Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines!

OK, so it's a recycled, reused idea... what do you expect!:)

It's long, but worth it...

No, missus, oo-er, trust me.

You know how 'they' are 'listening' to 'us'.

I followed, and even ended up sharing in an exchange from some guys who do seem to know stuff...

Stakeholder Engagement: The Big Energy Shift

Government intend these to be active and open consultation processes,
and are keen to hear from the households, businesses and communities who
will be affected by the proposals. Government also needs to hear from
local government, community groups, NGOs and the supply chain and
installation companies that will support delivery on the ground.

Government is launching the 'Big Energy Shift' - a series of 40+
road-show events in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland,
involving citizens, businesses, local authorities, community and fuel
poverty groups and the supply chain. Participants will discuss options
for heat and energy savings in homes and communities. These events
will provide the opportunity to discuss the consultations before
formally responding.

Events include:

* Stakeholder workshops on the detail of CESP on the 24 March, and
CERT on the 25 March, hosted by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for
Homes. These events are by invitation only, and these will be issued in
late February;

* Stakeholder workshops in Scotland and Wales on the
consultations, working with the Welsh and Scottish Governments. Further
details will follow, but you can also register your interest by
* English Regional "Road-show" events on the consultations, with a
particular focus on CESP. Further details will follow. Spaces will be
limited, however you can register your interest by emailing:;
* A HES workshop on community and renewable heat in local
communities with local authorities - details are to be made available
shortly. For further information contact;
* Citizens forums for households and communities - an innovative
programme with 9 separate citizens' forums - involving 250 people - in
neighbourhoods in England, Wales and N Ireland. These will include
peer-to-peer interviews in the community, site visits to see different
technologies in practice, and home visits as well as interactive web
forum. The events will take place throughout February and March;
* Small and medium enterprises - events run in conjunction with
Business in the Community and the Small Business Consortium, to discuss
policy and delivery options;
* Public sector - an event run with the Sustainable Development
Commission to bring together public sector procurers, facility managers
etc, to explore their role in delivering changes in relation to heat,
energy saving, and renewable energy.

The latter three events are invitation only. The findings will be
published by DECC.

> The first sentence in this press release is totally negated by the actual
> details of the "consultation" events, which are all, apparently, labelled
> as "by invitation" or "limited places" - must be some meaning of the word
> "open" that I haven't heard before. This carries on from a fine tradition
> of the government that brought us "Do you want a dozen nuclear power
> stations or only twelve?" and "Sipson village is being dangerously polluted
> by aircraft from Heathrow Airport, don't you think we ought to move it?"
> I suppose it's not possible to boycott all such government charades
> totally? Is this what they want? How could we ensure that no one broke the
> picket line?

It gets even better; the HES workshop email address doesn't work.I've tried to ask for further information, from two different email addresses and they both were rejected. The message:

Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1

seems to refer back to an old Elvis number,

"Return to sender, address unknown.

No such number, no such zone."

Rather than a picket line, we need a powerful can opener.


Getting with the 'game', I'll leave it open as to which bits - the semantic jiggery-pokery, the Hitch-hikers Guidian 'directions'... or the incisive mockery - I am referring in that statement.

I have a feeling, as with some West End Theatres, I how the authorities' PR machine would plaster that statement on any post(er).

It was about another issue, but I am minded to share a comment by a chap in the Newsnight blog today that I thought would make a great URL: ''

It also goes a long way to why I consider almost an 'research' that leads to a 'poll' that most, and especially HMG and the BBC, carry out to be pretty suspect.

As some around here have been saying...

'Apocalyptic climate predictions' mislead the public, say experts

Met Office scientists fear distorted climate change claims could undermine efforts to tackle carbon emissions

I am no expert, but... D'uh.

New Scientist - NEW - Scientists losing war of words over climate change - the posts in reply rather make a few points.. sadly.

ADDENDUM - 13/03/07

It seems to be sinking in that there is a problem. This just in from The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM - who are not going to get many visitors from the URL they offer)

The UK’s recent cold weather has highlighted that the often interchangeable use of the terms ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ leads to public misunderstanding.

Misinterpretation of the suggestive term ‘global warming’ has resulted in some people to propose that cold weather events disproves climate change is happening. Therefore CIWEM is calling for greater clarity in the use of these terms by scientists, environmentalists, other professionals and the media so that the general public is able to distinguish between climate change, global warming and localised, short-term weather events.

