'Echo station 3-T-8, we have spotted Imperial walkers.'

July 4th, 2011

It would appear that an Imperial probe droid has located Greenpeace's secret base on Hoth:

Greenpeace spokeswoman Leila Dean says in a statement: "Almost two million people have already watched our campaign ad, which is a light hearted way of telling the truth about Volkswagen and their opposition to climate change laws. The film has been hugely successful having been shared more than any other advert in the last 24 hours. We're disappointed that it has been taken down and we're hoping it's just a case of some rogue droids and that many more people will be able to watch the film soon."


[Via @flminiblog]

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The Dark Side

June 29th, 2011

Greenpeace want us to know that Volkswagen has gone over to the Dark Side.1

[Via Pop Loser]

  1. In case you missed it, the advert being parodied can be found here.

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Hedonistic sustainability, Danish-style

March 26th, 2011

Copenhagen will soon be home to the world's least boring power station:

Planned for completion in 2016, the former factory-shaped eyesore will ferry visitors up a vertical elevator to a series of slopes at the top of the smokestack.

Meanwhile — as a gentle nod to the pyramids of garbage churning beneath it — the chimney is designed to puff a 30-meter-wide smoke ring every time a ton of C02 is produced.

"You'll be able to stand in the middle of Copenhagen and tally-up exactly how much carbon has been emitted into the atmosphere," said [architect Bjarke Ingels]. "It's this kind of visual connection that should encourage people to consider their own energy consumption."

[Ingels] said that heat-tracking lights will also be used at night to position lasers on the smoke rings and turn them into glowing artworks, or even pie charts.

[Via The Morning News]

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January 15th, 2011

Dan Hill has posted an epic tale of life in Brisbane as the floodwater started to rise:

We spot a large advert for chocolate milk adorning a building. "Dive into chocolately fun" it says. It seems newly relevant as we see the river, looking exactly like a vast, smooth soup of milk chocolate. The Brisbane River is famously brown at the best of times, being an extremely silty bit of river, but is now browner than ever.

The landscape round here is distinctly suburban. Not quite the manicured suburban of rich Los Angeles suburbs, or even 'Erinsborough', but the slightly more raggedy Australian version, with cars parked on lawns, rampant foliage growing in and around the low, angled roofs, set against straggly gum trees and paperbarks, a most unruly genus. But it's distinctly suburban nonetheless, which adds to the surreal aspect of views like Witton Road, where that chocolately fun engulfs a training shoe, some wheelie bins, and a box of breakfast cereal, and most of the street.

The most striking observation, for me, came as he recounted a trip to stock up on sandbags:

We've run out of sandbags […] so we have to drive out to Kedron to pick up as many as we can load in the boot of the car. Plotting routes in and around the city is relatively complex, as you're listening for road closures on the radio, looking for the blue wriggle of creeks and rivers on the map, and trying to remember the topography of the city, all those swoops of valleys.

When was the last time you had to stop and think about whether your route took you uphill or downhill as you drove around a city?

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July 7th, 2010

My favourite entry to the TEDxOilSpill Poster Competition was Doug Hucker's Oh, which somehow only rated an 'Honourable Mention' from the judges.

[Via jwz]

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Undersea Tetronimoes

June 4th, 2010

BP goes for a high score.

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A no-win situation. (Or, why fan pages for multinational corporations are a terrible idea.)

March 28th, 2010

Sometimes the sight of multinational corporation embracing social media ain't pretty. In the midst of a discussion about a controversy over the environmental practices of some of Nestle's suppliers, a company spokesperson told posters to the company's Facebook page not to use amended versions of the company's logo as their profile picture on the company's page, on pain of having the offending icons deleted:

Paul Griffin: Not sure you're going to win friends in the social media space with this sort of dogmatic approach. I understand that you're on your back-foot due to various issues not excluding Palm Oil but Social Media is about embracing your market, engaging and having a conversation rather than preaching! Read www.cluetrain.com and rethink!

Nestle: Thanks for the lesson in manners. Consider yourself embraced. But it's our page, we set the rules, it was ever thus.

"Consider yourself embraced." Someone give that spokesbot a pay rise.

[Via The Browser]

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Environmental Performance Index charted

January 25th, 2010

It'd be interesting to see a version of these charts of the Environmental performance of rich and poor countries that allowed you to see the way a given country's performance had changed over time. For example, I'd imagine that the UK's air quality score during the industrial revolution and some way into the 20th century would look a lot like China's does now, only to rebound nicely from the 1960s onwards.

I think the static chart as presented is too crowded – it'd be twice as clear with half as many countries. Nonetheless, it's a useful device for illustrating the complexity of assessing the state of 'the environment' in a country.

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Refuelling David Byrne

August 12th, 2009

David Byrne's latest post, describing the logistics of touring by bus, ended with an surprising (to me) detail:

Our US busses ran on biodiesel. Not sure if the European ones did. That meant we'd book refueling appointments based on estimated fuel consumption. Local fuel tankers would meet us at pre-arranged places and times, as most gas stations don't stock the stuff… yet.

I've heard of air forces having plan long-range missions around the availability of in-flight refuelling; it never occurred to me that eco-conscious musicians might have to do the same.1

  1. OK, so it's not quite the same thing. As far as I can gather, David Byrne and his band didn't end up refuelling their tour bus whilst travelling along the motorway.

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Atmosphere named world heritage site

June 18th, 2009

News from an (alternate?) future, courtesy – sort of – of the International Herald Tribune, with a little help from Greenpeace.

[Via Long Now Blog]

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