“Grassroots Energy Collaboration” Liverpool, 10 June.

Alongside local activists, Biofuelwatch are hosting a series of “Grassroots Energy Collaboration” workshops across the country throughout May and June, in Bristol, London and Liverpool.

The Liverpool event will be held on Saturday 10th June at The Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BT from 10am – 4.30pm. The event is aimed at groups from across the North of England. Places are limited to 40, please register on Eventbrite here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/grassroots-energy-collaboration-workshop-north-tickets-34066747559.

These events will bring together those fighting polluting and extractive energy (such as fracking, coal, big biomass, incineration and nuclear) and fuel poverty with those working on community renewables and other local energy projects. We aim to discover how we can better work together to bring about the energy transformation the UK desperately needs for the climate, the environment and for society.

We set up these workshops in response to what we perceive to be a very difficult political environment for climate and energy campaigners: a government that is pushing multiple regressive and ‘dirty’ energy solutions, such as fracking and Hinkley C, which has hobbled clean energy just as it was taking off, and gives no support for energy efficiency – and this doesn’t even begin to touch on the uncertainty caused by Brexit and the election.

It would be easy to separate into siloes and focus on fighting our single-issue campaigns. But we think that we do not have to make these false choices between nuclear and fracking, coal and biomass, warm homes or investment in renewables. We can reduce energy demand, phase out fossil fuels and produce enough clean, renewable energy to run a decent society and have healthy lives. At these workshops, we can start having these extremely important conversations about what we want OUR energy system to look like, and how we can work together to get it.

Aims of the workshops are:

  • To facilitate collaboration and networking between grassroots groups and organisations working for a just and sustainable energy system;

  • To identify shared principles and campaigning objectives and messages;

  • To identify scope for joint work or messaging, either between all or some participating groups.

The focus is of these workshops is specifically on the UK context, and on energy for heat and power rather than for transport.

Once you’ve registered on eventbrite, we’ll be sending out a document before the event with info on all the different projects and campaigns represented.

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2019: How the #climate activists blew it, again #debacle #doomed

Sometimes Mother Nature gives climate change activists a boost. She tried in the summer of 1988. She tried again in August 2005, when Hurricane Katrina bulls-eyed New Orleans.  She tried again in the long hot summer of 2019.

The Indian heatwave saw thermometers bump up to 48 degrees on four occasions during a two week period.  The power system buckled, and only those who could afford generators and ever-more expensive fuel could afford air-conditioning. Pictures of overflowing mortuaries – stuffed with the old, the young, the poor –  and mass graves in major cities around the sub-continent were beamed around the world.  Social media hashtags proliferated, and protest events about Western indifference and the slowness of relief efforts were held in cities with significant Indian populations around the globe.

Just as that was becoming old news, a pall of smog hung over China’s capital (that’s what you get when you melt the Arctic). Millions of middle-class Chinese people, fearful for the health of their child (or more rarely children), were not fooled by official declarations that – after four days of warnings to stay indoors – that it had suddenly become safe to go outside. The twitter feed of the monitoring equipment on the roof of the US Embassy in Beijing was endlessly reshared and reposted. The 50 cent army failed to distract people, and the real army was on standby, and but nobody quite knew if it would, or could be called upon to repeat its show of force of 1989.

Meanwhile in Russia, in an eerie repeat of 2010 , fires surrounded Moscow, and wheat exports were again banned.  Globally, food prices surged, with devastating impacts on the poorest.

Closer to home, a freak tidal surge hit Norfolk, leaving 8 dead and thousands homeless.


You can read the rest here.

Trigger warning. Someone beloved dies…

Posted in Signs of the Pending Ecological Debacle | Leave a comment

No plans to train Council staff in carbon literacy… #Manchester #climate #debacle

So, in January the Executive Member for the Environment told a committee of councillors that she was taking personal charge of carbon literacy training. Six weeks later MCFly requested, among other things;

 A copy of the document/documents that exist that lay out how the various directorates are intending to increase the number of carbon literate staff to, say, 50% by such and such a date. i.e. I am interested to know what the Council intends to DO to increase carbon literacy rates, given that on 3rd January 2017 the Executive Member for the Environment told a scrutiny committee that she was going to take personal leadership of the carbon literacy training.)

