The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Is 'being green' being hijacked by policy-makers and advertisers?  (Read 8350 times)

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar

Are we, the public, being suckered by the rhetoric of media-savey politicians & companies, whilst we topple into climate-change oblivion and poorer nations suffer doubly?

E.g. Encouraging ill-thought bio-ethanol investment causes subsistence food prices to rise whilst bringing no drop in CO2 levels.


 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Bet your bippy it is.
 

Offline JimBob

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6564
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • Moderator
    • View Profile
Biggest scam ever in "environmental" solutions. It just sells more corn. NOW if we were smart, we would make the ethanol out of sugar cane, as the Brazilians do, and become much more energy self sufficient. South Louisianan, Mississippi Alabama and Florida, as well as the southern Atlantic coasts, are the right place to do this. Nothing good there anyway.

Flatten it all and plant sugar cane!
 

Offline Variola

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1063
  • Everyone should beware of The Pox...
    • View Profile
Bet your bippy it is.

LOL!! What's a bippy???

Yep, being 'green' is a nasty way of introducing taxes and making us cough up yet more money. I always find it amusing when I see all these important world leaders flying in jet planes, staying at expensive hotels and travelling by car with an entourage of security, just to go to a meeting to discuss how to reduce Co2 emissions! Then they come back, put extra tax on fuel, ban imports of light bulbs and try and make me feel morally abhorrent if I don recycle every single thing that comes into my house!
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Being 'green' is certainly a good idea, but it really just means being less wasteful and using resources more efficiently, resulting in less resources being used.

It has undoubtedly been hi-jacked by 'policy-makers' and advertising though, with much of what they purport to be 'green' being nothing of the sort.  The adverts for 'green' cars are a good example: I understand that more energy is used to make a new car than is used by the car during its typical lifetime, so it would actually be 'greener' to keep an old car running rather than get a new one.

I think there's also scope for an automobile upgrade/re-cycling industry, where 'old' cars could be re-fitted with 'newer' and more efficient technology, rather than scrapping the entire vehicle and replacing it from scratch.  This should result in a lower materials cost, set against a higher labour cost, but then there's not exactly a shortage of labour atm.

This is based on the fact that I could buy (if I actually had any money) quite a reasonable second-hand car for around £2000, spend £4000-6000 on restoring/repairing/updating it, and end up with the equivalent of a £20000 new vehicle.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
What's a bippy???


I'm not sure a "bippy" is really defined anywhere. It was a frequent catch phrase on "The Rowan and Martin Laugh In". It was usually directed at Goldie Hawn in the form:

"Bet your sweet bippy!"

 

Offline that mad man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 724
    • View Profile
    • My music
Very interesting..but stupid. :P
 

Offline Im a Geek on the Edge

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
Also, very stupid..but interesting. :P

 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Bet your sweet bippy means bet your sweet "butt,""bouty,""fanny," "rump," "seat,"arse, "backside." "derrière,""keister,"(spelling)" or "ass,""tush," behind," "buttocks," or how ever you prefer to say it!!
« Last Edit: 27/09/2009 08:57:33 by Karen W. »
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
so many ways to say rear-end,  LOL...
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
"Very interesting - but not funny" has to be said with a German accent if I remember:-)

It is a problem with a free market society that there are many people and organisations that will exploit a situation for their own benefit. It is their job to do so. Car manufacturers will not see it as their job to make the world greener but to simply increase their profits. As Lee says, they are never going to recommend spending money to improve your old car rather than buying a new one from them. Politicians also will respond to pressure from the indigenous motor industry (or, in the UK's case, what's left of it) and take a view on the best overall policy. Sadly, most politicians, at least those with any likelyhood of having power, seem to concentrate on their own ambitions more than the long term benefit of the country, let alone the world as a whole.

