Congrats @Home_Mcr bosses- poster children for #Manchester #greenwash at its most egregious

Let’s all give a big round of applause and a vote of thanks to the bosses of HOME, Manchester arts cinema etc.  In one easy move they’ve managed to-

  1. Shred the (admittedly limited) credibility of the Manchester Culture Awards
  2. Shred their own credibility
  3. Demoralise staff within the organisation who are trying to turn green words into deeds

How did they achieve this triumphant triptych?

By collecting an award about their environmental sustainability while simultaneously shilling for the aviation industry (among others).

By ignoring the fact ….

Actually, grok this letter in today’s Manchester Evening News – it does the job.

home letter 2019 11 19 pt1

 

Right, where were we? Oh, by ignoring the fact that there have been long-running and successful campaigns to stop BP and Shell from laundering their reputations via the arts (see here, here and here), the managers of HOME seem incapable of reading the writing on the wall and getting ahead of – or even alongside-  the curve (1). Perhaps they assume that Manchester isn’t London, and nobody in the desolate north gives a damn about hypocrisy and greenwash?  They may be right, we shall see.

In the meantime, remember the following-

  • There ARE people on the staff at HOME who understand what greenwash is, what hypocrisy is, and how refusing adverts from specific companies is not “censorship” (really, that line has been used).
  • There ARE people on the staff at HOME who will be dismayed at this.  So, if you are at HOME and you want to make your feelings clear (or you are deciding not to go to HOME until they drop the fossil-fuel shilling), then keep your comments to staff clear, concise and compassionate.
  • The greenwash is not limited to HOME. One of its funders, Manchester City Council, has a far more horrific record. Of late, they’ve started boasting about a so-called 48% reduction in their own emissions since 2010, hoping that nobody will notice or mention that this is down to Tory austerity leading to staffing levels going down from 10k to 6k, services being cut to the bone and buildings being flogged off.

 

Footnotes

(1) Not the Keeling Curve – sadly, we’re gonna ride that sucker to Armageddon.

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Filming #Manchester Council meetings IS allowed, despite what you are told.

The tl:dr – chairs of committees and senior officers of Manchester City Council receive NO training in the rights of citizens to film meetings.  If they make claims about filming that mean citizens are misinformed of their rights, there is zero sanction.  This is the democracy we live in.

 

There were two scandals at last month’s Planning Committee meeting of Manchester City Council, but only one of them got any coverage.  That’s understandable, given that it involved the approval of a car park next to a school (and induced demand while we are allegedly in a climate emergency).

The second scandal was this: both the chair of the committee (an elected member) and the senior officer (employee) of the Council made a sequence of statements about who could film what when and with permission. This was in response to a member of the planning committee, an experienced Councillor, raising the question of filming.

Watch the whole sorry display here

https://manchester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/447816, under the fifth item).

It was an awful, demoralising display, even by the standards of this council.  For the benefit of any libel lawyers who may have wandered in, I am NOT stating, or even insinuating, that the chair or the officer were knowingly misleading the public.  But it is indisputable that they were guilty of ignorance, of not knowing what the Council’s actual policy on filming is.

It is this-

filming permision

 

 

 

And so I submitted a Freedom of Information about what training chairs and officers receive.  And what happens if they give information which is not accurate. Read the answers and weep.

1a) What training do chairs of committees (be they scrutiny, planning, whatever) receive about the actual rules concerning filming of council meetings?
The Council does not hold any information that records the training of the chairs of committees in the rules concerning the filming of meetings. If there has been such training, we have no record of it.
1b) What training do members of the strategic management team receive about the actual rules concerning filming of council meetings? 
The Council does not hold any information on the training of the strategic management team in the rules concerning the filming of meetings. If there has been such training, we have no record of it.
2a). What sanctions are in place for chairs who do not inform members of the public about the actual (as opposed to preferred/imagined) rules are about filming. 
The Council’s policy on procedures are explained on this page of the website.
2b). What sanctions are in place for members of the strategic management team who do not inform members of the public about the actual (as opposed to preferred/imagined) rules are about filming? 
A copy of the Council’s Disciplnary Policy is attached, were it considered to be a matter that required formalor informal disciplany action to apply a sanction.
3) Given that at the Planning Committee meeting on 17th October showed a remarkable ignorance of the actual rules about filming by the Chair of the committee and a member of the strategic management team, has remedial training in the Council’s rules been considered? If so, by who? When and how will it be implemented (so, for example, if an email has been circulated, please provide a copy). 
The Council does not hold any information on whether remedial training in the Council’s rules has been considered.
If no remedial training has been considered, are we to infer that the Council is perfectly happy for incorrect information to be circulated and left uncorrected? 
This is not a request for information so no response is possible I’m afraid.
4) Will there be a public apology to the members of the public who were given rampantly incorrect information about their rights at the meeting on the 17th October
The Council does not hold any information on future intentions in relation to the matter you are asking about.
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Upcoming Event: Climate Jargon Buster Green Drinks, Thurs 21st, #Manchester

