Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good day for ducks, and punts:)

CRC will impact on consumer habits, says carbon expert

In addition to reduction and recycling, it would also be great if consumer good suppliers also considered reuse in complement.

What would be interesting is how a component (and, by association, it's material) designated as reused would be viewed under this commitment.

Just imagine the benefits to not just landfill and consumers' pockets, but also manufacturers' and retailers' allowances, if tonnages destined only for the bin found viable second uses through being designed in for this purpose.

Sticks and stones may break my bones...

... but words can certainly freak you out.

I am minded of this in relation to climate change as the latest media furore surrounds swine flu, ably helped by officialdom.

I was hard-pressed today to equate the WHO-boss lady's 'We're all doooomed' with other talking heads saying it's best not to panic.

How many healthy folk have died of this so far? And vs. what in a normal period? Yet there seem to be quite a few headless chickens in the politico-media infirmament blowing money, and cred, on rather fruitless endeavours, from comms to kit.

Swine flu and hype – a media illness

For example: "We need someone to say it's all been overhyped," said BBC Wales.

''s interesting: because not only have the public lost all faith in the media; not only do so many people assume, now, that they are being misled; but more than that, the media themselves have lost all confidence in their own ability to give us the facts.'



This has coincided with a timely PR of some relevance, which I post here, E&EO...

How we in Britain manage flies on our waste mountains.

Environmental consultancy ADAS has carried out a project in Scotland entitled 'NO FLIES ON US'

When the owners of a Scottish landfill site received an upsurge in complaints
from local residents who blamed the landfill for the flies that were creating a
nuisance inside their homes, ADAS scientists were asked to investigate. Their
task was to ascertain fly numbers around the landfill site, and if possible,
where the flies were coming from.

They sought to determine through monitoring, information gathering and the creation of a
reliable evidence database, whether the problem was actual or perceived, if the
flies really did originate from the landfill site, and if so to determine how
far the problem might stretch, and what could be done to solve it.

The team reared 50,000 common houseflies, all at the same stage of pupation in
their life cycle. These were moved to the landfill site and buried in trays
containing sand mixed with an oil-based blue dye. The flies in the trays would
pick up small amounts of dye during their emergence process, and could therefore
be readily identified. Traps were then set at locations of varying distances
from the site and the flies caught analysed to see if they were dye marked.

The results showed that flies from the site were to be found only in relatively
close proximity. The data was not only used to determine the extent of the
problem, but also to determine trends. It could therefore also be used as an
early warning device to ascertain if a problem was on the horizon and allow pre
emptive measures to be put in place at an early stage.

Cranmer - Swine flu – the pandemic of fear

Guardian - NEW - Swine flu pandemic? It feels like a phoney war -


Energy Consumption

An worthy investment of 5 minutes..

Cambridge Ideas: How many light bulbs does it take to change a man?

One thing I came away with is that, no matter how many bang on with silly, possibly 'feel good' distractions, with the demands of even a stable population, simple logic (forget climate change or Mr. Putin for a moment) dictates that a reduction in consumption is the prime target we should be pursuing.

Personally, on a domestic level I think every penny of funding should be going into quick-fix efficiency areas such as insulation in homes first, then reduction technologies. I would have been interested in how low energy bulbs might have influenced his home experiments, and what the full ground to ground enviROI of their promotion and use is.

But it also seems that the individual may have to accept the notion of consuming less. Not easy in a free, capitalist, consumerist, growing economy-obsessed system.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Am I unethical?

I think I might be.

'Cos I had a few issues with the latest offering from BBC's Ethical Man, as alerted by some less than impressed comments on the main Newsnight blog...

Ethical Man goes down to the woods

Whoa, a lot to digest there, if you'll excuse the mental image, as much ground is covered and over various timelines.

I would also rather wish the intros were changed from 'saving the world from climate change'. This rather paints one into a corner from the off. The climate changes. What is bad is that it might be doing it negatively, and our puny race could yet be a mitigating factor if it is man (person?)-made or, my preference, worsened.

Anyhoo, first up there's the news from Washington and this conference that is dominating the world's headlines.

Not too encouraged that almost immediately we learn that there's no actual progress, as it's more a kind of discussion vs. any actual negotiations, and the key host player is 'hoping for a dialogue' and 'thinks that will happen'. O......k. Good intentions can pave many things.

Then we hit the fact that India and China say all sorts of fluffy things are fine, but the West 'goes' first. Hold that thought.

As I try and chew on our representative saying, in one sentence 'You can't get agreement based on science', and then in one later there's 'a commitment to science'. I have long been concerned about the competencies of our politico-media establishment in this arena, but maybe should be reassured: there now seem to be two sets of sciences. How very Star Trek/Gate.

I have to give Mr. Rowlatt credit for pressing certain points in this interview, especially to provoke the gem that our government’s cabinet ministers don't seem to think they have much influence over the police 'service' and its actions. Novel. Who, in the name of public service accountability, does then?

And then I got a bit lost on the timeline, but I think it was the near present that we headed from Detroit East. Traveling can indeed be difficult, but most journeys can be made anywhere still, though agreed often not so quickly. There's the rub. If you have stuff, or a schedule, compromises need to be made. From families of four with two weeks in Cancun booked, to struggling eco-types needing to get to London for a climate conference (at £500+VAT for the day), to BBC journalists and their crews with a programme to make. Or pols heading with entourages and Caddies in the hold. Tricky when the finger wagging starts if you are not careful... or being hypocritical.

But a full load of activists in a Prius has to be as good as it gets, on a motorway, on a long haul trip... I'm sure. At least once the urban bit kicked in... if they didn't get lost. I am sure a Sat Nav was deemed evil, even if the lofted waving mobiles at the subsequent love in were deemed 'different', somehow. Even those have directions now, surely?

Anyway, these 'agents of change' (a different one to the climate variety, I guess) were a joy to behold, especially to those who had them under their spell. Once 'hope for change' wears off, I am thinking 'You are right and they are wrong' will be a great substitute when dealing with others not as keen on the views held... in a democracy. Words like 'impose' and 'enforce' have a worrying ring as backstop rhetoric vs. popular public delivery, too. And, bearing in mind the theme of this 'journey' another I am not sure I am not keen the UK learning from the US. Ta very much.

Especially when backed by 'Obama's EPA' (the environment’s protection agency not good enough?) and its larger than life leader, Ms. Jackson. A vegetarian, I am sure.

I have to say I then got a bit confused again by who was in government, who was in the quango and who was an activist with time on their hands. And who was paying for who to teach whom to do what against who.

