Tag Archives: green

24 hours of Powerpoint

20 Sep

Last week Al Gore’s Climate Reality project, went live for 24 hours over the interweb; involving thousands of viewers and 24 presenters from around the globe. As it states on the website

 “The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. We help citizens around the world discover the truth and take meaningful steps to bring about change.”

and it did. I saw a Powerpoint presentation which showed the facts and how climate skeptics get the facts wrong, there was also video containing footage from recent natural disasters and speeches focusing on the fact this is our one planet and we have to look after it.

Issue is , this presentation was repeated every hour…

I understand that we are a diverse world and we all sleep at different times plus speak different languages and for that, some things need to be repeated. However in my mind this opportunity of 24 hours of reality fell short of what it could of been.

  • Everyone has seen An Inconvenient Truth and everyone remembers it being very influential but also a long-arsed Powerpoint show. At times Climate Reality felt like an uncreative follow-up especially with its hourly repetition.
  • It was aimed at educating those climate skeptics and climate denialists that it is not sun spots, volcanoes or government conspiracy but real and you couldn’t help think it was also meant for those who live in the USA. (But wasn’t An Inconvenient Truth doing the same?) Now a question can be, how many of these types of people watched the event? was there any way of persuading them to watch it? or did it turn out to be a ‘preaching to the converted scenario’.
  • Also the live video feed itself did not give much more then hourly repetition of “climate change is happening and here is the proof via graphs and natural disasters, so now is our chance to deal with it.”  They was no bullet points on what can be done now on the large and small scale, what action was specifically happening in the host country or even a chance to donate to climate aid charities.
    Even though the website gives you links to action and you can donate to the project itself, though its not specifically aid.
  • The studio presenters in the USA seemed to be a bit on the botex-side and their guests were of the old/male/white type. Whilst the 24 presenters from the world showed more diversity of backgrounds and all came from respectable climate action backgrounds.
    Myself being 25, I just wished more youth were present, after all it is our future and the amount of incredible things some of us (predominantly woman) have achieved in our short lives makes us worthy of presenting with balding, bearded white guys.

Thinking of other global live events- Band Aid, Live 8 and Live Earth spring to mind and each has followed the live music concert set up and each Band Aid follow up (sorry Al Gore) has been less successfully.

A Climate Reality 2.0 really needs to not follow the same format and needs to step up a gear. You can’t yet again go into stating the obvious to everyone, you need to call for action, donation being one part but als0 creating the opportunity for it to be a real social media event.

People sharing local/national/international action of all types collaboratively using hashtags or simple maps – which could then be forwarded on to friends who live in those areas.

Using the 24hours to actually come out with a positive step forward. For example a collaborative statement. It can start as a zero-draft then via a wiki within 24 hours a global Climate Reality deceleration on what needs to be done.

Plus giving the webcast a more dynamic scope. It can start with the same presentation, but then has to flow onto a continuing narrative, making people want to watch the whole 24 hours (not in one go of course)

Any other ideas?

Also if Climate Reality or Al’ steal any of these 3 ideas I will sue you for trillions of chocolate digestive biscuits.

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Youth of past present and future

14 Aug

In this video, around 3.40mins a young person states ‘The youth aren’t the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today.’

Not only that, this video is full of further statements saying that governments should act for our future, groups of people getting together to shout, Chant, annoy and protest for there to be great change. Problem is, this video is from the Earth Summit 1992
19 years ago, the same actions and concerns of today were being acted out. In a depressive way, you could conclude that we have not moved a single foot towards a sustainable future.

Next year Earth Summit 2012 will take place, where issues of sustainable development will be discussed (again) and just like in the above video, expect young people to tell it straight, governments saying the time to act is now and large groups of people chanting and maybe holding hands…
This may sound like pre-defeatism, but from a point-blank view this is how it looks.
Not everyone hardly anyone knows how far we have come since 1992. Especially when thinking about youth involvement.

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When governments noticed that young people are important, are the future and are the leaders of tomorrow – there was still a focus on adults teaching young people skills and knowledge or arranging events. Whether they were paid or voluntary, this emphasis on engaging, inspiring and motivating youth like we were at school lasted until quite recently.
In fact you could say it lasted until those youth of 92 who were involved in the Earth Summit and who understood that we are the leaders of today, grew up into official adults.

Here is the theory:
Youth of the early 90’s involved in sustainable development found themselves in their working adult lives taking up those positions of ‘teaching’ a younger generation to be motivated, engaged and inspired. They used their own tales for this purpose; believed in us being the leaders of today and told us to go out there and just do-it ourselves and BINGO! – what you have is an increase in youth involvement, with little adult involvement.
Of course, this is not shunning all adults, we still need you to teach us complicated things, give us opportunities and network contacts.

