there's any irony now in using the Google Carbon Calculator?

Indy - Giant plasma TVs face ban in battle to green Britain

Interesting, as I read this on my PC.

I must google further...

Oh, rats.

BBC - 'Carbon cost' of Google revealed

The Register - Forget Google rationing: Only lighting farts can save the planet


Guardian - Sunday Times clarifies figures in Google carbon emissions debate - The MSM. What's not to like? Or trust. Or respect? Or pay attention to...

One wonders how they'd organise a party in a brewery

It's not often I am on the side of authorities.

Bin taxes rejected by councils

Oh heck, why change now? Not impressed.

I merely mourn, in passing, aspects that did appeal, such as this.. 'Under the plans local authorities were being offered the chance to give rebates to households producing the least waste', that were lost thanks, IMHO, to the other punitive (especially fine revenue generating) ideas floated, and the way they were shared.

Telegraph - NEW - Bin taxes: councils, for once, seemed to listen

We do science, we do

As an ex-scientist/engineer I have a firm belief in the value of this country's support of same.

Hence I was attracted to this article in the Newsnight blog:

Restoring science to its rightful place

Sadly, as the comments in reply (the first is a doozy, especially the end piece. I speak as one trying to forge a commercial model new media entity dealing in the environment, and one day found myself competing with BBC Green) would suggest, it has been found rather wanting.

Science deals in fact, as does... should... reporting. It is hard not to feel this piece was more opinion dressed up. And I do wonder how appropriate it is for a 'reporter' for the BBC to be quite so definitive in her critiques on an outgoing administration when much is still unknown. The optimism for an agent of 'change', whatever that is, is perhaps understandable given the degree of uncritical analysis of the new President's plans to date, but surely should be couched in terms, dare I say science-based ones, that accept it's hard to predict based on what we don't yet know.

Shame the vast majority subjected to the broadcast are unlikely to be exposed to such worthy and relevant debate to appreciate the critical underpinnings of 'science', and not the fluffy, agenda-driven versions too often trotted out by our national broadcaster and its often less than qualified, or if so (Ms. Watts' resume is a lot more relevant than most), barely competent and/or objective cabal of 'analysts'.

I happen to think there is much worth considering seriously in the environmental arena, but as a fact-based environmentalist shudder at each grotesque, rushed-out bit of spin from the BBC that seems designed to push an 'ideal' (at least in their eyes), but when found wanting simply sets back the worthy, public-influencing, patient, test and confirm methodologies that can lead to genuine insights we can act on with confidence.

Harmless Sky - BBC Newsnight - Warming up President Obama’s inaugural speech? - Hmnn

The Newsnight editor has now responded:

Hello All,

Re the opening of Susan's piece. We did edit sections of the speech to reflect the elements in it that referred to Science. The aim was to give people an impression or montage of what Obama said about science in his inauguration speech. This was signposted to audiences with fades between each point. It in no way altered the meaning or misrepresented what the
President was saying. You can look for yourself above.

Apologies for not responding sooner. I thought I had. BBC Editors find this blogging software frustrating at times too.

Peter Rippon
Editor, Newsnight

I am afraid I found his reply wanting:

Hello back. Thank you for at last replying, on behalf of Ms. Watts and all involved in this. And the apology... if only for the delay in reply. I can see how, being the editor of a news programme caught in a sticky situation brought to one's attention in places, such as your own blog, one could forget doing so before now. I wonder what aspect of the blogging software let you down? It seems to have been working fine for quite a while now (or was your first effort 'moderated', which I agree can be 'frustrating'?).

It's a pity how often a BBC reply can often seem more like bringing in some Kimberly diamond miners when it comes to digging a deeper hole.

I don't propose to address the 'techniques' and what they were intended to facilitate, as others have clearly explained how well it went down. Nor do I intend to get into any discussion of climate, 'optimist' or 'pessimist', save to say as one environmentally concerned erring on caution, 'helping the cause along' by rigging things makes me groan as it makes my efforts at factual persuasion all the harder.

However, I do now unfortunately have yet more words and phrases to add to along, growing and rather ignoble list of 'journalistic'/reportage'/'editorial' doublespeak being used in weak post justification, that does the cause of conveying objective news little credit.

So to such as 'interpreting events' I can now, sadly, add...

