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AGONY AUNT Helping with your climatechange related blues Page 2


Silence is its own story

Vol 2, No. 5. May 2013


Movement Building:

How do we get former activists involved again?

The Stakeholder Steering Group for the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan is looking for a new chair. On March Page 5 29th, well before the initial deadline, we asked the Relevant Authorities: INTERVIEW: Who will be shortlisting and Tyndall Centre Researcher interviewing the candidates for the John Broderick Steering Group role. The email addresses to which prospective candidates are being asked to send applications are Page 4 manchester.gov.uk. So, who from the council is going to be selecting the new chair, and who else (besides, presumably, Book Review: the current chair) is involved. They answered the other question we

posed in that email, so there's no doubt they got it. We resent the question a few days later. No reply. Then the deadline for applications got extended. On April 30th (over a month after our initial enquiry) we sent another email, that read in part:

"In addition, we would like to know how many applications were received before the original Friday 12th deadline for the role, including our own. We are NOT asking for the names of the applicants, just a specific raw number (1, 2, 5 etc)."

In the finest tradition of Manchester City Council we have, at time of going to press, had no reply. Marc Hudson

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First Time Reader? Climate change is coming harder & faster than scientists thought. It's caused by our use of oil, coal & gas. Manchester will not be immune. We have three choices: we can bury our heads in the sand, we can talk a good game or we can cut our energy use & increase our resourcefulness. MCFly is for people, organisations & communities who want to do the third.


Dear Miss Movements, how do we encourage more people to cycle when the media is full of cyclist gets squished flatter than a pancake by huge lorry stories and most cyclists I know have rueful stories of nearmisses with mad and/or incompetent drivers. Expecting Good Gen Seeking Knowledge Under Limited Likelihood Hello EGG SKULL, in my more reflective and metaphorical moments, I compare the cycling dilemma with the climate one taking the right action is theoretically possible, but until a lot of people do it at the same time, your individual sacrifice is largely futile. Still, you didn't write for a thesis, so here's some bullet points: Don't lie to people about the dangers, but explain how to minimise them (BikeRight do great training). Point out compared to what the risks not just of car accidents when driving, but the risks of heart disease etc. Join a campaigning organisation. On your own you are a pedal or a wheel or some handlebars. Nice, but to really get going, you need to be part of a bigger machine, one that is wellmaintained. If the group is rubbish, leave and hopefully going to another one rather than licking your wounds or speak up to change things. Make sure that the group is trying to get policy changes. A group with no opponent, or an illdefined or amorphous one, is a club rather than part of a social movement. When your council does something, press them to do more. When they make promises, hold them to those promises... And much as with cycling itself, when you campaign you need highvisibility, you need lights on you, and the confidence to be doing the manouevres you are trying on the road you are on. And you need to check your pressures, (after a while you get deflated). And this is my opinion you need to have something protecting your brain. Good luck!

On Wednesday 22nd May, Prof Kevin Anderson will be addressing Manchester City Councils Economic Scrutiny Committee on the need for action on climate change. The meeting is a great opportunity for people concerned about climate change and social justice to shift the focus of local economic strategy away from growth and towards a lowcarbon, high wellbeing and resilient local economy. We would like supporters to use this opportunity to contact their local councillors and attend the public meeting at the Town Hall which it starts at 10am. We are encouraging people to gather in the Waterhouse from 9am.

Reduce your personal footprint All the standard personal stuff drive less, cycle more, fly less (cough cough cough). Eat less meat. Buy less stuff. Insulate your house! Ask at work is there an environmental policy? If not, why not? If there is, is it being implemented? Has your organisation endorsed the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan? Doing all that is important in its own right, but also so you have credibility (and aren't accused of hypocrisy) when you... Increase your political footprint Join a group (see calendar on page eight) or go to an event. You could also volunteer with Cooler Projects on their Carbon Literacy programme see www.coolerprojects.com Find out who your local councillors are (even if you are deprived enough not to live in Manchester City Council's area). What have they done to get the council more active? What could they do? Do they even know about climate change as a local government issue? Get involved with MCFly Subscribe, forward articles to your friends. Send us news! Write for us, volunteer...

