Discourses of delay: arguments used to avoid climate action

Twelve forms of argument that lead to deadlock

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Gilet jaune protests in France
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Romanticism, climate change and the anthropocene

What have Lord Byron and Mary Shelley got to contribute to attitudes towards climate change? David Higgins' book examines how Mount Tambora's eruption brings a historical perspective

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Aerial view of Mount Tambora surrounded by clouds
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Using the underground to fight climate change

Opportunities for low carbon economic regeneration which is sympathetic to local industrial heritage

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Priestley Centre members area

Our members area is packed with useful information and resources. If you’re a Priestley Centre member, you can access it here.

If you’re studying or working at the University of Leeds and would like to become member, you can find more information here.

Resources for young people

Answers to questions we hear at our 'Ask a Climate Researcher' stand at the Leeds climate strikes
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Detailed posters showing impacts of different warming levels and actions that can be taken to reduce your carbon footprint
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Featured reports

Leeds researchers contributed to this industry coalitions report that provides pathways for decarbonising the heating of Britain’s homes and workplaces by 2050, which currently accounts for around 20% of the UK’s carbon emissions.
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Nearly half the UK’s carbon footprint comes from emissions released overseas to satisfy UK-based consumption, according to a new report from WWF that University of Leeds researchers were involved in authoring.
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Households in the UK are at increasing risk of flooding and drought due changes in the climate according to a report from the Climate Coalition that Priestley Centre researchers contributed to.
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A team led by Andy Gouldson, Chair of Leeds Climate Commission and Professor of Environmental Policy at the University, sets out carbon targets and a roadmap for reducing Leeds’ emissions in line with the global targets set out by the United Nations recommendations.
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Featured journal papers

A paradigm shift is needed for assisted migration to become a standard conservation response to climate change threats and impacts. Dr Maria Beger contributes to this paper that explores the barriers to using this conservation tool in practice.
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Neither scientific, Indigenous, nor local knowledge systems alone will be able to contribute the breadth and depth of information necessary to detect, attribute, and inform action along pathways of climate-health impact. Priestley PhD researcher Bianca van Bavel et al. explore how to shift the existing patterns of inclusion into balance.
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This international study, led by Professor Piers Forster, estimates that including climate policy measures as part of an economic recovery plan with strong green stimulus could prevent more than half of additional warming expected by 2050 under current policies.
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Too expensive, pointless, and others should do more: a new study sheds light on the excuses for doing nothing that circulate in the public debate on climate change. Leeds researchers and colleagues in Berlin examined a range of sources to identify twelve forms of argument that lead to deadlock.
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Featured policy briefings and responses to calls for evidence

This policy brief introduces a suite of technologies which use underground assets to store heat and energy, or provide a low carbon means of energy generation. These present regional authorities with an opportunity for low carbon economic regeneration which is sympathetic to local industrial heritage.
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University of Leeds researchers worked with the Local Government Association to develop a series of briefing notes to provide councils with a practical set of actions they can take forward for decarbonisation.
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This briefing by Dr Milena Buchs et al. and published by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance showcases examples of inspiring actions around the world that are moving us towards a wellbeing economy, along with examples of actions that are moving us away from this vision.
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Estimates suggest that low-carbon fuels could mitigate between 5% and 30% of carbon dioxide emissions from UK aviation by 2050. But in 2017, only 0.002% of all aircraft fuel was low-carbon. Professor Piers Forster contributed to this POSTnote which reviews the main types of low-carbon aviation fuels and their potential for use, as well as associated challenges and opportunities.
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Featured books

British Romanticism, Climate Change, and the Anthropocene: Writing Tambora by David Higgins (Palgrave Pivot; hardback and eBook) This book is the first major ecocritical study of the relationship between British Romanticism and climate change. It analyses a wide range of texts – by authors including Lord Byron, William Cobbett, Sir Stamford Raffles, Mary Shelley, and Percy Shelley – in relation to the global crisis produced by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. By connecting these texts to current debates in the environmental humanities, it reveals the value of a historicized approach to the Anthropocene.
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Meteorology of Tropical West Africa; the forecasters’ handbook. Douglas J. Parker, Mariane Diop-Kane, Editors. Wiley-Blackwell. Print ISBN: 9781118391303 Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook presents the science and practice of weather forecasting for an important region of the tropics. Connecting basic theory with forecasting practice, the book provides a unique training volume for operational weather forecasters, and is also suitable for students of tropical meteorology.
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Postgrowth and Wellbeing: Challenges to Sustainable Welfare. Milena Buchs and Max Koch, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017 (DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-59903-8) This book by Dr Milena Buchs (Sustainability Research Institute) and Max Koch presents a critical discussion about how human wellbeing can be maintained and improved in a postgrowth era. It highlights the close links between economic growth, market capitalism, and the welfare state demonstrating that, in many ways, wellbeing outcomes currently depend on the growth paradigm.
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A graphic novel edited by James Mckay and Benjamin Dickson, published by the University of Leeds. A sequel to the 2013 project with school children called Dreams of a Low Carbon Future, published as a free educational resource. This book explores in depth a positive, sustainable future for the UK in the year 2150, through art and stories.
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Research briefs

The Priestley Centre has published a collection of research briefs, bringing together a selection of solution-focused climate research across four main areas: improving prediction of future climate; understanding risk to develop a resilient world; enabling low-carbon transitions, and addressing the social, political and economic dimensions of climate change
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Infographics

A bespoke website for a new paper by Leeds researchers offers interactive charts to show the median level of resource use for 20 countries in a dataset that are closest to a range of social thresholds. Sliders below each of the social indicators can be used to raise or lower thresholds for a “good life”, and explore what choices would mean for sustainability
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Code

The Priestley Centre GitHub is a collection of open source code used in research papers published by our members.
Visit the Priestley Centre GitHub