However now a youth who wants to volunteer and get involved has the ability to search the Internet and find people the same age, discussing the concerned issues on a local/national/global scale. These youth may of even set up there own organization growing in numbers and totally youth led, they may even gain opportunities to attend youth congress’s, powershift’s, or UN meetings.

The best thing about this though – Us youth of today will grow up and be the adults

who turn around to the next generation and say you are the leaders of today.
We did this, you can go on and do so much more –  a pyramid scheme of influence leading to more youth getting involved at an early age, pushing all the issues connected to and involving sustainable development into the forefront.

We are on the cusp of all youth really, truly being the voices of not only the future but today.

Why youth will save the world with social media interaction, without having to go outside much.

23 Jul

A few weeks ago Google+ was launched, currently best described like this

It joins a long list of social media platforms – from the ones worthy of a movie plot-line to localised efforts.
In fact my toolbar is linked to 11 social sites that I constantly jump through to share, comment, rate, talk and read up on favourite topics.
It must be said that this time is also spent messing about, finding stupid, gormless, childish jokes, photos, videos and rage comics but still
The growth of social media and all of its wonders means its big business.

Which has meant companies all over the world had to create new ‘social media’ roles or hire social media guru consultants who basically say ‘create a Facebook page’ ‘here is how you use Twitter’ ‘connect with people’ in a professional manner with a powerpoint presentation. Because you know
– EVERYONE LOVES A BLOODY POWERPOINT!

Lets say your business is in a bit of a pickle and you need to resolve some issues, re-grow your image and make people have faith in you. Well what you need is a marketing campaign.

Involving creating content that addresses the issue and make your ‘fans’ feel like everything is back to normal and fine. It could be short statements on social media sites on how things are going or videos full of smiles, families and professional models pretending to be normal employed people and patronising statements along the lines of a mother saying to her child
‘No your silly dear, of course Santa is real’

This is where I bring youth in – from the stereotype of fat boys sitting at their computer playing WOW, to the real stereotype of face covered make up girls doing that odd duckface and taking a photo at an odd angle for their profile pic.
WE are obsessed with social media, because we are obsessed by being social.
The only reason I got an email back in the 90’s was to use MSN and chat to friends.

We have created content just to amuse our friends, shared our personally stories and created a following without having consultant meetings.
Also we don’t have to make our customers or loyal fans like us again, because as youth – we are yet to do anything wrong!

“I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Douglas Adams

As we grow up, making careers for ourselves (maybe some of us will become consultants, but cool ones) and become wise to the world via all the social media,
we can notice the bullcrap and really engage with what others our age are doing,
whether it is talking about Justin Bieber or aiming for future we want to live in-
via sharing links, petitions, news, campaigns; its contagious, it may even make us go outside a little bit – to socialise and grow those connections and change the world.

Check the social links of all these lot as a perfect example:-

http://www.cycan.org/                                                              http://ukycc.org/

http://juvente.no/                                                                     http://aycc.org.au/

http://www.ypwc.org/                                        http://energyactioncoalition.org/

http://www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/

So to sum it up youth are always on social media as we like to socialise, we take in what other youth share, we build on that into our adult life, youth are like diamonds in the sun and diamonds are forever.

This blog is taking from the Road to Rio+20 blog, for which I create and promote and stuff.

This happens more often then it should

21 Jul

“You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

30 Jun

VW: The Dark Side from Greenpeace in Nordic on Vimeo.

Join up via my Jedi page: http://vwdarkside.com/en/jedi/simon-howlett-5679

& you can see Episode II of the VW saga after you have done so.

May the force be with you.

Greenwashing Gasland

27 Jun

Gasland is the 2010, Oscar nominated documentary by Josh Fox, which focuses on Hydraulic Fracturing.
The process of collecting deep underground natural gas, by drilling a hole and via the use of pressure fluid, extracting the gas.
Simple engineering science – However, this process has left hundreds of people around America with flaming tap water, balding farm stock/pets, major health problems and water contamination.

Of course, the companies that deal in Fracking, are a bit pissed off with the statements that have been made in Gasland.
So they have made a ‘quality’ greenwash 4 minute video and a special website page – http://anga.us/truthaboutgasland

Lets study this video in detail:

It contains 10 shots of children, 5 of parents, 1 of grandparents, 11 shots of smiling people, 2 counts of hugs, 6 shots of natural environments, a shot of a kid on a bed, kids on swings, a fairground, a naked mum sitting on the floor with her (presumably) naked child and a couple of shots taken from the p.o.v of a car on a street. *

Then what about these sound snipits read out by a very pleasant-sounding woman.