On Thursday 21st November, the next “Green Drinks” will be held at the Methodist Hall on Oldham St, central Manchester. Details on the poster here. No need to book, just turn up. It’s a session about the jargon around climate change, with Dr Joe Blakey (1)  There’s an interview with him below…
IMG_6217.jpg

Who are you?
I am a Lecturer in Geography at The University of Manchester. I’m a Political Geographer and I’m interested in decarbonisation politics and the ways in which how we count carbon shapes this.

What’s the most annoying/misleading bit of climate jargon, that misleads people the most
My biggest bugbear is not stating what ‘zero carbon’ refers to. In most city plans and government publications it refers to our goal of zero carbon energy and transport systems. It typically does not capture how we might reduce our influence in carbon intensive activities elsewhere (e.g. through our investment, consumption, aviation, shipping). In a globalised and interconnected world this is imperative and we should not gloss over the wider implications of our actions.

What is the second most annoying/misleading bit of climate jargon?
Carbon reduction dates, such as the UK’s ambition to reach zero carbon (in terms of our energy consumption and point source emissions) by 2050. The crucial thing to consider is the total amount of carbon emitted as a whole between now and the end of the century (cumulative emissions). We need to keep this as low as possible and the date when we go zero carbon is only part of that complex puzzle. The problem is in much debate we tend to only talk about the zero carbon date.

There’s all these different numbers floating about with regards to Manchester’s record on climate change – 41 per cent of this, 48 per cent of that. Is there a simpler way of thinking about how much carbon we have spent, how much we have left if we are to be fair to the rest of the people on this planet, let alone all the other species?
The Tyndall Centre have said that Manchester is only allowed to emit 15 million tonnes of CO2 (directly, or from our energy consumption) between 2018-2100 to play our ‘fair’ part in keeping temperature increases below 2 degrees against pre-industrial levels. We used around 2 million tonnes of this last year alone. Thinking in tonnes allows us to see how much we’ve got left and how fast it’s running out!

A similar picture can be seen at a Greater Manchester level too, where there is a budget of 71 million tonnes of CO2 (directly, or from our energy consumption) that it must not exceed between 2018-2100.

In short – we need to think in tonnes and think about spending these tonnes of carbon very wisely indeed!

 

 

 

Footnote

(1) Full disclosure – Dr Blakey is a good friend of the editor of this website.

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Prof Kevin Anderson on #climate, Cohen and what is to be done… #Manchester

Before you watch this footage of Professor Kevin Anderson (filmed in WonkyCam), please fill in this very short survey from Climate Emergency Manchester (1).  You can do it anonymously…

Prof Kevin Anderson, of University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre was in typically robust, take-no-prisoners, call-a-spade-a-spade form as he spoke to a room of young and old at the University today.  Here are the three videos, covering the talk and (some of) the Q and A.

First part

Second part

Third part (inc Q and A)

Footnotes
(1) I (Marc Hudson, am editor of Manchester Climate Monthly. I am also one of the five core group members of Climate Emergency Manchester
 

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Upcoming event: The Circular Economy for Textiles: are we nearly there? #Manchester 25 November.

Booking via here.

 

Description

The Circular Economy for Textiles: are we nearly there?

Date: Monday 25th November 2019

Time: Wine reception 5.30pm, lecture 6pm

Location: GM LT2, Geoffrey Manton Building, Manchester M15 6LL

Tickets: Free – Available on Eventbrite

Achieving sustainability in textiles has been acknowledged as a worthy goal by industry leaders, who have invested time and resources to deliver products with attractive environmental stories. However, in a price-sensitive market for apparel and household textiles, there are commercial constraints on decisions affecting the sustainability of products. Prior to the year 2000, most of the environmental improvements were legislation-driven: restrictions on the use of specific dyes and finishes, recycling of packaging and controls on the purity of
effluent waters from industrial premises. Some initiatives were taken by retailers to reduce the environmental footprint associated with laundering and drying textile products. The concept of producer responsibility had been embedded in regulations affecting waste electrical and electronic products, but little else. Nevertheless, some apparel brands initiated take-back schemes and have implicitly acknowledged responsibility for the whole life cycle. This proactive step opened the door for several alternative options for sustainable business models: rental arrangements, mending and repair, upcycling, shwopping, etc.

