Sunday, 26 April 2009

Reading the IPCC- Collaborative Public Reading

Call For Readers

Reading the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report / A Collaborative Public Reading / May 14-16, 2009 / 11AM-7PM every day / Manchester

Organised by Amy Balkin

While the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports are revealing documents about the current science and geopolitics of climate change, their length makes them unlikely to be read beyond specific interested readerships. This project attempts to make these documents more public through a participatory reading. Volunteers will take part in a structured public reading of the most recent section of the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, the 800-page Working Group III Report: Mitigation.


The project is currently seeking volunteer readers. You can sign up for one or more 20-minute reading slots at (please arrive 5-10 minutes early).

It's easy to sign up, or to take your name off the list if you can't make it.


The reading will take place over three days in Manchester during Futuresonic 2009 from 11am to 7pm, May 14-16, 2009.

Where is it?

The location is still TBD. Please check the website for the final location.

Please send inquiries or questions to

"Planet on a Page 2" is published

The latest "Planet on a Page" is out now,

One A4 page crammed with;
local, national and global news
'Channel 4 looking for a media whore'
'Art and Climate Change'
'Read All About it'
'Scary Science'
'What's Coming Up' in the next week

Next Manchester Climate Fortnightly proper is out on MONDAY 4th May
(a day late because of the public holiday)

There is also a Manchester Climate Fortnightly youtube video for
your viewing delectation:

Monday, 20 April 2009

Environment Commission- announcement imminent

Sometime (very) soon, there will be an announcment about the Environment Commission, the Manchester-wide body that will sit alongside 6 other commissions on health, transport, public protection etc.
The Environment Commission will (sort of) hold the AGMA Executive's feet to the fire on Environmental questions,

"To support the AGMA Executive Board in holding to account bodies which impact on the environmental well-being of the city region, to deliver strategies, plans and infrastructure that support their core environmental sustainability objectives, and to ensure that the wider work of the Executive Board reflects its environmental priorities"

as well as being home for the Manchester Climate Change Agency.

See an unfinished bluffer's guide on it here-

Manchester Climate Fortnightly will keep you posted

Sunday, 19 April 2009

MCFly 022- what's coming up

Tues 21 from 9..30-1pm Sub-regional Consultation Event for the Regional Spatial Strategy City of Manchester Stadium. To register, send an e-mail to

Tues 21 from 7.30pm, Call to Real Action 'what next' meeting Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St

Wed 22, 6-7pm "Building a low-carbon economy" Mike Reardon of Manchester City Council,
Michael Smith Building, Manchester University

Thurs 23 at 7pm The G20 in London – what happened and where next? at The Chapel (opposite Owens Park, Wilmslow Rd,.

Fri 24 Environmental Strategy Performance Board meeting (City Council)

Sat 25 from 1pm Ecology AGM and Green Money - Ecological Perspectives on the Credit Crisis" debate at Victoria Baths

Mon 27, 6.30 to 9.30 pm Global Crisis: Organic Response. Why an organic future is a critical response to the economic and climate crisis. The Mechanics' Institute, 103 Princess St

Tues 28, 5 to 7.45pm Professor Munasinghe, Vice Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Director General of the Sustainable Consumption Institute at The University of Manchester on "Solving the Climate Change and Sustainable Development Problems." University Place, Oxford Rd. Free tickets via

Weds 29 at 6pm "Biodiversity loss and ecosystem change: Consequences for people and the environment" Prof. Georgina Mace Michael Smith Building, Manchester University

Thurs 30, 3.30 to 6pm Launch of "Climate Change Online Resources" pack, 117-119 Portland St or

Thurs 30 at 7.45pm Greenpeace meeting upstairs at Ape and Apple John Dalton St

Thursday 30, 7pm - 9pm Friends of the Earth Campaigns meeting, Green Fish Resource Centre, 46-50 Oldham

Fri May 1 The Prince (of Wales)'s May Day summit on enevironment held in... we aren't making this up... the Concorde Hangar at Manchester Airport.

MCFly 022- win £5000!!

That's the prize if you can spot the words "climate change" or "debate" or "action plan" in the article to the left, copied from the latest Council magazine to fall through t'letterbox.

As reported in previous MCFlys, the "Proud Of" Campaign is supposed to be how the Council "engages" with people on Climate Change, "bring together local, grass-roots, community-based collective action to tackle climate change" and "continue the debate on mitigating climate change". The "Proud Of Manchester" website ( has only two references to climate change, and does not even link to the Council's own Call to Action document!

It will be interesting to see the Council's assessment of its successes and failures and impacts during this, the first of four campaigns through the year.

Since they ask for suggestions (well, they imply one per person is your limit), here are some:

Actually ask people what they know,what they want to know about climate change and what the Council is doing about it.

Ask people what they think the Council should do about climate change and how they should do it.

Have copies of the Call to Action report to give out, or at least summaries of it.

