Hmm, this seems like a mis-step to me. There are heaps of things a person might be worried about, and they can to some extent chose which ones to worry about, and which to campaign about. But (for me) an organisation is different, in that it has a mission, and in this case it’s about green energy. I think they confuse their message and risk losing their audience by taking on something which is exceedingly tangential - however distasteful it might be.
If we’re to make any progress in the world, we can’t proceed by chasing every new issue that comes up, and nor can we do it by trying to find the one huge issue which we pursue at the expense of all others.
Each of us, as individuals, have limited time and energy (and money) and we need to figure out which things we really want to act on, and which we want to fret about.
And each organisation also has limited resources, and would do well (in my view) to retain a focus on its mission, and keep its supporters onside and its message clear. (That’s true whether it’s a party, a company, a coop, a charity, or whatever.)
(This is a bit of a pet peeve of mine!)
Ed, I can see your point about the potential confusion and lack of clear message. Dale Vince is passionate about renewable energy, and without that passion he probably would not be where he is now. And he is passionate about animal welfare too. I would be surprised if this passion would put off his existing customers. And maybe it would bring in more customers?
Mmm, you might be right in this case that combining two passions won’t put too many people off, but it still feels to me like a dubious tactic, as it is signalling a lack of singular focus. But then, I don’t suppose ecotricity will fail as a result, even if I’m right!
(I think there could be an interesting conversation to be had around this, but probably an in-person one.)
It will be the engineers and scientists who solve our energy problems. Not the well meaning protesters!
Ed, I wrote to Dale Vince as I wanted to know more about his “Right Stuff”!
"Hi Lawrence, I guess the answer here is in who we are and what we do.
Our work is not confined to Energy, we also work on the issues of Transport and Food - because those three areas between them account for 80% of everyone’s carbon footprint. We branched out from just Energy in the early 2000s - so two decades ago.
We started by building Britain’s first electric super car, the Nemesis - then built the Electric Highway (probably the world’s first national charging network) to encourage and enable electric vehicle adoption.
Our work in food is most obvious through Forest Green Rovers, the football club that we’ve taken from non league to League One - and whom the UN and FIFA describe as the greenest football club in the world. We are a vegan football club and use sport as a platform to campaign for lifestyle changes.
We also make plant based school dinners - now in 5k primary schools. We run the Ministry of Eco Education which has produced an entire primary school curriculum with sustainability woven into every topic - it’s a free resource that was piloted in 20 schools last academic year.
We also make small windmills - that’s more aligned with the Energy topic…
And we make diamonds from atmospheric carbon. Skydiamonds.
Our fourth work area is making room for nature - more popularly known as re wilding these days (our first project was 20 years ago).
These issues overlap - our diets are driving the climate crisis, wildlife extinction (though land use and pollution of intensive farming of animals especially) and several human health crises. If we change what we eat we can solve multiple problems at the same time.
We are all limited by time and other resources and do need to focus to make sure we get stuff done - we feel that we do that, fairly successfully……
Hope this helps.
Fascinating - thanks for reaching out @Laurentius!