Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Smells like...

roses! I like the new "Smudge" campaign from! It's funny, has a clear message and is short in length.

One of my criteria for judging messages is whether or not it can be misunderstood. This ad's delivery is quick, to the point and does so with humor. I see very little room for misunderstanding by the public. It is important for to follow up with ads containing more factual information or to append a variety of facts to the screen at the end of the commercial. Something more to educate people on what's going on.

What do you think? Are you happy with a purely emotional pitch or do you think facts belong in the message as well?


Monday, December 8, 2008

Obama's number one priority?

So everyone's prone to exaggeration now and then. When it's someone with a point counter to our own we may tend to get riled up and try to take them down a notch or two. Usually however, when it's a friend we let it slide. "It's just Uncle Bill talking smack" we might say to ourselves.

Such is the case with the email I received this morning from the Sierra Club touting that "President-elect Obama has made moving to clean energy his number-one priority." And..."But he'll need our help and support to make this change happen."

Yeah, no shit my dear friends at the Sierra Club. But seriously, number one priority. It maybe up there but it seems there's a deep economic were on the brink of teetering over into the proverbial abyss. Stimulating the economy through deep investment in clean energy and updating the grid would be a boon to the economic recovery plan, and may even be one its central tenents, but i'm having a hard time seeing where it's is President-elect Obama's number one priority.

Nonetheless, posturing happens on both sides the backyard fence and this is an instance that isn't getting me riled up. I also happen to very heartily agree that we need to show every bit of support and ecouragement and direction we can. Won't you join in signing the petition that adjoined the bold claim of being Obama's number one beau? I'd surely hate to miss out on being part of this courtship!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ummm, can we get the reality check, please?

So, finally there is a coalition of environmental groups called Reality Coalition debunking the myths around "clean" coal. The notion that coal can be burned cleanly, with the carbon emissions being captured effectively is simply not true. It sounds good, it feels good, but it isn't real.

Unfortunately, the commercial made to spread this message sucks. Big time. The message is vague and boring. It takes text at the end of the spot to explain exactly what the message is. C'mon people! No wonder the general public either doesn't know what the real energy issues are or don't care. The messages put out by environmental groups really are green. Oh I'm sorry, by that I mean it looks like they're made by people who have never made a commercial before.

The oil giants know how to communicate a clear message that resonates emmotionally. The chemical industry excels at making us love plastic even more than we already do. Why can't the environmental concerns get their shit together and put out an easy to understand commercial?

Remember the Ad Council's 1970's Keep America Beautiful anti-pollution commercial featuring the crying Indian? It's simple and it's clear. There's no ambiguity about the message.

Watch the following "clean coal" video and then tell me what you think. Is the message obvious or does the Reality Coalition (get it? coal is in the name) need to fire whoever created this and start over?


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Climate Change Solutions rally this Saturday!

copy of a letter an email I received about the rally this Saturday:

Dear Ken,

It might be getting cold outside, but things are really starting to heat up on the climate front.

Recently, President-elect Obama made a speech about the issue and committed to addressing the problem head-on once he's in office. He specifically mentioned the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland, where world leaders are gathering right now to talk about the next steps we must take to tackle global warming.

That's why this Saturday, December 6th, 1Sky will be supporting Greenpeace members and others in holding rallies and taking photos at iconic locations in over 30 cities across the country to send the President-elect a message: The American people are behind his efforts to rejoin the international community in solving global warming.

Show President-elect Obama you're serious about global warming and RSVP for the day of action in San Francisco today:

What: International Day of Action for Climate Solutions
When: Saturday, December 6th at 12:00 noon
Where: Crissy Field, San Francisco (in the parking lot of Planet Granite)


And what better way to send that message than with a massive 30-by-50 foot postcard to let world leaders know that here in San Francisco we're ready for climate solutions? They'll know it's from us because we'll be posing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We'll have a few speakers, then take a massive group photo with our custom-made 30 x 50 ft. banner. The very next day, Greenpeace activists in Poland will deliver the message to climate negotiators that Americans are ready for climate solutions.

It's time the world -- and our leadership -- knows that Americans are serious about climate change.

Hope you can make it,

Ada Aroneanu
Organizer, 1Sky

Advice: How to get people to improve their habits?

I'm writing today to get some input from you! How do you best motivate the people in your lives to improve or eliminate some glaringly wasteful habit from their daily routine? I'm of course talking about Scott and Star using space heaters year 'round while wearing t-shirts! Me and several co-workers have discussed this matter with them, pointing out they could wear warmer clothes. I've even offered Scott the use of my spare hoody I keep in the office for when I get chilly. He seemed to relish telling me "no", he's fine with the space heater. Could there be a power struggle going on? Any advice or suggestions for what's worked for you would be greatly appreciated!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Hi! The inspiration for this blog has many roots, but primarily I'd like to thank two primary impetuses: the children's book "Alvin Fernald: Superweasel" and self-indulgence born out of habit.

Alvin Fernald: Superweasel is a children's book starring Alvin, the young son of the town's police chief. The series details is escapades in various areas of life with Superweasal being the one that captured my heart and, at an early age, turned my mind towards taking care of Mother Earth.

Self-indulgence, both my own and others is the other primary impetus for writing this blog. Life is a series of habits strung together. How we interact with the environment is no different. Wearing t-shirts year 'round and then using energy-guzzuling space heaters to keep warm is a blatant misuse of the earth's resources. Sure, there's many more out there even on larger scale for sure, but this blog is about the things we do on a personal level every day. Take a look at your daily habits. What can you change to conserve energy and natural resources?