'... reflect the elements...'

'... give people an impression or montage of what [was] said... about [topic]..]

' This was signposted...'

The first two seem barely more than excuses for changing things to suit. The third simply a weasel for very stealthily enabling/excusing very stealthy editing.

Sorry, not convinced, and it would seem I am not alone. Nil points.

Gaurdian - Newsnight in fakery row over Obama report - The quantity, and quality of the replies show a worrying inisght into the midsets at play.

Telegraph - BBC accused of fakery over Barack Obama inauguration speech

Telegraph - Obama can afford to lay off press officers now the BBC is working for him free of charge

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A campaign to get behind (and then close)

I very much doubt I was the first to think of it. Or highlight it. But I was... am at least ahead of the Guardian: Open door policy

Anyway, as they have more readers (for now), I'll just say it's a good idea for a campaign. And one that is less ban and more save. So it's hard to see a downside.

Guardian - Shut that door!

Telegraph - NEW - Close the door and save energy - Another door opens?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Home is where the hearth is...

We need warmer homes

Passes on a link to these guys...

The Home Heat Helpline - 0800 33 66 99

Tony Hart, RIP

TV presenter Tony Hart dies

I don't think that headline does him, and the influence he had, justice.

He was a 'doer', not just a talker, and though very restrained in style, a more eloquent communicator and, as a consequence, inspiration to many than the current crop of talking heads we have today.

He was ahead of his time, AND I am still in envy of his getting a bunch of us to see the value of making things, and better yet making them often out of junk.

I consider him one of the influences that lead me to create Junkk.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The age of oil is ending

When I saw that headline, I thought this article from the Vancouver Sun was going to be another of those sensational headline, eco-warrior, crazy rants ('we're all doomed') about the end of the world being nigh; but this is a largely considered and well structured comment, and is full of factual information, on the subject of Peak Oil.

The strange thing is, even though it is not written as a 'rant' story, it still leaves you feeling, well, rather concerned and worried about the future.

Hmmm .... perhaps time to clean up and re-grease my old bicycle?

President 'has four years to save Earth' - now that's what you call a 'sensational' headline. And from The Observer, no less.

I wonder if Obama will ask for Ol' Golden's help in saving the world?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Box tickers rule?

The Daily Mail has a bit if a reputation for the.. 'sensational'.

However, I believe that most are able to separate the wheat from the chaff and, at the end of the day, a fact is a fact.

Woman, 91, dies 'after becoming stressed over £16,000 council bill to make her home eco-friendly'

No one seems to be disputing what happened. Indeed why seems pretty clear.

How is another matter.

Presuming the reporting to be accurate, this story, and quote, suggests that we are in an era embodied by such as the notorious Baby P cases' Sharon Shoesmith, who has a fellow mindset that is hard to swallow:

Councillor Zita Wiltshire, the local housing chief, said leaseholders were consulted on charges in 2006 and made aware of how much they would have to pay.

Cllr Wiltshire said: 'We are sympathetic to the concerns of our leaseholders but the council does spell out the detail of the financial obligations imposed upon a lessee in the terms of each right-to-buy lease.'

I presume her index-linked will easily cover all such demands on her once in retirement.

This is not the way to save the planet, or indeed sell the wisdom of all necessary measures to help do so.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


That's one of Peter's favourite acronyms - 'don't do as I do, do as I say'.

And it is highly applicable here as this from highlights what appears to be yet another rather large ooooops! from our Gov.

The building that houses the Committee on Climate Change and the Department of Energy and Climate Control (hmmmm, I wasn't even aware we had a department for climate control?) has been graded with 'with the lowest possible energy score, which was described as "one of the worst ratings yet recorded"'

"For years, ministers have promised to ensure that all buildings under central government control are within the top quartile of energy performance. At present, qualifying could mean getting as low a rating as a C. Yet the building that houses the Committee on Climate Change has one of the very worst of the G ratings so far recorded."

And it gets worse - 15 Gov. departments are actually less energy efficient now than they were in 2000!

Twas ever thus.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sometimes you just have to sit back and appreciate the show

This is indeed a class war, and the campaign against the Aga starts here

Actually, some pretty good points being made, but I rather suspect this may get all rather lost as some whipping up a lasagne en route to the next protest won't see it that way.