I'll have to check and see if my local tech has civil disobedience on the curriculum, and who is funding any nifty tactics being so shared, such as resisting arrest. Might be handy in Gordon and Barak's new world order that maybe I missed in the BBC's G20 coverage.

Again a good stab at getting yet another senior administration pop star to grapple with consequences, Mr. Rowlatt, but he really didn't seem to be too convincing on the link between higher energy costs and the economic consequences. Not part of the narrative that should be overplayed, I'm guessing. Change...! Hope...! You first...! I'm more equal than you...! So it's really OK I hitch a ride on Al's jet!!!

However it was interesting that, after all this, there is still the small matter of convincing Congress and the Senate. And, I might add, having held that thought from earlier for so long, those nice folk in India and China. But there's just a few billion each that I am sure 12,000 energised 'merican yoof can reach, though I'd say a Prius might struggle with the wet bits and some terrain 'soon2B banned' 4x4s could be more suitable for.

Then, finally, we scoot to the woods. And speaking of what's done naturally, why do slots like this have such terribly faked 'surprise' first meetings? It was set up.. in advance. At the due time a fleet arrived at a remote location in the middle of a forest, at night. I reckon they were alerted.

Actually here was one potentially truly inspiring aspect, though I do have my caveats, especially when pondering eating a curry to provide the raw materials, and washing it down with a beverage, beer, that uses vast litres of water to 'make' it, at least commercially. Not a totally coherent signal.

But then this is a person who has traveled the world to spread the word on his concept, minimizing the impacts of human waste. I am sure the benefits created have many times overcome the cost of such a journey.

I would have liked to learn more about this frankly, and will beaver off thus inspired.... virtually of course (if worrying about the humming servers).

I was especially intrigued that the pathogens are destroyed, what with all this swine flu lark at the moment.

It would be interesting to see how this stacks up against our crumbling Victorian sewage systems in a row of City centre terraces. Though the space required would seem to suggest that wider spaces might be required for it to be really practical. Maybe all those college grads could be prevailed upon to give it a stab in their multi-storey dorms.

I'm guessing interesting, but not too practical for most applications. Again.

Addendum -

I was sent this, related, email:

President Obama is hosting a round of international climate negotiations in Washington DC, gathering the biggest climate emitters to try to kick−start UN talks. But oil companies are flooding the airwaves with advertisements to stop the momentum., the global campaigning group, has filmed an advert spoofing the slick Exxon ads. It's hilarious − you can see it at this link −− check it out:

But I still had/have to reply:

Negative advertising can be effective indeed. Certainly gets you noticed, and often awarded.

But I forged a pretty good ad business, on top of career, by being more concerned on behalf of my clients with the tangible end-benefit a good product could confer to the maximum number of potential consumers.

My clients are now my kids, and their futures. I tend to prefer any money to go into proactive solutions, but being realistic these can complemented by inspiration using a fair amount of creative, honest persuasion, in turn based on information and education rather than out-gunning the other side's messages or buying power. Especially when that latter seems unwinnable if you look at the war chests and resources being deployed.

Without seeing the oil companies' ads it's hard to know what their messages are, or the media schedules to guess the eyeball impact.

But if they are being crass and unsubtle and OTT with the kneejerks, I figure it's going to backfire.

However, leading by example with one right, sold well, can really develop into more rights, and soon overcome a lot of wrongs.

Anyway, they seem to have their $100k already. It will be interesting to see how many slots that gets, when, and how many negotiators are exposed to it at the right time in the best environment. And are then motivated to respond in the desired way to it.

Or just find it has cropped up in the awards in 10 months' time.

Saving money and reducing impact on climate change

Sound familiar?

Pretty much the mantra over the last decade, with the possible caveat that we don't mind climate changing or even impacts on it if they are moderate and normal. It's the excessive, negative bits, like inefficiency and waste, that we don't rate.

And, we like to try and do it for free.

Last time I had a rant on this I got a kind invite from a speaker. Don't think I'll be so blessed again.

But it is worth noting that the cost has pretty much halved since then. Ne economic realities, or an attempt at helping get some from less well funded areas in to contribute?

Sadly, at £500+ for a day, it's still a definition of saving money I cannot really justify.

In this weakened economy, businesses are challenged to reduce their costs and improve efficiency, without compromising their climate change commitments. At the Guardian Climate Change Summit on 15 June, delegates will have the opportunity to learn from real examples set by businesses that have successfully proven to be both carbon and cost efficient and they will be able to explore what these examples can teach their own business. As well as case studies, bespoke breakout sessions will provide advice and insight into saving costs and reducing impact. Jane Dennet-Thorpe, Department of Energy will explore how to finance the changes to your business that the Carbon Reduction Commitment will demand. And Stephen Reeson, Food & Drink Federation will discuss how to work with your suppliers to reduce emissions across your supply chain. This is an unmissable event for anyone in need of practical strategies to minimise costs and maximise carbon efficiency. Visit to register.

You even get another YouTube special (actually more of an 'I or me-Tube' from his modest efforts) from our PM, which is always good value.

Intriguing this was thought to help.

Addendum - this just 'in' from another 'summit-seller':

Just a quick one to let you know that the winners of the prize draw for the 2 free tickets to the Responsible Business Summit are xx and yy.

Sorry you didn’t win!

To compensate for not winning the free pass, I’m offering you a bronze pass for £795 + VAT (A saving of £500!!).

How, er, generous.

ps: when I saw 'RBS' as the URL I almost gave it a miss anyway.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

IRONY ALERT - Fly on the wall

See if you can detect why my eyebrow might be a tad cranked...

Planes, weather pains and ice runways in the Arctic

I tend to avoid politics here, but really...

A greener world from the ground up

... from the mouths of knaves.

Seems what I wrote was deemed 'immoderate':

I await, with morbid anticipation, the inevitable fawning round of 'interviews' on various complicit, content -strapped or strong-armed national TV sofas to get this tripe shared live.

From the replies here so far, it might be better to go broadcast only in future, as further unanimous accolades of world-class hypocrite might make uncomfortable reviewing otherwise for even the thickest... er.. skin.

I think it might be best to belt up, retire as disgracefully as possible, as soon as possible, and curl up with a good lackey or protege, who can throw the odd shredded blog of ethical credibility on the fire to keep the public profile flickering.

Mind you, though there are, Yoda-like, 'others', so many others, who else can the Grauniad trot out to keep the hit rate up?


I don't post enough images.

And I don't post enough that are cartoons.

And especially enough from the genius that is Dilbert.

Mind you, since he got 'people', his own previously glorious open source system is worthy of lampooning.

I figure forgiveness is easier than permission.