In late March we go this reply-

No such document currently exists. The focus since January 2017 has been on making e-learning and face-to- face training available to elected members. Making the training available to other Council staff will require the allocation of additional resources and detailed planning.

And so we will FOIA to find out what allocation of additional resources and detailed planning has occurred in the last two months. Watch this space…

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#Mustread – The Doomsday Glacier by Jeff Goodell

New feature on MCFly – stuff that anyone who wants to know what to expect (globally more than locally) ought to be reading. I will hashtag it #mustread.  It probably will NOT be Manchester-centric, so feel free to ignore

Will continue with results of FoIAs into the disaster that is Manchester Council’s policy ‘implementation’, but that’s just for the record.  Too late now to do anything meaningful for the city, or the species… Everyone’s fault, but especially the cretins in charge and their lickspittles…

The Doomsday Glacier, by Jeff Goodell

In the farthest reaches of Antarctica, a nightmare scenario of crumbling ice – and rapidly rising seas – could spell disaster for a warming planet.

Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica is so remote that only 28 human beings have ever set foot on it.

Knut Christianson, a 33-year-old glaciologist at the University of Washington, has been there twice. A few years ago, Christianson and a team of seven scientists traveled more than 1,000 miles from McMurdo Station, the main research base in Antarctica, to spend six weeks on Thwaites, traversing along the flat, featureless prairie of snow and ice in six snowmobiles and two Tucker Sno-Cats. “You feel very alone out there,” Christianson says. He and his colleagues set up camp at a new spot every few days and drilled holes 300 feet or so into the ice. Then they dropped tubes of nitroglycerin dynamite into these holes and triggered a blast. Sensors tracked vibrations as they shot through the ice and ricocheted off the ground below.

h/t to Chris Wright for bringing it to my attention.

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Upcoming event: Seeking a resilient, local, stable ‘viable economy’? #Manchester 17 May.

Steady State Manchester event:

Seeking a resilient, local, stable ‘viable economy’?  The role of community business

Wednesday 17th May 6.30-8pm
Lounge at Manchester Methodist Hall
Central Buildings, Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JQ

Do you wonder what kind of an economy we need to ensure community businesses can flourish and thrive? Are you involved in or interested in community business? What makes a community business successful? And able to keep going? Do you want to be part of a conversation about how can community business contribute to a more resilient, local, stable and ‘viable economy’ delivering what we all need: frugal abundance/true prosperity?

If any of these or other questions about community businesses and a viable economy are important to you, this conversation is for you.

There are many types of community business including shops, farms, pubs or call centres. They are businesses which are accountable to their community and the profits they generate deliver positive local impact.

Steady State Manchester believes an alternative approach to economic development in the city and region is essential so that all can live well and within planetary limits. We call this viable economics. Among other things viable economics involves:

  • Re-localising food and other production, providing decent green jobs and more income equality.
  • Localising money and using wealth for needed developments, for example energy efficient, affordable housing and investment in other local, green and ethical enterprises
  • Less exploitation of the majority world and open channels for communication and learning globally

This conversation will consider the degree to which community businesses need a viable economy and a viable economy will need community businesses. Come with your questions to discuss:

Book Now

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Batteries! Info night in #Manchester 24 May

Free! Book here


Come along to find out all about adding a battery system to your home solar system!

The widespread adoption of energy storage systems are seen as one of the building blocks of the future energy system. However, there is currently a bewildering array of options for householders who want to add them to their existing home solar system to enhance self-consumption or for those considering their inclusion in a new installation. In this info night we will present a series of talks on the case for energy storage, how battery storage systems work, and what options may be suitable for your home or business. There will also be a chance to speak to Carbon Co-op members with battery systems and put your questions to experts.

Refreshments Available.


  • Ben Aylott – Systems Developer, Carbon Co-op
  • TBC
  • TBC
Posted in Energy, University of Manchester, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

GMWDA ‘seeking exit’ from PFI contract

From here.

The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA)  has confirmed that it is “seeking an exit” from its recycling and waste management Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited.

In a statement on the website of Viridor’s parent company, the Pennon Group, it said that (as has already been widely reported) GMWDA “continues to face financial challenges due to prolonged austerity”.

It went on to confirm that following a recent meeting, GMWDA had confirmed that it was “seeking an exit from the Recycling & Waste Management Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Contract. This Contract relates to Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited” [continues]

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