File the intimidating and irrelevant "fun" surveys about irrelevant topics... in the circular file

Advertise the events properly

Have them catered properly

Host them in appropriate venues

And that's asides a few other suggestions, in the Call to Real Action, which has been delivered to the Council.

MCFly 022- Catalytic Action downdate

At least four of the Council' "catalytic actions" seem to be in real trouble. 'World Leading Regeneration' has stalled thanks to the credit crunch. The 'Retrofitting of Manchester;s Civic Heritage' is unlikely if - as Sir Howard Bernstein hinted in the business newspaper Crains (April 13) - the Council's move is put on hold. Meanwhile, Manchester Aiport hires new marketeers and plots its expansion, and the poorly- attended 'Local Development Framework' consultation events don't even mention climate change (see page 2). And 3 months into the Call to Action, how many "low carbon communities" have started?

MCFly 022- What IS the Cunning Plan?

Although we are now roughly a third of the way on from January's launch of the City Council's 'Call to Action' and the proposed December launch of the "Climate Change Action Plan," the Council still isn't saying just how it will produce a strong plan that is "owned" by the people of Manchester. Given the experience of the 'Proud of' campaign so far (see page 2), there's a lot of work to be done. On the heels of the launch of the 'Call to Real Action.' ( the C2RA group has established a short online survey to let the people of Manchester make suggestions about what the Plan should contain, and how it should be developed.

You can fill it online; or

MCFly 022- Foundation founded

Thursday April 16 saw the launch of ‘Foundation’ – a North West fund established to help individuals and businesses to invest in low-carbon technologies and skills, compensate for unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions, promote biodiversity and tackle fuel poverty.

Set up with an initial £1.6 million from the North West Development Agency (NWDA) and managed by Groundwork, Foundation has set itself a fundraising target of £4 million over the next 3 years. It promises that all the funds donated by individuals and businesses will stay in the NW region.

A number of projects across the NW have already received funding including the Carbon Co-op in Hulme (providing energy meters and advice to encourage people to save energy and money), Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith (installing photovoltaics panels to provide electricity), homes in Wirral & Cheshire (installing solar water heating systems to provide hot water), Pendle (fitting new energy efficient boilers) and Rosley Village Hall in Cumbria (being kept warm with sheep wool insulation).

The ‘Foundation’ wants to prove that “we can take action against climate change, we can live a low carbon lifestyle…and we are the first to do it.”

Community groups and projects can apply for grants of up to £50,000. The next funding round is due to start on May 1. More details from or

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Won't somebody think of the carbon?

Which part of "planetary emergency" don't the *!%#s at the Football Association understand?

You have twenty-two millionaires paid to kick a pig-bladder between some white sticks for 90 minutes.
"Three MPs have condemned the FA for staging the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Everton outside the North West..."
You have tens of thousands of fans who could travel a short distance to a 'neutral' North West venue. Or you could make them all schlepp down to London and back.

And crucially, does any of the 3 MPs frame it as a climate issue as well as an expense/inconvenience issue?

Not Leech.
Not Bottomley who not only ought to know better, but does (except for an absurd sea-level rise mistake).
Not Gibson.


Thursday, 2 April 2009

The G20 and climate change

One intrepid MCFLy reporter was on the streets at the G20 demonstrations, and will report on that soon.

In the meantime, there is this to read on what the G20 meant for climate change action at the international level from the rather good "Climatico" blog-

"The G20 Summit in London has now concluded, with US President Obama filling the main press briefing room for an hour-long press session. The main points of the summit for international and national climate policy are summarised below:

  1. Overall: In the substantive elements of the summit outcomes there is little mention of climate change. In the summary communiqué climate change is mentioned in the second-to-last and penultimate paragraphs only. As Climatico’s Simon Billett asked UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, there is little evidence that this summit has been more than an agreement to agree in later meetings.
  2. Forestry: UK Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, said that forestry was a fundamental element of the global climate programme. Italy has agreed to hold specific discussions on it at the G8 in July 2009. There was agreement from France, Australia, Italy, Germany, US on the need for a global forestry deal. Forestry was a major point of discussion in the corridors between delegations.
  3. USA Climate Policy: It remains unclear whether the Obama administration will require cuts from China and India for a ‘comprehensive’ COP15 deal. Obama said that “further discussions” needed with China, and that the US recognises its role as leader of clean energy and tech for China and India. Obama: “We need an interesting conversation on how to overcome this challenge… we need low carbon growth… a rapid deployment of technology across the world… the US needs to lead these countries into the low carbon energy future”.
  4. Green Growth: The summit has done little to define green growth or encourage the use of best practice measures between G20 countries. While para. 27 and 28 of the final communiqué do reaffirm the commitment to low carbon growth, the summit has done almost nothing to further definitions of what this might mean or how it should be achieved.
"The next G20 summit is scheduled for September in Washington D.C., while the Group of 8 meet in Italy in July. "