The past two decades have witnessed, not just steps, but an enormous conceptual leap, and the key phrase is the “Circular Economy” (CE). The goal is not to minimise waste and environmental impacts, but to turn wastes into resources. Materials are recycled and not discarded. There have been two major intellectual drivers for the change: Industrial Ecology and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). In addition, there has been a significant charismatic lead provided by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The team assembled by Ellen MacArthur has succeeded in networking with businesses, business leaders and politicians to put CE firmly on the agenda for change.

Numerous pre-competitive projects have been funded by governments to further the CE goal. Most of these have addressed specific sub-sectors of the textile supply chain, but one has considered the issues comprehensively. This is the Resyntex project, and a team from Manchester Metropolitan University has been active in this project for the past 4 years.

This lecture provides an overview of the project and its achievements. Notably, there is now a pilot plant (capable of processing 100 tonnes of waste textiles per year), operating in Slovenia. The lecture aims to show that whilst there are existing and emerging technology solutions to the challenge of implementing CE, there are still
major cultural barriers that need to be addressed. These affect retailing (the messages accompanying the products), the supply chain (which needs to be more open to industrial symbiosis), the consumers (who make choices about what to purchase and what to dispose), political leaders (who need to address regulation and the use of EPR to support industrial change), and designers (whose decisions are crucial if CE is to become a reality). Technologically, we are nearly there, but culturally, we have still a long way to go!

Professor David Tyler

David Tyler is Professor in Fashion Technologies at Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. He joined the Department of Clothing Design and Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University in 1979 (now metamorphosed into the Manchester Fashion Institute). He has pursued a number of research interests related to responsive manufacturing (arising from my own PhD), teamworking, systems modelling and new product development. These projects were funded by EPSRC and the DTI.

During 2000-2004, David managed the North West Advanced Apparel Systems Centre, a European-funded initiative to support clothing and textile companies in North-West England. This involved supporting 60 companies with knowledge-intensive projects designed to safeguard or increase employment and sales. This has brought him into contact with a wide range of companies representing all activities in the supply chain. A particular interest in innovation has led to the support of textile digital printing technologies by providing training courses and sponsoring small projects. A DTI-funded project concerned with digital printing and mass customisation in the interior textiles sector involving three Rochdale companies and MMU was completed in January 2004.

From 2006-2008, David completed work for the EU Framework 6 project: “Fashion 2 Future”. This was a technology transfer project involving 38 partners with the aim of building links throughout Europe.

David was lead academic for a KTP project (Knowledge Transfer Partnership – completed 2010) concerned with protective headwear. This project was the stimulus for more recent research into apparel that protects against impacts.

From June 2015-November 2018, David was involved in the EU-funded project: Resyntex. This is a Circular Economy initiative to turn the clothing and textiles life cycle from linear to circular. I am the Leader of WP2 which is concerned mainly with consumer behaviour issues.

David’s current research interests are in new product development, PPE, sustainability issues affecting apparel (notably the EU-funded project Resyntex), mobile e-commerce, wearable technologies and textile digital printing.

Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to disability equality. If you have any access requirements, please let us know via 0161 247 6740 or email us at lucy.simpson@mmu.ac.uk before you arrive to help us to make sure that your visit to the event is as enjoyable as possible.

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Upcoming Friday: Inspirational Australian … film, this Friday, #Manchester

2040From Greenpeace-

Calling all families, eco-warriors & documentary lovers: what would the future look like if we simply embraced the best that exists today?

2040 is an Australian documentary that takes a solutions-based approach to how we can, using the technology we already have, mitigate the enormous global issues we currently face.

It’s released in the UK next week, and award-winning director Damon Gameau will be running a preview of the film and Q&A with a speaker from Greenpeace in Manchester this Friday! You’ll get a chance to hear more about the making of the film and what you can do personally to help the planet.

We’d love to see you there.

The details

When: Friday 15th Nov, 7pm

Where: Odeon Manchester Great Northern, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN

How much: £10.75 (discounts available for under-18s, seniors and students)

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Upcoming:” Plastic waste, The science and the theology” Uni of #Manchester, 20 November

plastic waste science and theologyPeter Budd, Professor of Polymer Chemistry, will consider the science of plastics and the role of theology in driving social change

All are welcome to attend ‘Plastic waste: The science and the theology’ on Wednesday, 20 November at 1pm in the Chemistry Building, Lecture Theatre G.54.

Peter Budd, Professor of Polymer Chemistry, will consider the science of plastics, but also think about the role theology may play in driving social change.

This will be followed by a discussion.

No need to book, just turn up on the day.

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