I am also very skeptical about how recycling is being carried out. In the UK I think it is poorly done. It serves to make a lot of people take time to seperate various waste products when they really need a degree in chemistry to do properly. Every local area has a different scheme, each with its own unique list of acceptable combinations. At the same time local councils charge for removal of specific items (garden waste, hazardous materials, paint tins, electrical equipment, furniture, polystyrene ...) which does little to encourage those less responsible people to follow the guidelines. I can believe that this is being done with good intentions but it needs to be simplified, maybe with legislation to ensure packaging for everyday products uses only one type of material and is simply and boldly colour-coded.

I rather agree with the original statement of hi-jacking. I do think that we all need to be more "green" but that the process is being corrupted and the concept devalued as a result. Optimistically, I am hopeful that the general direction is right and this will change.
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Bet your sweet bippy means bet your sweet "butt,""bouty,""fanny," "rump," "seat,"arse, "backside." "derrière,""keister,"(spelling)" or "ass,""tush," behind," "buttocks," or how ever you prefer to say it!!

I think that's a valid, but later, interpretation. "Bippy" was never defined on the Laugh-In. That was the joke. A bippy could be anything you wanted it to be.

For example, Rowan and Martin made a movie called "The Maltese Bippy"
 

Offline that mad man

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 724
    • View Profile
    • My music
"Very interesting - but not funny" has to be said with a German accent if I remember:-)

Yes but it was "Very interesting..but stupid"

Politicians and advertisers like anything that has media interest and being "green" is just another one to spin with. Although its not a green issue because of swine flue in the UK advertisers are now advertising household antibacterial sprays that state; "kills the swine flu virus." They did that before anyway but now they label it as a selling point.

Given the current state of economics recycling prices have dropped drastically especially paper prices and yet paper recycling is encouraged most. Unless there is a monetary advantage to do so recycling can be a waste of time and energy.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Bet your sweet bippy means bet your sweet "butt,""bouty,""fanny," "rump," "seat,"arse, "backside." "derrière,""keister,"(spelling)" or "ass,""tush," behind," "buttocks," or how ever you prefer to say it!!

I think that's a valid, but later, interpretation. "Bippy" was never defined on the Laugh-In. That was the joke. A bippy could be anything you wanted it to be.

For example, Rowan and Martin made a movie called "The Maltese Bippy"
i watched it all the time.. and I never knew it was left undefined as here where II grew up with my family your bippy was always your behind... Thanks for the update I never knew there was ever any other meanings.. LOL..Just think what I could have interpeted into that when it was meant as something way different!!! LOL...
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Sounds like Rowan and Martin must have known that too, but chose to ignore it. Were they from the same part of the US that you grew up in?
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
I believe it was filmed in Burbank California.. which is in southern California LA area. I was raised  in Northern California so basically  within about 700 or 800 miles.. south of me..So YES...

http://www.answers.com/topic/dan-rowan

 Dan Rowan was born in Beggs Oklahoma and moved to California after he was discharged from the military.. after being shot down and seriously injured. He started up with Dick Martin then in a comedy night club then in 1967 summer got  hit with Laugh-in in Burbank!
Dan Rowan
Born    July 22, 1922(1922-07-22)
Beggs, Oklahoma
Died    September 22, 1987 (aged 65)

___________________________________________________________

Thomas Richard "Dick" Martin
Birth name Thomas Richard Martin
Born    January 30, 1922(1922-01-30)
Battle Creek, Michigan, U.S.
Died    May 24, 2008 (aged 86)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Years active    1951 – 2002

Martin died on May 24, 2008 of breathing complications in Santa Monica, California. He lost the use of a lung as a teenager and suffered respiratory problems late in life. He was cremated. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
« Last Edit: 28/09/2009 06:30:00 by Karen W. »
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
It is a problem with a free market society that there are many people and organisations ...[that]... will not see it as their job to make the world greener but to simply increase their profits.

Unfortunately, this is one of the major limiting factors of a capitalist democracy - There's the old adage about "It's a poor system, but it's the best we have".
I heard a comment recently in response to the Climate Camp campaigners (who set up on Blackheath, London - a few miles up the road to me) that if people want to initiate change they should do so through the ballot box. And whilst in an ideal world I agree, our current political (and economic) environment is nowhere near ideal.  Lobbyists and skewed media constantly muddy the waters of political & public opinion to the side of big business & the status quo - In this light these 'grass roots' activists may help redress the balance.
 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Peppercorn, I see that you Don_1 and I all live in the same part of the country.

