Mapping Climate Communication, new posters July 2014

21 Jul

Patrick Sudlow:

Dr. Boehnert has produced 3 intersting charts on Climate Change and as stated, they are still a work in progress. The top chart does show how the USA has tried to discredit the science behnd climate change. And more recently how the UK Government scrapped the Sustainable Development Commission: and has made large cuts to the Environment Agency.

Originally posted on EcoLabs:

Mapping Climate Communication: Timeline

This series of three posters maps climate communication by means of a timeline, a network visualization and a strategy map. The work illustrates
relationships between climate discourses, prominent actors and major organizations participating in climate communication including science institutions, academic institutions, media organizations, think tanks and government agencies – along with the interests and funders linked to these organizations. Various discourses are mapped including climate science; counter-movements (contrarianism); ecological modernization, neoliberalism and corporate capture; and social movements (climate justice). The timeline visualizes the historical processes that have lead to the growth of various ways of communicating climate change. The network visualization illustrates relationships between actors and prominent discourses. The strategy map displays methods used within four discursive realms.

The posters are still work in process. They will be presented at the ‘Changing Climate Communication’ conference in July 2014. Feedback from this presentation will inform a final stage of the visualizations, to…

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Scooby Doo investigates the bedroom tax and IDS

19 Jul

Patrick Sudlow:

More on the Bedroom Tax and the Governments mis-information.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

We have stopped the burgeoning welfare benefit spend the country cant afford chirps IDS ad infinitum


We have cut Housing Benefit spend with the Bedroom tax and Benefit Cap (blah blah blah)


It is only workless scroungers who claim Housing Benefit (blah blah blah) Here’s a graph of those in work and claiming HB!

%ofworkign tenants on HB

Oh by the way dear reader all the above simple graphs come form figures produced by …Yes you’ve guessed it IDS’s own Department of Work & Pensions.  Would you like a few more?  Oh ok then!

What about we can’t afford the burgeoning welfare state argument (blah blah blah) How much do we in the UK spend as a percentage of our GDP compared to other European (boo hiss!) countries.  The Economist tells us:


Yes those well known welfare benefit spendthrifts the Germans can manage to afford to send 12% more than the UK on their…

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Manchester’s new housing deal: more questions than answers.

29 Jun

Patrick Sudlow:

Once again, Manchester City Council, is continuing with its failed policies, of socially cleansing areas of long term tenants, to build energy inefficient homes for the young, upperwardly mobile professionals. They have learnt nothing from their failures of the past, blaming their failures on everything but themselves. Without accepting there is a problem, taking ownwership of that problem, the problem will never be resolved. Manchester, is locked in an ever decreasing spiral towards total breakdown, like Detroit in the USA, where residents are having their water cut-off:

Originally posted on Steady State Manchester:

Manchester City has signed a new housing deal with Manchester City! Yes, that’s what we said, where “Manchester City” of course means Manchester City Council and strangely enough (in Manc. English) “Manchester City” also means Manchester City Football Club.

Even stranger, that football club is owned by an investment company the

On the right, Sheikh Monsoor, whose company Manchester City Council has signed the deal with. (via wikipedia)

On the right, Sheikh Mansoor, with whose company Manchester City Council has signed the deal (via wikipedia)

Abu Dhabi United Group, the personal fiefdom of one Mansoor bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minster of the United Arab Emirates, the federation of small absolute monarchies on the Arabian Peninsular, with innovative social policies such as the use of torture, capital punishment, high levels of labour exploitation, and 14-year prison terms for homosexuality. It is also the country with the world’s highest per capita ecological footprint, although reported to be…

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Manchester: A Certain Future AGM 16:00 hrs. 10th June 2014.

