Richard is on the way to Nunavut to go sledding and "witness first-hand the dramatic impact of global warming", but stopped in Toronto to crap all over the Government's new environmental plans as being too little and way too late, and to launch FLICK OFF, a new conservation campaign with a provocative name and a certain style of writing. Their plan:
"What are we gonna do? We're going to FLICK OFF, that's what. If everybody flicks off—if everybody starts conserving energy—it'll make a huge difference. Here's why: we burn fossil fuels for energy. Burning fossil fuels releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases. And greenhouse gases, well, they came by their name honestly. They turn our super fabulous planet into a greenhouse. The biggest culprits? Coal for electricity. And oil for cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships.
At the press conference yesterday, Sir Richard said
a huge percentage of the population isn't aware of how big and positive an impact they can have on the environment by doing simple things. Our goal as a partner in FLICK OFF is to inform, challenge and inspire people to be concerned and to give them a tool to take action. We're encouraging Canadians to challenge their friends, family and neighbours to get involved and be excited about the difference they can make in the world around them."
The website has more provocative language, some useful information for newbies, a lot more information once you have signed up as a member, (hidden in a "books" section for some reason) not a very clear structure, some not-ready-for-prime-time links and it indicates that you can track your energy savings on the site but I sure couldn't find it. There is a slow calculator with annoying navigation that suggest changes that you can make to reduce emissions, but it doesn't even have "I will flick off the lights when I leave the room" so I think they picked it up somewhere. Oh, for the days of the simple and straightforward One Ton Challenge. However it is put together by professionals and it only went live yesterday, so we expect that these things will be cleaned up.
As we said yesterday, conservation is the world's best energy source, so go ::FLICK OFF.
UPDATE: The Ontario provincial government is supporting this campaign, and the opposition had some sport with them over the name. We quote the Globe and Mail:
The slogan's font is clearly designed to make flick look like a four-letter-word. New Democrat Peter Kormos reacted by saying it "blows his flicking mind" how Ms. Broten could be involved with the campaign, which includes stickers and T-shirts.
"The minister of the environment is telling people to 'flick off,' " Mr. Kormos said. "Parents are going to be flicking embarrassed. They have enough to deal with without a minister of the environment and a government who doesn't give a flick about their children's language."
"I think it's a flicking embarrassment."
Not so, said [Ontario Provincial Minister of the Environment] Ms. Broten.
The campaign — which is partially funded with $500,000 of provincial tax dollars and prides itself on a "conversational, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek style" — is a great way to reach out to a younger demographic and get them involved in fighting global warming, Ms. Broten said.
The website, which asks "Are We Flicked?" and urges browsers to "Go Flick Yourself!" is part of a "really innovative campaign," Ms. Broten said.
"This program is about building on the concept of flicking off your light switch," she said. "And I'm really proud to be part of a government that's willing to tackle this issue and reach out to Ontarians of every age, of every demographic."