Change Alley

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They Mean Well ….

with 6 comments


Today I received an email from Friends of the Earth, urging me to write to the EU and tell them to introduce legislation to prevent the sale of illegally logged timber. All good stuff, and I urge everyone to go to

and tell them what you think about this serious issue. In the same email, there was a small byline article saying:

Expose Shell
Any good with a camera? Submit a photo to the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The link takes you to a page on the FoE web site which calls upon anyone who can hold a camera to help expose Shell by submitting a photo to the competition in the category “The world in our hands”. This category apparently includes images about our impact on the natural environment. The photo should ideally be about Shell’s or the oil and gas industry’s impact on the environment.

All very nice so far. Unfortunately, there is no such category in the 2007 competition, although there was last year. They also fail to mention that entry to the competition costs £20, with no indication of where that money goes. No mention either of whether the aim of their campaign is to come up with a winning entry that shows Shell in the worst possible light, or just to flood the judges with a skip load of fuzzy snaps of oil slicks and Shell petrol stations by moonlight. Perhaps we’re all supposed to jet off to Alaska or Nigeria to take pix of dirty snow and burning swamps.

Typical FoE, heart in the right place, head up their arse.


Written by Pete Smith

February 28, 2007 at 11:41 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Lol – ‘petrol stations by moonlight’ … If only I could find one around here. It’s all super duper markets around my here home town …. (oops, my car just died).


    March 1, 2007 at 6:43 am

  2. Done.

    A recent building project at my place of work (which lasted 8 months & has just been completed) promised a school interview panel (we were deciding on which architects would organize the project) that environmental guidelines would be followed.

    Two weeks into the project a lot of plywood arrived. I noticed it was from Brazil but that it had not FSC symbol or equivalent. I pointed this out to the architect who muttered something about checking it out. I never heard anything back.

    Do people on the ground who are sourcing these products at the retail end of the chain give a damn. No, of course they don’t. Why not? Cost is the bottom line. This was a council funded project after all … value for taxpayer’s money.


    March 1, 2007 at 7:04 am

  3. Lol – ‘petrol stations by moonlight’ … If only I could find one around here. It’s all super duper markets around my here home town …. (oops, my car just died).

    Wouldn’t happen if we converted to hydrogen. Obviously.

    Pete Smith

    March 1, 2007 at 8:22 am

  4. Matt, it’s not the only time public service officials have been caught out. The government was exposed a few years ago for using unethical timber when Whitehall was being reburbished.

    The government tried to claim it was sustainable timber but GREENPEACE (who else?) wouldn’t have any of it and the gov. eventually had to accept that the timber was in breach of their own guidelines.


    March 1, 2007 at 10:29 pm

  5. That’s a really good point about the photography competition. A good idea not quite thought through. Which seems to be the case with the environmental guidelines of the school project. Great to have big ideas but carrying them out is what really counts. Rather like the Government’s efforts. Great ideas but not too much action.


    March 1, 2007 at 10:43 pm

  6. Matt, did you get back to Friends of the earth to point out the problem?


    March 1, 2007 at 10:43 pm

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