  • 0:04 ‘We have something special in this country, our people and our freedom to express our opinions and beliefs’ – This is good, this makes the viewer think, Josh Fox is entitled to his opinion. Note: no other country on earth apparently has special people.**
  • 0:21 ‘Natural gas provides clean domestic energy’ – I’m guessing this means clean as in no dirt, not CO2
  • 0:26 ‘Its our neighbours who work every day to produce it’ – Broad statement, that includes everyone and no one.
  • 0:38 ‘Responsibility to develop this natural resource with the constant sense of stewardship of our land, our air and our water’ – Not people, they can die because of Fracking
  • 3:05 ‘New innovations’ – Some environmental operation’s they are doing to make them sound really good, they only mention 1, but still.
  • 3:20 ‘Natural gas supports 2.8 million American jobs, it is reducing our nations dependence on foreign oil’ – Yay America, boo foreign oil.
  • 3:27 and its advancing clean air in our communities’ – Advance of making it a very rare thing.
  • 3:31 Natural gas emits virtually no mercury, or pollution creating particular matter’ – Natural gas also emits virtually no dark matter or environmental degradation particular matter…..

Some Gasland claims are also looked at.
That natural gas is exempt by feudal regulations. – Natural gas is more than likely looked at by feudal regulations, but the actual question raised is, why isn’t Hydraulic Fracturing. On top of that, at this point the video shows a list of regulations, no dates, or where these regulations are set (it uses the idea that most viewers will jump to the conclusion that these are the national regulations.)
That flaming tap water is caused by Fracking – This is false, as everyone knows flaming tap water is normal…
That fish are being killed by Fracking – Wrong again, as everyone knows it’s those dirty fossil fuel coal companies…

What this video gives you, is a blueprint for all company greenwash videos – just add some children, smilies, quotes that aim to focus on the morals of your audience and some claims that you can disprove via images and blaming others for environmental pollution and bingo a divided opinion on a non-clean energy source.

I also found this article on  Talisman‘s friendly Fracosaurus, Terry.
YES ladies & germs, a children’s colouring book aimed at promoting Fracking as smart and safe.
There is even a page to colour in, all about the fact gas rises into the air, where it can be forgotten about and not cause any environmental damage….

This blog has not been brought to you by America’s Natural Gas Alliance.

*0 shots of Hydraulic Fracturing, Fracking workers or Fracking neighbours.
** At some points, I’m being very sarcastic in this blog. Get used to it idiot.

Wave your hands like you just do care

13 Jun

I’m going to add a new hand signal to consensus based decision-making and to life in general.
It’s an important one, as it confirms feelings and positive vibes, more than high twinkles ever can.

It will be based on this.

and it concerns when you are feeling –

So flipping amazed that things are coming together and you feel like you are one step closer to solving an issue which is going to make the world a better place
+
those around you make you feel so positive you need to get rid of built up energy quickly.

Reasons for this, have been gained from other youth I have worked with via UK Youth Climate Coalition and Peace Child International.

We are all trying to get ahead in the world as well as improve the world – making other youth engaged, inspired and motivated to creat positive change for a clean sustainable future.

This takes planning, meetings, emails, networking and valuable pub time – which does sometime leaves your brain a bit frazzled.
However once in a while – usually when you least expect it and within a few minutes.
Things just click – the event, campaign, policy or outreach takes one giant leap leaving you full of excitable 6-year-old energy.


My new hand signal combats this issue
& shows everyone that your really really really
happily excited!!!

The issues with climate sceptics

4 Jun

OK number 1 reason why there is a problem, is that they are wrong;

This is the kind of statement which will lead to sceptics themselves commenting on this blog and purposely leaving their own scientific
findings for why climate change is a myth/ conspiracy/ fairy-tale.

Of course, they are entitled to their opinion.
I used to be sceptical of Marmite, thinking it was made by the devil; but one day I decided to try it, I didn’t particularly like it, I won’t fight for it but I came to mutual understanding that some people really do care for Marmite and its future.

Anyways I believe the science behind climate change, as scientists are a lot smarter and spend more time studying the facts compared to myself and tons of other people around the globe.

Though, even with B GCSE science & maths grades I can make a perfectly correct climate change equation.

CO2 + atmosphere = OMG

See its really simple – only 23 characters long and made up of 5 words..ish

Or it can be shown via a talking penguin or a funky video

Now look at this

How? What? 4826 words of something or other
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This is teeth x-rays, right...

Actually its labelled as –
Zonally-averaged distributions of predicted temperature change in ºK at CO2 doubling (2xCO2 – control), as a function of latitude and pressure level, for four general-circulation models (Lee et al., 2007).

????

Now why can’t the sceptics shorting this whole argument to a few words or a Marmite metaphor or art?

