New Year’s (ir)resolutions from #Manchester #Climate Monthly

It’s that time of year again.  I’ve sent the questionnaire below to all the usual suspects – Green Party, Friends of the Earth, Climate Survivors, Carbon Coop, Kindling, Global Justice Now, Fossil Free Greater Manchester, Steady State Manchester. We’re not sending it to groups who no longer exist (Action for Sustainable Living) or to ones that almost certainly won’t exist in a year’s time (Manchester A Cretin Future).

If/when I get answers I will post on MCFly, without any editorialising or editing (except in cases of excessive length or libel).  I’ll get the ball rolling (btw, if you’re an individual and you want to answer, just email me your answers and if they’re entertaining, I’ll post!)  mcmonthly@gmail.com.  There’s a cut-and-pasteable list of the questions at bottom of post.

1. What is the purpose of your group? (three or four sentences)

MCFly  was, back in 2008-10 and 2012-15, about celebrating Manchester’s climate/green activism and holding the Council to account for its failure to act/keep its promises.  Both redundant now, so it serves as an intermittent noticeboard for upcoming events, opportunities to rant, share depressing news ‘n’ views.

2. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved have?

I find out what people are interested in doing. If they have the skills they need but want to get better, I figure out ways to improve them. If they don’t have the skills, I either teach ’em or find someone who can.

3. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved want to develop?

See above.  I ask them what skills they’d like to learn/improve, and then point them in the direction of someone working on that, or have them work with me, if I have those skills.  At a group level, there’s always ‘novice lines’.

4. If people get involved in your group, what sorts of things will they end up doing? (stuffing envelopes, selling newspapers, knocking on doors, getting arrested etc etc)

Nothing so exciting as that (wow, marching!!).  Manchester Climate Monthly is in the information business; so the role would be reviewing books and articles, attending meetings (of council or activists)  and writing about them (I no longer have the ability to do that).  Perhaps a little light film-making too.  Tweeting.  That sort of thing.

Successes and “opportunities for improvement”* in 2015.

5. What have been your group’s main Manchester-based successes in the past year? (i.e. nothing that took place outside the ring road counts)

  • I stopped going (mostly) to soul-destroying meetings, either of activists or the Council.   I stopped colluding in the bullshit, basically.
  • I submitted a bunch of Freedom of Information Act requests (and taught others the same).
  • I got a bunch of letters published in the Manchester Evening News that were all mokita.
  • I wrote some relatively informative and informed blog posts.

6. What were the things you hoped to achieve but didn’t.

“Building a movement.”  But no, we live in hope….  Just kidding.

Um, getting the Council to keep some of its promises.  By March it was clear that this could not happen, thanks to a toxic brew of councillor and officer stupidity, cowardice and ambition, so I quit that.

The coming year

7. What do you hope to achieve in 2016? What are your success metrics for December 31st 2016.

MCFly is going to change again.

  • It’s going to focus a bit more on the “movement-building for coping with the coming horrors”, given that mitigation is impossible/irrelevant.  I will write at least 12 blog posts about the creation of ‘resilience’ and disaster-preparedness.
  • I will also revive the habit of publishing a blog posts that lists the agendas of the Council’s 6 “scrutiny” committees.  Climate rarely gets a mention, which is telling in itself.  (There will be nine such blog posts).
  • Final commitment – when I read an academic article that would be of interest/use to the mythical engaged citizen in Manchester, I will blog it either on MCFly or at marchudson.net, with the hashtag #lootingtivorytower.  I.e. I will translate from academese to English.  I will write at least 12 such ‘translations.’
  • I may make some films, but no promises.

8. What (up to 3) things would you like do see done in Manchester to make the city less crap on climate action

a) by the City Council

  • Keep the promises it made in 2009.
  • Keep the promises that it made in 2014.
  • Establish an Environmental Scrutiny Committee on an equal footing to the other six..

None of this will happen

b) by the “climate movement”

  • learn to hold meetings and events  that aren’t sage-on-the-stage ego-fodderfication and emotathonic garbage that fails to engage with the people who’ve come along to see if there’s a role for them..
  • start talking honestly about the implications of a four degree world
  • start identifying skills and knowledge that it has, gaps, and systematically improve skills, knowledge, connectedness.

None of this will happen.

9. What is the stupidest thing the “climate movement” could do this year?

  • Believe a word that the Council says (or collude in the lies with silence, which amounts to the same thing). A concrete example – publicising this ‘refresh’ of the Climate Change Action Plan without explaining how monumental the failure has been so far.
  • Keep doing what it has been doing (see above)

10. How can people get involved?

Email me at mcmonthly@gmail.com with an intro that explains

  • a) who you are
  • b) what you want to do
  • c) what skills and knowledge you have and what skills and knowledge you’d like to develop.
  • I’ll be in touch.

11. Anything else you’d like to say.

Carpe the diems.  Seriously. Carpe them. Now.

Footnote

  • Apparently you’re not supposed to say “failure” these days. It discourages the delicate little petals who’d like a better world, but are easily put off.

 

 

That cut and pasteable list of t’questions.

1. What is the purpose of your group? (three or four sentences)

2. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved have?

3. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved want to develop?

4. If people get involved in your group, what sorts of things will they end up doing? (stuffing envelopes, selling newspapers, knocking on doors, getting arrested etc etc)

Successes and “opportunities for improvement”* in 2015.

5. What have been your group’s main Manchester-based successes in the past year? (i.e. nothing that took place outside the ring road counts)

6. What were the things you hoped to achieve but didn’t.

The coming year

7. What do you hope to achieve in 2016? What are your success metrics for December 31st 2016.

8. What (up to 3) things would you like do see done in Manchester to make the city less crap on climate action

a) by the City Council

b) by the “climate movement”

9. What is the stupidest thing the “climate movement” could do this year?

10. How can people get involved?

11. Anything else you’d like to say.

Apparently you’re not supposed to say “failure” these days. It discourages the delicate little petals who’d like a better world, but are easily put off.

Advertisements

About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in academia, narcissism, volunteer opportunity. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s