Manchester Climate Monthly is largely in hibernation, but like a grizzling and grisy, grizzly bear it will occasionally poke its head out of its mancave. It did so yesterday to point out that the recent Climate Emergency UK report about local authorities was actually actively harmful.
It’s doing so today to tell you about the month ahead, and it will probably do so over the coming days to release the results of some FOIAs that I got back from the council. Or I may punt them to CEM.
The last month
The last month has been typically a quiet one. In Manchester January always is. Climate Emergency Manchester fronted up Children and Young People’s scrutiny committee, lobbied councillors, and did the basic work of democracy that other flashier groups seem unwilling or perhaps simply unable to do. (By the way, I am no longer a member of Climate Emergency Manchester). There’s more bile and vitriol about this at the bottom of the post. But for now, let’s crack on, shall we?
Internationally in the month ahead.
The UNFCCC processes allegedly grinding towards Egypt for cop 27. And of course 27 was the age that Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and other people died. Maybe the same will be the case for the cops. Who knows. Unlikely – there are too many careers at stake.
Meanwhile, scientists working on climate were asked what they expect the global temperature rise by the end of the century. And most of them plumped for three degrees which is of course, catastrophic.
Top climate scientists are sceptical that nations will rein in global warming
At some point in the coming months, I still don’t know. we’ll get the IPCC Six assessment report, which will tell us nothing we don’t already know. And the social scientists are wanting in on it too.
We’re getting the second phase of a technology innovation fund (IETF) out now.
Tomorrow we get the long-awaited levelling up white paper, which may tell us new things about how industrial, decarbonisation and netzero are going to work, but will probably be about hanging baskets and Metro mayors.
The “Net Zero Scrutiny Group” is gonna make noise. And have an impact. See here –
We underestimate the Net Zero Scrutiny Group at our peril. These seemingly small configurations can hugely influence policy. Tiny cracks of “climate scepticism” have the ability to activate huge rifts in attempts to limit temperature rises to 2C.
Things are so bad that “greener” MPs in the Tory party have been forced to speak out. In a direct challenge to his colleagues, Chris Skidmore has set up a “Net Zero Support Group” to keep climate hopes alive; Alok Sharma has cautioned against delayed action on climate change; while Nick Fletcher and Richard Graham have written in favour of net zero. But there is yet to be a proper crackdown on climate delayism inside the governing party.
This is all compounded by the current fragility of Boris Johnson’s position. The prime minister’s perceived proximity to the net-zero strategy could mean MPs (such as those in the 100-strong Conservative Environment Network) are nervous to come out and make a strong case for net zero, lest it appear to be a vote of confidence in Johnson at this febrile time.
Expect Andy Burnham to twist in the wind more on the Clean Air Zone, and blame “Tory chaos.”
Expect the Bee Network to be quietly downgraded from promise to aspiration to circular file. Not immediately, but over time.
Manchester City Council [96 Councillors, 94 of whom are Labour] has the usual run of meetings culminating with budget Council. You can see the times and dates here. Full Council meets tomorrow. Art Gallery committee has its annual meeting this month. Hopefully CEM will be doing a blog post about the month ahead. Dunno.
There’s a by-election in Ancoats and Beswick on the 3rd, caused by the resignation of Marcia Hutchinson..
Chorlton Labour is shamelessly using the recent worse-than-useless Climate Emergency UK report to pretend that it is doing well on climate change. Hopefully some well-informed people will point out the new Labour councillor didn’t even reply to the question about pledges that Climate Emergency Manchester put to all the candidates at the recent by-election (the rest didn’t display contempt and cowardice, they actually replied).
Climate Emergency Manchester has a report and an event about health and a report that you should you can sign up to attend here – it looks to be bloody good. It’s on Tuesday 8th February.
Footnote – Climate Emergency Manchester’s shortcomings are not a lack of imagination or guts – it is having enough personnel. If you have time energy skills then you can get involved in Climate Emergency Manchester – they won’t bore you or emotionally blackmail you, or waste your time energy skills,
Now, back to the promised rant, One of the biggest flashiest groups – or attempt at a group was the so-called “COP26 Manchester coalition,” which followed on from another failed group the Greater Manchester Climate Action Network [what does all this unacknowledged and unlearnt from failure do to morale and credibility?]. The COP26 CoalItion repeatedly promised the start of a new fight has not bothered to even tweet anything new since last November. [But has been on Twitter –
It is holding a meeting tonight [Tues 2nd] because apparently they want to hold a “conference” in May about Greater Manchester and sustainability Oh joy. So they are in a six month emotacycle. Maybe they could hold it on May 6th, exactly six months after a few hundred people stood and listened to dreary speeches to end the era of injustice. And they are tolerated and enabled by people who ought to know better and in fact do know better but who would find it awkward to call their comrades to account.
Meanwhile, Extinction Rebellion has done nowt other than camp out at Ryebank Fields, National Extinction Rebellion is hosting a nationwide tour not – that you would know it from the Extinction Rebellion Manchesters website, which has not been updated since last April. Thursday night at Friends Meeting House, from 6pm, if you’ve the stamina.
Meanwhile, Manchester Green Party has updated its website on one occasion (early December, since you ask) since September last year.
MCFly has often gone on about how terrible Manchester City Council is. And it is. It really really is. But let’s pause for a moment and look at how laughable the activist “community” is as well. How it doesn’t perform, or underperforms, for months and years. Is this the level of activity that a climate emergency calls for?
And before you say, practice what you preach. I did this for 13 years – for large chunks of that on my own – and I am still doing Climate Education stuff, literally daily – see allouryesterdays.infon
That’s it for McFly in the month ahead see you over the coming days and weeks for some FOIA results. In the meantime, carpe the diems and count whatever blessings you still have.
With the unprecedented man-made global-warming-related extreme weather events, wildfires and off-the-chart poor-air-quality advisories, I wonder how many fossil-fuel industry CEOs and/or their beloved family members may also be caught in climate change harm’s way?
Assuming the CEOs are not sufficiently foolish to believe their descendants will somehow always evade the health repercussions related to their industry’s environmentally reckless decisions, I wonder whether the unlimited-profit objective/nature is somehow irresistible to those business people, including the willingness to simultaneously allow an already squeezed consumer base to continue so — or be squeezed even further? It somewhat brings to mind the allegorical fox stung by the instinct-abiding scorpion while ferrying it across the river, leaving both to drown.
Still, there must be a point at which the lopsided status quo — where already large corporate profits are maintained or increased while many people are denied even basic securities, including environmental — can/will end up hurting big business’s own economic interests. I can imagine that a healthy, strong and large consumer base — and not just very wealthy consumers — are needed.