And, as I now notice the sidebar, it just has to get more... 'interesting'....

This is something worse than class war

One I think I will observe, discretely from a distance. Whilst many Fiesta-driving, tabloid-buying MoPs (Members of the Public Striving) might well know nothing about the battle raging aroun.. above them.

First Self Trumpet Blow of the New Year (sorry)

I know green blogs are a bit of a bore when they talk about themselves all the time.

But I like to think we're pretty well balanced, and when something complimentary happens it does make you proud and feel like sharing.

This was a welcome surprise, and spin-off from our little Voucher Tree initiative from late last year, which did pretty well locally.

Well, it has spun off and gone a bit further, which is nice, all thanks to my Vac:Sac catching the eye of the Hereford Journal photographer.

It was also worth noting that in chatting with the reporter when she was researching the story, the link we now have with Poundland piqued her interest mote than a little, and cropped up more than once in the piece.

I think a New Resolution might be to get back in touch and a) do something jointly to help their customers 'green up' even more with, and b) PR the heck out of it!


That was my reaction to this piece on CO2 absorption by the world's oceans in yesterday's Telegraph.

Evidence suggests that our warming oceans are no longer absorbing Carbon at the rates they used to, which just might point to the fact that climate change could well accelerate.

Buy pass

Of all the activist groups, I have found Greenpeace to be the most erratic to follow and/or support consistently.

Protest is very much the bedrock of a free society, and they have dealt in this for decades, pretty much always effectively but not, IMHO, always wisely.

As a rule of thumb, I am not in favour of anything that creates risk, breaks laws, incites violence or, and especially, efforts that selectively target and inconvenience poor schmoes just trying to get on with their lives.

With this latter at least, I usually wonder how the perpetrators would feel if their chance and a holiday or somesuch was ruined by a bunch of others who are often a tad selective about what they do and what they aim to stop.

However, smart ways of raising profile that hit the pockets evenly by being more targeted at corporates and governments (it all ends up back in our wallets no matter what, let's not forget) are, when done well, to be admired.

Hence I think the purchase of a parcel of land in the way of the proposed 3rd runway, to be divided into mini-plots, to be very smart.

Not quite so sure on some of the justifications being used (the spokesperson was very inarticulate and hence less than persuasive in soliciting public support on SKY news just now), and again the choice of celebrity messengers (a few of the luvvies being against this seem quite well travelled, and indeed seem more concerned with what was going on over their West London homes than sea levels in the Maldives), but this is one worth following to see how the various protagonists handle it all (I see Mr. Brown in a dithering funk, the business community tying itself in contradictory 'good for the community' knots and the activists getting more radical and losing public sympathy pretty quickly... all per usual).

BBC - Protesters buy up Heathrow land

Irony Alert - A picture is worth a 1,000 words

Peter in Greenland

A silent prayer from the media scrum covered the religious group paying for climate action.

Check the picture captioned 'At the end of the trip, Peter flies home...'

I can't believe it wasn't staged. Very subtle if so. Or maybe he just got on the, er, plane first or off last.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

21 today

20 big green ideas

Personally, I think reuse is a neat extra one to consider:)

It has emerged...

This is less about wind power than media reporting, though it is obviously the topic featured too...

A small complaint

I am still prepared to be convinced on the enviROI of the whole national endeavour, but when I don't trust government and can't reply on the MSM, I have to say that when the latter get nailed like this my scepticism level has to creep up a notch higher.

To 'er'...divine. Well, better than nothing.

CES 2009: Greenpeace says gadgets could be greener

Not exactly the best start to the year

Why waste authorities are a lot of rubbish

Sadly, the commenters so far are a wee bit more concerned about the misuse of mobiles, than our seeing yet more decision-making, and accountability, hived off to yet another quango.

Is this really what is taking place?

No point asking my MP as he's out to lunch having decided a year ago to quit next election, which has resulted in 'interesting' representation.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fly me to the moon

I think it's one venue as yet unexplored.

UN Climate Conference: The countdown to Copenhagen

I'm sorry, I got as far as '15,000 officials from 200 countries (officials, advisers, diplomats, campaigners and media personnel)' to start losing faith.

When I saw the rallying cry is back to 'global warming' I pretty much gave up.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Value judgements

Regular readers know I often bang on about enviROI of projects.

