Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

December 10, 2012

The Waste Watch’s Common Place initiative seems to rely heavily on the same techniques used by Evangelical Christians, i.e. focusing on the relationship between people. This is precisely my phd thesis: the role of the lawmaker is not to specifically change behaviour per se but to remind people of their responsibility by reshaping their environment.

Inside track

OCP_TwitterThis post is by Green Alliance policy assistant Jonny Hazell, who worked on Waste Watch’s Our Common Place project, which has recently published a report on its first year.

Waste Watch’s Our Common Place programme emerged from the simple idea that just because an organisation is interested in an environmental issue – and is being funded to act on it – doesn’t mean other people will be interested.

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December 10, 2012

A brilliant article on green growth as an alternative to growth or no growth. I think the authors mean holistic growth.

Inside track

graph upThis is a guest post by Dr Cameron Hepburn and Dr Alex Bowen of the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change. It is based on a longer paper 

The financial crisis and the Great Recession have put economic growth back at the top of the political agenda in most countries. That is not surprising. The surprise is that there has also been a backlash against economic growth, from three completely different camps.

First, those whom we call ’inevitable no-growthers‘, such as US economist Robert Gordon, who argue that low or zero growth in developed economies may be inevitable.  Second, ’environmental no-growthers‘, such as Prosperity without Growth author Tim Jackson, who argue that the planet cannot sustain continued increases in economic activity. Third, ’lifestyle no-growthers‘, such as Lord Robert and Edward Skidelsky, authors of How Much is Enough, who conclude that we would be better…

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Time to move on

September 10, 2009

The purpose of Lowsaltfoods was to document my job search (and any other random thoughts that popped into all my heads – well not all of them, that would be obscene). Since I have decided to go back to uni to do a PhD, and am therefore no longer looking for a job, it seems kinda pointless to continue updating Lowsaltfoods. So I would like to direct you to my new blog, Green PhD, which will track my progress on the PhD.

You can also follow me on Twitter. (Please…)

Barack Obama – not that radical

August 17, 2009

So I may be jumping on the bandwagon here, but I have got a bit fed up with seeing accusations that the US Government is planning a communist style takeover, starting with a nationalised heath service and death panels. (How are sales of George Orwell’s 1984 doing by the way.)

So I decided to check out for myself the H.R.3200, aka America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, the proposed bill that is currently in front of Congress.

Having looked through a substantial part of the bill, I am virtually certain that Barack Obama is not planning a sytem based on the Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) model. All he is doing is ensuring that everyone has access to affordable health insurance, either from the private sector or public sector. Certainly, no death panels in sight. It’s not as radical as the Republicans think.

Unemployed and actively seeking work?

August 17, 2009

I think I’ll have to first speak to Jobseekers Direct on a hypothetical basis, telling them that I am thinking about going back to university in October and find out if and when I would have to sign off. They will presumably make a note of my enquiry on the system (or at least they ought to).

Based on what they advise me, I will then approach either the Job Centre Plus personal adviser or the consultant at Employer Engagement on a hypothetical or actual basis.

I hope this isn’t dishonest – obviously I would value a second opinion. Should I take this hypothetical approach or just be upfront about it?

(I know that I will have to sign off my claim at the end of September. The issue is whether I can still continue claiming between now and then if I continue to apply for jobs and go for interviews and be prepared to take up any work before the end of September, with a view to leaving the job when the course starts.)

Vote ‘No’ to Assisted Suicide

August 14, 2009

A word from my MP

August 5, 2009

Back in March, when I first encountered problems with the Job Centre Plus, I wrote to my MP. He wrote to the then DWP minister Tony McNulty and received what turned out to be a standard reply. I immediately wrote back to my MP in June and below is an extract from his reply.

“I and my Liberal Democrat colleagues believe that Job Centre Plus staff should be empowered to help customers as and when they need it, not according to a centrally determined timetable or procedure. The process by which job seekers are categorised results in many receiving the kind of inappropriate training you have described to me. In brief, the program is inflexible and quite ineffective.

“You clearly demonstrate that, despite Tony McNulty’s protestations to the contrary, the service you have received from Job Centre Plus has not been tailored to your needs. Requiring that you attend courses irrelevant to your job search in lieu of pursuing useful volunteer opportunity seems to run counter to the stated objectives of the New Deal program. I have written to Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, raising this point with her, and inquiring how Job Centre Plus intends to better tailor its services to individual needs, especially the needs of professionals like you.”

Part of me is a bit worried because since I wrote to my MP, I have been made aware of no less than four programmes aimed at professionals. Nevertheless, my original criticisms do still apply.

Is this the Holy Grail of JSA?

August 5, 2009

I finally had my initial assessment with Employer Engagement regarding a place on the New Deal for Professionals programme. The consultant/adviser that I met was very understanding and encouraging. She clearly knew what she was doing and knew the right questions to ask. The great thing about this particular programme is that it involves a 13 week work placement, minimum of a couple of days per week. It’s up to me to provide them with a list of small to medium sized companies for whom I would be interested in working. They then contact the companies and to secure a placement. Even better, I can save time by using the voluntary work that I am currently doing as the “work placement”. In other words, for 13 weeks or so, the Job Centre Plus Service is precisely tailored to my needs.


July 24, 2009

I haven’t found a job yet but I have finally received an offer to do a PhD, starting this autumn. Looks like I am going back to school.

Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

July 16, 2009

Yesterday, I was in Starbucks. As usual with Starbucks, the lighting was dimmed. I saw a woman with Rapunzel-like blonde hair and wearing what looked like hot pants (or at least very short cut-offs). I found myself admiring their legs, as any hot-blooded guy is wont to do. Then I heard the voice and looked at the face. After much Animal Farm-like double takes, I realised that this gorgeous woman was indeed a man.  His companion had short brown hair and wore jeans and a what looked like a shirt…and was a woman.