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Call for Review of Climate Symbols

 2006 NZ Climate Change and Governance Conference Wellington 

 

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March 28-29 of 2006 Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, held what it called the Climate Change and Governance Conference at Te Papa, the National Museum.

It was an exclusive affair and the price ($NZ325) plus inflexible conditions of entry meant that the vast majority of moderately paid working people could not attend. I am included in that group. However I did greet delegates as they arrived and gave 150 of them a leaflet  containing the following proposal on it.

Reflections on the event are contained in my blog and in Letter to Greenpeace

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Statement

 to members of 2006 NZ Climate Change and Governance Conference Wellington 

The communication of climate change issues is lacking of a science. There has been a significant investment in the development of a science of climate processes. We now require research in the impact of the popular climate symbols. This work will use techniques such as consumption analysis and fMRI to determine actual responses to the use of key climate symbols.

 Interim Response

It is proposed that conference members adopt the following symbol uses until a science of climate communication is established.

 Avoid Climate Change

Suggestion: use Thermal Build-up, Net WarmUp Human-Induced Climate Imbalance.  

Qualify any use of the climate change symbol with principal driver eg seasonal, solar, tectonic, human, El Nino, La Nina, etc

 Avoid Global Warming

Suggestion: use Human-Induced Climate Imbalance, Thermal Build-up, Net WarmUp

Avoid greenhouse symbols

Suggestion: use Atmospheric Effect, Atmospheric Balances, Human-Induced Climate Imbalance, Warmer Trace Gases, Thermal Balance, etc.

Reserve use of greenhouse symbol for communication of best insulation practice in buildings, food storage, clothing etc i.e. carbon emissions mitigation practice.

Avoid blanket symbols

Suggestion: use Atmospheric Effect, Thermal Flows, Airís Thermal Capacity, 

Reserve use of blanket symbol for communication of best insulation practice in buildings, food storage, clothing etc i.e. carbon emissions mitigation practice.

 Avoid confusion of state: constant state/no temperature change = warming, cooling. Change state/ temperature change = warming UP, cooling DOWN

 Additional proposals

Avoid calling forms of energy energy. Suggestion: Talking energy forms, carriers and fuels? State energy forms, carriers and fuels. E.g. Do not exclude air from the energy equation by calling fuels (oil, coal, Gas)  energy. Fuel PLUS Atmosphere = Energy

 Avoid calling forms of power power.  Suggestion: talking power form or source? State form eg solar, wind, tidal, electricity (state type eg thermoelectricity, atmospheric electricity, geoelectricity, Bulk-electricity v DG-electricity, static electricity, bioelectricity etc)

 Join the call for an international review of the symbols we use to portray the nature of energy, including climate processes.  More at www.bonusjoules.co.nz

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