There can be a lot of flavours to a capitalist democracy and we have explored only a few. I think the phrase about it being the best we have is too often used to prevent radical ideas ever getting traction. The voting system (in the UK) is crude and will always protect the status quo. Most people are unaware of the likely effects of the actual policies of the two main parties and most voting is not based on these policies but on "tribal" lines, plus the swing voting of those disillusioned with past performance. Other parties hardly get a look in. We need a change in the voting system to allow a voice for more of the populace. This has disadvantages too, but I, for one, have nobody I want to vote for; just a least worst.

Democracies depend on a well informed populace to work properly. I don't think the media (as a whole) provides such information and maybe most people don't want to hear it.
The economy has changed radically from post-war Keynsian, to Thatcher's Friedman-monetarism, to new-labour's unhealthy mix of statism and a free market. All of these have changed the way the country is run.

As a physicist/engineer I do get annoyed when people imply that free market economics is based on simple feedback loops that will always give us the optimum results and economic stability. This is far from the truth (as we have seen recently) and, even when it does, it does not mean that the resulting social implications are acceptable e.g. food supplies are low - population starves until enough die so that food is sufficient (a crude example).

I think there needs to be some paradigm changes in the political arena which are hardly going to happen within the present system.
 

Offline Don_1

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6890
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • A stupid comment for every occasion.
    • View Profile
    • Knight Light Haulage
Big business and governments alike have seen there is money to be made from environmental issues. Premium prices can be charged for anything with an 'environmentally friendly' or 'organic' label. Higher priced goods equate to higher income, through taxes, for government.

I read somewhere a while ago, that a London borough had reduced its refuse to landfill by around 70%. The fact of the matter was that only the waste dealt with by the council had to be accounted for in its figures, not any waste dealt with by private contractors. The council had contracted out its business waste service, thus removing that waste from its figures. But the waste still went to landfill. A typical example of government manipulation of figures.

To my mind, a higher cost in monetary terms, must relate to a higher cost in environmental terms.

Here is one example of environmental Vs information & safety legislation.

On  the one hand, food producers are told to reduce the amount of packaging used for prepacked foodstuffs. Yet on the other hand they are told to ensure the packaging is safe and tamper-proof (or tamper-evident) and lists ingredients, allergy advice, place of origin, energy values, salt content, fat content and whole host of other information. This seemingly ever increasing information requirement, coupled with the demand for less packaging, the manufactures need to tell the consumer what it is (eg Cumberland Pie) and their requirement to inform the consumer on cooking/heating, storage and freezing/defrosting has led to the print on the packaging being so small, you need a magnifying glass to be able to read it. And who cares??? 90% of the information is ignored by 90% of the population anyway. They want something to eat, not read bloody Tolstoy's War & Peace.

Look, if you are going to eat this stuff, you probably don't give a toss about what's in it anyway. If it tastes good and fills a whole in your belly, you eat it. What's more, the fact is, that big business and government dictate that the vast majority of ordinary people will not earn enough to be able to afford the basic ingredients of this Cumberland Pie, or find that it is a damn site cheaper to buy ready meals than make them yourself, AND have to put in so many hours working and commuting, that they don't have the time, will or energy to be larking around boiling and mashing potatoes, cooking the meat and vegetables, placing it all in a dish and topping it off with grated cheese, then putting it in the oven to finish. Those who DO have the time for all this, are probably not bleeding bankers, but the poor sods who the banks (in cohort with the government) have made unemployed and homeless.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, that's it!!!! Now I'm getting really bloody angry.
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
I think the phrase about it being the best we have is too often used to prevent radical ideas ever getting traction.
The other argument is that potentially more representative forms of voting are guaranteed to give a voice to extremest elements. Realistically, though, the major parties have such control over spin & media influence that this has no where near the truth of, say the 1930's.

