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					        Language of sustainbility



Is there a public language of
        sustainability?
                   27-04-09

               Joe Ravetz


      Centre for Urban & Regional Ecology
           University of Manchester




       www.manchester.ac.uk/cure
                Contents
•   Discourse
•   Public attitudes data
•   Example – congestion charge
•   Cultural & values models
•   Towards a public language
“It’s the ecology, stupid.”
Sir John Harman: ENDS lecture 24th November 2008

“..As seen from Westminster, the picture is one
of conclusive science, emerging international
pressures, a growing problem which has to be
dealt with. But the public perception, even of
human-induced climate change, is far less
coherent. Surveys of media coverage still show
a surprising parity between material supporting
the reality of climate change and material
denying it, or at least its human-induced
component. To put it simply, the Government
Chief Scientist may have the ear of the
decision-makers but Clarkson and Wogan have
the ear of a good part of the electorate.”
Have you heard this
one? they’re telling
 us we’ve got 100
months to save the
                       Huh.. believe that
      planet
                          you believe
                       anything. They’re
                         just trying to
                            scare us
  Have you heard this
  one? they’re telling
   us we’ve got 100      Huh.. believe that
  months to save the         you believe
        planet              anything. The
                         scientists are just
                         trying to scare us
                          so they get more
                               funding

   But what if the
 scientists are right
and the arctic ice is    So – we’ve got the
   melting and the       technology,... when
     deserts are          the price is right
advancing, and...and..       we’ll use it.
   But what if the
climate crunch adds
 up with the credit     Well I’m not about
crunch, food crunch,        to change my
  population crunch        lifestyle – I’ve
  etc... Won’t we all   worked hard for all
 have to change our       this and I’m not
     lifestyles?          going to hand it
                            over to some
                        green-bugged hair-
                          shirt merchant
   But what if the
climate crunch adds
 up with the credit        Well I’m not about
    crunch, food               to change my
     shortages,               lifestyle – I’ve
population, terrorism      worked hard for all
  etc... Won’t we all        this and I’m not
 have to change our          going to hand it
     lifestyles?               over to some
                           green-bugged hair-
                             shirt merchant
  In fact have you
   heard of this
     thing sus…
   sustainability
                         That’s precisely it!!
                          It’s a global media
                          conspiracy to keep
                        people like you & me in
                         suspense & paranoia
Public attitudes
Attitudes toward the environment and climate change, 2007
Issues that the Government should be dealing with, 1993-2007
Attitudes toward flying and car use, 2007
Proportion of people who a) have heard of, b) make an effort to buy
                   eco-friendly products, 2007
Average life satisfaction by gender and age, 2007
Positivity and tendency to worry by age and gender, 2007
Example – congestion charge
 Example – congestion charge
“Congestion charging:
FAQs”

How do you feel about a
plan to introduce
congestion charging in
Greater Manchester? The
controversial scheme could
bring in almost £3 billion of
improvements to public
transport. But critics say it's
unfair. What's your view?
                    Comments
• “we can be called to          • “I am disgusted by this
  travel across the city at       hair brained idea that
  anytime most often during       some jumped up prats
  the planned peak                in offices who have
  congestion charging             nothing better to do then
  hours. Public travel is not     work out ways to nail us
  an option in the job we         road users for even more
  do! So will this be taken       tax than we are already
  into consideration? We          paying. I am a training
  tried to work how much it       assesser and my job is to
  will cost me to get to work     travel around company's
  and it will be approx £150      in stockport and
  per month.                      manchester, I live by the
                                  M60 (which i believe is
                                  going to be the boundary)
                                  this means I will cross it
                                  approx 6 to 10 times a
                                  day.
                   Comments
• We Won! No                   • “The Socialist City of
  Congestion Charge in           Manchester wants to
  Manchester!                    introduce congestion
• Manchester gave Gordon         charging to the city. The
  Brown the finger!              model will be similar to
• Well done all the people       the scheme Red Ken
  of Manchester who voted        Livingstone introduced in
                                 London (but covering a
  a resounding "NO" to
  Labour's stealth tax           much larger area). This is
                                 where Manchester people
  congestion charge! We
  hope this site has helped!     get their one and only
                                 opportunity to stop this
                                 crazy proposed highway
                                 robbery.
                                                 Govt will give
                            “We would all        us £3 billion
                             be better off”
   (“Red Ken”)
                                                           Good for those
           Socialism -
                           “just look at                    without cars
           back door
                           Barcelona”
                                                                 Pollution &
    Bureaucracy
                                                              climate change
     gone mad

                                                        Roads will be
                                                          better too
 Inconvenience                                “Freedom of
                                                the road”

    Cost – can‟t                       “we already
      afford it                       pay our taxes”
Cost of running
 the scheme          “Public trans”
                       no thanks
       “Public trans”                  “Public trans”
        (for losers)                  should sort it out
                             Government /
                              politicians /
                             bureaucracy


                            Me and mine
Charity / pressure groups
                                              Media & sport
                             Government /
                              politicians /
                             bureaucracy
    Science & technology
                                               Business & money
                            Me and mine
Charity / pressure groups
                                              Media & sport
                    What‟s it all about
                      Cultural theory
General outline of human types in cultural theory. („NGO‟ = „non governmental organization‟).
             Source: adapted from Douglas & Wildavsky 1986; Thomson 1994.


                                    certainty style
                                    & risk averse

       CONSUMERS &                                            PUBLIC SECTOR:
         FATALISTS                                             HIERARCHISTS



          individualist                                            collectivist
            approach                                               approach




       PRIVATE SECTOR:                                         NGO SECTOR:
          PIONEERS                                             EGALITARIANS
                                   uncertainty style
                                     & risk taking
                      Climate Example
    • Avoid the violent agreement logjam -
      segment propositions by psychology




 Inner directed         Outer directed        Security driven
Right thing (moral)    Clever thing (smart)    Safe thing (identity)
          Engaging the esteem driven
reward
recognition                     organisation
              motivation

fashion

why

                   action
                        Ethics, new things,


       Inner directed


   Outer directed              Status, success
   (esteem driven)             consumption

Sustenance
(security)
driven

                              Tradition, security
    Change re „environment‟ concern
•   1960s - 1970s - inner directed only
•   1980s - 1990s - inner + esteem (outer) directed
•   1990s - 2000s - all groups share it but
•   = logjam on how to take action (>delay)
•   = not ‘news’ any longer
•   = normed - only breaking norm is ‘news’
             Cultural dynamics
•   Transitionals          • Value Modes
•   Concerned ethicals       Research
•   Flexible individuals   • 10 questions > 12
•   Happy followers          groups 95%+
                             confidence
•   Transcenders
                           • 5500 base in UK
•   Tomorrow people
                             population
•   Now people
                           • segment to groups
•   Golden dreamers
                           • relate to 70+
•   Certainty first          attributes
•   Brave new world        • Cultural Dynamics
•   Smooth sailing           Ltd
•   Roots
                                     e. g. The Now
                                         People

• “We want the world and we want it NOW”! This could be the motto
  for these people. They have a hunger for life and want to devour it -
  to consume it all. Life is a party to be enjoyed and they want to be at
  the centre of it. They have probably the greatest need for the
  approval of others and this drives their wonderful set of empathetic
  social skills. They attract others to them, and the high energy they
  create, like a magnet. They look for the flash and intensity in all
  situations. They want the romanticised version of reality. This can
  create financial bedlam, but they accept the consequences and just
  go ahead and “do it” anyway.
Towards a language
Have you heard this
one? they’re telling
 us we’ve got 100
months to save the
                       Huh.. believe that
      planet
                          you believe
                       anything. They’re
                         just trying to
                            scare us
  Have you heard this
  one? they’re telling
   us we’ve got 100      Huh.. believe that
  months to save the         you believe
        planet              anything. The
                         scientists are just
                         trying to scare us
                          so they get more
                               funding

   But what if the
 scientists are right
and the arctic ice is    So – we’ve got the
   melting and the       technology,... when
     deserts are          the price is right
advancing, and...and..       we’ll use it.
   But what if the
climate crunch adds
 up with the credit     Well I’m not about
crunch, food crunch,        to change my
  population crunch        lifestyle – I’ve
  etc... Won’t we all   worked hard for all
 have to change our       this and I’m not
     lifestyles?          going to hand it
                            over to some
                        green-bugged hair-
                          shirt merchant
   But what if the
climate crunch adds
 up with the credit        Well I’m not about
    crunch, food               to change my
     shortages,               lifestyle – I’ve
population, terrorism      worked hard for all
  etc... Won’t we all        this and I’m not
 have to change our          going to hand it
     lifestyles?               over to some
                           green-bugged hair-
                             shirt merchant
  In fact have you
   heard of this
     thing sus…
   sustainability
                         That’s precisely it!!
                          It’s a global media
                          conspiracy to keep
                        people like you & me in
                         suspense & paranoia
 “80-20
principle”
Attitudes toward the environment and climate change, 2007
 Beliefs about the impact of behaviours on the UK’s contribution to
climate change if most people in UK were prepared to do them, 2007
Beliefs about the number of people in the UK who are willing to take
  up behaviours that could impact upon the UK’s contribution to
                      climate change, 2007
Proportion of people engaging in environmentally friendly
                    behaviours, 2007

				
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