Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A missive from Miliband

An email correspondent sends me the following letter. Since it is titled "LETTER TO BE PUBLISHED", I have.
Department for Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (East Midlands)
(DEFRA) Carbon calculator - letter from David Miliband - Derbyshire


Dear Sir,

I know readers in Derbyshire increasingly want to do their bit to help combat climate change - and knowing about your carbon footprint is a good way to start.

That's why we have this week launched a new online CO2 calculator, where people can find out their carbon footprint. The calculator will also suggest the practical steps we can take to cut our emissions and, often, save some money as well.

Things we do in our everyday lives have an effect - good or bad - on the environment. And more than 40 per cent of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from our homes and travel.

Most of us have become a bit greener already - for example, nearly all of us are into recycling now - but there are lots of other things we can do to reduce our impact on climate change.

Whatever your lifestyle, the Act on CO2 calculator will give you practical pointers about how to cut your emissions, tailored to the way you live.

To check out your carbon footprint, and find out what you can do about it, log on to:

David Miliband
Environment Secretary
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Of course, you can replace Derbyshire with every other Midlands county across the country: Batshit has. Such a pity that the website address given——takes an age to load—about 3 minutes by my watch—before finally resolving to

But can I now calculate my CO2 footprint with the amazing carbon calculator?

Website text reproduced below:

Thanks very much for visiting the carbon calculator - we really value your interest. So that we are able to ensure your journey through the calculator is as quick and efficient as possible and because it is proving so popular we are currently expanding the site's capacity.

It will be raring to go shortly, so please visit again.

Er, no. Count me down as one very gutted Devil.

Having said that, of course, given the paucity of people who visit just about every other government site, that we all pay well over the odds for because the fucking government wouldn't know a good deal if it jumped up and bit an MP in the knackers, perhaps the fact that the Carbon Calculator has had so many people interested is a bonus.

It might have been nice, of course, it the site hadn't been been so poorly built that the developers didn't allow for scaleability; we are probably now paying through the nose, doubly, for development that should have been done in the first place, for fuck's sake.

Oh dear, Batshit "Wikid" Miliband does not seem to be doing too well technology-wise; but can one blame him? He is, after all, so fucking spastic that he has to pay someone to upload his blog posts. And he is probably one of the more tech-savvy ministers.

Remind me, how much of our money are these technical illiterates pissing away every year on their vanity projects?


wonkotsane said...

You'll be pleased to know, the Millibeast has been beaten to it. I checked mine out and it's about 3 or 4 times higher than the target. I'm now looking at ways of increasing my carbon footprint. I can't decide between opening all the windows and leaving the heating on all day or leaving the heating on and getting an air conditioning unit. What would you suggest for climate change deniers on a budget?

Anonymous said...

Cool now I can see how much I'm being conned. For if I give up my EVIL polluting ways I will be Carbon Neutral! Wheeeeeeee!!!
And all the crap I buy in the shops will still be made in China by wage slaves, still pumping shat into the atmosphere and still be lugged half way around he world by massive super freighters and all before you can say Carbon Sink...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


flashgordonnz said...

I don't have a carbon footprint. I leave carbon tyre tracks.

The Remittance Man said...

Actually, I think this may prove to be the most entertaining government website since the owl magnet one (wasn't Millipede involved in that too?).

All it needs is for some enterprising, web-savvy entrepreneur to set up a Grand Carbon Contest site and get everyone to send in their carbon footprint (as judged by the independent British Government). Charge every entry at a fiver and give a prize to the person doing the most to drown the polar bears.

Roger Thornhill said...

rm: you swine! I was just about to mention owl magnets!

To be honest, I have absolutely nothing against providing people with information and tools as long as it does not slide into guilt-farming or indoctrination. All part of my view that the Government can perform a "weights and measures" role to support transparency and informed decisions.

Things need to be in context, tho. How much CO2 do you save by NOT buying a new car, for example? How much less CO2 does it take to make a Cathode Ray telly instead of an LCD. You might find LCDs use far more in production and so how much does this cancel out the energy use during operation (remembering that 50%+ of the time the heat from a CRT is warming the room in winter and as such the energy not wasted)?

Fact is, though, even if another website exists the Sociofascists will create their own so they can control the message. The truth comes second. Maybe that should be New Labour's motto...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Wonkotsane, for carbon-on-a-budget go into the forest, get some nice damp logs, spray them with petrol and burn them on your back garden. Top up with half-rotten leaves as and when.

If you have an old woollen carpet you need shot of, roll it as tightly as you can, burns beautifully.

Apparently old tyres are pretty valuable source of CO2 and other pollutants but that's gross even by my standards.

(Oh yes, an English parliament would be a cracking idea, not sure what that's got to do with it).

Mark Wadsworth said...

Of course, to derive ultimate pleasure from said choking fumes, wait for a nice sunny day with a gentle breeze when all your neighbours have their washing out and the windows open.

And then go inside and watch TV.

wonkotsane said...


On an English Parliament, check out the CEP.

On the subject of dousing things with petrol and setting fire to them, whilst I enjoy seeing things go up in flames (is it a man thing?) have you seen the price of petrol lately? I wonder how much CO2 is in your average "shit all over other peoples' lawns" cat ...

Mark Wadsworth said...

Burning dead animals is tricky; you have to wrap them in cloth fairly tightly so that the fat drips out and the cloth acts like a wick.

Never done it myself, but I do throw chicken bones into the barbecue and they just dissolve into ash, so imagine it is perfectly do-able.

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