cut and paste from Friends of the Earth email.
cut and paste from Friends of the Earth email.
Personally, I believe that the “left” has learnt nothing and will learn nothing on the road to Paris and beyond (the title of this blog post – This changes everything changes nothing #smugosphere #emotathons #same mistakes #roadtoparis – may give that away a bit.)
Still, I could be wrong (I genuinely hope I am). This message below popped up in the mcmonthly inbox and is forwarded to y’all. The proof of my wrongness will be if there is any specific reflection on what we’ve been doing wrong (or are we heroic and blameless?) and what we might do differently (we don’t need to, we’re heroic and blameless). Or maybe here comes my nineteenth emotahon.
A well attended conference in London recently heard Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, explain how our rulers are unwilling to tackle climate change but that a mass movement of citizens can force them to do so. As the U N climate talks in Paris approach, we want to hold a similar event in Manchester to help build that movement, probably on Saturday October 17th.We want to build a wide coalition of campaigns and individuals to organise this event. CaCC, Frack Free Greater Manchester and the anti-TTIP campaign are already on board, and other organisations such as Oxfam and the Manchester Hazards Centre have already said they want to get involved.On Tuesday 26th May we are holding an open planning meeting for the conference , 7pm at Friends Meeting House.We hope this meeting will discuss what speakers to invite, what topics will be covered, how we will publicise the event etc. Hopefully many activists, and people who have not been active before, will come along with fresh ideas (eg someone already suggested we could have a video message from scientists in the Arctic).If you are on Facebook, please follow the link below to the event page for May 26th, and share it with your contacts:
Global Justice Manchester’s next education and reflection evening- relevant both for the situation of people in the UK and Global South- the 1%’s advantage and jeopardising our common climate- come along and invite your friends and associates.
With the climate talks coming and a questionably sympathetic UK government whither Global Justice, energy and climate change?
“To ensure everyone has access to energy and tackle climate change, we need to take control of energy from big business and finance. A just energy system is one where energy is fairly distributed and democratically controlled and managed, recognising environmental limits.
Around the world, people are resisting coal mines and oil companies, fighting against privatisation and campaigning to stem the flow of money to coal, oil and gas. Communities are building sustainable and fair energy systems and winning access to energy for the first time. ”
Sam Lund – Harket will talk about these issues and Global Justice Now’s campaign on energy and climate change.
Sam campaigns as part of GJN’s campaigns and policy team to end UK financial sector involvement in harmful energy projects.
The event will be held at Greenfish Resource Centre, 46 – 50 Oldham St,
Manchester, M4 1LE, starting at 18.00 for a couple of hours.
‘Turning the tide in Oceania: a call for a global network to transition the Pacific to low carbon sea transport’ by Dr. Peter Nuttall, Research Fellow at the Pacific Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific, Fiji, on Monday 18th May (room C1, George Begg Building, Sackville Street) at 4.00pm.
Biog- Dr. Peter Nuttall, Research Fellow at the Pacific Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific, Fiji (biography attached)
The Atoll Nations of the Pacific face imminent destruction, possibly the first national level collateral damage of climate change. At the global scale we wait for Paris to see if our global community can pull back its excessive incineration of fossil fuels sufficient to give these proud but tiny archipelagos and their ancient cultures a hint of survival. Having none of their own, this island studded ocean region is now entirely dependent on unaffordable imported oil for most energy needs. But far from being powerless, the Marshall Islands are determined to lead by example. At the global level they are calling at MEPC 68 for an industry target to be set for reducing international shipping emissions commensurate with a threshold of no more than 1.5 degrees of warming. At the national level they have already set a target of reducing their own transport fuel use by 20% by 2020 and are planning a whole of country strategy to transition to a low carbon transport future. Sea transport is the first objective. Achieving either of these objectives is likely beyond their reach unaided and we seek to build a network of willing global knowledge partners to support them in their related quests. In this presentation we outline a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder strategy designed to build the platform for such transition as a catalyst for other small island states. Perhaps an exercise in futility, a quixotic tilt at a gigantic, unassailable windmill; perhaps a model for a future world.
So, at a national level, here’s what to expect for climate and energy policy
-“Energy and climate policy are even more absolutely doomed. Prepare for onshore wind turbines to begin disappearing, fracking underfoot, no 2030 [renewable energy] targets…” (quote from somebody who knows a very small amount about these things).
At a local/regional level, Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester have been shockingly useless on keeping their climate promises. And whenever you point out specifics, Labourbots change the subject and Blame the Tories. Look forward to another 5 years of that (with July’s climate report, which will whine about the National Grid changing its metrics as the reason for Manchester not having made any emissions cuts since 2009 on the way to the 2020 “41% reduction.)
ALSO at a local level, the absence of any political opposition in the Council chamber will mean the same old complacency, broken promises and stupidity. Yesterday someone hoped on Facebook for some Green councillors in Manchester. A devastatingly good-looking, intelligent, successful and popular commentator retorted –
The Greens have no winnable wards. Labour councillor votes are always higher in a general election too. And the existing Labour councillors have shown what they are made of (not much) in the last year when there has been no official opposition. They are simply unwilling to jeopardise their friendships/career prospects by asking the tough questions more than once, and refusing to be fobbed off with bullshit answers that are *demonstrably* false. That’s the state of play. The greens aren’t going to get their act together, the social movements aren’t either. And in the absence of that, Labour and the bureaucracy will become ever more complacent and brazen in their contempt for truth and the long-term prospects of this city that can’t be quantified as “inward investment”.
