Archive for October 13th, 2007

Law Society to be carbon neutral….

I lie awake at night sometimes, worrying about the melting ice, and whether I will wake to find The Bollo knee deep in melt water because of global warming. I don’t … in truth. I am hyperbolating. In any event, I have a pair of rubber Wellington boots. I have waded through Piazza San Marco in Venice at high water. I will, therefore, always be able to get to The Bollo.

But…. I am delighted to find that The Law Society, in the new era of the SRA, has found something to do…and is tackling global warming. Philip Hoult, writing in the ‘carbon neutral’ online version of The Gazette, states: “A groundbreaking alliance was formed this week in a bid to encourage the legal profession to commit to environmental sustainability. The Law Society, UK/US firm DLA Piper and Business in the Community (BiTC) held the inaugural meeting of the Legal Sector Alliance (LSA), which is intended to provide leadership on green issues to law firms of all sizes as well as in-house legal departments. The launch comes just days after the Law Society Council agreed a pledge that will see Chancery Lane become carbon neutral by 2011.”

Excellent… if I manage to avoid the grim reaper, or global warming induced flooding, and survive until 2011, I will make a point of going down to Chancery Lane to see if The Law Society is still serving those excellent carrot cakes made by Prue Leith and is making a positive contribution to our ‘wonderful world’ by being carbon neutral in 2011.

Des Hudson, new Law Society Chief Executive, is hoping that ‘as many firms as possible will seek to participate’ in the initiative to re-cycle paper and get involved in joint purchasing of energy. Why am I thinking of Don Quixote and windmills? But…who am I to comment? I sit oustide pubs and cafes smoking Silk Cut cigarettes.

I just had to read more of Philip Hoult’s article..and was rewarded with this gem: “Paul Stookes, member for environmental law and an associate at Cambridge-based niche firm Richard Buxton, told council: ‘The Law Society will not have all the answers – it is a challenge to be carbon neutral. It is important to identify the steps and what needs to be done. [The targets in the scheme] are sufficient to make a difference and do not just pay lip service.’”

Forgive me. I am merely a phantasm. But is the Law Society? … are lawyers, who have little training in climate change, physics, geology, geochemistry et al… the best people to get involved in Global warming? Al Gore has just won a Nobel Peace Price for his work in climate warming. In the same week we find a High Court judge, Sir Michael Burton, ruling on the accuracy of Al Gore’s film.

I could be wrong, and may well suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune for suggesting that it may well be better for lawyers, and the professional bodies representing the interests of lawyers, to focus on sorting their own imperfect house….as indeed, they are, in some quarters.

Lawyers use paper… a great deal of paper… Lawyers keep their lights on all night as they work 24/7, lawyers fly all over the place to see clients.

It is, however, good news to read that the consumption of energy at the Law Society’s Chancery Lane headquarters has reduced by 30%.

UPDATE Sunday 14 October: Family Lore has a more serious analyis of this story.

In the meantime, as it has some bearing on the way our own legal profession is run, I look forward to the Lord Neuberger report on diversity and access to the profession.

And now… on to other matters:

£50 for a bottle of mineral water at Claridge’s!. (The Sun).

This is absurd. Of course, Claridge’s does not just sell any old mineral water. Their ‘Water List’ includes waters pumped through volcanic rock from as far afield as New Zealand. They are also selling the bizarrely named ‘Mahalo Deep Sea Water’ from Hawaii’ at £28 a litre. I suppose if you are daft enough to pay these prices for water, you may as well drink some sea water and go completely off your head… or, perhaps, there is no salt in the Mahalo Deep Sea water? … in which case… there will, no doubt, be some sea salt at the table to chuck into the water? Quite a long way to fly this water to a London Hotel. Air miles anyone? Carbon footprint? (The Sun)

I am quite happy to drink London tap water (free at Claridge’s). I have not grown breasts nor do I spend my days on a drug high from Estrogen and drug residue which, according to some, is to be found in London tap water. Claridge’s food and beverage director, Renaud Gregoire, says ‘Water is becoming like wine’. Ludicrous… unadulterated bollocks… almost verging on obscene…. more money than brains….

I delight in asking for ‘free tap water’ in restaurants… At The Bollo the bar staff have absolutely no problem with the fact that I like tap water… I even get some free ice and slice of lemon with it. I decline the ice, in case it waters down the water.

And so… finally… to two rather serious matters… Europe and Le Rugby:

The Sun tells us this morning that 75% want a referendum on Europe.

Gordon ‘The Brave” Brown has drawn ‘red lines’ in the sand before he flies off to Europe to sell us down the river on the new EU Treaty; which is not a constitution but a Reform Treaty. Because of the aforementioned ‘red lines’, Cyclops will not need to veto the ‘Treaty’, or comply with the New Labour manifesto and hold a referendum because it is not a Constitution. I may well have lost the plot but I do seem to recall reading only recently that his own MPs found that the treaty bore a remarkable resemblance to the old Constitution chucked out by the French and others a few years ago. The truth of the matter is, that I just don’t have the enthusiasm this afternoon to research the matter more thoroughly, so I will emulate some politicians and pretend I know what I am talking about. See: Head of Legal who does know what he is talking about and has an amusing post on this matter.

Ayex peur, tres peur! Says The Sun
Today is a day when three international England teams – cricket, Football and Rugby – could win against overseas opposition.


The papers are full of rugby – with The Sun projecting an England flag onto L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris last night with the legend “Victory for England’. Being a Scot with a supposedly French ancestry, I will enjoy the rugby whatever the result – but, of course, I must support England, unlike some of my more curmudgeonly Scots friends who will be rooting firmly for the French.

I must, of course, leave this rather long post with a bit of Shakespeare – Henry V:

O noble English! that could entertain
With half their forces the full pride of France,
And let another half stand laughing by,
All out of work, and cold for action.

As I write…

Sri Lanka 211 (48.1 overs) v England 76-5 (19 overs)

Oh dear….


UPDATE. I have gone green… from writing about ‘green issues’ and I have just seen the cricket score… England 88-9….

Football: England 3 Estonia 0

I am going to have a shower… read The Concept of Law and prepare for the pleasures of the night to come… Le Rugby.

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