Quote
Democracies depend on a well informed populace to work properly.
That relies on major media sources free of vested interests and that will never exist in a capitalist framework (or a communist, despotic, feudal, etc!), so what to do!

Quote
...maybe most people don't want to hear [a truly informing balanced argument].
The bottom line is editorialising and rhetoric sells papers and keeps the powerful in favour. People, in general, want to hear what they are encouraged to hear. Sure, we want to wind down at the end of a long day, but why does that increasingly seem to equate to the lowest common denominator?  It does involve a lengthy change in culture, but I think there is a wider desire for more informative and intelligent media.

Quote
The economy has changed radically from post-war Keynesian, to Thatcher's Friedman-monetarism, to new-labour's unhealthy mix of statism and a free market.
The tipping point for the major changes in our society from a fairly stayed class-defined society to an overly aspirational market-driven one is often defined in the era of Thatcher/Reagan administrations.  True or not, that period's lasting legacy appears to be that the concept of individual choice now permeates our society completely.

Don't get me wrong, choice can be potentially an empowering force, providing the impacts on others are regulated sensibly, but the problem with choice (or the impression of unlimited choice) is it takes unlimited resources.  Choice is now sold to us as an aspiration - 'your purchasing choices define the person you are'. But they don't! Buying a family car advertised with sporty fun credentials doesn't make you a sporty, fun individual.

Quote
I think there needs to be some paradigm changes in the political arena which are hardly going to happen within the present system.
The 'secret' location of the London Climate Camp was arranged by signing up online to receive a last minute text message revealing the camp's location. This does sound a bit like the first steps of a new means of change through technology - just like the printing press fermented revolution and radical thought (although, for malicious purposes as well, of course!).
« Last Edit: 29/09/2009 14:59:36 by peppercorn »
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, that's it!!!! Now I'm getting really bloody angry.

Oh dear! I don't want to be responsible for causing heart attacks by picking such an inflammatory subject for a post!

However...

The weekend before last I visited, as part of London's Open House weekend, an eco-house in Southwark.  After speaking with the owner for a little while, the fact that shocked me most was that Southwark council spends 35% of their money on refuse management!  I responded by saying "I wonder how much the percentage was 30 years ago?"

Obviously, the increase will be down, in part, to recycling schemes (and we can argue about the worthiness of that until the cows come home), but a lot of the increase must also be due to changes in consumerism; whether it be the constant drive for increased choice or packaging & labelling constraints.
 

Offline Make it Lady

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
  • Hands-on fun for everyone!
    • View Profile
I read recently that the millennium goals will definitely not be achieved because of the loss of biodiversity in the world. This is where green policy should be focused. The biofuel debate is very inflammatory. I think world food shortages will only be accelerated by the growing of food for fuel. It is very short sighted and stupid.
...And don't get me started on dippy! Karen be aware that fanny has a different meaning in Britain. Not back bottom but front bottom!
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
The biofuel debate is very inflammatory.
Yes, it is! But it doesn't have to be:
The worldwide technical biomass potential from wastes and secondary production is estimated at 26EJ annually. This equates to just over 8% of the current fossil fuel annual requirement worldwide.

Admittedly, it will be very challenging to reach these sorts of figures with the current political will, even more so to reach it without negatively impacting on animal habitats.
However, this mad dash into fuel-from-crops is stupid - especially where plenty of alternatives as available.
 

Offline peppercorn

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1466
    • View Profile
    • solar
Karen be aware that fanny has a different meaning in Britain. Not back bottom but front bottom!
Brings a whole new meaning to fanny pack, eh!?!  ;)
 

Offline Geezer

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8328
  • "Vive la résistance!"
    • View Profile
Karen be aware that fanny has a different meaning in Britain. Not back bottom but front bottom!
Brings a whole new meaning to fanny pack, eh!?!  ;)

I think that's why they are sometimes called "bum bags" in the UK.
« Last Edit: 01/10/2009 20:12:29 by Geezer »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums