Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Climate Change and Society

John Urry
Climate Change & Society

“A tour de force! Urry shows the centrality of the social – both to comprehend the meaning of the carbon catastrophe that besets us and, thereby, to discover the possibility of a post-carbon society. Essential reading for all.”
Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

This book explores the significance of human behavior to understanding the causes and impacts of changing climates and to assessing varied ways of responding to such changes. So far the discipline that has represented and modeled such human behavior is economics.

By contrast Climate Change and Society tries to place the “social” at the heart of both the analysis of climates and of the assessment of alternative futures. Urry thus attempts to replace economics with sociology as the dominant discipline in climate change analysis. Sociology has spent much time examining the nature of modern societies, of modernity, but mostly failed to analyze the carbon resource base of such societies. This book seeks to remedy that failing. It should appeal to teachers and students in sociology, economics, environmental studies, geography, planning, politics and science studies, as well as to the public concerned with the long term future of carbon and society.

The Author

John Urry is Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University.

Publication Details

        Publishing 13 May, 2011 • 216 pages
978-0-7456-5036-4 Hardback £55.00                                       978-0-7456-5037-1 Paperback £15.99
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

'Blackberry thumb’ is new health hazard

The UK's Telegraph has a post on how the widespread use of hand-held devices at work has spawned a new condition - the  ''BlackBerry thumb'!

Tennis elbow, writer’s block and even athlete’s foot are problems than can cause considerable discomfort and more than a little embarrassment...

..."BlackBerry thumb" is the name given to a repetitive strain injury caused by overusing mobile phones to send emails and texts. The condition is so common that one law firm believes employers can expect a series of lawsuits from staff claiming compensation. Karen Jackson, a co-founder of the solicitors Roberts Jackson, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, said: “If no one knows about the risks involved, they won’t sue, but more and more people are becoming aware of health hazards in the workplace. 

'''BlackBerry thumb’ is the overuse of a mobile phone for work purposes and we envisage potential work in this area as more people are using their handsets when they’re on the move, which is leading to repetitive strain injury.

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Motorway lights to be turned off to cut carbon

Well... is this a move to seriously 'cut carbon' or is it the beginning of the UK's austerity measures?? This post  from The Telegraph reports how lights on three stretches of motorway are to be permanently switched off to 'save cash, cut carbon emissions and reduce light pollution'.....mmm....

The initial “switch off” was one of the first policies to emerge from voters who were asked how to help the Coalition identify where spending cuts could be made.
Shortly after becoming Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said all areas of spending were under review.
At the time it triggered fears that road safety could be put at risk, given what had happened when lights were turned off in some towns and villages.

In Wales Powys Council was forced to switch 1,400 street lights back on after public protests.
But such concerns proved to be unfounded, according to Derek Turner, Director for the Highways Agency as he unveiled plans involving 15.9 miles of motorway in north west England. “Evidence so far indicates that switching off the lights hasn’t had an impact on safety,” he said....

 Read more at - 'Motorway lights to be turned off to cut carbon'


Friday, April 01, 2011

EU to ban cars from cities by 2050

The UK's Telegraph reports on the latest EU carbon-cutting masterplan - to ban cars from London and all other cities across Europe in an attempt to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 it realizable?

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a "single European transport area" aimed at enforcing "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050. The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.
Top of the EU's list to cut climate change emissions is a target of "zero" for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU's future cities. Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto "alternative" means of transport. "That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres," he said. "Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour."

"If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker." Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe's economic competitiveness.

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