15 Jun


The AGM (annual general meeting) was held at Manchester Town Hall, in the Great Hall. Tea or coffee was laid on, and there were some hand-outs available at the sign-in desk, including the Manchester: A Certain Future (MACF), Annual Report 2014. The attendees were predominately, affluent white middle-class, as usual. The AGM was late staring, being close to 17:00 hrs.
The Chair was Victoria Gill, a science reporter for the BBC. She mentioned she came from Wigan, and that somehow connected her to Manchester? She also stated she was in Manchester shopping when the 1996 bomb went off (an incident, I do not believe was properly investigated and there are many unanswered questions about it?)! Then went on to say how Manchester had improved since the bomb. Something you hear mostly from non-Mancunians, and not from Mancunians, who have not seen any real improvements, but did want the Arndale, to go completely. She firstly introduced Richard Leese, leader of the totally Labour controlled, Manchester City Council. Who stated there was an urgency, of the need to act? So  why has he not acted in a determined way to tackle climate change? Joked that it had taken 5 years for the first MACF, AGM (brushing off his abject failure as a joke, is quite childish) and then went on to claim Manchester’s climate literacy programme was the first in the World (I believe Cornwall had one before Manchester). He admitted not enough had been done but the Council will be renewing the City Strategy.
The Key note address was from Tony Juniper, who emphasised that climate change was not a distant peril, it is happening right now. Talked about some weather related incidents in the UK, including the dry spell in 2011. When Thames Water were on the verge on declaring a water emergency, with regards to London’s water supply. That we need to limit Global warming to 2OC, so we needed to be making the cuts to CO2 emissions now. There was a need to peak emissions by 2020, but they had actually risen 50% since 1992. Mentioned the Palaeocene Era, where emissions were at 415 ppm and sea levels were 40 metres higher than they are now. This is the future we are looking at, with most Cities in the UK being under water. That our carbon budget for the 21st has nearly been used up already. That the World Bank, a renowned environmentally aware group, publishing the HEAT report. And Christine Lagarde (International Monetary Fund) on the negative economic impacts of climate change. And yet the UK Government down playing renewables, whilst pushing for and subsidising unconventional fossil fuels, for short-term economic growth (will it even bring any economic benefits?).
He then went on to say that Cities had a role to play. And some had shown real leadership, like London with their congestion charge and policies on local government buildings. Spoke about Oslo’s initiative to reduce their street light energy use by 70%. San Francisco’s zero emissions vehicles and increased cycling, with similar schemes operating in Boston, despite State and Federal legislations. Bristol with their organic waste recycling. Some cities which have improved their green infrastructures (unlike Manchester, which has decimated some of its green infrastructure), have seen a 5OC reduction within the cities (reduced the heat island effect). That green infrastructure improved house prices, reduced crime (some of the issues Manchester campaigners (Friends of Birley Fields and Alexandra Park) have used in support of the campaigns against the council actions) and sustainable drainage.  Mentioned many other Cities but no mention of Manchester. Pointing out that Cities were doing it and proving it works, that other people would follow their example, “Leading by Example”.  If we cannot get it done at city level, it will not happen at all. He stated, ‘Manchester should show leadership, he was sure it can’.
Gavin Elliot, chair of MACF, was up next to speak. He stated MACF 2010, stated what was needed but was absent of actions. Admitted, he was an architect but was also an environmentalist. That MACF needed an annual report, but lacked funds, especially to employ full-time staff. Mentioned the difficulty of collecting data (something I have experience, when asking the Council for figures for their electricity, gas, water and fuel bills), from the different agencies. That only 1,000 people were classed as carbon literate, it should be more. No data on adaptation, 221,000 households, little take up of green deals. Lack of facilities for cyclists, but gave a figure of 1,500 cycling into the City? Green:Blue infrastructure may not affect carbon emissions, but there are mental health benefits.
Manchester will not meet the 41% CO2 emissions reduction, blamed it on part on Central Government? There was a need to scale-up activity, (I would ask, what activity?). The new MACF Steering Group was making some headway, compared to the previously. The need to develop a SMART (Specific; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic; Timely.) MACF plan for 2015 – 2020.
Question and Answer session.
I missed the introduction of the panel (a name plate in front of each panellist would have been a help) and maybe the first question, which I believe was on biodiversity.
An admission air quality was impacted on by transport, which had a detrimental effect on health. Car use and the use of air quality indicators.
Mark Burton –‘How can we change our economy to reduce CO2 emissions, de-coupling CO2 emissions difficult – we need employment and prosperity.
Tony Juniper, mentioned Tim Jackson and ‘Prosperity without Growth’. (A must read for Manchester City Councillors and officials). Someone mentioned, getting beyond those in the room.
Coleman stated, ‘we are in the early stages’???
A member of the audience, mentioned that work should be closer to where people live, reduce the need to travel.
Kate Chappell, replied that the council was reviewing policy with regards to district centres (I suggest she tries living in Wythenshawe, for example, where the district centre is the forum, miles away for most).
A member of Calder Energy Future – ‘should we work together, how can we achieve anything’? To which Sadler, a council official, boasted, Manchester was a City of Firsts. (Yes, in poverty, deprivation and early mortality rates).
A Rusholme resident, stated how they were planting trees, how we had some good councillors (this was a Q&A session, not a Council jamboree?).
Tony Juniper, ‘we need a reconnection with nature, there was a need to restore natural green spaces in Cities’. (Manchester City Council have destroyed green spaces in the City, Piccadilly Gardens, Sackville Street Gardens, Birley Fields, Platt Fields, Heaton Park and especially Alexandra Park).
A councillor from Charleston mentioned heat pumps and that it was a new technology (It is not a new technology, but I believe the use of heat pumps using air source, inappropriate for the UK. Ground-source heat pumps using deeply laid pipework more appropriate). And was quick to point out, that Gavin was wrong and that, Northward Homes had 1,036 homes fitted with solar panels. To which Gavin apologised (was not the publication the councillor referred to, using data supplied by the council?), and said there were examples from other cities and countries. That MACF was a growing network.
Kate Moss, from the Community Energy Group asked how they were planning to work with these other groups and why are they not in the plan?
Cycling – funding for cycling?
Vicky (Sustrains) mentioned, they had not got the community engagement right. There is a bad attitude towards cyclists by motorists (I would say, towards pedestrians, as well), which needs to change.
At the end, wine and juice was laid on, which I gave a miss. I did want to speak to the person from Calder Energy Future, to tell him if he wanted any practical advice. He might be better off talking to Woking Council, Nottingham City Council or Bristol City Council. But he had made a bee-line to Richard Leese, so I left him to it.
My Conclusions
I felt we had some straight talking from Tony Juniper and some real honesty from Gavin Elliot. I felt that the Council, once again, were trying ‘big themselves up’, and towards the end, it started become more a council love-in. This is despite the fact, the council has failed dismally to live up to their boasts. Despite Richard Leese boasts, the only economic growth in Manchester, are drugs and prostitution. As long as the council leadership, Richard Leese and Howard Bernstein, fail to admit there is a problem, take ownership of the problem, the problem will not be resolved. In other words, if they continue with their failed policies and blame everyone else, for their failures, things in Manchester will only get worse. When will the other councillors not realise, they are Sheep being led to their slaughter by a Judas Goat? When will any of them, show true leadership?
The report itself, needs further study, as it appears to be economical with the truth. I am not sure the emissions attributed to Transport, also include emissions from aviation, which will be considerable. Someone showed it too (she is not a green), scoffed at the 50%+ given for the area of Manchester covered in green infrastructure. She also mentioned that they must have wasted a fortune in printing out the report and the other literature available at the event.