Sometimes I wished I still lived in London

My age would surely not be a reason to reject my job app for this or this

And I think I am well qualified to give sensible advice.

Still grabbing headlines

I don't mean to tease (well...) but often Aunty doesn't seem to do irony.


It's looking like the Obama Administration is finding out that real life is not like a Disney Movie.

And that redirecting a pendulum that has probably swung too far one way is like changing the course of an oil tanker (how apt) and might take time and a bit more subtlety than trying to whack it with a mallet in the other direction, from foreign affairs to climate.

Speaking of the latter, I am glad our new International (I'm guessing Global has unfortunate connotations) Ethical Person has flown back out West again to cover what those on the ground there already could not, with all those contacts he built up before, and expertise in the field.

At least he managed to find this pre-Copenhagen, Kyoto's end conference that President O did not attend, but Mrs. Clinton did. As it wasn't linked above here I tried the BBC search (ever the optimist) first, and then even Google let me down. Couldn't catch the title: 'Major Economic Forum'?

Then over to Congress for testimony from such as a non-cutesy Mr. Gore. Speaking of the dangers in dealing in absolutes, I think I heard him say that 'man-made global warming pollution causes global warming'. Non negotiable. Now, I had thought the debate had moved to climate change, and for some even newer incarnations, but it seems a tough sell to not even concede that man's contribution may well be significant and worth addressing, but possibly not total in the natural scheme of things.

Anyway, in the spirit of sensible enviROI efforts back home, I have just had a DEFRA PR headed '£11m to protect our seas from climate change '. Actually the headline does not accurately the content of the release (what does these days?), but the words 'drop in the ocean' still spring to mind.

Pack Design... scaping the bottom, and sides of the jar

I love design. Well, good stuff, be that a subjective arena.

Of course, there is also the various diverse areas it can be applied to, from looks to function.

And sometimes the desire to sell can be at odds with the need to be more environmental.

Take this jar.

It's quite pretty. Not sure I can immediately think of a reuse yet, but who knows.

Thing is, I also rather bewail the fact that its curvy design, whilst eye-catching, has also prevented us from scooping out as much food as possible, which leads to waste.

Yes, there is shaking with a few cc's of boiling water (be careful of popping the cap on if/when you do), but ease of maximising product access should be a consideration.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Opportunity knocks

Customers in a fizz over sweet-shop favourite

Well, at the very least, for the 'new', improved pack there's a greenish mitigation awaiting at I look forward to assessing its potential.

I tried posting that sweet notion on the thread, but the stupid Indy 'Live Journal' system truly blows chunks and won't play on either Mac/Safari or PC/Firefox.

Maybe a kind reader might try?

NEW - Guardian to the rescue - A right Sherbet - I think they have a bigger readership, too. Result! Maybe the brand may be moved to cooperate?

Express - NEW - ANGER FIZZES UP OVER NEW SHERBET TUBE - I now see my mission to reduce anger, too

Daily Mail - NEW - Killjoys take the fun out of the Sherbet Fountain to make it more 'hygienic' - Is it just me, or do all the stories read like cut and pasted press releases? Hey, if the opportunity is presented to big up Junkk, I'll take it!

packaging news - NEW - Media outcry as Sherbet Fountain drops paper for plastic -

Human Nature?

That was the question that sprung into my mind when I first saw this from TreeHugger.

Although the sample is fairly small, I am pretty sure that it is almost certainly quite representative of mankind's mindset. The article reports on a survey about global warming and it's impacts, and it certainly did not surprise me that most people believe global warming will have major impacts elsewhere but not on themselves.

Perhaps it is just coincidental that this comes on the day that swine flu (is this worse than bird flu?) panic has hit Mexico and the USA, sparking concerns of a global epidemic. Oh well, nothing to worry about, it won't affect us, will it?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Well I do declare... a Junkk FATWa

A Junkketeer wrote in...

The budget made me laugh, new investment in green technology for car development ! How can that be green ?

Eon's name is being bandied around to start burying the CO2 under the sea using Carbon capture technology for coal fire stations .

Hang on !-isn't Gordon Brown's brother one of the directors of Eon .... hmm, and who said the CO2 will remain under the sea.

Electric cars for London , that will course create more C02 than current petrol and diesel .

Useless ! they haven't a ~~~#ing clue .

I too was laughing, but some in the vicinity said it sounded a tad manic.

I thought they had no clue, but now I am not so sure. Having had an ethics by-pass the one thing for sure is they will all get paid, and pensioned, on the ashes of our kids' futures.

I am now erring more on declaring a FATWa... 'First Against The Wall.. when the revolution comes!'

Brown goes 'green'...again

Brown's electric dream for Britain

Interesting that this vision (check the linked stories... and comments!) is shared in one of the premier news outlets in the UK. Not.

Anyway, this at first glance looks a win win, and hence welcome.

However, the elephant in the room, or the 500kg flat battery in the middle of nowhere, is the not so small enviROI issue of what produces the 'leccy for now and into the foreseeable future.

At least there is a suggestion that the UK exports most of these vehicles to countries where the power to the wheels does not come with a carbon consequence, but I'd be keen to find out more on this as it is currently 'vague'. And many in the MSM seem unchallenging on this.

I am sure things can happen in complement, but wouldn't it make more sense for emissions to have the power supply sorted first (which can surely have the knock-on of helping micro-generation networks?) or at least well in advance?

There is also the not so small matter of what no to low carbon is actually going to be developed to generate this 'leccy; a matter I fear not best decided by desperate pols (Mr. Brown's green commitment seems the only high-speed revolving system that could possibly be harnessed reliably) looking to score a short term point with the media and hence public, egged on by EU targets, subsidy-addicted lobbyists, etc.

Sean O'Grady: Only time can dispel the charges against electric car -

Telegraph - Electric cars to be mass introduced to the UK, says Gordon Brown

Telegraph - So Budget 2009 is going to be green

Guardian - Gordon Brown announces green budget plans - I hope the headline in the panel that gets to this is deliberate... 'Brown pushes electric cars'...genius subbing!

Guardian - Together on electric cars -

FT - Brown proposes electric car subsidy - Have they got this right? Or are they mixing the £2k scrappage proposal in with electrics?

Indy - Jeremy Warner: Is scrappage subsidy really such a great idea?

Gord is in the details...

Which I await with interest.

At least the rate of spin on green issues Dear Leader and his GOAT herd manage could be harnessed to run something productively, as opposed to this country into the ground.

So let me see if I have this correct...

To help the planet, and the UK car industry, when my wife totaled our Volvo, instead of buying another, perfectly good 02 LPG version with the £1650 insurance, I should have waited for a £2k bribe I will co-fund with my taxes to go get a new Beemer 735i on the road?