Well, now there's another one in the mix:

Chance for social enterprise to be more enterprising

I wish them well.

But I can see it being a lot trickier than enviROI which, despite allowing for the option of a person to be content with losing money for an environmental benefit, still is pretty grounded in numbers plus and minus.

I don't envy trying to put a figure that means much on many possibly socially beneficial projects.

Beating the crunch

Sadly, not the credit crunch this time:(

However, in the spirit of 'it's good to share', and my last car-borne outing had a relatively happy outcome (our re-engined Golf doing sterling work as we speak... long may it continue to do so), let's try again.

Monday was, according to the Daily Telegraph, 'the most stressful day of the year.' Well, yes, I could get around to accepting that.

For this was the day my tropics-trained missus met black ice for the first time, and that's one postbox that won't be taking mail for a wee while.

Now it was an incredibly slow impact, as even the airbags didn't go off.

And, though it really... really looks worse in the picture, after a quick gander my hopes were raised.

Sure, all the crumple zones had done what they were meant to, but as far as I could gather, beyond the front, bonnet and a few important bits of engine that bore the brunt, it was all in one piece. And nothing major bent any further back.

Sadly, this seems not enough to be worth saving to the counters of beans at my insurers. I guess the cost of mending came in above the cost of slipping us the road value and, well, money talks.

So again I am presented with a series of dilemmas that span the whole gamut from enviro to eco.. nomic.

Take the money and get a replacement? If so, maybe an existing LPG? Or try and 'save' it. I am not sure what one can do, but assuming they give me the write-off value I can still 'buy' it from them and then try and fix it. But... is it worth it?

Another journey is embraked upon which I'll share....


The plot thick... well, goes further downhill.

It really is not worth trying to save. It can be fixed, but to do so would take something like £5k, and that's to end up with a car 'worth' £1300 (according to the nice man from Norwich Union - I then had to spend all day yesterday 'proving' it was worth more, and ended up in some bizarre Marrakesh-market haggle. Not what I expected from a top insurer).

I am now on the trail of some dual/bifuels, and they do seem to be like hen's teeth. Especially at the budget I have set. A further 'complication' is that having chatted with a few garages they seem to think getting a factory-fitted option is much safer to a retro-fitted kit version, and that reduces things a lot more. So far all I am seeing is a few Volvos.

The hunt continues....

Thursday, January 08, 2009

ET, recycle that phone...

Wind turbine destroyed after 'octopus UFO' seen in sky

Interesting possible explanation from the media to this incident.

I wonder if advanced cultures have no knowledge of wind turbines; hence the unfamiliarity leading to the impact (though after a few billion miles dodgy asteroids I'd have thought a turbine blade might be easily dodged).

Maybe they looked at the enviROI? Not sure being unable to cope with ice is too encouraging, what with the climate change we're experiencing.

I wonder if the actual reason will be shared? If it is mundane I doubt it.

Gaurdian - UFOs crashing into wind farms: has the Guardian solved the mystery? - QED

Telegraph - 'UFO' turbine debris sent to German forensic scientists

Times - We just can’t get enough of those little green men - best explataion yet as 1st comment to this

Monday, January 05, 2009

One can but hope...

Will We Be Green in 2009?

Some interesting, and encouraging (I was about to shut up shop) signs for genuine green initiatives as far as the consumer is concerned.

Quite a lot bears out what we've been banging on about anyway.

Or... we could end up with a multimillion £ recycling campaign when they have nowhere to put what they've got already, and a bunch more 'our CEO drives a 7litre hydrogen-powered limo', like that has any end-benefit value or relevance to the poor consumer trudging the aisles.

What do you reckon?

There is a free report available.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

enviROI is even more important now

Catching up on the last few weeks' papers' 'green' pages has not been fun.

Not just because the news is pretty dire, but more because of many authorities reactions to it.

There are too many to post here, but just as an example of situation and reaction...

Telegraph - First glimpse of rubbish mountains caused by recycling industry slump

Daily Mail - Recycling crisis: Taxpayers foot the bill for UK's growing waste paper mountain as market collapses

Telegraph - Waste Watch: waste, litter and wind turbines

Reduction and reuse anyone?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Numbers games

I am guided in the value of much that is 'green' by enviROI.