Birds of Manchester

24 May

Someone the other day mentioned that, they believed Thrushes were becoming a rare sighting.  I did mention, they do frequent Hulme Park and sometimes my garden, to feed on the berries. Though it had not happened this year, for some reason.  Later that day, as I approached my front gate, I was delighted to see a Thrush, fly out of my bushes.  Despite the constant war waged against nature by Manchester City Council and property developers.  It is nice to see we have a diverse range of birds, are still making a home in Manchester.  Below, There also photographs of the Ancoats Kestrel and Canada Geese with their Goslings by the Ashton Canal.

Birds of Manchester

A Thrush, but whether it is a Mistle Thrush or a Song Thrush, I cannot tell the difference.  Any help in identifying them probably would be appreciated, though I think, it is the more common Mistle Thrush.

Ancoats Kestrel

Ancoats Kestrel

DSC_0048 DSC_0049 DSC_0050Hunting for its dinner.  It can be seen frequently around Ancoats Dispensary hovering for its food.  Our local family of Crows are not too happy about it being in the area.  Then we have the Canadian Geese with their Goslings at different stages wondering about and foraging.

Canadian Geese

Canadian Geese

DSC_0059 DSC_0060 DSC_0061 DSC_0062 DSC_0063 DSC_0064


Bedroom tax appeal win on room size: Note the judges reasons well!!

