Here comes the “2050” crapola. Be happy for it. #Manchester #climate

The future is here, and we are avoiding it.
2020 used to be the target year, by which we would have done x and y and z.
Sadly, we didn’t do those things. A mix of complacency, distraction, stupidity and incompetence mostly explains that. So it goes.

But this presents the happy shiny people (HSP) who want to pretend that they’re making the world a better place with a problem. If they talk about 2020 targets it quickly becomes apparent that

a) we are going to miss those targets. By a very very long way. (But it doesn’t matter, because the targets were inadequate, and we’re fucked)

which is bad enough, but

b) the people who are responsible for the missing of those of those 2020 targets are still in the room. Worse, they are probably the very people on whom the HSP relies for the next bit of grant funding, the next reference, the next desired job.


So, what is to be done? Well, if the HSPs had a shred of intellectual prowess, or moral courage, they’d move the goalposts as little as possible, to say 2025.

In Manchester, the new goalpost is… 2050. Obvs; that’s just how the HSPs of MCC, MACF, LCH, etc roll.

So, we’ve got a “major and substantive report, which will address the Council’s commitments on climate change between now and 2050, in light of agreements at the recent Paris talks“ coming to Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee in July..

Meanwhile, there is an event on March 2nd

This half-day workshop for arts and cultural organisations will explore what leadership on environmental sustainability looks like amongst the creative community.
The workshop is a partnership between Julie’s Bicycle, Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (MAST) network and the Manchester Climate Change Agency. It will be the official launch of the Manchester Climate Lab – a year of events and engagement activities to develop a five year plan towards achieving the city’s vision for a zero carbon Manchester by 2050.

Will either the report or the event have any serious reflection on the scale and causes of the failure between 2009 and 2016? Don’t go holding your breath…

Cui bono?
The whole 2050 target thing is a total gift (courtesy of those muppets at Avaaz) to local power-brokers who very very occasionally need to deflect (statistically irrelevant) local concern about climate inaction. They are perfectly happy to make some long-term non-binding commitment, especially if it means that their feet are not held to the fire over the broken promises they made a few short years ago. They could not, in fact, be happier.
Meanwhile, those who need to cuddle up to these power-brokers – for financial, political or psychological reasons – are not forced to confront the brutal reality of everyone’s failure over the last ten years (well, almost 30 years if we’re honest with ourselves) to reduce our carbon emissions and start preparing for the unpreparable.

Be happy?
Basically, we should be grateful for this 2050 meme In the same way that certain individuals (hi, TB!) and organisations (hi MACF!), operate as useful warnings-for-those-who-choose-to-hear-them, then the “2050 target” flags up that the people running the event are HSPs.

  • You may or may not have a good time at their event.
  • You may or may not meet some interesting people.
  • You may or may not learn something.

All that depends. One thing is certain though – you’ll be unable to contribute anything meaningful , (for example, um, reality), because the maintenance of Happiness, Shininess and – most of all –the support of our current Lords and Masters – is the number one priority.

The game’s the game.

What a species. I’m glad I’m 45. I’m glad I didn’t have kids. Carpe the diems.

See also
literature on management of expectations
nature of bureaucracy (Peter Principle, Parkinson’s Law, Michel’s Oligarchical Law of Irony)
long-term targets as farcical ‘kick the can down the road’ mechanism

Indicator species.
Canaries in the coal mine
Litmus test
Red flags
Signals passed at danger
Hindsight is a beautiful thing

Anxiety Management
Siggie Freud
Terror Management Theory


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 Low Carbon Culture, Manchester City Council, Signs of the Pending Ecological Debacle. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Here comes the “2050” crapola. Be happy for it. #Manchester #climate

  1. Greg Robie says:

    I think this post qualifies as an unqualified lament. Allow me to share mine, a song, as, if not comfort, commiseration ( With our needed motivated reasoning, we are not a rational species…though some of us are less crazy and SGP (sanely grieving people).

    FWIW, concerning homeostasis, honor is a feeling that proportionally makes sense relative to one’s blood testosterone level and cultural story. Within the feminized PC culture of CapitalismFail, pragmatism crushes honor when flight is the trusted response to testosterone. Thanks for your honorable example of the choice to fight.


  2. Greg Robie says:

    Well, that was a link to only part of the song. Here is the link to complete version.

    The previous repetition of the third chorus was inspired as I try to differentiate between hopium (wishful thinking) and hope (something we can only know by observing what we, in good faith, do)…or a linguist differentiation that English is challenged to communicate…hence all the HSP!

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