"Inspiring" Quote of the Month

"For all the mounting scientific concern, the political rhetoric and the clean technology, nothing has made a jot of difference to the longterm trend at the global level the system level. The growth rate in total carbon emissions in the past decade, at around 2% a year, was the same as that of the 1850s."

Duncan Clark, Guardian, April 17th 2013

What you may have missed... If you're reading MCFly for the first time, you may not realise that we have a website. We publish news stories, event reports, book reviews, opinion pieces and loads more. * Job Alerts: Real Food Wythenshawe looking for 3 co ordinators * Envirolution asks What is a Low Carbon Community? * Pollution Challenge Weds 24th April at the Lowry * Manchester and Earth Hour? City Council does its bit * MCFly coeditors in Applying For Steering Group Chair role shocker #Manchester #climate #acretinfuture Go to manchesterclimatemonthly.net

Erinma Ochu Green Artist based in Old Trafford What is your campaign trying to achieve? Right now we are working on 'Everyday Growing Cultures', a communityuniversity research project that aims to identify and explore ways to support local food growing. It's a project with the Kindling Trust, Opendata Manchester, The University of Sheffield and The University of Manchester. There are long waiting lists on allotments and yet many places where food could be grown. So the project is getting residents involved in looking at alternatives. What was the last big success you had? The last growing project I was involved in was a citizen science project growing sunflowers. It got lots of people around the UK growing sunflowers. Sunflowers attract wildlife bees in particular and hopefully people will get growing again this year. Lots of schools made resources on the importance of sunflowers and other plants environmentally as well as taking part in bee counts. If people got involved in your group/campaign, what sorts of things would they end up doing? For Everyday Growing Cultures there are two workshops in Trafford on the 1st and 15th May at St. John's Centre (M16 7GX) to find out about opportunities for urban food growing. This will include a walk to go around and find land suitable for growing food and vegetables. People will learn how to use simple technology to make a map. No prior experience is necessary. Please contact Kirstin at Kindling Trust for more information and to register a place: kirstin@kindling.org.uk or 07947 715715 What advice do you wish you could give your younger self? Share ideas early connect with others and make it happen we need to collaborate to make a difference.

John Broderick Research Fellow Tyndall Centre, Manchester What can activist get from academics? Hopefully, honest answers to their questions. I get the impression that activists feel academics should "speak the truth to power" but I think this has to be qualified with a realistic set of expectations. Firstly, academics aren't employed as activists, and so they're not trained, resourced Do you think that we have gone past the point of no and rewarded as such. Although there's increasingly the return in terms of dangerous climate change? First off, I think you can interpret "point of no return" in one expectation that they push for "impact" from their work, of two ways. One is that we have already put enough GHGs there's only so many hours in the day and typically teaching in the atmosphere to cause a dangerous (however defined) and research are prioritised over outreach of various sorts... amount of climate change or soon will because of the inertia I think both activists and academics need to be wary of implicitly assuming that knowledge presented will lead to a in the way we have set up infrastructure, our society and particular course of action, either from public or private economy. The second interpretation is that the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere has started off a series of positive decision makers or everyday people. The "information deficit feedbacks in the climate system, (e.g. melting of polar sea model" has taken a lot of flak in social science and there are good reasons why the changes we need to make in ice reducing the reflection of heat back society to stabilise the climate won't happen into space, that lead to faster and "I get the impression that spontaneously even in an enlightened faster warming) that we are activists feel academics should "speak society. unable to halt. In the first the truth to power" but I think this has to be You have written about the need to sense, if we take qualified with a realistic set of expectations. "recast economics around long dangerous as 1.5 degrees warming, as Firstly, academics aren't employed as activists, term social wellbeing rather than short term financial gain." Could many least developed and so they're not trained, resourced and you elaborate, what that economic countries and small island rewarded as such." shift would require? Many of the decisions states have argued, then I think that are made by governments, public bodies and yes, we probably have committed them to a private companies are justified on the basis of their dangerous amount of climate change, even if we act with urgency. Avoiding two degrees of warming is arguably out of increasing GDP or turning a profit. However, in choosing to reach unless we, globally, undertake radical changes in the make decisions on that financial basis there are assumptions about what counts and what doesn't count. way we use energy and land. In the second sense, I'm not There's a few things that I believe we should change about sure, you'd better ask a climate scientist not an emissions this. One of the most import assumptions is that future costs analyst... but I suspect that we would not know that we'd and benefits are discounted at a rate of between 3 and 15% gone past the "point of no return" in this sense until it's too per year. Now, the economy doesn't have to function like late, given uncertainty in our models and the time lags in that. We could consider things and justify them over longer different parts of the climate system. periods of time, and that might lead to quite different What is so problematic about the use of shale gas? conclusions, not least that we would invest more and From a climate change perspective, there are three major consume less. Another important change, would be to not issues with shale gas i) it is essentially just like any other only think of the economy purely in financial terms, i.e. source of gas when you burn it you get a lot of CO2, ii) accounted for in dollars and cents, but to keep account of there's lots more of it and iii) it's dispersed geographically, the material flows and social goods that it delivers, i.e. how not concentrated in particular regions. As the Oxford much fresh water we pollute and how many people are well Economist and gas advocate Dieter Helm has stated, we nourished and well educated. have more than enough fossil fuel to fry the planet. The :: See Manchesterclimatemonthly.net/interviews/ promise of shale gas is that we have even more. We caught up with research fellow John Broderick from the Tyndall Centre to talk shale gas, what activist can realistically gain from academics and why the GDP model is deeply flawed.

