Interview with Professor Kevin Anderson on the IPCC, @ExtinctionR, Greta Thunberg, hope and much else

kevin anderson

Professor Kevin Anderson

Professor Kevin Anderson has spoken out on the IPCC’s 1.5 degree report, the deafening silence of most academics on the climate emergency, Greta Thunberg and much else.  With his typical robustness, Kevin argues that there is much to be done, but it depends on us having courage to think and act (very) differently.  He gives extremely robust but simultaneously nuanced criticism of the official organisations at the international and national level, and lays out a clear set of actions we can (must) take.

The interview was conducted on Monday 13th May 2019 in Manchester, and is posted in full in the three videos below. The questions are given below (a transcript of this would be GREAT – if you have time and inclination to type it up, please get in touch via Apologies for the lighting: oops. Fortunately, the audio comes through fine.

For other video interviews with Kevin, see here, here and here. And a transcript of a 2012 one.

Meanwhile, if you live, work or study in Manchester, please sign the petition calling on Manchester City Council to declare a climate emergency.  If you are in Greater Manchester, you may want to come to the What next for Climate Action in Manchester? meeting happening on Thursday 23rd May from 7pm at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St.


00:42 Let’s with the IPCC 1.5 degrees report. What is missing from it/wrong about it?

05:00 Is the IPCC fit for purpose?

06:40 Were you surprised by the traction the 1.5 degrees got?

07: 40 Is the UNFCCC as a dead process?

12:30 Do you worry that parts of Greta Thunberg’s message are being selectively ignored and other parts which are more acceptable to the green capitalists are being amplified?

18:20 Extinction Rebellion – your opinion

Part two

00:15  At a seminar last week and you expressed a certain amount of displeasure with the Committee on Climate Change report and the response to it from most academics. Could you recap that, being aware that you’re now being filmed…

10: 45 In terms of empty words – the parliamentary declaration of a climate emergency – a footnote in history or a turning point?

1150  Fracking protesters seem to be winning…?

15:30 At the recent Mayor’s climate summit there was talk of “the gap” between ambition and actual policy. Is this simply normalising failure and getting people used to the shrugging of the shoulders?

19:00 I’m sure you’re aware that there is a Climate Emergency Manchester petition: is it actually physically possible for a connected – both internationally and nationally -city like Manchester, with all of the political will – do you see any viable pathway by which it could get within any meaningful distance of zero carbon in 10 and a half years? You’re allowed to say “no, it’s a pipe dream” – we’re adults here.

Part Three

01:25 Two questions. Is it  time that academics and  researchers took their gloves off (esp those who have access to government). How do we sell a reduction in material consumption to the millions who’ve been raised to believe that more stuff = better life? (shared social purpose?)

08:25 Have you read Animal Farm?

0945 The thorny question of hope. Two quotes come to mind. One is from  Greta “I don’t want your hope, I want your panic.” The other is from the NASA scientist Kate Marvel, who says what we need is courage, not hope. What’s your take? Do you feel the need for hope, and if so, where do you get it from.

1315 Anything else you want to say? Anything you were afraid I would ask – imagine I asked it.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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