I am excited to see how the cartoonist solves the communication conundrum of the inspiration symbol. I know the Government’s Climate Change Group is aware of the new CFL symbol. It releases a booklet for schools and I obtain a copy. It is so warm and gay, so simple and inviting.  Yes, children will love this. I begin reading it. Junk Joules smiles…

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*********Teacher alert ********

The feverish Earth illustration (below) is extremely potent and will be difficult to remove from childrens's minds.

Some of the flaws are:

*It is humans that will suffer if we alter the thermal balances of the planet that sustain us, not the planet.


*Earth's atmosphere is characterised by a powerful capacity  for thermal convection  and we put ourselves at risk if we enhance that capacity too much. By contrast blankets are designed to suppress convection.


*The illustration evokes Victorian Age industrial-military visions of human dominance of Earth life with its evocation of greenhouse images.


*New Zealand is not an oasis of blue/green as portrayed here. Our per capital carbon emissions are among the highest in the world - especially if the burning of most of our forests over the last 150 years is included in calculations.  Also while the oceans around us may moderate some of the effects of a more energetic atmosphere our agricultural economy is still very vulnerable to climatic variations, contrary to Climate Change Office explanations of the illustration. Also we will not be immune to wider civil breakdown around the world.


The most potent Warmer Trace Gas is  water vapour and without it Earth's average surface temperature would be over 20C cooler i.e. about minus 5C instead of our present comfortable 15C. Also comprehension of the role of water vapour is critical to understanding  how weather systems work.


The sun is a powerful radiant body that cares not whether humans live or die. Students should understand that if we affect the balances of its radiation impact on Earth then we do so at our peril.

In summary: anthrocentric illustrations such as this put humanity at greater risk.




Chapter Five - Land of the Other- Junk Light Children.       

Bonus Joules and the Knowledge Economy: All images on this site are copyright 2001 and you are free to use them with care.