And that’s they problem, along with other conspiracy theories
http://www.elvis-is-alive.com/
http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html

They need to use so many words, use graphs that make sense to no one, unless they are on hand to explain and they need to look at so many out-of-this-world tiny details that our brains become fuzzy.

So much so that Climate Change for all its future horror is just a more simply idea to digest, even if some do not rate it high on there agenda.

And if you dare to look at this video involving Lord Monckton, just concentrate on the audience, how old are they?

Competition Time: If a climate sceptic would like to comment on this, I bet you can not keep their argument under 100 words. (no links) If you are able to, you shall receive a Fairtrade biscuit.

If no climate sceptic can, then I guess you will just have to suffer the fact that those who believe in climate change are able to use more persuasive arsenal like art, humour and simply terms to justify their thoughts and are also going to outlive most of your OAP followers.

Tough break.

Promise of a Healthy Ocean

24 May

Being one of these greeny, post-environmentally, climate change, Green Ghetto (love this term!) types I like to think I know what is going on in this world – here, there and everywhere.

But sadly, I don’t.
It’s a vast world with many a thing going on and I’m just not Superman.

However I do know about one campaign launch which is happening via ClientEarth.

Client Earth are an environmental law company¹ or as they say it:-

An Organisation of activist lawyers committed to securing a healthy planet. We work in Europe and beyond, bringing together  law, science and  policy to create pragmatic solutions to key environmental challenges.²

Tonight ClientEarth along with ZSL (Zoological Society of London) launch

Promise of a Healthy Ocean.

Which is calling upon us, the young generation to demand that our world leaders keep their promises to protect the environment.

It’s the start of a year-long project to promote and improve intergenerational contact between us youth and heads of state.
leading to a contract being signed by the heads of state at the next major international environment meeting, ensuring that all future generations will be able to enjoy a healthy planet.

How cool is that?
We can tell all those suits to ‘buck up’ and actually DO what they are meant to DO and protect our planet’s oceans, not just for me or you, but for future generations – without having to resort to hippy, lets all listen to the cute youth talk about their futures,
but hard “Oh better do what it says otherwise Im in deep ****” contract terminology.

If you are able to go to the event launch tonight, It will be a perfect networking opportunity.
If not, then keep an eye on ClientEarth and the development of Promise of a Healthy Ocean

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1. Reminds me that I need to see the film Erin Brockovich
2. Seriously need to see it & possibly Superman 2 again – that’s a great film.

What is a Post-Environmentalist?

23 May

A Post-Environmentalist is a term environmentalists use to make themselves seem up-to-date and cool.

OK there is a bit more to it then that, Post-Environmentalism is a new way of thinking for creating long-term sustainable change and not just hugging trees like normal environmentalists.
Scrap that, lets call them Retro-Environmentalists.

Tube armies...

Of course the Post-Environmentalist movement isn’t going to last that long though, because its going to be followed by the Hipster-Environmentalists, who live and dress like Retro-Environmentalists, but think like Post-Environmentalists.
& thus maybe, just maybe everyone will get sick of the word environmentalist.

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As you may of guessed I am already pretty sick of the use of the Post-Environmentalist words, as it is now being used as a means of people differentiating themselves from Retro-Environmentalists.
But I can not fathom how they are able to do this, whilst using the same E word.

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So, lets first take a step back to look at the basic ideology of this ‘PE’.
Micheal Shellenberger & Ted Nordhaus wrote a paper in 2004 called The Death of Environmentalism  which stated that for the last 40 years the environment has been thought of as a thing and has not included all the other encompassing aspects of politics, economics culture etc..
Which are fundamental when looking at a world wide issue like climate change.

It makes good points, which all make sense to me and I would follow
(Yes, meaning that I can now can be classed as a PE)
However since 2004 this term has moved onto dismissing other RE ‘customs’ or stereotypes.
No PE would go

  • and hug trees
  • wear macs and green stuff
  • say the word peace
  • do direct action of the illegal kind

 + As I haven’t done any RE type stuff, then how can I be a PE? Surly I’m now just an E..

What we have here is  misplaced name syndrome.
Its like calling the Sex Pistols a Post-Rock& Roll band; Yes there are in essence, but everyone those them as a punk band.

So here’s the challenges for all us Post Environmentalists, we need a better name.
& I don’t mean, setting up a think-tank for a better name otherwise we could have something just as horrible as the Toyota Picnic.

Why Picnic. WHY!?!

Taking Punk as another perfect example, it was originally just the name of a fanzine that commented on the early 70’s New York band scene.

Thus I’m thinking out there somewhere, in the Post-Environmentalist world is a name already being used that today’s PE’s can take as their own.
Then when those Hipster-Environmentalists come along, they will also create they own name and we can all be under the same Post-Environmentalist banner.

Right… Anyone got any ideas of where to look?