Thursday, June 18, 2009

1,000 words - wrong message?

Speaking (albeit in another blog) about communicating with the public on matters climatic, I found this banner (leading to this page, should you be interested in going) topical.

Whilst it is good to talk, I have tended to find the preponderance of conferences, and indeed conferences about forthcoming conferences vexing.

Especially as I tend to suspect that they do little to help engage with or change the views of the general public.

However, beyond the fact that Google had ironically popped it in a less than 'green' site, the banner caught my professional eye.

All I saw initially was an overseas conference and a plane (Ok, headed the wrong way) belching out smoke, and it really didn't help assuage my views on these junkets much.

I suppose it is incumbent upon me... us to go if we are concerned, but also the phrase 'get the climate deal we need' smacked of a certain mindset I am less than keen on in this arena, too.

We're all "doomed", well, some* of us... maybe

It's a great headline: Possible unease over climate model stretching

Well, for a blogger like me it is at least.

I don't usually 'do' climate: too polarised.

But I do do communications, especially how the system persuades the people. And this is a doozy.

All very tricky. And one I don't envy the various 'powers that be', what with the massive authority, moral, trust and every other-wise that they currently enjoy with the (growing, but let's not worry about that) population.

I am just not sure that trying to unease the public into things slowly is quite working on past and present evidence, and when every flurry of climate foreboding is often followed by loooong fallow periods where navels get gazed at and economies get weighed (especially in terms of getting re-elected), if can often come across as tokenistic at best, half... um.. considered or, worse, when taxes heave into view, a tad opportunistic.

I must say that following what has doubtless been a very thorough briefing, that even as supportive a medium as the state broadcaster is littering its latest report with a preponderance of qualifying "quote" marks on every claim is hardly encouraging. *Especially on top of the "might's" and "depending's". The only certainties seem to be that as the grids get smaller, the derriere-covering gets greater. And, IMHO, that negates the whole exercise.

And if eyebrows are cranking here, I can only imagine what they will be like in some media, and how that will in turn be absorbed by some a wee bit preoccupied paying their Mum's annual care bills with less than certain leaders by example reckon is needed annually to sort out swirly ceilings, house ducks or faux timber their 50" TV rooms. Or certain quango senior execs still seem to score mega-bonuses for when what they are supposed to be doing fails and they try and blame the consequences of blocked drains or concreting over greenfields on a bit of weather.

At least Mr. Benn can hold his head high in this regard, but whether a disenchanted, distracted public will notice the distinction is doubtful.

ps: When it says 'on Thursday' on a blog dated Thursday, can I presume we are talking a weeks' time for the launch of this "research"?

Addendum - Having just found this via a Guardian writer Twitter feed, I am guessing not.

POOH CORNER - An Oasis of...?

Hard not to pass, er, comment: Manchester's manure to fill gas grid from 2011

Nice one, our kids!