This helps how on any measure?

On my website there's a feature that deletes words with possible swear words in them. Hence my view is that this is another total load of sCRAPpage.

Telegraph - Germany increases car subsidy to €5bn - 'A new car, a new car! My planet for a new car!' Or.. 'Eine neue auto...'? Interesting to see Dear Leader's G20 anti-protectionism/climate triumph in full flow. Even if it's down the drain. 'Jacquie, what did you do with the plug?'

Telegraph - Gordon Brown should realise electric cars are a battery-powered nightmare

Telegraph - The madness of subsidising inefficient electric cars

Telegraph - Budget 2009: Gordon Brown's 'electric dream for Britain' is really just a dream

Guardian - Japan goes green with £100bn economic recovery

Guardian - Gordon Brown's electric car subsidy rejected by industry - a "pointless soundbite".

Telegraph - Gordon Brown shows how green he really is - the rate of spin of Dear Leader, his fellow GOATs, and their legions of press officers and a mostly compliant MSM could well be harnessed to provide all the 'leccy required to run the other side of Scotland not currently served by the 24/7, 365/365, 100% efficiency wind turbines rotating serenely in a harsh salt water environment miles away from easy maintenance.

And I am planning to use Heathrow's 3rd runway to board Oh Lord M's next flying pig.

Brownite is similar to Kryptonite.

Seemingly green on the outside (at least as told by some and accepted by many in the MSM, but not the general public), but actually deepest in the red within, it is in fact made from the shards of a previously destroyed civilisation, and when brought near anyone of competence or anything of promise, sucks the very life out of it, leaving a powerless husk.

Times - Budget row over £2,000 payout to scrap a car

And, now, the details...

Telegraph - Electric car buyers to be given £5,000 in incentives - Ok, I see your £2k, and raise you £3k more.. Why not just give 'em away? Now, who is paying? Bus passengers?

Guardian - Cars: Electric dreams, clunky reality

Guardian - Labour's £5,000 sweetener to launch electric car revolution - Ultra 'green' how, when?

Guardian - The flaws in the electric car scheme -

BBC - Plan to boost electric car sales

BBC - Hoon's electric vision: How green? -
Some very interesting points being made here, so I will value tracking.

As to the original piece that has inspired them, I am wondering how many other senior Government individual's names are going to be lifted off press releases with 'electric' and 'green' in them for weeks to come.

So far I have logged the visions of Call Me Lord Peter Maserati, Green Gordon and now Mr. Hoon. Any others jumping on this caravan we should know about?

For now, with some small cars (sadly not so eco beyond their mpg) going for about the price of the subsidy we're meant to co-fund to get urban dwellers into the dealerships in their droves, how much are these things?

I am really starting to regret the £3.5k I forked out on a perfect, low mileage '02 LPG, thinking this fuel plus keeping a second-hander going for another decade was the green thing to do.

And considering the volumes of raw materials involved in new manufacture, even if... when the generation and distribution of the 'leccy is sorted beyond the known universe within the M25, I would still like to be reassured that the stocks exist to make the necessary numbers of batteries all these folk not using public transport will require.

I am sure the BBC will be on hand to provide objective, qualified advice on this, and other key aspects of a pretty major commitment being made on behalf of future generations.

Interesting Mandelson connection

EU Ref - Slipping over the edge

Telegraph Letters

Indy - Electric dream machines: Are they really the future of motoring?

Times - Beware green jobs, the new sub-prime

Times - Slow start for charge of the electric cars

Indy Letters - The greenest cars are the oldest cars - Who'dha thunkit?

Telegraph - Electric cars labelled 'overhype' at Shanghai Auto Show

Telegraph - Electric cars: the infrastructure must come first - Nah, I think we should blow a ton of dosh on stuff we don't have, that just sounds good and will dump on future generations to sort out the generating issues. Now, with this principle in mind, what else needs addressing today?

FT - Hopping mad about cash-for-clunkers -

WhatGreenCar - WhatGreenCar calculates impact of car scrappage scheme - Arrived at via an email:

Based on the announced car scrappage scheme of £2000 for cars more than 10 years old, WhatGreenCar estimates that the average carbon benefit would be over 50 gCO2/km per car. Assuming average mileage of 15,000 km per year, the carbon saving amounts to over 0.8 tonnes per year per car, or over 4 tonnes per car over the 5-year period during which time the scrapped car may have been used if the scheme had not existed (assuming older cars are scrapped 5 years earlier than would normally be the case).

[These calculations include an assessment of vehicle use, upstream fuel emissions AND vehicle manufacture. The modelling assumes: average tailpipe CO2 emissions in 1999 of 185 g/km; average tailpipe CO2 emissions in 2009 of 154 g/km; upstream fuel CO2 emissions 26-36 g/km depending on fuel type and car age; car manufacture CO2 emissions 21-31 g/km depending on fuel type and car age; 10 year age deterioration factor 10% for greenhouse gases; real world driving factor 15%; diesel penetration 1999 of 17%; diesel penetration 2009 of 44%; average car mileage 15,000 km].

Given that these figures suggest that the planned scheme will have a small, but measurable, environmental benefit, added to the crucial support for jobs in the auto industry (the scheme's main aim), WhatGreenCar broadly supports the car scrappage scheme. That said, it is still our position that an opportunity to further reduce emissions by setting limits on the CO2 emissions of new cars purchased through the scheme has been missed

Whoa! Science. At last a few numbers. And... it looks like they may be positive. However, I'd say this is an ongoing thread still.

Guardian - Budget 2009: Alistair Darling has just thrown away £300m

FT - Electric car subsidies do not serve green goals

Gaurdian - NEW - Hello, is that Peter Mandelson? Want to buy an old motor?

UK Will cut emissions by a third

So, now we all know. The bodge-it is finalised, and the renewables sector gets an allocation of some £1.4 Billion to boost the UK's investment in projects to reduce our carbon emissions.

I love the confidence of the headline "Greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by a third in world's first carbon Budget" in today's Telegraph. Note that key word 'will'. Oh, and it is a legally binding target - "Alistair Darling committed the UK to cutting greenhouse gases by 34 per cent by 2020 in the first legally binding "carbon budget" in the world."

Now just what does 'legally binding' mean in this respect? If we fail to make the cuts by 2020, does AD get sent to prison?

But best of all in this article is the typo (well, I hope it is a typo!) - "He also found £45 for small scale renewables like wind turbines on houses and £25 million for community heating schemes"
It looks like he doesn't have much faith in small scale wind turbines - only £45!