And nationally on non-climate/energy/environment? Get your hip replacements done now, cos there ain’t gonna be no NHS in five years. The Tories now have a mandate for all of the stuff they DIDN’T have a mandate for five years ago.
And what is to be done? This, from my good friend and MCFly cartoonist Marc.
I opted to wait til this morning for the result and have awoken to the knowledge that a “majority” of my countryman care nothing for fairness, even-handedness, decency or the future of their own children. That so many millions have opted to squeeze the life out of all that our grandparents built and fought for in the name of an extra holiday in the Algarve or a few more Sky channels is a bitter dissappointment and a damning indictment of the moral state of our society under late capitalism. The knowledge that it is late capitalism – that its days are surely numbered by its own logic- is no consolation. We had a chance to save what we could – to repurpose selfishness for better aims – but we seem to have opted for “one more for the road” and “Devil take the hindmost” and it makes me sad. Profit once more triumphs over people. But on we go. To despair would be to fail ourselves and our children and to hand over our souls as well as our nation. Now the Tories will crack on with the great fire sale. We must crack on with building a real alternative and put aside all the petty differences that have for so long plagued the divided “left” (whatever that means, now). Nil desperandum brothers and sisters. We will not go gently into the dark night of a new feudalism.
From where I live the country still looks beautiful. The Spring still bursts with life and possibility and the land is still ours. I look more warily at neighbours who have chosen – in ignorance or callousness or simple idiocy – to put me and mine in harm’s way, but I will not stoop to mimic their casual brutality. Life is precious and each one is worth a thousand times the thirty pieces of silver that the haves have taken to throw the have-nots to the wolves. So keep standing for life and hope. Take time to digest and renew yourselves, and come together anew. This is not the last scene in this drama, although we are undoubtedly in the last act.
Go well and do what must be done, with your heads high. Namaste.
Tyndall Manchester and the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR) would like to invite you to attend a seminar by Professor James Wilsdon entitled ‘The science and art of scientific advice’ on Thursday 21st May (room C1, George Begg Building, Sackville Street) at 4.00pm.
Professor James Wilsdon, Professor of Science and Democracy in SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit) at the University of Sussex, and Director of The Nexus Network (biography attached)
In October 1964, Sir Solly Zuckerman was appointed as the first UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA). Fifty years on, scientific advice has never been in greater demand; nor has it been more contested. From climate change to cyber-security, poverty to pandemics, food technologies to fracking, the questions being asked of scientists, social scientists and other experts continue to multiply. At the same time, the authority and legitimacy of these experts is increasingly scrutinized.
Taking the institution of the GCSA as his starting point, James Wilsdon will describe how cultures of scientific advice in the UK have changed, to become more open, accountable and multidisciplinary. He will then survey the international landscape, looking in particular at recent controversies over EU scientific advice, and the outcomes of an inaugural global summit of scientific advisers in August 2014. He will ask whether the current enthusiasm for scientific advice and evidence-based policy is part of a broader shift towards more ‘experimental’ forms of government, and consider what this means for the relationship between experts, publics and democracy.
The seminar will take place in room C1, in the George Begg Building on Sackville Street– number 17 on the campus map-http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/maps/interactive-map/?id=14
Please RSVP, or contact Amrita with any queries- firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost? Sliding scale of £15 – £100
When? Fri 19 (pm) – Sunday 21 June 2015
When we think of mounting inequalities, eco-systemic collapse, runaway climate change, and the rise of the Right – the problems we face can seem insurmountable. No matter what we do, it never seems to be enough. Change seems to require such immense effort that no rest is permitted. The result is paradoxical: an activist culture of burn out, disillusionment and high drop out rates.
If this resonates with you, if you have felt or feel on the edge of burn-out and want to develop skills to avoid it, join us for a nourishing weekend of personal and collective reflection on effective activism and personal sustainability.
This two-day residential training was borne out of ‘Sustaining Resistance: Empowering Renewal’ a 10 day residential training developed and delivered at Ecodharma in the Catalunyan Pyrenees.
The introductory training applies ecological/systems thinking and holistic-participatory learning to the practice of activism and the building of social movements. It offers both a space of reflection and practical methods for engaging in the inner work that underpins effective activism for social and ecological justice.
Themes that will be explored include:
– Building group dynamics that support sustainable activism
– Avoiding disillusionment/staying inspired
– What is ‘enough’ and how to manage it
– Self care and how to integrate it into our daily lives
Nate Eisenstadt and Claire Milne, both of whom are co-facilitators of Sustaining Resistance at Ecodharmahttp://www.ecodharma.com/courses-events/2015/06/13/sustaining-resistance-empowering-renewal
More info / apply?
Please email claire[at]ecodharma.com to request a (short) application form.