Shortly after we posed the theoretical question what would it take to get former activists back involved, Climate Camp obliged us by announcing that they are holding another camp (17 20 August), at the site of the their West Burton Gas plant occupation last year (www.nodashforgas.org.uk). Personally, I reckon for a group to attract back people who had decided exit or voice followed by exit (1) then they need to do three things: 1. Name the things that caused people to leave (and it will be different reasons for different people, naturally. Some will have overcommitted and burnt out, others will have been fed up by lack of accountability or cliquyness. Others still will have been scared off by police tactics (stop and searches, aggressive evidence gathering, blasting loud music into a camp at 3am, that sort of thing) 2. Explain how these problems will be dealt with/lessened. (If anyone ever promises you they are onceandforall solved, then run don't walk in the opposite direction, because they are either lying to you or selfdeluding.) 3. Demonstrate that it will be different next time. i.e. show that there is a new way of doing things don't expect people to just come running back into the group's arms, all forgiven and dangerously all forgotten. This will take time. Once bitten and twice shy and all that...

How Do We Bring Back Former Activists?

"It is for those in charge of groups, to actively listen to its members, something the council and Manchester Green Party fail miserably to do. That is, not sit there and nod your head, as if you have listened but actually listen, take onboard what has been said. Even ask the question again to make sure, you understand what the person is saying. And then actually take action/s with regards to what has been said. Far too often, those in charge have ignored the ordinary members and continued with what they, the leadership wants. As the Manchester Green Party has learnt to its costs, as it still is not the second party in this city. They failed miserably to build on their victories in 2003 and 2004. Patrick Sudlow

People will have issues they are dealing with:

What am I talking about? See Albert Hirschman's work on Exit, voice or loyalty).

Bad memories every time something goes wrong, it will trigger fear of where this is heading here we go again Social pressure from people it made you so unhappy last time... Lack of a sense that it is going to be any different this time round. Sense that this is a closed chapter in your life, that you are now older and wiser Loss of optimism/growth of cynicism hard to commit, especially if it DOES go wrong again, youll blame yourself fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Unresolved anger at yourself for having been fooled for having stuck around as long as you did the first time Unresolved conflicts with other individuals Fear of being significantly older than the other people in the group Not wanting to interfere in what you can call someone elses struggle