It was this little section that intrigued me the most though - "Some £405 million will go towards encouraging so-called 'green collar' jobs in the environment industry through boosting manufacturing in low carbon goods like solar panels." Now I have been unable to find anything that details just where that £405M will go, but it sounds like a rather tasty gravy train to get on board if you can.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

QUOTE OF THE DAY - Stern warnings

I don't agree with much else the author came out with, but this resonated:

"Clearly recognising that the Climate Change market is a fiercely competitive environment in which Who Scares Wins"

Want chips with your chips?

We seem to be in a new era of catching up with the obvious.

EU fisheries paper catches the drift

More and more people chasing fewer and fewer natural resources.

And it's having a deleterious effect.


Must be a lesson there, as we await a green budget that also 'grows' the economy.

Not sure building more houses to accommodate the accelerating population growth, on what's left of the countryside, is quite the best start.

Remind me, does self-interest kick in before or after snagging votes to stay in power?

Happy Earth Day

Though you might not know it is today.

A few other things on, as we get the true glory of the latest fair, green budget.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Let's get this straight.

The latest leaked (maybe this should be 'whattheyaretellingustheywillbesaying'news' big budget idea is to accommodate the growing population being encouraged (how is that working out, as one doubts these folk will consume much less) is... build more council homes. Concrete. Driveways. Water for washing cars and running off to drains. Lots of extra A+, but still energy sucking devices. And as a bit of free feedback to help that multimillion £ research, I suspects bees don't thrive when the greenery is paved over. Just a thought.

It's many things (lots of lovely voters). But let's give up any pretence of it being green. And remind me, what are the fuel consequences of grinding around all (school zones for sure worthy) urban areas at 20mph?

Metaefficient - NEW - City Of Green Rings To Be Built In Korea - if you must build, maybe this is a way to do it and keep the green spaces.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nothing like jumping on a bandwagon

Especially when it's already hurtling past!

Having signed up for Twitter yonks ago I promptly did b-all by way of anything more.

Anyhoo, prodded by my missus I went back and found I had a group of chums already there who I rather rudely had ignored by not knowing they were there (I think I need to read up on alerts).

So now, in addition to this blog, a few other blogs, my stalled Facebook/MySpace group pages and and some other pressing stuff, I now have to tweet with the best of 'em. Hey ho.

It might help if I first figure out how it all works, but I am guessing a precis of this blog might be a good start, but maybe only the gossipy stuff.

I'll start a social networking contacts page (and link it in the nav bar when I do, soon) but for now, should you be so disposed...

Actually, from my too long lost ad days it might be a good discipline. I once saw a poster that said something like 'Great copywriters have to do it in 8 words or less'. To which I penned my own: 'Don't know about great, but this writer has to do it in less than 3o seconds (and twice that number of words)'.

140 characters should be a doddle:)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Worth a laugh

Budget for a Green New Deal

I'm guessing the smart guys at the paper are home in the garden enjoying the sunset.

Beyond the author's subhead, my next favourite was this:

'The nazis were rabid environmentalists. They built the autobahns and Volkswagons in order to let Germans experience the countryside.'


It's getting 'hotter' as a topic (sorry)


BBC - UK push for big nuclear expansion - I guess you could say the whole thing is mushrooming:)

Guardian - Gordon's nuclear con trick - Take this as 'non-pro' at a wild guess. As always, the value of blogs is what the counter-posters may bring to the party, but equally have that pinch of salt handy.

Guardian - Fuel for scandal - Loved this comment, which shows hwo cautious oen needs be with the who is writing as much as the what: '"Rob Edwards has been a freelance journalist specialising in environmental issues" Does that mean 'environmental' as in 'idealogical, nuclear-over-my-dead-body greenie' or does it mean 'concerned about environmental degradation and willing to think objectively about solutions and trade-offs'? I mean, I really don't think it is doing anything for the present environmental crisis to begin your argument from the standpoint that nuclear is always going to be the wrong solution.

Wikipedia - With all due caveats

A letter - ***NOTE**** Please refer to the comment below made by a poster that would suggest that this letter would not seem to have been sent by the person I had imagined, for reasons unknown. So this all makes sense I have left all in place as was to put the comments in context.

A copy of one sent to a major news media, copied to me. Worth reading and pondering 'in the mix', assuming the author to be worth his salt - I can get a bit swayed by titles. Why such issues cannot be made clearer so the public can grasp and decide is beyond me.

Dear Editor,
Today's front page story is yet another chapter in a 50 year fantasy
that nuclear power will bring untold riches. The THORP plant at
Sellafield, which has never worked properly, is to be demolished at
£600m. In the 1950's nuclear electricity was going to be too cheap
to meter. All of these false starts miss one vital point. Uranium is
a fossil fuel. There are no Uranium reserves in Britain. Mining,
refining and transporting Uranium generates significant environmental
impacts and greenhouse gas emissions, which need 10 years of nuclear
generation to balance. As a scarce commodity, Uranium prices will
rise to follow oil. No one knows what to do with the waste, except
make weapons of mass destruction. For 10% of the tax money spent
without results on nuclear power, we could have retrofitted 100% of
our housing stock to a zero carbon standard, and saved 40% of our
energy consumption. Even if we have 100% nuclear electricity, that
would only be 10% of our energy consumption saved. Perhaps Emperor
Nero could might advise ?

Professor Lewis Lesley

Telegraph - Safety fears over French nuclear technology - Link courtesy of Dave, who offers this commentary: 'As soon as the start button is about to be pressed, the antis come out of the woodwork and play on the safety aspect.'

Guardian - Funding for clean-up of nuclear sites is unsustainable, say MPs - I don't know what is more worrying; the piece or the fact that it just seems to be so much more 'noise' we allow to wash over ourselves. 'Unsustainable' is a pretty big word, is it not, even from that oh-so-persuasive and trusted cabal we call our MPs?

BBC - Nuclear clean-up costs 'to soar' - I merely note that this coincides with the attempt to get planning decisions removed from accountability.

I was/am playing with colour coding for easy reference. See if you get the drift. Also I think I need to work on orders. I tend to use alphabetical, but maybe newest first/last might be better?

BBC - Newsnight - On the topic of plugging the pulling of plugs...

I have been intrigued to find in my in-box a plea from FoE at the same time as browsing across such as this from the BBC that suggests there may well be questions still worth asking.

Seems there is much going on in the name of energy supply and, at the same time, even more in 'complement' in the name of green.

Now, I am first to admit much of it is very difficult to get one's head around, but at the very least I'd like to retain the option of finding out... and having the opportunity to have my say if it looks like it matters.