Whilst based on a rather less than thrilling hypothetical (I hope) concept, I found this, and the comments provoked... interesting:

The carbon footprint of nuclear war

Friday, January 02, 2009

First Irony Alert of the Year

And, bless, it goes to.... The Guardian...

Tell Obama what his inauguration means to you and win a ticket to the proceedings

Winners will be given airfare...

New Year recycling

While I was away I noticed something that I couldn't resist commenting on...

Next year on Newsnight ... possibly the return of Ethical Man.

If you are doing another 'Ethical Man', while I appreciate all the useful information that was/is/will be shared to help make informed environmental commitments, it would be useful if the options laid out are balanced and have the full enviROI consequences, pro and con, laid out. Try finding a reporter qualified to report and challenge the issues, and able to appreciate the irony of standing on ice floes to which they have flown, to decry the consequences of the rest of 'us' flying.

So.. no more 'analysts', please.

Plus, as purely personal opinion, when it comes to the gimmick, I do rather question the eventual message sent out that whatever a family does commit to can be picked up and then dropped once the show run is over. That rather errs on 'do as we say, and did for a wee while because it ticks a box'. A planet is for life, not just a special segment.

I think the facts, and objective consequences, being laid out will suffice.

And if a Newsnight twofer is still deemed necessary, might one hope for more moderate (or at least a change from the usual researcher's speed-dial suspects) debaters be invited to discuss any disputed issues?

A Plane Stupid or Greenpeace spokesperson vs. a big oil or airline lobbyist frankly leaves the likes of me stuck in a no man's land as the two extremes trade global warming absolutes at each other.

You can't appreciate the subtle hues of green if they are only presented in black or white. Much like most other topics.

Serve the interests of the public (those who can only afford small hatchbacks rather than Priuses), not market rate pay grades driven by ratings.

Carbon Negative Cement?

Sound a bit far fetched?

Given that cement, the backbone of almost all of mankind's basic building blocks, accounts for some 5% of global CO2 emissions (that's more than the entire aviation industry), any breakthrough in reducing the cement industry's emissions ought to be very welcome.

Well, step forward a new cement from Novacem that not only reduces CO2 emissions during production, it also absorbs CO2 as it hardens, arguably making it carbon negative. Full story from Aggregate Research.

"Novacems cement, based on magnesium silicates, not only requires much less heating, it also absorbs large amounts of CO2 as it hardens, making it carbon negative. "

It will be very interesting to see just what the EnviROI of this new product might be, but it sounds to me like it could be a BIG winner, not just for Novacem, but also for the environment.

The clue is in the headline

Rubbish answers

Looks like the box ticking and target meeting is going great already.

Shame about the enviROI.

I still think reduction and reuse might be better than mnay of the efforts devoted to recycling.

New year. Happy?

Sitting in my thermals having got bored staring at the ceiling since pre-dawn.

Jet lag is no fun. And switching off the central heating during a freeze maybe was not a smart move.

We arrived back on New Year's Eve having been t'other side of the planet for a few weeks.

The plan had been that we'd spend a family Xmas here that worked on all sorts of levels, eco and financial, as Mama & Kong Kong were meant to come here, representing a 50% reduction to planet and pocket.

Sadly Mama having a heart attack kind of threw a spanner in those plans, and new ones had to be made quick-smart.

Anyway, she is recovering well, we'd like to think in some measure to having her dearest nearer, so it was worth it. Sorry if things went very quiet.

But I'd like to take this opportunity to again thank Dave of Solarventi for keeping the blog ticking over so well while I was away. Much appreciated.

So... what have we come back to?

Looking at this, it may be a New Year (Happy's all round), but I can't say that the prognosis for much by way of new thinking to improve things seems much in evidence as yet...

Indy - Climate scientists: it's time for 'Plan B'

Read the piece, and then the comments. This is what the best of our governments, scientists and media can come up with to inspire the public in 2009 (OK, it's just a paper in a country, but I have seen little else of not so far)????!

My resolution... a lot less talk; a lot more doing. That may well mean less blogging, but it is hard to resist:)

Indy - What can we do to save our planet?

Gaurdian - Climate change policies failing, Nasa scientist warns Obama

Gaurdian - 95 months and counting