14 May

Patrick Sudlow:

The DWP and Local Council’s have found to be failing to carry out their duties. When will this Government see sense and scrap this pernicious piece of legislation and recompense, those who have suffered financial loses due to poorly thoughtout legislation

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

Stifle that yawn reader as this is not just another bedroom tax appeal win on room size; note the judges reasons and note them well!

lpool room size

Point 5

“… DWP GUIDANCE in relation to HMO’s indicates that the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) applies to ALL RESIDENTIAL PREMISES and not HMO’s alone.”

The Housing Act 2004 contains the HHSRS and for further detail see my blog from November last year on this here and to my knowledge this is the first time a FTT judge has ruled in accordance with it and that these minimum bedroom floor sizes apply to ALL properties not just houses in multiple occupation (HMO).

Judge McMahon is also saying that the DWP cannot have their cake and eat it as it is THEIR HMO guidance that the HHSRS applies universally and not just to houses in multiple occupation.  In effect the judge is saying…

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A Guide To DWP Euphemisms

12 May

A guide to the Government’s ‘newspeak‘, as in George Orwell‘s novel 1984, they are trying to manipulate thought, through their use of English.  By such means, they pit the poor against each, instead of the poor blaming the real culprits.  As observed by Robert Tresell in his novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, where those in work despised those out of work, even though, they themselves might find themselves out of work tomorrow.

A Guide To DWP Euphemisms.

Mapping Climate Communication Timeline poster – Version no.1

8 May

Patrick Sudlow:

It is unfortunate, there is no or the on the chart. There are of course other Europeans missing from it as well.

Originally posted on EcoLabs:

Mapping Climate Communication Timeline May 2014 - JBoehnertThis poster explores two decades of climate communication. Actors are color-coded according to their tendency to either deny or acknowledge climate change – or as involved in the production of climate science itself. The poster is the first iteration of a project mapping organizations, individuals, discourses, methods and funders that contribute to climate communication. The work visualizes research by Professor Max Boykoff (and others) using network visualizations, timelines and strategy maps. This timeline illustrates the temporal growth of climate communication as described in Who Speaks for the Climate? (Boykoff, 2011, Cambridge University Press). Visualizations developed here will become a series of posters presented next at the Changing Climate Change Communication conference in Amsterdam in July and then completed in final versions September 2014.

Feedback, critique and suggestions requested!

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Bedroom Tax – is 90 sq/ft the minimum bedroom size?

3 May

Patrick Sudlow:

Why are the Social Housing providers, not coming up with these arguments to protect their tenants and their business?

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

Would your landlord get planning permission for the room they now claim is a bedroom?

That is an intriguing question and one very worthy of consideration for any bedroom tax appeal as in planning permission terms: –

  • a single bedroom has to be 6.5 – 8.4 square metres or 70.07 – 90.55 square feet
  • a double bedroom 10.2 – 11.2 square metres or 109.96 – 120.74 square feet

If the disputed room would be too small to be deemed a bedroom by your local council in planning permission terms then how can the same council deem it to be a bedroom for bedroom tax purposes?


How can your councils planning department say it is NOT a bedroom but your councils HB department say it is a bedroom?  That makes no sense whatsoever and that disparity should be put in front of the Tribunal judge at an appeal against the bedroom tax decision on…

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JRF report on bedroom tax – as inept as the policy itself…unfortunately!

10 Apr

Patrick Sudlow:

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) sometimes produces good reports but not every time. I have read reports from the JRF about the regeneration of Hulme in the 1990s. They only turned out to be self-publicity for one of those heavilly involved, with Manchester City Council in the regeneration process. The report did not how local residents were not truly involved in the regeneration process, or the fact that in reality, it has been a failure. This report on the bedroom tax did make some valid points but as Joe Halewood, it does not go far enough, in highlighting the total disregard it has on people’s lifes.

Originally posted on SPeye Joe (Welfarewrites):

The bedroom tax is pernicious and has many victims but I never imagined one of those victims would be the Joseph Rowntree Foundation or JRF.  The report released yesterday was staggering in its ineptitude and this from one of if not the most revered social policy think tank in the UK in the JRF.

To explain I use the ubiquitous follow-up piece that the Guardian always does in giving free rein to in this case JRF to ‘sell’ their research to the public as they do here in a piece by its Policy Director Kathleen Kelly.

I took time contemplating whether to comment on this as JRF has produced consistently excellent research for decades and known for consistently producing excellent research.  Yet they have been so inept in this bedroom tax report and in their recommendations that it has to be said.  So, with some reluctance below is why this…

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