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Monday, July 23, 2007

Take the Pledge

Dear readership I need your help.

I'm working with the Cumbria Futures Forum and trying to set up a website called Cumbrians Concerned About Climate Change (CCACC) perhaps an unfortunate acronym. You will remember that last month I was (and continue to be) inundated with emails from Al Gore's Live Earth project. It's worse than the spam I get and has had almost the opposite impact on my environmental intentions than Al had planned. Madonna jetting in to tell me to save energy … well if she thinks it's a good idea I'm almost inclined to think the opposite. See - already I've forgotten the issue.

Despite Al Gore, we've been working on a website to try and get people to do their bit to influence climate change. I still have the fundamental belief that people will only go to websites to either shop or play games or do things that they shouldn't do - so we are going to have to come up with something pretty innovative to get people to seek out CCACC in the first place. I've got a couple ideas that might work but the first thing is the pledge itself. I've had the family edit the initial draft and the personal pledge now looks like below.
Please tell me if you think we are on the right track – style, tone, appeal:

The Draft Pledge:

I'm aware of the impact that I have on the environment and the wider community and I want to do something about it.

  • I'll make a list of my activities that I think create an impact on the environment - in particular the use of carbon
  • I'll then decide upon targets and actions that will help reduce my environmental impact – and I'll record them so I can check my progress
  • I'll try my best to seek out and engage people and organizations who are committed to the same ideals
  • I'll ensure that all the people I know – family, friends, work colleagues – are aware of the commitments I've made and I'll encourage them to do the same
  • I'll share my experience and expertise in assisting others along the path of improved environmental performance and community responsibility
  • I'll keep working towards continuous improvements in my environmental performance
  • And finally, I'll continue to actively question and explore new ways to ecologically balance my life

The act of signing the pledge and base-lining an individual's carbon footprint (apologies for the jargon – please suggest some other words – please please) would stick a flag on the map of Cumbria – dependant on an individual's post code and also build an indicator of the average carbon impact per person signed up. We could graph this overtime too.

Reading the words again now, they do sound a bit elitist and awfully middle class. Help required.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Long Stretch

For reasons far too complicated to go into this post is being blogged from the Exec Lounge of the Gateshead Hilton where there's a splendid view of sunshine on the Canny Toon and free newspapers.
I've just picked up one of these. 'Conrad Black faces 10 years in gaol' the headline screamed.
I picked up another. Black faces 20 years it said.
Then I noticed a copy of the FT. Conrad Black gets 35 years.
Clearly, the day just keeps getting better and better.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Yesterday – I nearly acquired a criminal record

I'm going through what I call a dusting phase. As I approach retirement (only 12 weeks to go) I have become obsessed with tidying, filing stuff, oh and finding dust. Sad! I was struggling out of Staples with 5 large leverarch files (nice plastic ones with an extra strong spring thing) and a pack of 'bandit' elastic bands – they've got labels affixed to the bands so's you can write on the contents of the bundle – sorry… The lady on the till, seeing my plight, asked if I needed a bag or help for the files. 'No' says I 'think of the planet'. On arriving at the car doing that thing of tucking everything under my chin whilst I try to find the last pocket for the keys it dawns on me that I have not paid for my swag. In the excitement and desire to get back home to do some decent cataloging I'd walked straight passed the tills. I turned went back to the shop and 'fessed.

They had assumed that the old dodderer (aged rock and roll icon I prefer) had paid at one of the other tills. There was much hilarity. It was noted though that if I'd been a teenager, in a hood, with slightly more spots, that I would probably have been banged up in Carlisle Castle jail by now nursing a black eye and looking forward to an ASBO.