Sunday, 6 January 2013

David Aaronovitch, Star Wars and FSC

BFTF was in the book-buying mood yesterday and seemed to have hit the jackpot when the Dorling Kindersley Hardpack epic "Star Wars Year by Year - A visual chronicle" came into view. It was a great looking book that described, in words and pictures, the develoment of the Star Wars films, including premininary sketches of the spacecraft, character deveopment (Luke Skywalker was originally called Luke Starkiller for example) and information on the cultural references that George Lucas was drawing on.

BFTF wanted to buy two! One for BFTF and one for a Star Wars loving friend.

But, on closer inspection, there was a deal-breaker.

The book wasn't printed on sustainably sourced paper (such as FSC)

So, with a tearful eye, BFTF put the book back on the shelf and walked out of the store and, later, send this message to DK via their feedback form:
"Saw [the book] in a shop today. Looked awesome! Would love to buy two (one for me, one for a Star Wars fan friend).

But I shan't, because it does not appear to be have been printed on sustainably sourced paper (e.g. FSC certified) and I don't want to buy books that may have been printed on paper made from illegally or unsustainably cut trees.

Can you please advise when DK expect that all of its print output will be printed on sustainably sourced paper?"

Moving on to a bit a later in the day, and a different bookshop, BFTF noticed a book by David Aaronovitch entitled "Voodoo Histories - How Conspiracy Theory has shaped the Modern World". A brief click through revealed suggested that it had some very interesting background on the development of a number of the 20th century's most enduring conspriacy theories (such as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the death of Diana and the Obama "birther" theories). Importantly, the book also seemed to take a look at the world-view of people who believed in such theories.

Conspiracy theories are something that worry BFTF quite a bit. Over the last few months, BFTF has had a number of conversations with people who genuinely think that the Moon-landings may have been faked. BFTF has pointed out to them a few of the reasons why the evidence for the faking of the moon-landings is very poor.

And asked them rheotorically that, if the US actually HAD managed to convince (or otherwise silence) thousands of programme workers, amateur radio enthusiasts around the world and the entire Russian intelligence community - would they then go and try to pull the same trick again with Apollo 12, 13(yes, BFTF knows that one didn't land on the Moon), 14, 15, 16,and 17?

In one case, BFTF explained that BFTF had actually interviewed Prof Farouk El-Baz, head of Apollo astronaut training about a number of aspects of the programme - and then asked the "denier" whether they thought that the Prof was lying to BFTF or whether they thought that the Prof had had the wool pulled very comprehensively over his eyes?

Anyway, back to the issue at hand.

Would Voodoo Histories pass the sustainability test?

Happily, the answer to that is a resounding Yes, as Vintage Books is a company within the Random House Group. And according to the blurb inside the book:
"The Random House Group Limited supports The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certifi cation organisation. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace approved FSC certifi ed paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at www.rbooks.co.uk/environment."
Result! The book was bought and BFTF looks forward to reading it in due course.

BFTF also sent a message to Vintage via their feedback form thanking them for using FSC certifed paped and mentioning that BFTF would not have bought the book had this not been the case.


Voodoo Histories


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Heirarchy of Disagreement
Sustainable paper at Orion Books
FSC at Random House
A message to WHSmith
Challenging FireAngel on sustainability

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