Saturday, 25 February 2012
Greenwash; ‘The truth, some of the truth, and a bit of misdirection’
RBKC, the home borough of the leader of the ‘greenest government ever’, he who infamously and without permission put a silly little wind turbine on his roof, only to be forced to take it down, has got sucked into what could be described as an exercise in greenwash: ‘a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that a company's policies or products are environmentally friendly’ (Wikipedia).
However, some might say the sums on this project now look rather unhealthy. We have invested nearly £250,000 in solar cells which – in the unlikely event that the FITS programme continues, and the cells survive that long – could give us a surplus of £80,000. After 25 years.
We are informed, however, that this is not to be considered as a financial investment, the environmental benefits far outweigh that, and residents asked (how many was that I wonder?) have said they think it worthwhile on those grounds.
But – were they told that the solar pv cells were sent over from CHINA?
On a similar vein, the Council has told us to be very excited about the ‘borough wide free wifi’ that we have been told we are getting this summer. This will be at no cost to the Council, and will actually give us a surplus. Press stories on the subject were ecstatic on our behalf, commenting on the benefits of free wifi for our poorer residents.
One rather important fact was not made clear – the free wifi will cover just two streets: Kensington High Street, and Exhibition Road.
Which is why, ladies and gentlemen, when presented with ‘facts’, you should keep asking questions until you have the entire story, not just the facts that they wish you to know.