It’s not the coughing that carries you off..

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It’s not the coughing that carries you off, it’s the coffin they carry you off in..19th century jokes about death and class..

One of three strands of the Post 2015 Sustainable development agenda recognises
progress will need to implement ‘scientifically credible, verifiable and measurable indicators’ and that ‘capacities should be built for new forms of measurement’ UNEP(2015).
Interlinked factors of transport and communications infrastructure, facilitate the ‘mobile lives’ built on unsustainable high carbon societies. In ‘Mobile Lives’ Urry(2010) outlines future scenarios where exhaustion of natural resources prompts movement towards localised smaller scale community living and where individual choice and rights are part of contested futures. Where mobility occurs using pollutant producing means, this could be subject to rationing through ‘price, or need or some kind of quota with carbon allowances as the currency to be allocated, monitored and individually measured’ (p.148).
Linking the UNEP sustainable development goals(SDG’s) and contested future scenarios would make the requirement for effective forms of local monitoring through sensors necessary. A Hackair (2016) project Captor is developing a network of local communities monitoring air pollution. Using low cost sensors, designed and maintained by the community, this will increase environmental awareness and promote education and action for change. The gathering of data on air pollution could be seen as looking at the consequence of ‘mobile lives’ after it has occurred, however, visibility makes environmental pollution tangible for people in their locality. Engaging citizens in a more ‘bottom up’ inclusive approach to combatting climate change is in line with the ‘no-one left behind’ SDG’s of the UNEP. Another project required the use of smart phones to collect data, however this could limit participation for people who do not have personal ‘smart’ technological capacity.

There is recognition of the interconnectedness of problems and solutions in the UNEP SDG’s. Localised approaches integrated by networked capacity could support a diversity of many coordinated actions at local level into the future.



Elliot, A (2010) Mobile lives: self, excess and nature
Routledge Oxon 2016


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