Guardian - MPs fear taxpayer could end up paying nuclear clean-up bill - Is 'fear' the same as 'don't think they should, or more 'well, they I won't be around for them to vote me out then'? Seems odd that they don't 'know' yet.

Guardian - All aboard the nuclear power superjet. Just don't ask about the landing strip -

Guardain - Nuclear power failure - There are a lot of red flags here. It should be noted that this is possibly because of what I read and how often the topic is raised there. I also believe (in the absence of a bio) that often what you think is editorial is often more a party political broadcast, and hence things need to be viewed in this light. At least the thread comments tend to help with balance.

Telegraph - The perils of nuclear power

Times - The debate goes nuclear

Indy - The Big Question: Does nuclear power now provide the answer to Britain’s energy needs?

I know what we are facing, and it's all looking pretty 'lose lose', but...

'Nuclear reactors are the best way to produce lots of electricity, reliably, with no carbon emissions'

I guess, but that does rather depend on what falls under *produce*. Does it exclude building 'em, running 'em and decomissioning them? These factors apply to wind farms too, and any comparisons of enviROI should compare apples with apples, surely.

Also, though addressed in part above...

'Despite technical advances, digging a hole is still the only way to get rid of spent fuel rods'

And.... the powers that has been (that's deliberate), are and will be have shown themselves sooooo competent in overseeing stuff like this right? At least, as long as the lobbyist's cheque clears, the targets are met or the bonus lasts through retirement nowhere near where one of these things is.

I still recall Space 1999.

I can see that we're in a lesser of evils situation as 'we' are not about to stop needing/wanting energy, but let's not gild the lily too much.

Telegraph - Can we all stop whingeing about nuclear waste now? - Well the original sets out its stall. Sadly, the comments didn't really light the debate. More a gentle glow, if I can put it that way.

BBC - New nuclear site options unveiled - There goes the neighbourhood. How far is S. Gloucs from Ross on Wye? am I NIMBY if I object? Wonder how many in Doncaster North?

Times - NEW - Briefing: Nuclear energy


Nuclear Decommissioning Agency -

*There are several archived posts just flagged 'Nuclear', so check them out, too until I consolidate


The Great Green Con: Labour's climate measures mainly hot air

Britain's economic stimulus measures, promoted by Gordon Brown as part of a "global green new deal", will accelerate global warming instead of curbing it

Note that my pet bogey-word, 'could', is missing from this.

McCavity (insulation) and his fellow GOATs not only blow a squillion over the past decade mainly on just looking like they are doing stuff, but actually make things worse in the process.

There's a thing.

Speaking of goats, maybe a new sacrificial quango requires setting up to take the blame? They are pretty good at that, so it might not be a total foul up.

enviROI anyone?

To boldly go where others can only dream of going. And say they can't.

Another 'message vs. messenger' rant.

And again courtesy of our national broadcaster. This time with a near irony-free series between the national and local news.

Still not quite even 'on message' by still using global warming as the rallying cry, I was treated to a positive throng of folk in Antarctica 'seeing for themselves' by 'studying' for oh, all of a day a truly stunning icy wilderness. There may well have been a serious point in there, as it was environment ministers and media 'reporters' in a huddle with some scientists, but to me the imagery was all wrong. Hundreds of folk in orange jump suits being taxied in and out on dirty great C-130s just didn't look right. Or convince me they really cared. Better, IMHO, to have not reported it at all, at least in such a fashion. And, with luck, let any serious science work its way into the collective political consciousness such that sensible, coordinated policy is developed, which can then be brought to the public objectively in concert with a well-informed, supportive but still challenging media.

As opposed to Midlands Today. Some bloke and his mates working for an energy company have done something to 'help' with making the company look a bit greener... I think. Anyway, lots of pictures of them in their office where the film crew has been dispatched. And their reward? Yup, you guessed it. They are being 'sent', somehow, to 'study the effects of global warming in the Antarctic'. It's a wonder there is room there for any scientists, what with all the competition winners and media types up there helping making us aware of how they are there and we are not.

Ch 4 email (no link) - AND FROM MORE4 NEWS WITH KEME NZEREM - You've seen those pictures of massive sheets of ice calving off the Antarctica land mass. Scary, isn't it? But what does that really tell us about the effects of man-made global warming? There's always ice falling off one bit of Antarctica and forming in another, but scientists are still trying to work out just how bad things are.

The environment minister, Hilary Benn, is on his way back from a fact-finding trip with some of his European counterparts, while the veteran environmentalist and polar explorer Robert Swan is on his way there this evening and he's told us that there's been too much climate alarmism about Antarctica in recent reports.

Observer - NEW - Antarctic cruise tourists lose out as soaring numbers alarm scientists

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Move over Canute?

Obama to regulate 'pollutant' CO2

While there is much to ponder and possibly even commend behind some of the rhetoric (followed by sensible enviROI+ actions, one trusts) that 'inspired' this headline, I have to say the words themselves really seem as daft in combination as almost any I have seen from the political classes, and the often way too compliant media that serve them.

I had thought Richard Black one of the less narrative enhancing of the national broadcast news performing monkey troupe, but this one puts him right back down in the 'barely worth paying heed to' class with such as Susan Watts on both scientific comprehension and reporting objectivity.

Friday, April 17, 2009


MONTH - This... er... today

FIELD: Enviro-related
WHEN: 17-18 April
WHAT: UK Aware '09
WHAT... MORE?: From the site blurb: the UK's only green lifestyle exhibition for people who want to learn how to reduce their carbon emissions [No so sure that's quiet true, but never mind]
WHERE: Olympia
WHO: Not!!!! So, no super reuse input, the silly billies.
HOW: As far as I'm aware, it's free if you register.
COMMENTS: Now there's the thing. I only remembered when a little doo-dad popped up to tell me I was going. Well, it appears I am not, as I forgot. Frankly I am not too worried. All-day trips to London are not good on time and pocket poor eco-warriors. But I'd say the website worth a scope to see if it's worth a vizzy if you are already there.

If anyoen goes and has a review I'd be happy to share.

This is posted as a blog feature.

One man banned?

I'll have to be careful.

But every time I see one of these...

How hard is it to live plastic-free?

...well-meaning but ultimately endless talkfests on how best to ban stuff with little sense or science on viable reductions, I feel it my duty to pop in a positive to show the joys of reuse.

Maybe it's a male thing, but I feel making something from waste can be every bit as satisfying as just moaning about it.

Mind you, at the moment their direction gets a more empathetic audience, and pays better.

He keeps asking. Seems a shame not to reply.

Newsnight's Ethical Man is really pleased with this one.

