#Manchester Exec Member for the Environment on #climate and the “so what, it’s just polar bears…” question

Councillor Kate Chappell is Manchester City Council’s new Executive Member for the Environment.  At the end of an interview on 18th December, I asked her

“Probably we should wrap up and I’ll save all the awkward questions for the next time we meet. But I’d like to give you that opportunity then to begin that process of talking about climate change. Imagine you’re talking to someone who is a bit sceptical – they think it might be happening, it might not – but even if it is happening, “so what – what does it mean for Manchester; it’s just a bunch of polar bears and a bunch of typhoons in the Philippines, and that’s sad, but that’s just how it is.” What would you say to that person – why does climate change matter to Manchester?

Here’s her reply.

The full interview is here!


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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9 Responses to #Manchester Exec Member for the Environment on #climate and the “so what, it’s just polar bears…” question

  1. Dave Bishop says:

    It would be interesting to know how much Cllr Chappell really knows/cares about biodiversity – or whether, like many councillors and council officers seem to do, she just thinks it’s about planting things. Is her connection to Hulme Garden Centre an ominous clue here?

  2. There is not much going on at the garden centre in my opinion Dave, it still looks a mess. I still do not think the council has got the message about energy efficiency. The Central Library and Town Hall Annexe were lit up like christmas trees, as usual last night. I took this photograph of the Central Library at about 23:30hrs, last night. There were no people working, the lights had been left on as usual: file:///home/patrick/Dropbox/Camera%20Uploads/2013-12-30%2023.24.34.jpg

  3. Sam Darby says:

    I thought it somewhat contradictory that Cllr Chappell felt the need to have a politically powerful position in order to have influence so that she could help community organisations in the Wards achieve their goals. This seems to be a case of getting communities to provide public services rather than the Council. It is in line with one of the three “core strategies” of the Council (and the Tory/Lib Dem alliance) “to reduce dependancy on public services”.
    As for the lights on in Council buildings, she said nothing(or did I miss it) about the Council acting to reduce climate change, but only to adapt to it.
    Happy New Year Dave, Patrick,Marc. Hope that doesn’t sound too cynical.

    • Happy New Year Sam, and you are right, all the council talks is adaption, not prevention by reducing our carbon emissions.

      • To be fair (!) to Councillor Chappell, this is only one 20 min interview, and I didn’t raise with her the council’s atrocious record on its own emissions etc etc. If you want to come up with a list of concise questoins, then I will put them to her next we meet…


  4. Dave Bishop says:

    Hi Sam,

    Happy New Year to you too!

    If the Council wants to rely more on community organisations, perhaps it ought to talk to/listen to them more!

    • it talks to the ones it thinks it is likely to get the “right” answers from. And it “listens” to the ones that give it the “right” answers….

      • That is true, and that is why the same groups have had continual grant monies, since the 1990s, whilst group representing local communities, do not get recognised, let alone grants. If the council feels you are a threat, you are not recognised and therefore, you are not included in any communications involving your local community. In fact, a group I am involved in, has been repeatedly told by a council employee, Fram Thoms (who is she?), not to contact their councillors. How is it a council employee can tell residents, they should not contact their elected representative? Representative democracy in Manchester, no, and no time soon.

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