Tag: risk

Categories: Energy issues / Reviews

12 May 2019

One comment

Chernobyl book review: Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future by Kate Brown

Allen Lane imprint Penguin Books 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0393652512

The shocking truth about Chernobyl is how few people were killed or made ill by radiation.

I’m getting an adrenaline rush watching HBO and Sky TV’s five-part dramatisation of the Chernobyl accident because in 1995 I spent six months working at the heart of the disaster. At that time I was the only Westerner permanently based at the site. So I’m pleased that – so far – the Chernobyl drama has delivered a riveting portrayal of blundering bureaucrats and their unforgivable betrayal of plant operators. It stirs my heart to see proper credit given to those involved in the heroic effort to selflessly contain the accident and clean up the mess. The scale of the fallout, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people, affecting millions living in designated contamination zones, was massive. The response to it was courageous and inspirational.

Read on ›

Categories: Energy issues / Political spin

17 November 2012

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Energy independence: a misguided pipedream

[This essay by James Woudhuysen and Paul Seaman first appeared on spiked-online.] Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election looks unlikely to subdue the growing calls, throughout America, for national self-sufficiency in energy. Both candidates tried to sow illusions in what Obama dubbed ‘energy security’ and his opponent Mitt Romney called ‘energy independence’. However, these goals are neither desirable nor, in today’s integrated world economy, possible.  Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / Trust and reputations

27 October 2012

12 comments

Poor communication is not a crime

Italian judge Marco Billi has jailed (pending appeal) six scientists and one public official for six years for manslaughter. They were condemned for downplaying – in their communication – the risks of an earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy, which killed 309 people in 2009. The verdict should send shockwaves through the ranks of public relations professionals, because the precedent it sets could be applied to PR pros just as easily as to our clients and their other advisers. Read on ›

Categories: Crisis management / CSR reality check

30 August 2012

3 comments

Lonmin’s PR credibility gap

You cannot have missed it. A strike at the Marikana platinum mine owned by Lonmin in South Africa led to 34 workers being killed and many more injured in a confrontation with the police. Weeks later the number of people on the illegal strike has increased considerably with only 13 per cent of workers turning up at the mine on Monday. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

17 July 2012

One comment

The F-word in the new Cold War

How does a near-European monopolistic vertical supplier (upstream, downstream and in-between) of an expensive fossil fuel from a semi-democratic country convince politicians from proper democracies that competition and significantly lower prices are bad things? Play an emotive PR trump card, that’s how. Read on ›

Categories: CSR reality check / Energy issues / Political spin

2 July 2012

6 comments

Essay: Sustainability and WBCSD’s myopic Vision 2050

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Vision 2050 says the corporate world must play a leadership role in solving mankind’s mounting problems. It outlines a new agenda for business: to work with government and society to transform global markets and competition to achieve a sustainable future. But here is a thought. Is Vision 2050 anything more than a PR survival plan for today’s big companies seeking a long-term and popular license to operate? Read on ›