#Marchforscience #Manchester 22nd April

So, Albert Square, 12 noon. Be there or be, well, square.  Two more things –

The flowchart below that will help you make a decision, from the wonderful PhD comics., Underneath that, a link to my latest piece on The Conversation website, about attacks on climate science in Australia.


And that Conversation article.

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Free burn out workshop in #Manchester, 27-8 May

Developing Resilience Leaflet final“At the end of May there’s a weekend workshop in Manchester for people working for social and environmental justice who are concerned that they – or the groups they are part of – risk not taking care of themselves and each other (i.e. burning themselves out).

The deadline for applications is 2nd May.  The link to apply, and the contact details to find out more, are in the attached leaflet.

Please forward this on to people you can think of who are at a point where this might be useful; we’re hoping to get a good demographic mix of participants, so if you can help us ensure a broad range of grassroots folks are encouraged to apply, we’d be very appreciative.

Many thanks, Adam”

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#Manchester Council 2 months overdue with ‘quarterly’ #climate report *RETRACTION*

UPDATE/RETRACTION: (20th April.  The report for the third quarter is in fact up.  It has been put at the bottom of the page rather than the top.  Apologies to Manchester City Council. On this occasion, MCFly got it wrong.


Manchester City Council has failed to release its latest quarterly climate report, despite a claim from the Executive Member for the Environment that the Council needed to blow its own trumpet.  Instead, a citizen has had to submit a Freedom of Information Act request, after waiting for two months.

In January 2017 Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for the Environment told the scrutiny committee that is supposed to keep tabs on the work of her and her officers, that the Council needed to be more forceful in telling the world about all the wonderful things it was doing.  And yet, no report. Could it be that there are no good things to tell? Or, rather than conspiracy, is the truth more mundane and depressing – ongoing cock-up, on a scale that beggars belief?


Back in 2014 a bunch of activists suggested a series of zero/low-cost actions to Manchester City Council around climate change, given that the wheels had fallen off climate policy implementation.  One of these was that the Executive Member for the Environment would set up a blog. The then incumbent, Kate Chappell, promised she would do this. And then didn’t, telling everyone with ears exactly how much she cared about a) her own credibility and b) communicating with the great unwashed.  Another of the proposed actions was that the council produce quarterly ‘progress’ reports on its climate goals.  These only happened after prolonged nagging of the then Exec Member for the Environment, Jeff Smith, who at the time happened to be a parliamentary candidate.  Since then, the quarterly reports have been spotty in their arrival, and ignored by the “scrutiny” committee.

This is Manchester. This is the West. This is how we slouch towards Armageddon.  Day in, day out, incremental failures, each on their own trivial, but cumulatively destroying trust, credibility, truth, hope.   Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see?

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Upcoming Event: Benefit gig for exiled journos #Manchester 13 May

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Saturday, May 13 at 7 PM – 10 PM

The Waldorf 12 Gore Street, M1 3AQ Manchester, United Kingdom

Acts –
Singer-songwriter Aidan Cross
More TBC soon!

Raffle and prizes.

Tickets: £5 regular waged, £3 low-waged, £10 solidarity ticket
(Watch this space for how to buy a ticket.)

This is event is open to all members of the public, not just NUJ members.

Manchester and Salford NUJ are the hub for the NUJ’s Exiled Journalists Network. Exiled journalists have sought refuge in the UK because their lives have been imperilled while working in their home countries. Some of the union’s exiled members have been tortured and imprisoned. Some have been granted refugee status, while the union is supporting those who are still navigating the difficult legal process that all asylum seekers have to go through.

This benefit will raise essential funds to help our exiled journalists so they can start to work again, or if going through the legal process, simply to survive.

To find out more about the NUJ’s Exiled Journalist Network, go to http://nejonline.net/index.html

MCFly says;  telling the truth about government here in Manchester is easy and safe.  You submit a Freedom of Information Act request, they have to tell you what you want to know (most of the time). You then “print” it in your blog and maybe if you can be bothered fire off a letter to the Manchester Evading News.  Sure, everyone so often some moronic councillor will threaten to sue you for libel (no names), or your unpaid ‘read-the-newspapers’ gig gets cancelled,   but that’s about it.

This has NOTHING to do with the decency of our elites, and it has everything to do with a history of working class people, with intermittent support from middle-class people, fighting very long hard battles to secure things that reformist liberals mostly don’t even think about.  (It also has to do with a knowledge economy being a tricky thing to run with death-squads, so  the elites are – for now – force to tolerate dissent, but that’s another story).

My point is this.  Good brave journalists are crucial ‘truth tellers’.  Elites know this, and in large parts of the world they find it necessary to intimidate/jail/murder journos.  The ones who have to get out and somehow make it to the UK need our support. And therefore, if you give a shit, you will be at this gig.

