Letter: Match words to deeds

New research by the International Energy Agency shows that fossil fuel emissions climbed steadily over the second half of the year as major economies began to recover.

By December 2020, carbon emissions were 2% higher than in the same month the year before. There will be enormous and understandable pent-up demand for international travel, and for a return to “normality”.  But the old normal was – and will – lead us to disaster. 

What is needed is a fundamental cultural, political and economic shift. These things do not happen overnight, and we should have started decades ago. Instead we allowed our leaders to make soothing promises, and then failed to keep tabs on whether the promises were being kept (they were not).

Manchester City Council has a chance to break this cycle.  Ahead of its full Council meeting on Wednesday 31st March, it can propose and then vote for strong scrutiny mechanisms, so that the emissions of the whole city come under the microscope. In the last two years, Manchester burned through a quarter of its carbon budget for the entire twenty first century.  Covid will not save us from the horrible maths. Only strong, committed leadership, and a relentless focus on keeping promises offers young people any hope for a decent adulthood.

We can write to our councillors to demand this leadership. We can keep tabs on whether they match fine words with actual deeds.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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4 Responses to Letter: Match words to deeds

  1. Ian Brown says:

    There are, for example, those who support High Speed Rail (HS2), arguing that it could cut down air travel, car journeys, etc., enable people to make the 200 mile journey in a little less time and free up the rail network for more freight, etc. Time saved on a rail journey is not necessarily and advantage as time travelling can be used to prepare for the day ahead. Unfortunately, very few suggest that we should travel less. The Pandemic has forced people to work from home and conduct meetings over the internet. We should continue this method of working after we get back to “normal”, whatever that may be! As for holidays, the UK is quite a pleasant sort of a place, even though the weather can be uncertain, and is well worth exploring.

  2. fgsjr2015 says:

    The language that big business understands best is one of increased consumerism, economic stimulation and profit-margin growth. The usual trade-off, of course, is their destruction and max-exploitation of laborers, resources, and natural environment.

    For example, fossil fuel extraction, including the toxic mess it often leaves behind, is euphemistically referred to as the “energy sector,” even by corporate news-media (at least here in Canada). And they’ll repeat stupid catchphrases, like “It’s the economy, stupid”.

    I’ve found that to have a steady comfortably-livable-wage job thus reliable healthy food and shelter in contemporary society are increasingly being considered a privilege. To mega-money-minded businessmen, ‘practical’ (including human and environment friendly) solutions will always be predicated on economic ‘reality,’ the latter which is mostly created and entrenched according to industry interests.

    Accordingly, major political decisions will normally foremost reflect what is in big business’s best interests. And don’t expect to hear this fact readily reported by the mainstream news-media, which is concentratedly corporate owned.

    • ianbodgerbrown says:

      That sums up the situation quite nicely! Though I like the slightly shorter version, which goes: “Anyone who thinks infinite growth is possible on a finite planet is either an idiot or an economist”. This has been recently attributed, on Wikipedia, to David Attenborough. However I think it was originally from one of the leading French revolutionaries!

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