#Manchester Town Hall Extension lights still blazing. What to DO about #climate? Citizens must choose, and do…

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Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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6 Responses to #Manchester Town Hall Extension lights still blazing. What to DO about #climate? Citizens must choose, and do…

  1. TinyCO2 says:

    This might have more impact if you tried to find out why the lights were still on. What time do the cleaners start and finish? Do they split up and work on a floor each? Was there anyone working late or are there even 24hr staff for some departments? What proportion of the lit areas (some lights were out) are open offices with only on or off settings? Can working areas be lit individually or for health and safety or practical reasons or must the whole area be on? eg I used to work in a small office off a large one and I often found the main lights off when I finished work. There was enough street light and large windows to see my way to the exit but what would have legally happened if I’d fallen in the dark? Was I supposed to carry a torch all the time? Even if I’d had a switch for the main lights or a motion detector, by the time they had powered up, I’d have been at the exit turning them off again.

    Some energy waste can be pure laziness but some of it is unavoidable without redesigning buildings to suit our needs (which takes energy and resources). Those changes are even hard to build in advance because the way we use spaces changes over time.

    Instead of demanding the council improve, why not ask to discuss the issues with the staff and work out IF energy can be saved and then make a list of suggestions to the council. Direct your energies into trying to solve the problem, rather than demanding someone else do it for you.

    • So, you lecture me on how to do activism, without – it seems – knowing any of the history? Erm, #practicewhatyoupreach?

      Why don’t YOU try to find out?

      And for what it’s worth, this issue HAS been raised, by elected councillors, and they were fobbed off with “oh, it’s a temporary thing to do with the Seasonal period and everything’s under control.”

      Nice one, “Tiny C02”

      • TinyCO2 says:

        What I preach is that you listen to both sides of the argument and get to the bottom of the issue. I’m listening to yours. I very much support the idea we don’t waste energy and I practice that. You clearly have a lot of enthusiasm to support the idea we cut CO2. Fine, how about putting that fire towards helping the council solve the energy problems rather than nagging them to set someone up to do it? Cut out the middle man, it’s more efficient.

    • Try reading this, for example.
      https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/2014/02/12/3-out-of-9-aint-bad-manchester-city-council-lukewarm-on-9-climate-actions/
      We have suggested, offered help. They are at very best lukewarm. This is a story that has played out in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012. And it continues today.
      Thanks so much.

      btw, your point about the cleaners is a good one, and we will indeed look into it.

      • TinyCO2 says:

        Well I come at this from the position of one who has experienced the kinds of things inflicted on employees by managers and directors who have signed up to charters they can’t deliver on. Been on the endless training or awareness courses and shared an office with the hard working sod whose job it was to save all the energy we were supposedly wasting. I’ve sat in meetings while some smug git of a manager set targets we’d already explained were impossible and why. If energy isn’t being cut, it’s often not because people are not aware of the problem, it’s because they don’t know what to do about it or even if there is a practical solution. And sometimes those people are just fed up with a lack of success and at that point they stop bothering altogether. The company in question had a far more pressing reason to cut energy than potential climate change and the employees were fully aware and in acceptance of the position we were in. Not for a want of trying or investment, the company went bust because it couldn’t afford the energy bills. The products are still being made in exactly the same way, with exactly the same equipment but in China (ours was shipped out there). The products are then shipped back. Energy saved = minus a lot.

        Your nine action items seem more geared towards telling people that they need to cut CO2 than identifying what’s wrong and finding workable solutions. You want the council to set up people whose job it is to look at the issues but if they came back to you and said ‘we’re doing everything we can’ would you believe them? It’s very easy for the guy or gal at the top or outsiders to agree ‘we must reduce waste’ but not so easy if it’s your job to make a measurable difference. You end up with a situation where the employees are subjected to an endless stream of moaning and little else. No improvement on CO2, just an angry workforce.

        Since you know your own blog, perhaps you could tell me if there are posts where you’ve identified a problem and got to the bottom of what can be done?

      • “Well I come at this from the position of one who has experienced the kinds of things inflicted on employees by managers and directors who have signed up to charters they can’t deliver on. Been on the endless training or awareness courses and shared an office with the hard working sod whose job it was to save all the energy we were supposedly wasting. I’ve sat in meetings while some smug git of a manager set targets we’d already explained were impossible and why”

        So do I. Perhaps we should have a pint sometime.

        “Your nine action items seem more geared towards telling people that they need to cut CO2 than identifying what’s wrong and finding workable solutions.”
        Okay, so maybe I wrote a 30 page implementation plan for those 9 actions? Referred to – and linked to- in the post I mentioned. And maybe Tuesday night’s meeting is PRECISELY about this – about how we define a low carbon culture (the Council seems allergic to doing so) and act towards creating that culture (things like film festivals – done that, short story contests – done that etc etc).

        “You want the council to set up people whose job it is to look at the issues but if they came back to you and said ‘we’re doing everything we can’ would you believe them?”
        No, I want the people who are already paid to do that to tell the truth. Countless posts about this, why don’t you search for them?
        https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/2014/02/02/manchester-city-council-going-backwards-on-climate-councillors-kept-in-the-dark/

        By THEIR OWN admission they are not doing everything they can. The leader of the Council, in the last Executive meeting, asked for ideas. Meanwhile, in the next room a space heater was blazing away.
        https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/2014/02/14/manchester-council-talks-climate-while-wasting-energy-photo-to-prove-it/

        On identifying a problem and getting to the bottom? Most of the posts on this site, which you clearly haven’t looked at before passing judgement on (again, #practicewhatyoupreach), are about that. I look at a meeting,event,process and I think “how – with the same money and space, could it be done better.” Then I write it up. And when I get the chance, I implement.
        https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/about/stakeholder-conference-2012/how-it-could-be-done/

        Also have a look at Call to Real Action – we gave the Council the tools it lacked to write the wretched Climate Plan back in 2009. They had floundered until that time. And they have floundered since. And they will continue to flounder. And the point of the video that you commented on is this: WE CITIZENS CAN USE THAT FLOUNDERING AS AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION. OR WE CAN USE IT AS A SPUR TO OUR OWN ACTION.

        I hope you will choose the latter. The offer of a pint – sincere – still stands. My email is mcmonthly@gmail.com

        Marc Hudson
        etc etc etc.

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