Ecotricity will make you feel sorry for fossil fuels

9 February 2012

Ecotricity have decided to make a viral video in their attempts to get us to go green. They say "It's time to move on. Our country, and all of us, need to move from a fossil fuel past to a renewable energy future." However, in their ad that promotes this, all they succeed in doing is making us feel upset for the death of fossil fuels, which is not what they want at all. Watch.

Instead of painting fossil fuels as outdated, toxic things, Ecotricity have gone and made The Big 6 energy companies seem like cute, vulnerable things being slayed while they go about having cups of tea and the like. Their little pained, anguished faces as they tumble to the ground in clouds of dust is enough to make you go outside and start burning tyres immediately.

In marketing terms, this is - to use the parlance of Ver Yoof - something of an epic fail.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Best Of Youtube


  • Dick
    Wouldn't it be more eco if they did not destroy the towers, but left them. Not only do they not need to destroy and remove the rubble (and bury it or have to process it), but they could be turned into visitor centres for new eco power plants or they could put their bird manglers on top of them, or leave them as a monument to the past (Grade II listed power station?) or turn them into modern art galleries ...
  • Spencer
    The anti-fossil fuel drive is, imo, a total red herring. It completely misses the issue by being so narrow minded as to ignore the outcome of it's message. If we all took the advice of this advert - about 3 quarters of the country would lose power altogether - and the remaining 25% would have some power - some of the time - as long as it was windy enough. We all know that Eventually these resources will run out. And yes we will need alternatives. That sadly is where ad's/virals like this stop. They completely neglect the implimentation, practicality and cost of mass producing viable alternatives. I honestly don't think the majority of the common public are opposed to changing their power source... so long as it works the same and costs the same and has no noticable side effects... sadly that isnt the case with renewable sources... They dont/cant meet those requirements. The real issue is providing a a viable alternative that DOES meet those needs. Reducing national dependancy on fossil fuel power is a very long, expensive and arduous process that takes many many years of research and development - at substantial cost and sadly, the British/global economy cannot currently suppport that idea. The alternatives we have at the moment are - at best token gestures. We would cover the majority of the UK's landmass with windmills to meet our needs with wind turbines. We would need to cover slightly more with solar panels to use the sun. These would be incredibly intrusive, cost many hundreds of Billions to impliment, and of course they wouldnt work when there's no wind or at night... That leaves hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal which combined would struggle to meet about 10% of the current demand. So, while the argument for changing makes sense - it's premature... in as much as that there isnt a financially viable, logistically implimentable alternative. It's like the electric car - yes it is an alternative to petrol/diesel, but at the moment they are expensive, less reliable, less efficient, have terrible practical diffculties such as range, and they can take 12+ hours to recharge. My point is this, I drive a VW bluemotion - I get approaching 70ish mpg on a motorway and can get 900+ miles on a single tank if i'm careful. If I do run out of fuel, I stop at one of thousands of conveniently located petrol stations, and within 5mins - I'm back out and on the go for another 900+ miles... Provide me with a similar sized electric vehicle that does this and I'll gladly switch. I get the message, I understand the point and I agree with it - but short of a major investment in producing smaller and far far more efficent alternatives, a major overhaul in the british infrastructure, a complete rethink in how intrusive these power sources are, and a major development to plug the many many gaps in the technology... I think they'll forever struggle to sway public opinion. As it is, they're asking people to invest Billions we dont have in technology that doesnt meet our current needs and demands.
  • Grumpy
    @Spencer: You really expect anyone to read that? I know without even reading a word it'll be utter drivel.
  • will
    @Grumpy I did read it. It was drivel. You made the right call.
  • Bored
    @Spencer - Too long - abridge it. There is one alternative - Nuclear power, but everyone is too scared because certain people in the far east decided to build a Nuclear power station near a fault line in Tsunami country.
  • Richard
    I completely agree with @Bored, people think of renewable energy and they think solar panels and wind turbines which are extremely expensive for the small amount of energy that they produce but Nuclear is renewable too and it provides a lot more energy than anything else.
  • TomC
