Changing Cycles

An ongoing project exploring the use of the arts as a form of action to ensure the sustainability of the planet. and stuff.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Butterflies Effect

Well it's opening night tomorrow at Contact for Voices of Dissent, and I've so far failed to post anything about the rehearsal process. I don't feel that's actually much of a failure though as I've realised that documenting something like this as you go along isn't necessarily the best course, and is probably best done in retrospect. Without wanting too sound to artsy and pretentious the creative process can be a fragile thing, and not necessarily something you want to share publicly while you're in the thick of it. And this has definitely been one of the most painful births of a piece of work I've experienced. I wasn't really happy with the writing I had going into rehearsal, which meant doing a substantial amount of re-writing as I was going along - not ideal for separating the jobs of writer and performer that I've learned is essential from previous projects! But sometimes that's just the road you get given to walk and you have to make the best of it, and I feel we have. And I've learned alot about my self and the way I need to work in future through the process, pressured though it has been. I still feel like there's a lot of room for development/improvement in the piece but I think it'll evolve as it goes along, and I've always wanted it to be the sort of piece that can respond to new events as they arise. Public attitude to environmental issues has changed a lot even in the three years I've been working on Changing Cycles, and they'll continue to, increasingly, I think.
It's actually Earth Day today, which is why I felt like I had to post something, even though I'm tired and have got a massive day ahead tomorrow. Earth Day is a US creation that begin in the 70s as a series of grass-roots teach-ins and now seems to have been embraced by politicians and corporations keen to promote their green credentials. I didn't actually know about it until I got home tonight and read about it on Grist. I'd like to think it passed with little mention here in the UK because we don't go in for dubious tokenism and are too busy considering the earth the remaining 364 days of the year, but I suspect that's not the case. Still, to mark the occasion I thought I'd share one of the best motivational quotes I've been reminded of over the last few days, wrongly attributed to Goethe (see here for why): Whatever you can do, or think you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fossil Fools

All around the world people will be taking action today to remind the world that the only way to avert runaway climate change is to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Have a look here for details of what's going on in your area.

But hold the front page! News just in, looks like we're all going to be ok, following this post on Chris Arnold's blog. (I've included the text below, as I think you might need to register with Brand Republic to read it online, and that may or may not be something you want to use your time to do...)

Meanwhile, if you want a serious, impassioned speech, beautiful in its simplicity and clarity (unlike that sentence) check out David Suzuki's Commonwealth Lecture which he recently gave in London

Happy reading, and happy fooling...

Shell, BP and Esso combine to launch new environmental ‘A Fuel’ with record £5bn budget

by Chris Arnold 01-Apr-08

The big three oil companies are pooling marketing budget to launch the much talked about 'A Fuel' which will be available from 2009.The alternative fuel to petroleum is based on common sea water and produces almost zero pollutants while delivering 40% more energy.

The 3 year ad campaign will be the largest ever ad spend in history. But what has also surprised many is that the oil group has appointed an unknown Swedish agency EGG to create all the work. Media is currently under pitch.

‘A Fuels’ (alternative fuels) were originally developed during the Second World War by British chemists who needed an alternative due to limited oil supplies. Many were too poor performers to be productive but one that used salt water and a niobium nickel catalyst has undergone millions of pounds of research to perfect. The breakthrough has been the discovery of a new catalytic enhancer called ‘Pril’. When added to ‘A Fuel’ it creates a dramatic exothermic reaction that produces 40% more power than the equivalent quantity of petroleum.

Oil companies have refrained from releasing ‘A Fuels’ but due to world political pressure (it’s believed Bush has been instrumental in persuading the big three to bend) and a secret agreement in Paris last summer, they have finally agreed to launch this much acclaimed technology.

‘A Fuels’ will require a new generation of engine but they produce minimum pollutants. All the major car companies have been developing ‘A Fuel’ engines and Honda plan to launch their first later this year, with Skoda following in January. However, despite its amazing environmental benefits, Earth Watch have voiced concern over Chlorites that are produced due to the chemical reaction between the water and the Sodium Chloride. “We don’t know what the consequence of increased Chlorites are yet,” said David Greenbaugh, environmental director of the charity.

A spokesman for the oil companies said, “We are all aware that there is a finite amount of oil left. Using it to fuel cars to go shopping or to do the school run is insane when it is far better used for producing plastic products like buckets for the Third World and toys. We believe the time is right to launch ‘A Fuels’.”

The first stage of the campaign will launch on April 1st with a 6 week educational campaign on TV supported by posters and press. The TV ads feature a series of talking goldfish who mock humans for always doing the same old thing. The campaign line is “time for A change, time for A Fuels”. The TV commercial has been directed by Peter Jackson and was shot in New Zealand. The fish are voiced over by Tom Hanks and Dan Castellaneta (who also voices Homer Simpson). The commercial features a new version of Pink Floyds ‘Wish you were here’, recorded by ENO and Bono. The track will be made available to all O2 customers for free in a unique deal, but can be purchased from the ‘A Fuel’ website.

The surprising choice of the Swedish ethical specialist marketing agency EGG, has sent shockwaves through all the major groups. ”We picked EGG because of their creativity and skills at co-creation. They also have a nice sauna,” commented Kevin Woodhouse of the ‘A Fuel’s’ marketing team.

Sven Ögren, creative director of EGG just said, “this is fab, my mother was really happy for us and is baking us a cake.” (Please note this was translated from Swedish and we aren’t sure it’s accurate.)

So who would have thought, to save the planet all you have to do is add ‘pril’ to ‘A Fuel’ and you get a great reaction.