Test driving an electric car in Motor City

Not being a journalist I am not sure what his personal views on how good it is has to do with much, but it is the blog complement so OK.

I fear that, as one of not very many to devote a fair whack of time to reviewing as requested, I still cannot find it easy to agree that the series is really beginning to get to grips with the issues.

For the investment (ROI or enviROI), I found it again factually sparse and lacking in persuasive content. The Volt is an embarrassment (Post 3 is very pertinent) ,though I do wonder why many posters seem more concerned as to whether it was first.

Well, let's see if this week we can discover what the US can teach us (other than how to use 2 x more energy, which I'd rather we didn't), as this might well yet validate the pleasure of finding what was promised for the series gets delivered.

Sadly, the thoughts of a few of a few in a near empty hall - or Mayor Steve (a real people-s champion if he can be swayed to sign up to a commitment on no more than being told to on camera by a UK reporter) - have to be viewed as potentially interesting, but hardly representative. And speaking of context, as well as a matter of interest, if 911 mayors (may now be 935 - )in the US have signed up to cuts, what might the total number be? And what?s the breakdown? I just ask because if Boris signed up London he'd probably be OK. As to a pol with a constituency in the boonies with one bus a day to work... not so sure.

I am also not clear what is meant by 'low carbon travel'. The distance alluded to when this was first raised is surely irrelevant in the context it was mentioned. Yes, the size of the country and population has meant more inevitably is used just shunting a few hundred million folk hundreds of miles when we deal in scores here. The more important issue is efficiency. I see no need for a 6 litre car there to get from A 2 B in comfort and safety any more than I do here. Hence I was as unimpressed with Gov. Arnie's Hummer as Sir Stuart Rose's 7 Series Hydrogen effort, as they made potentially good points in a totally compromised way.

As to whether democratic societies are capable of making short term sacrifices, I would certainly like to think so. But as been pointed out by such as President Obama and PM Brown, we are now in the era of world economies. I guess we should be grateful then that India is a democracy, but there is a small concern as to what the Chinese government may decide for its people when the Shanghai Nano is rolled out. That one will be crossed when arrived at.. all very Prisoner's Dilemma. But if North Korea can be persuaded to stop the whole nuke thing by us getting rid of ours, then anything is possible. And in any case this is, should be, about the technologies and policies of reduction and efficiency domestically.

I also get a bit eyebrow cranky on anything with the word 'carbon' and any term meaning money or trading being bolted together. So nice in theory, so hard to grasp in practice without thinking that such as business class travel will soon only be for politicians, City traders... and journalists that get invited aboard to take us for a ride.

Getting all global, with a touch of egalitarianism thrown in, in our new world order I wonder if there might not end up being some 'them' and 'us' still to avoid further 'issues' cropping up.

Because if I am to be bestowed with an allowance of one log to heat the home, a trip to Tescos to feed the family and an annual short haul to Majorca on Ryan Air, which I can trade with Madonna on weekly kid shopping expeditions, or BBC eco-reporters for visits to Antarctica to see the damage caused by folk going to Antarctica, it seems only fair that every soul on the planet gets the same, from Kalahari bushpersons to Mekong fisherfolk.

And while the latter might not be able to afford the trips or goodies, they would be theirs to trade. Which rather leads me to wonder if the whole thing might not get a lot worse as a consequence of a bunch of rich, or expenses-driven individuals and/or businesses simply buying what they want, only now with a guilt-free sticker. And there are a lot of rich folk and ratings-thirsty journos with places to go and people to see, who I am sure our poorer cousins will be happy to trade with for cash to buy Chinese Nanos. Expectation of better things is part of the economy-growing cycle.

Nothing less than saving the world for climate change? If all $1B gets ?us? is the Chevy Volt as featured, I?d say that the US might be stretched to show us anything worth a darn for now. But nice that it all comes to complement the coincidental PR assault on the airwaves and columns over here, right now, from the likes of trusted pols such as Mandelson, Brown and now Hoon (see Richard Black?s latest post). Sadly not getting as easy a ride from many quarters (even... especially eco ones) that seem inconveniently now able to raise some concerns, from where the battery raw materials are to come from to how the 'leccy gets generated and then delivered. I merely wonder if trying to get our cross-pond cousins into 2 litre diesels delivering 60mpg might not be a more productive effort for now, whilst other, cleaner, higher enviROI options are honed before leaping to a green crowd pleaser. Hence I doubt that Mr. Clarkson, and his audience, are too concerned yet. But at least they might know that you use a lot more fuel at 100mph vs. 60mph, and how much it costs planet and licence fee to replace a piece of kit not fixed down properly in seeking to get a bit of nifty TV footage more than any other consideration.

So, again, to paraphrase what the nice lady said at one point, 'what's all this supposed to prove??'

Guardian - NEW - Tesla's Elon Musk: the democratisation of electric cars is speeding up - 'The automotive industry has reached a clear consensus that the future is electric and is offering consumers more affordable and effective vehicles' - has it, indeed.

I would love one of these cars. It certainly was raised in comparison, very positively, if not by the investigative reporter, after a paean to the joys of the $1B (and counting) Chevy Volt, by Newsnight's Ethical Man.

But just as I worry what Gordon & Alistair might do to spoil my growing affection for my £3500 (meeting my definition of affordable, if not some others better placed, perhaps), '02 LPG Volvo, there is a rather worrying question mark on the future of the 'fuel', especially its cost.

But , it's nice to know the automotive industry has reached a clear consensus that the future is electric and is offering consumers more affordable and effective vehicles... at least for the auto industry, I guess.

And while advertorials are not unheard of in the media - today the BBC was helping a lady sell tacky flog spy stuff for about 5 minutes - I tend to respond better to the message, and the medium carrying it, if the information is objective, allowing me to make up my own mind. A bit like the DamGreen 'affair', this is not proving easy, as most 'official' info is carried by a rather suspect establishment, from Hoonian press releases on the BBC website to, well, many from the rest of a certain section of the MSM that knows what's good for us.

Leaving the much bogey-personed blogosphere to offer alternative views, from such rampant oil-pocket entities as Uni Engineering Professors and the Green Party.

So while I am grateful to affluent early adopters, I am also hoping they got their dosh by being challenging of what they are told too, and are making their decisions based on the future of all our kids, and not just what some in the right circles tell them will look good.

ps: I think most credible boffins have stopped using the warming thing, opting for the more accurate, as far as it goes, climate change, with even this now evolving, as planetary things tend to do.

pps: 'a fleet of electric Smart microcars for zero-emission urban commuting' - now, how does that 'zero' get arrived at?