Local The Fallowfield Secret Garden had a clear out weekend,and, with over 50 people, got most of the rubbish out. EcoHome Lab (make yer own energy monitors) launched on 19th/20th April with two events taking place at MadLab in Manchester. These sessions were part of Carbon Coop's new project to assist householders in taking greater control of their homes through use of open source tools. Cooler Projects' Carbon Literacy scheme, winner of a Climate Week award, has been shortlisted for the WWF Green GameChangers Innovation of the Year award. The highprofile and very proactive Steering Group has some new thematic chairs Gudrun Cartwright Chair, Sustainable Consumption & Production Brian Morris Chair, Buildings Damian Burton Chair, Energy Steve Merridew Chair, Green & Blue Infrastructure Who are these people? Biographies? Contact details? Who knows. Is there a thematic chair for transport? We are not told who they might be, or why there isn't one. Meanwhile, the nomination time for Steering Group chair had to be extended because not enough acceptable candidates came forward. Manchester City Council proved yet again how determined it is to

be open and transparent on all things environmental by removing the minutes of its Environment Strategy Programme Board from its website. Bravo!! And they have said that climate change is an issue only to be dealt with by one of the six scrutiny committees (neighbourhoods). Which is kinda interesting, given that the Economy Scrutiny Committee has talked climate, and will again on May 22nd. Still, when you have 86 of the 96 seats on Council, your responses to campaigners do not have to be fettered by silly things like coherence or consistency. Meanwhile, Manchester Airport is growing faster than any other major UK gateway, having handled 680,000 more passengers last year. Academia From Greenintelligence.org.uk Businesses in the North West are being invited to test out new solar panel designs, configurations and installation methods at a brand new Solar Research Plant at Salford University. The 400,000 facility was officially launched last month and it will offer free consultancy and research and development support to eligible businesses, under a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant designed to boost the regions clean energy sector. Alice Bows, and colleagues at

Tyndall Manchester, have secured 1 million of EPSRC funding (total grant of 4 million) to support a large collaborative research project entitled Shipping in Changing Climates. The project will explore how climate mitigation and adaptation policies and measures may impact on patterns of trade, and developments within the shipping sector. Europe The European Union Emissions Trading Scheme basically died a death, after the European Parliament refused to play footsy with the rules and regulations. So it goes. And despite the best efforts of the British government (among others) to block action, the European Commission has decided to impose a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. The bees would be breathing a sigh of relief if they didn't have a host of other careerthreatening things to worry about too. Global Atmospheric carbon dioxide is going to hit 400 parts per million of C02 this month (or else May 2014 next year). Summer ice is melting at a faster rate in the Antarctic peninsula than at any time in the last 1,000 years.

Beacons Stories for our not so distant future Edited by Gregory Norminton 256 pages
There are 21 stories in Beacons', one of which is a graphic short story, with contributions from the UKs greatest short story writers. Theres a story with a time machine, one with a Scottish chief, one about suicide inducing TV presenters, Marco Polo, about children, death, unfulfilled love and loads more about people navigating a quickly shifting landscape where the norm is no more. Heres what you need to know about Beacons (in a format inspired by the short stories): 1. You need to read more stuff by Adam Marek, David Constantine, Liz Jenson and A.L.Kennedy. Holly Howitt and Jem Poster were pretty good too. 2. There are only two, maybe 3, stories which are duds which isnt bad considering there are 21 stories in the collection. 3. The editor has done a great job. It also seems that all the writers all have taken the theme seriously and thought hard about the issue of climate change before putting pen to paper/hand to keyboard(?). 4. I have been informed by a reliable friend that my criticism that most of the authors mention the weather is unfair as this collection is about climate change. 5. I love short stories and also happen to know the editor Gregory Norminton so I might be a tad biased. But only a tad.

6. Helen Simpson, who has written a great short story collection on climate change titled In Flight Entertainment, is missing from the collection. Maybe she was all out of climate stories. Who knows. 7. All the stories are new commissions. No reprints, no nothing all in all, you get your moneys worth. 8. The editor decided to put together the book to support the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition back in 2007. The collection has been a long time coming but I think the final product was worth the wait. 9. Its only 8.99/ $14.99. 10. If want to read another great collection of environmentally inspired stories after youve read this collection, you could do worse than to read Versos Im With The Bears.

