5. Beyond the Ghetto
Manchester Climate Monthly could do all the above and still fall flat on its face. In fact, if we ONLY do the things above, we WILL fall flat on our face.
To be effective, we will need to move beyond “the ghetto.”
This will involve –
5.1 Meeting people where they are “politically”
Talking about climate science will get you nowhere. Talking about energy bills and food prices and lack of responsiveness from local authorities might. But that in itself assumes there will automatically be an easily-found shared reference point. It may be more difficult than that…
5.2 Meeting people where they are “geographically”
Holding meetings in settings comfortable to the usual suspects (city centre venues, for instance)) and expecting large numbers of non-usual suspect people to attend is futile and delusional.
Therefore will need to meet at schools, churches, mosques, community halls, in front rooms of people willing to hold a meeting.
Listen as much (more!!) than talk, and never ever preach. Have relevant facts in useful formats (on paper, on youtube, using local information, analogies and metaphors (no sres graphs etc, with the exception the Keeling Curve)
Support (but don’t lead, smother, patronise) local activity on climate and social justice. Patronising includes holding established organisations to a lower standard than comparable organisations made up of people who are not BME.
5.3 Learning on the job
We will reflect on how each meeting with groups outside the “usual suspects” has gone, in a systematic manner. Share those reflections and try to improve the ability to connect with people not already deeply engaged in these issues, and who have other calls upon their time and energy (for example, low-paid work that demands long hours, caring duties etc)