It may be the quiet Christmas period, but that doesn't stop the Government press machine reminding us how green it what's us to think it is. The latest announcement from DEFRA is that we're going to get a "comprehensive on-line guide to greener living on DirectGov". The guide has some choice bits in it.
Apparently we should all keep ponds if possible - assuming of course we follow all the health 'n safety regulations about it. We shouldn't buy new monitors for our PCs, the environment is more important than that CRT refresh rate damaging your eyes. We should also only use wood from sustainable sources - our tax credit increases will pay for it (assuming they didn't make a mistake). We should consider using eBay - better not do it too much though or the taxman might consider you a business.
We should all try and get gas ovens, even though they are relatively rare today and far more potentially lethal. We should buy the most expensive fridge freezers (again your tax credits will pay for this). Oh yes, and buy more fuel efficient cars, it's only £8000 on the road for a nice shiny new motor that will lose half its value when you drive it out of the showroom. What do you mean you can't afford it? Have you not heard of tick?
It doesn't stop just with the guide though, the press release goes on to say that a "carbon calculator to help people find out how much carbon they emit annually from their actions is also being developed". What better way to tackle environmental issues than by spending development time and money on something that already exists in bucket loads out on the Interweb?
Of course there is always a mildly amusing part in any Government press release. It's usually the part where the Government makes some claim about it's own self-righteousness which evidence shows to be utterly ludicrous. In this case it says that the "Government is also taking action to reduce its own emissions."
Now, I invite you to take a walk around Westminster in the evening, and in particular past DEFRA, and you shall see an array of empty, yet thoroughly lit buildings. You will also see through windows desktop computers clearly left running, and the gentle hazy light being emitted from monitors on standby.
Now, would anyone like a cup of tea? I made it in this Government approved black teapot.