The Ecologist - NEW - Can electric vehicles overtake competing green car technologies? -

The Gaurdian - NEW - The flaws in the electric car scheme

The Gaurdian - NEW - Where's the chemistry in electric cars? - I thought it was going to be about science!

The Gaurdian - NEW - Watt an idea

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Band of botherers

I was away and hence missed the piece (more nanny nonsense), but here are the replies:

Rubber band harvest

For the rest, there is always..., and RE:tie.


Had to write to the BBC..

Regarding today's recycled 'news' item with, we are sure, a well-paid professional busy-body given airtime on a minor non-issue (rubber bands) at the expense of a bigger one (litter).

Regarding the bands, may we suggest folk just pick 'em up and reuse them.

As to sending them in piecemeal by post, while this may make for a nice story (and help a beleaguered Royal Mail's profits), it might not be the best use of planetary resources, so we'd be hard-pressed to see an eco-value at all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A quick, if not easy fix we can all agree on?

Spam 'uses as much power as 2.1m homes'

That's, ahem... US homes. Maybe Al Gore sized ones?

Or... 'More than 80% of the world's email traffic is now spam and the transmission and receipt of unwanted email gobbles up 33bn kilowatt-hours of electricity a year'

Seems to me that might be worth addressing over some other issues that trouble campaigners seeking a cause.

Good products need better messages

I bang on a lot about the message vs. the messengers.

Usually with an eyebrow cranked at the authors being the ideal choice to champion something green by being a tad less than solid once you scratch the surface.

Not in this case:

Good products need better messages

Gordon Brown (interview, 8 April) is right that we need a "green revolution", based on renewables, energy efficiency and clean coal, if we are to meet our carbon reduction targets by 2020. Capitalising on the UK's research base in renewable energy, low-carbon energy and demand reduction will lead to an economy that is more energy secure and fosters an industry with worldwide export potential.

Other European countries are already well ahead of the UK in implementing green energy industries, building what will surely be a major economic sector within decades.

To achieve this for the UK, we will need a stable and clearly defined policy environment as well as incentives to encourage investment. We will need a large increase in support for R&D and early-stage technological development of low-carbon sources of energy. And we will need to invest in the infrastructure technology which will enable our electricity system to make the most efficient use of new-generation technologies.

The UK engineering community is working together to signpost the pathway to a more resilient future economy for the UK. Key to this is a more joined-up government engineering strategy that drives towards a new, sustainable low-carbon economy while creating successful industries, skills and jobs.

David Brown, CEO, Institution of Chemical Engineers; Tom Foulkes, Director-General, Institution of Civil Engineers; Paul Jackson, CEO, The Engineering Technology Board; Robin McGill, IET Chief Executive; Stephen Tetlow, CEO, Institution of Mechanical Engineers; Keith Read, Chief Executive, Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology; Philip Greenish, CEO The Royal Academy of Engineering, London SW1

No matter how much I might applaud the sincerity and value of what is being penned here, I will be intrigued to see who, from Gordon Brown to the voting public, gets motivated by the words here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Meanwhile, on a banana boat near you...

Let's talk context:

Health risks of shipping pollution have been 'underestimated'

One giant container ship can emit almost the same amount of cancer and asthma-causing chemicals as 50m cars, study finds..

...just 15 of the world's biggest ships may now emit as much pollution as all the world's 760m cars.

Ok, it's just a study, but...

Well, he did ask.

I don't like excessively negative criticism, but in this case it was hard to find much to be positive about.

The previous effort, while flawed by a massive agenda overload and some rampant breaches of the principles of practicing what one preaches (or, in the case of the BBC, finger-wags), at least did have some information worth having.

This one, on the evidence of this piece... not so much.

The first Ethical Man film

And I felt the urge to explain why.

OK, I have given you my 17 minutes. Now for the 2 cents.

It's a mixture of questions and thoughts, the latter as requested.

First up, this is the first of how many? What for? To whom? Where and when? Here on the blog to show all the guys back in the USA who you met? What's the anticipated audience for all that has been consumed... with what intended message?

Top of line while fresh in mind, there seemed near zero by way of any information worth much. It was also hardly cutting edge documentary. How many of these have we seen before, and will get again? At what cost... to licence fee and planet? Lugging star and entourage and kit does not come cheap.

The original EM had some value; I learned a lot and got some nifty links. And why on earth would a (genuine) experiment in ways and results of trying to reduce GHG's on a personal level be bizarre?

Odd to mention the giving up flying, and then fly to the USA next. And then make a point about not flying whilst there (except back here when it was necessary).

This was billed as what America could teach us. I am struggling to think of one thing in this first piece that taught anyone anything, though there was a Brit telling some Americans how their lives are measured in Hershey bars. Looking at the audience I think that may have sunk in.

Whilst engagingly acknowledged, the whole asking folk what they thought of 'Global Warming' at every turn, during a blizzard, was... quaint. I thought it was now 'climate change', and in The Guardian even this is being deemed so last year before records stopped. And the BBC has a spotty record on reporting science at best.

Whilst obviously a very nice family, I fear the time with the Howards is time I will not get back. But I must say Dad's powered driveway shovel looked waaay cool. I'll get rid of the spade right away. Did it run on coal?

Because I think I did get the message that this is bad stuff, and the USA has lots more bad stuff than anyone. So President O's efforts in ditching their primary energy sources in favour of others will be an interesting one to watch. Environment vs. economy can be a tricky one. A bit like PM Brown's latest wheeze (frankly he spins so much on green issues each month we could run the National Grid on him) on making us all buy as many electric cars as we can is novel, without seeing certain ironies in steel mills cranking out more cars to run on a fuel produced, currently, how? And later on, how? And how distributed?

It was great to see that even in the snow you got a nice audience at the show, but let's get real. If Fox advertised an event with cameras in our town hall, half the town would turn up to get on the telly. Hope they thought it was worth it.

Without knowing where this is going, I can only hope that if I am to invest more time in these pieces, there will be something in there of more value to help me with making tough choices on climate-related issues, and better yet with proactive solutions for the future. Flying to the USA to make a telly show on high consumption Americans isn't really spinning my turbine. But I hope it was fun.

It's personal, and subjective, but I hope still polite and fair. And I really hope that it might make such as the BBC think a bit before concocting a trite TV show, with all that entails, and tries not only to sell it as something a lot more than it is, and in content serve the cause they claim to espouse so poorly. How, in any way, did this show 'save the world from climate change'?

There was also some response in the main blog, but I sense even linked from here a few did not actually watch the piece being promoted, which does rather beg the question as to who it was being made for. The ROI as a broadcaster would be as interesting as the enviROI.