Three Rs of energy

Joel Makower: Energy’s ‘Three Rs’: A Primer.

I proposed using “two Rs” (Reduce and Renew) to our comms team here at WWF a week or two ago in relation to an energy campaign we’re planning here. I know it’s nothing ground-breaking, but it’s nice to see an idea reflected from such a prominent thinker as Joel.

I think this idea is particularly compelling when communicating with a large number of people that already do recycling as part of their daily lives. Most local councils in Australia have some recycling program, and I think we can definitely learn from the communication campaigns that saw the significant uptake of these services by the public (which in turn make such initiatives viable).

I also agree with Joel’s statement about the order in which we should be promoting things. I’ve long believed (and stated) that switching to renewables is not enough – the reduction in our use of resources is an absolute requirement (this obviously extends beyond energy too) if we are to live within our planet’s means. It’s also often the simplest action we can take, and there are cost benefits as well which, in theory at least, should make it an easier idea to “sell”.

I do hope that WWF’s campaigning in the future will head in that direction (I’ll certainly be an advocate).

Thinking about the third R – I think “Redress” is a very appropriate term, but how many people would know what it means? “Replant” is a “reader-friendly” word that hints at the purpose (carbon offsets), but is definitely not the right term.