Global warming describes the increase in average global temperatures due to rising levels of greenhouse gases, whilst climate change refers to regional conditions such as rain, drought and storm events that relate to a long-term change in the Earth’s climate.

Although the UK is suffering from the coldest winter in 30 years, the current weather is entirely consistent with climate change predictions. In pre-industrial days such extreme cold weather occurred every five years but, with climate change, global temperatures have risen, meaning that we now experience it only every 20 years. And in contrast, China’s drought has left more than four million people without drinking water and 24 million acres of crops damaged; parts of Australia are suffering massive flooding, whilst the south’s drought has aggravated the terrible bush fires that have killed over 130 people; Argentina is suffering the worst drought for 50 years; and Israel suffered the driest January since records began.

CIWEM asks whether the term ‘climate change’ is significantly descriptive of the predicted extreme global weather patterns that we will experience. CIWEM puts forward that more dramatic and resonant terms such as ‘climate churn’ or ‘climate convulsion’ may help people to understand that this will not be a gentle transition which can be ignored.

Nick Reeves, Executive Director of CIWEM, says:

“To apply the term ‘global warming’ to explain all extreme weather events including freezing temperatures, snow and heavy rainfall is careless and will only feed the scepticism of the public and some sections of the media that average temperatures aren’t rising and that the climate isn’t changing. As scientists have predicted we are experiencing, simultaneously, extreme weather events around the world, which are causing unprecedented drought conditions, water scarcity, melting of the polar ice caps, rising sea levels, coastal erosion and flooding. Not only is this evidence of climate change but a more serious problem that should be more accurately described as climate convulsion.”

While I have some sympathy with the dilemma, and applaud the attempt, I have to say that after 'Global warming' and then 'climate change', moving to ‘climate churn’ or ‘climate convulsion’ might not quite suffice. There is a lot of baggage to undo, and a few too many who will be trotting out such new buzz words are those who loaded that baggage on the cart in the first place. Message vs. messengers again.

Can Can.... er... 't?

The internet can be useful. Especially at putting you right quickly.

Just now I shared a reuse 'tip' from the site, which has proven quite popular, on another site seeking such.

It's a lid from a cream pot that clips on larger food cans, as a substitute for the bought variety.

Seems I may have committed a boo-boo.

Here I was interested in reuse, when 'elf & safety might trump that.

Here's the Food Standards view on it.

I think, for our purposes, we'll stick with the 1/2 day window in the can. We've done a lot worse.

The real cost of the TWO E dilemma

Millions face 'stealth tax' on heating bills to subsidise green energy

Not an easy one at all.

However, I do concern myself that, with almost painful inevitably, a lot of the costs are biting earlier and harder where they can least be afforded.

I wish I'd logged it, but I was also surprised to find that energy costs are front-end loaded, so smaller homes using less pay proportionately more. Even though I guess my family home (with heating all day - even the gilet I wear needs a bit of help - as I work here) is a beneficiary, this can't be right.

Keep that eyebrow cocked

Some are genuine efforts, and to be applauded.

Many, still, are not.

A while ago I noticed, and still commend, the Greenwash column in the Guardian authored by Fred Pearce.

I'm not sure he's always fair, but he certainly sets out the cases pretty clearly, and if he does push his case there is usually a commenter who can put the other side.

And there still seems to be some debate as to whether things are getting better or worse.

Certainly, such as the ASA have and still are clamping down on blatant factual falsehoods and even excessive claims. But there are still an awful lot where you really have to cock that eyebrow.

I guess, with my ongoing efforts to 'sell' the RE:tie, which I really believe to be a no-brainer positive enviROI idea for all involved - business, consumer & planet - I am quite sensitive to measures that seem more designed to save the company money than anything else.

Which of course IS good, especially if it is through reduced waste which one presumes may get passed to the consumer, but too often there seems really little end-benefit involved where it matters. And then just has to wonder what all the money on the comms efforts could have been spent on rather than making the business seem to be green.

In passing, I noted this little video by MTV Switch advertised. Kinda cute, but then I hark back to a certain song by Dire Straits (!) that celebrated the conspicuous consumption era of the 80's... 'I want my MTV'. Pretty sure most of us still watching think getting a 50" plasma is still a nifty ambition.