December 30, 2005

The Dark Side

Filed under: Poverty — ken finn @ 10:05 pm

Bitter Sweet

Green & Blacks falls to Cadbury, Zac Goldsmith editor of The Ecologist poses with David Cameron on his first day and now Sir Bob Geldof is to advise the Conservatives on global poverty.

Why do I find these developments disturbing, like my hero’s have gone to the other side?

Will Cadbury’s trash the ethical principals of Green & Blacks chocolate? My guess is no simply because as a brand it has come to represent something well beyond a great taste. It stands for trade justice and organic ingredients, a safe and ethical purchase. In acquiring Green & Blacks, Cadbury Schweppes has not only captured the fastest growing confectionery but also given a tarnished portfolio a new lick of green gloss. Nestle have just created their own ‘ethical’ coffee brand from scratch to cash in on the boom in conscious consumer sales.
This is where the hypocrisy catches. I have no doubt that when a corporation has a mixed portfolio it will continue to source ingredients for it’s mainstream products without the consciousness reserved for its new ethical lines. In marketing terms ‘ethical’ is just another ‘market segment’ and the ‘ethical shopper’ another target market. Any idea that an ethical brand will transform the heart of the hardnosed corporation from within are pretty naive.

Days of Hope

Throughout 2005 the development of the ‘Geldof’ brand has been going very nicely. From standing with Nelson Mandela at the Launch of “Make Poverty History” to “Live8″ his product equity has risen and risen even contrary to the success of the campaign to eradicate global poverty. The Conservative Party have no doubt chosen him to advise them even though there are better qualified to do so for the improved ethical ‘cred’ his brand delivers.

Sir Bob has dismayed many of his admirers including myself for failing to criticise the G8 countries for their failed response to the massive call for action on poverty. I don’t blame him for the failures of government but I do think that he has a duty to point out that failure before he goes onto advise another party and perhaps future government.

As for Zac … What are you thinking about?! As oppositions crumble we need the likes of you outside govenment as never before. Source

Broken Promises …
Response From Oxfam
Response from ActionAid
Response from Make Poverty History

December 29, 2005

The Flying Pig High Energy Diet

Filed under: ,Nuclear Power — ken finn @ 12:47 am

Flying Pig Energy Theory

Windmills on Petrol Station Logic

One of my eX’s mum is quite a large lady and like most quite large ladies she has a thing about her weight. Trouble is she loves food; she loves fattening food, she’s an addict. In the heyday of the 1980′s fad diets she flitted from one to another, lured by the promise of easy weight loss. She cruised the women’s magazines in search of the no pain miracle.

Monday’s often began with the grit of determination and a nude jacket potato. By Wednesday caught demolishing a large bowl of peanuts or something equally fat laden she would immediately offer the defence that this month’s diet allowed unlimited amounts of peanuts or whatever as a ‘treat’ in a strict regime of celery and cottage cheese.

Blinded by her desires she began to cherry pick her favorite treats from otherwise austere diets and eventually amalgamated them into one ideal diet. She ate peanuts from one, crisps from another and unlimited alcohol from another and so on. Of course she never lost any weight but she could always claim that she was on a diet. She could say she was ‘trying.’

When it comes to energy our desires have us tied in similar knots. We’re looking for the miracle solution to a problem that just won’t resolve. Namely how do we provide a continued supply of cheap reliable energy to ensure uninterrupted economic growth in the face of dwindling oil reserves and a booming world population?
The peak in oil production will occur soon and sustainable energy sources like wind will not fill the gap. Nuclear energy depends on the finite resource of uranium and, which for less than one lifetime’s service will create a waste problem for hundreds of future generations to deal with. In any case it can only fill a small part of the global strategy and is fraught with danger.

Energy experts from all angles have put forward their solutions but I’ve wondered why they avoid the obvious hole in the maths. The model for global economic growth demands an ever-increasing growth in supplies of energy and natural resources that cannot be delivered. We cannot afford to burn the remaining oil to fuel growth as over half of everything we make from plastics to fertiliser are made from oil based chemicals. Already the world’s forests and oceans have been brought to the brink of devastation just to support the economic activity of the developed nations.

The argument over Renewables vs. Nuclear is meaningless while we avoid the simple truth. At its current rate of growth the world’s economies will out pace supply. Without a strict energy diet we are screwed.

And whose problem is this anyway? We use the ‘Royal We’ very easily when talking about energy. Much of the globe doesn’t have an energy problem. Over 80% of the world’s populations don’t drive cars, run air-conditioning, PC’s or mobile phones. In fact much of the developing world’s need for energy is to run industries solely built to satisfy western customers with more consumer goods.

The promise of economic development for the world’s poor is an impossible offer. There will never be enough energy to go round and besides we’re too busy gobbling it up and spewing it out to really mean it.

Our leaders and their ‘experts’ are addicts in denial. They promise diets without pain and treats to make us feel like we’re trying; windmills on petrol stations and 4×4′s that run on chip fat.

December 13, 2005

All I want for Xmas is Another Xmas …

Filed under: — Administrator @ 12:27 am

An opportunity to do something really cool

As it happens by next Christmas I also want, with the help of my friends to make all sorts of positive things happen.

Helping the Cambodia Trust is part of the plan.

In 2005, from just two small gigs and a fundraising page we raised £1,300. See page

We plan to make 2006 truly remarkable by raising £20,006

I’ve set up a new “Just Giving” site to help raise the dosh http://www.justgiving.com/remarkable06 . If you feel you can help please donate something.

Have a great time this Christmas and if you can spare the price of a couple of beers, your gift will help make a big difference.

Cheers! xxx

December 3, 2005

Requiem for a Dream Couple?

Filed under: ,Kenny's Cafe — ken finn @ 1:31 pm

Go find the Heavenly Posh and Best

And so as George Best arrives in heaven he will surely find his Princess Dianna, and so create the celestial dream coupling.

Not since her untimely demise have the media turned from rabid salivating dogs to devoted Labradors with such haste. Shortly before her death Dianna was described as ‘unhinged’ by the press. They squabbled over the scraps of inappropriate photo’s and phone taps. In her death they found an angel, an English Rose.

Even before poor George had rattled his last high-octane breath he had become Saint George.

Will Sir Elton join with Sir Bob in the creation of a new requiem? Can the Andrew Lloyd Webber blockbuster be far off? Your hymm or show title suggestions please?

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