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#climate lobbying… MPs. Training in #Manchester

Yeah, look, if it keeps you happy while you are waiting for the apocalypses, then fill yer boots.

Training in Manchester in June. All about the central government thing, nowt about local authorities. I suppose it sort of applies. If you go, do report on if it were any good… (at least one NGO has bailed from the “Climate Coalition” for reasons of, well, uselessness), and the photo looks uninspiring, implying this is typical sage on the stage/info deficit model…



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Volunteering with the Land Army

Harvesting pumpkins with Moss Brook Growers

Join us this Spring in preparation for the new growing season.

As Spring begins we are starting to ramp up our trips out to local organic farms. Upcoming dates inclue:

Monday 24th April –  to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.

Thursday  27th April – to Woodbank in Stockport.

Wednesday 3rd May –  to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.

Saturday 20th May –  to Abbey Leys in Cheshire.

A day out with The Land Army is quite a physical day’s work (though we’ll look after you and make sure you get proper breaks!), but it’s really satisfying and a great way to get your hands dirty, learn a bit about commercial scale food growing, and meet like-minded and interesting people like you!

Make sure you come prepared. You’ll need waterproofs, sturdy footwear such as wellies or boots, and drinking water. And it’s a good idea to wear clothes you don’t mind getting a bit mucky in! In return for your hard work we provide a healthy, home-made lunch and plenty of tea and biscuits – two things we find go hand in hand with working on the land!

Inspired by the women’s land armies of the First and Second World Wars, The Land Army was set up to help small organic growers in Greater Manchester increase their yields and strengthen their businesses. We currently work mainly with new organic growers, supporting them at the beginning of their journey towards establishing viable and productive farms.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and enjoy being part of The Land Army for many different reasons. You might be thinking about growing your own food at home or on an allotment, want to meet like-minded people, or simply have some spare time on your hands and fancy doing something totally different – either way, we’d love to hear from you! Becoming a Land Army volunteer is simple. You can join our mailing list by completing the form below to receive regular updates about Land Army trips. Or, you can keep an eye on the top of this page for upcoming dates. And if you want to come along, send us an email or give us a ring – and that’s it!

Land Army trips usually take place on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays and run from 9.30am until 5.00pm. We provide transport to and form the farms from Hulme (spaces are limited). In addition to lunch, drinks and snacks, all tools and gloves are also provided.

2016 Land Army volunteer and ‘city kid’ Luiza shared her perspective after getting stuck in at FarmStart Woodbank.

“Working as a Land Army volunteer was not only exciting because I could eat a lot of freshly picked tomatoes (!), but because it got my creative juices flowing. The new generation of urban farmers is young, motivated and idealistic. They are bringing the countryside closer to the city in what appears to me to be a new stage of the urbanization process that first set these two worlds apart in the 18th century. How exciting is that? Whether you want to be a grower or not, visiting new farms is a way of putting the food system into perspective and watching this process happening at first hand.” Read her full blog post here.

And here’s a lovely post by Sokhema Nara (Development Studies student and Project Officer at Transparency International Cambodia) on her experience with the Land Army in Autumn 2014. Thanks to Sokhema for letting us share it.

“Volunteering as Land Army for the FarmStart project with The Kindling Trust was an awesome experience! We’ve got to learn about the sustainable food and organic farm in UK. I like the concept of FarmStart as the opportunity for people to pilot their farming work while reducing the risk, which can help young entrepreneurs kick start their farming incubator! It was a one day worth spending. Surprisingly, all volunteers were girls! We had an exhausting, but educational and fun time figuring out how to build the saw table from scratch, cutting woods, putting fence for water barrel, making the sign boards for veggie selling and getting to know new friends! Looking forward to the next exciting volunteer journey!”

For more information and to book email corrina@kindling.org.uk or call us on 0161 818 8384

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Upcoming: Green Hustings for GM Mayor Fri 28 April. #Manchester

At Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St.  Free, register here.

With Greater Manchester on the verge of electing its first ever Metro Mayor, this is your chance to quiz the mayoral candidates on what they will do to protect and enhance our environment.

Join us to find out where the candidates stand on key issues such as:

What can be done to tackle climate change and keep our homes safe from flooding?
How will we power our homes and businesses, and do we want fracking in Greater Manchester?
What can be done to protect nature and green spaces from development?
How do we deal with the air pollution crisis, and what does that mean for how we get around?


18:00 Doors open
18:30 Welcome & opening statements
18:50 Quickfire round (pre-submitted questions)
19:20 Questions from the floor
20:30 Close

Send us your questions for the quickfire round by replying to the confirmation email you’ll receive when you book a ticket.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday 28 April at the Friends Meeting House.

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