(A version of this review was published at GreenProphet.com)

Arwa Aburawa

MCFly Short Story Competition 2013

Manchester Climate Monthly has launched a short story contest! We are looking for stories of about Manchester in a warmer world. The word limit is 2000 words, and the deadline August 16th. Winners announced at an event in early October. Top prize is 200 and there are second and third prizes too. See full terms and conditions at manchesterclimatemo nthly.net/contests/short-story-contest/shortstory-contest-terms-and-conditions/

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Thurs 9, 12pm, Brownbag Session: Social return on investment in social housing: a look at a live case study of housing retrofit in Salford. Free, no need to book. G35, Humanities Bridgeford Street, University of Manchester. Fri 10 to Sun 12, Camp Frack 2 Mere Brow, Lancashire. Directions from Manchester here Sat 11, 11am 1pm Salfords First Anti Fracking Launch meeting at St Michaels Social Club Liverpool Road, Peel Green, Eccles M30 7LP. www.facebook.com/groups/SAYNOTOFRACKINGONBARTONMOSS/ Sun 12, 79pm Community Event This is the second in a new series of monthly events, aimed at learning about community and taking action to encourage community cohesion. 3941 Old Lansdowne Road, Withington Mon 13, 18.30 21.00 Manchester Permaculture Network open meeting at MadLab in the Nortern Quarter, Tib Street. If you are interested in joining the new planning committee, or being a founding member, then come along, sign the constitution, and have your say in our future plans. Tues 14, 68pm A Sustainable Future for Manchester series. Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd. Free. Housing with Richard Frankland, Dwelle. http://events.manchester.ac.uk/event/event:q8rhcrtq73cc5o4cm/asustainablefutureformanchester Tues 14, 6.45pm to 9pm Manchester Friends of the Earth Full Group Meeting, Greenfish Resource Centre, Oldham St. http://manchesterfoe.org.uk/ Tues 21, 6pm to 8pm A Sustainable Future for Manchester at Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd. Biodiversity with Matthew Holker, Greater Manchester Ecology Unit Weds 22, 10am Economy Scrutiny Committee provisionally hearing from Professor Kevin Anderson. Room 11 Town Hall. (Were going to need a bigger boat.) Thurs 23, 10.0021.30* Manchester City Council Environmental Strategy Programme Board meeting. Room 1.10 One First Street (*presumably a type in the minutes for '12:30'. Unless they re going to pull an 11 and a half our meeting to catch up on all the work they havent been doing?

Inclusion in this calendar is NOT a guarantee of quality. For full listing go to our online calendar at manchesterclimatemonthly.net/thecalendar/

Sat 25, Envirolution Festival at Platt Fields Park from 17pm.

Tues 28, 6pm to 8pm A Sustainable Future for Manchester talk at Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd. See Tues 14th. Weds 29, 6pm Cafe Scientifique: Frogs, people and ferns how to save the rainforest and its contents. A talk by Professor Richard Preziosi. Find out about one unlikely researchers attempt to do this in the jungles of Ecuador and the laboratories of Manchester. At Kro Bar, Oxford Road. Fri 31, 6pm Critical Mass bike ride. Starts at Manchester Central Library at St. Peters Square.

Manchester Climate Monthly exists to inform, inspire and involve people working - or wanting to work - towards a more Manchester Climate Monthly is financially resilient and fair Greater Manchester. Its editors are not members supported by of any political party or employed by any local authority. MCM receives no political funding. But we have a Lush wodge of moolah. For our mission(s) and transparency mechanisms, please visit the "about" page on our website. Our email is mcmonthly@gmail.com twitter: @mcr_climate scribd: www.scribd.com/ManchesterClimate And printed at: Editors: Arwa Aburawa and Marc Hudson

Cartoonist: Marc Roberts www.marcrobertscartoons.com Thanks to: All the volunteers who help MCFly exist!

Next issue published: 3 June 2013