Category Archives: environmental issues

So it’s the great noughties depression is it?

With the news that the country is in ‘official’ recession, it’s time to address the issue once and for all.

Rule of thumb states a country must go through two consecutive quarters of consecutive negative growth to be ‘in recession‘. Finally, this has been confirmed in Britain, but does that really matter now?

Some economists claim the country has being going down the tubes since April last year, while many countless thousands have lost their jobs while the country fidgeted uneasily in limbo, unsure whether reality was as horrificly dim as it seemed.

“There is no fear, but fear itself”: an easy thing to say, but much harder to do, personally I prefer my own version: “The only real way to overcome fear, is to face it”.

Currently, people who were once in the most secure of jobs are tugging at their collars nervously, but the foundation of the problem (as far as I can make out) is the general public’s fear of losing everything.

Of course it’s easy for students to remain unaffected; they either had no money in the first place (those un-subsidised by parents or Government) or are striving on blindly regardless (the rest). Businesses themselves are obviously the most affected area, as I reported only a few weeks ago, but individual’s savings up to £50,000 are guaranteed by law, so by rights the long winding queues of Northern Rock’s demise are, or should be, a thing of the past.

Sadly, children’s lives aren’t necessarily so blessed, with house repossessions rising to one per seven (SEVEN!) minutes according to the ONS.

I’ve come up with a simple solution: stop going on about it.

Fair enough, it might take a year or two before things are running smoothly again, but nothing is going to move forward while people are still worrying and paralysed by indecision on whether they should go on that holiday to Tuscany.

To that end, I’m going to do my part for my ‘master plan’ to fight the forces of shock-and-awe journalism and not mention the financial crisis, the credit crunch, the downturn, the recession, the collapse of the high street or sub-prime mortgages anymore.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate there’s a problem, I just attribute a lot of it down to the typical mass hysteria and scaremongering from the venomous tabloids, though in contrast some papers got the right idea.

At the end of day history takes it’s course, insert whatever generic saying you like, but this is something British people can actually affect, perhaps it’s time to be a little more selfish and worry about our own future first before we paw with futility at the next biggest buzz-kill: the environment.

The future’s bright, the future’s…green

As if there were no end to the Great Green Revolution, gadgets are now no longer safe from an environmental reform.

Surely the most obvious way to minimise your carbon footprint would be to dispense with the sort of gadgets people didn’t need five years ago, like hair straighteners and satellite navigation systems? No? OK, probably too obvious.

The latest news of change in the way we pick our latest tech is that retailers are going to begin advertising hardware by its ‘Green Index’, essentially displaying on the shelf whether the company that makes it has done so in a ‘green’ way.

According to the BBC
, the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) has uncovered research suggesting this would be favourably adopted by consumers:

“Green is becoming a purchasing factor,” said Steve Koening, director of industry analysts at the CEA, “More than half are willing to pay a little more for ‘green’ and 22% said they were willing to pay up to 15% more for it.” BBC Online

But what does this mean for prices and sales figures? Needless to say people are already tightening their belts and all those other terrible clichés, but if the ‘staying in is the new going out’ mantra catches on, people will increasingly be investing in Blu-Ray and HDTV to get high definition entertainment in their own home.

22% is not even close to a majority, and generally people who are technologically focused aren’t necessarily ‘green’, but that trend is changing as recycling becomes the norm, so much so that it’s almost a social faux pas to throw something in the normal bin which could be recycled.

It’s only a matter of time before we start to see the long term effects of the eco-concious lifestyle, not on the environment itself (that ship sailed decades ago), but on our high streets.