    So Richard, Mr Glow-in-the-dark wise guy, what are your suggestions for how tp get rid of the nuclear waste? You confidentally tell us whateople believe but you fall vety short in dealing with nuclear's main issue: waste. In fact Richard, you don't fall short, you ignore theroblem altogether. Typical short-termism from a knee- jerk pro-nuke reactionary. Go on : explain how nuclear waste can be safely disposed of. I challenge you...
  • Mike
    TomC send it into Space
  • Gazah
    Thorium, is a nuclear energy that is more stable then uranium. Bonuses of thorium compared to uranium is that for example 1 tonne of thorium would create 1 gigawat of power however if uranium was to create that amount it would need 250 tonnes of it. While thorium still creates waste its no where near uraniums standards. There are no weapons-grade by-products of using it and finally its meltdown proof. Yet goverments and energy compaines do not use this as a good source. O yeah it also costs less to actually get the energy from it.
  • callum
    You neglect to mention that it is more difficult to handle than uranium and as such, research has not yet devised a commercially-sound power plant design to use it. You make it sound like we can just turn off the existing plants, shove some thorium in and instantly save billions.
  • Me
    @ TomC - Not a complete answer to the challenge but research published in 2007 showed a genus of bacteria that will chow down on Uranium waste products - In the study it was bacteria colonies that was found to be living in and around Nuclear waste storage. This vein of research has been continued but the continued reluctance to invest in nuclear technology has not seen it advance very far. With sufficient funding and research you could see self sufficient Nuclear Plants which produce clean Nuclear energy and bacteria fuelled biological batteries to eliminate the waste and in turn provide power for the plant itself.
  • Hulk S.
    Space: Too great a percentage of rockets explode during launch so this poses a great hazard. May get better in future but dar too risky at the moment. Easy answers: 1. Put it in vaults in antartica rock after vitrification and embedding in concrete: Plenty of space and safe for 10 million years. Blady blagh terrorists? That's what armies are good for. Earthquakes? Wont leak. Volcano? Nope. 2. Drop it in subduction zones after vitrification and embedding in concrete. Gobbdy gobble rock cycle pops out after a few milion years so what. 3. Feed it to people to make them into superheroes. Catution vet candidates first in case of bad ones wanting to be super villans.
  • You
    @Me - you do know that the bacteria in no way alter the activity of the waste don't you? Biological and chemical porcesses cannot alter activity and so can't get rid of waste. Waste can be concentrated (for compact storage as is done for high level) or diluted (pumped out to sea usaully) to reduce the activity per unit volume.
  • TomC
    Interesting possibility @Me but one that strikes me as being a long way off. What of fossil fuel consumption in the mean time? Sending the waste into space is great so long as you don't live in the flight path... ie the entire world. @You, I suspect you're being tongue in cheek which is cool because the idea of burying toxic radioactive waste in the planet's last true unspoilt envircnment - Antartica - brilliantly, if ironically, illustrates precisely why nuke is not renewable. How can soemthing tha never, ever (in human terms) goes away, be called renewable?
  • TomC
    Oops. @Hulk, not @You. My bad.
  • Dick
    Nuclear power is not really renewable, is it? In the sense that once you use up all the plutonium and uranium and whatever, it is gone - just like oil. OK you can try to make more but it is very energy intensive and not very safe.
  • Hulk S.
    @TomC Hulk no say you would like solution; hulk give solution. If you no like then that just you no liking; solution still solution. You get upset at empty boring ice land haviing tunnels full of nasty then that your problem. Hulk think choices not easy for puny humans. Solution not hard for scientists; solution hard for politicians and penguin lovers. Hulk no say renewable - just cos not renewable does not mean not useable. Hulk say over 200 years of fuel available mean 200 years to think of somthing else and get working. You think 200 years is not enough for humans to move on to other solutions then you think humas stupider then Hulk thinks humans are. Hulk smashed.
  • TomC
    @Hulk: hats off! Very funny. Now go get a new set of clothes Dr Banner.
  • Mike
    Does that mean that Solar power isnt renewable either because one day the sun will run out. Why dont we just go any get some coal from other planets?
  • Dr B.
    Dont worry folks - I have thought of a way of using gamma radiation to release unlimited energy through anger. I will tap the unlimited anger of Mike Hock by showing him some single parents on benefits and their large TVs.
  • Dr B.
    Noooooooo........ Don't do it Bruce - it's not worth the risk. You're making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

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