Category Archives: Petition milestone interviews

Interview to celebrate over 700 signatures: Rosetta Ceesay

We have well over 700 signatures (361 online, over 380 on paper. To celebrate this, here’s an interview with someone who very recently signed online. She’s Rosetta Ceesay, from Gorton. See here excellent answers (and click on the podcast!). Meanwhile, please keep encouraging your friends and colleagues who live, work or study within the boundaries of Manchester City |Council to sign the petition and share it in turn.

1. Who are you, what do you do, why did you sign the petition?
rosetta ceesay photoI’m a semi-retired University Graduate, artist, and co-director of a charity in The Gambia, West Africa. I am actively involved in many groups including the Age Friendly Collective in Manchester Art Gallery and with Sonder Radio.
I signed the petition as part of my charity work in Gambia involves taking Climate Change action. I was honoured by Green-Up Gambia as Woman of the Year in 2017 as they were impressed by what I am doing in the bush village of Batti. This included spearheading the planting of a cashew tree forest, and over 300 fruit trees around the village. Food for the future, dealing with desertification and attempting to eradicate malnutrition. The people won’t cut down fruit trees as they need food. I had to fundraise to have a borehole hand dug so that we could have enough water to keep the trees healthy also to provide clean water for the villagers. There is no electricity so digging 20 metres down to the water table wasn’t easy and transporting pipes, a reserve tank and solar panel there by donkey cart from the nearest highway also wasn’t easy, but we did it. Water provided by a solar pump is climate change action too. I wanted to do what I do in an informed way so studied the Open University Futurelearn course: Climate Change – The Science. That way I know the importance of urgent action worldwide on the issue of Climate Change and I really want Manchester Council to take the matter seriously as I see the impact of climate change over time in The Gambia more noticeably than here so Sir David Attenborough is right that UK need to act now.

A little of what we do and I have been at the protests in Manchester talking to activists too, as mentioned in this.

CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTS AND OUR ACTION

climate change protests and our actin

2. Have you tried to get other folks to sign yet? If so, how, and how did that go?
I have shared the petition on Twitter and Facebook and will keep talking to Manchester people about this. Climate Change is something we, the community, all need to become more aware of and take action on. It should not be left to students skipping school protesting… this is our planet and we need to look after it for ourselves and future generations.

3. What suggestions do you have for those trying to get more people to sign the petition
Keep trying. Educating the people is part of it and showing an example by doing something ourselves.

4. If Manchester City Council DOES declare a climate emergency, what should its first actions afterwards be?
Manchester City Council needs to pledge to keep as much green space as possible in the city, to plant trees, and to reduce landfill waste which produces too much CO2 also increasing levels of Methane which people don’t seem to talk about but which also endangers the environment. The use of plastics need limited and that includes some going to recycling projects which only serve to keep plastics in the environment, which is questionable. They need to set targets but remind themselves that it is easy to set targets but also that it is essential to take steps to meet them though it may not always be easy. More solar and double glazing. Some “technical fixes” like adopting renewable technologies such as the use of ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers would not be cheap but is really recommended. Perhaps the Councillors themselves need to know more about Climate Change and important issues such as “tipping points?”

5. How do you think citizens could/should act to make sure that such a declaration is followed up with actual actions? What skills and knowledge are needed for that?
Education, education, education! We all have joint responsibility to make Change work and to implement Climate Change Solutions. That same Manchester spirit which was shown following the Manchester Arena Bombing needs to be encouraged. A “we can and will do it” attitude can be encouraged and powerful. As we saw with the Climate Change protests, schools are doing an amazing job with Manchester youth which is to be applauded. There are many experts at University of Exeter who could speak at other Universities and organisations. Dissemination of factual, up to date and reliable information is very important.

6. Anything else you’d like to say
I would encourage people to sign the petition, and to support any climate change groups they may become aware of. Also would encourage everyone to do their bit because as the protesters say “There is no planet B.” This is it and we need to act now.

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200 online signatures! Interview with Anne Tucker. #climateemergencymcr #climate #Manchester

Whoop, we hit 200 signatures online (and we have a load more coming in on the paper form, which you can download here. To celebrate the latest round number, here’s another interview, this time with Anne Tucker of Moss Side. If you want to answer these questions, please do so and then send them in an email to climateemergemcymanchester@gmail.com, with the subject header “milestone interview”. Thanks!”

Also – please save the date – Thursday 23rd May, What next for climate action in Manchester? Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St. , 7pm mingling 7.30 meeting

1. Who are you, what do you do, why did you sign the petition?
anne tuckerMy name is Anne Tucker, I live in Moss Side . I’m retired but spend a lot of time working with residents in their alleyways helping make them into shared spaces/community gardens
I signed the petition as I think things are being done far too slowly to get emissions down. In particular we have to acknowledge that some aspects of what people consider “essential” must be limited or even stopped.
Manchester needs to respond much more robustly to the urgency of this, because of the speed of climate breakdown

2. Have you tried to get other folks to sign yet? If so, how, and how did that go?
I have shared the info on twitter and Facebook, I regularly discuss fossil fuels, fracking, airline travel and car driving with people I know. Mixed success – most people justify their activity or say “yes I know but I DO …….”. Some have changed things. All would like the govt/council to take a greater lead.

3. What suggestions do you have for those trying to get more people to sign the petition
Print out copies of it and show up friends. Discuss with whoever we can to get people to see importance
4. If Manchester City Council DOES declare a climate emergency, what should its first actions afterwards be?
1) Formulate clear policy against fracking, coal including using the public in campaigning if the govt forces the above
2) commit to no expansion of mcr airport . Advocate for frequent flier tax
3) commit to mcrs quota of tree planting for GTR MCRS new forest
4) push Andy Burnham to regulate the buses across GM area
5) prioritise cycling further

5. How do you think citizens could/should act to make sure that such a declaration is followed up with actual actions? What skills and knowledge are needed for that?
As above.
2) Organisation at street level to get citizens to understand and sign up to campaigns for lowering emissions, including tenants, residents and other community groups
3) set up equivalent of “commiseration books” like they do after disasters, and encourage resident groups to list their achievers, questions and challenges
I am less confident about how to get more people as activist leaders from across the city communities …..

6. Anything else you’d like to say
Let’s go for it!

In celebration of 150 signatures online… #climateemergencymcr

Yesterday the online petition went past 150 signatures. That’s not a particularly significant number to do an interview but nonetheless,  every time we do hit a round number from now on, we will post an interview with someone who has signed (we got number 10, but we missed 50 and 100) .

If you’ve signed and you want to answer these questions below, please email us your answers to climateemergencymanchester@gmail.com with “petition interview answers” in the header.  If you haven’t signed, please do, and get your friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, random people at bus stops to sign too.

Hannah Knox_081. Who are you, what do you do, why did you sign the petition?
I’m Hannah Knox, I’ve lived in Manchester since 1996 and I signed the petition because I think we need to do everything we can to get climate change recognised as the crisis that it is.

2. Have you tried to get other folks to sign yet? If so, how, and how did that go?
No not really – most of my social networks are outside Manchester. I’ve told a few people about it.

3. What suggestions do you have for those trying to get more people to sign the petition
Given I haven’t done this myself I can’t really comment. I guess if pushed I’d say use your links, friendship groups, social networks – and use it as a talking point too.

4. If Manchester City Council DOES declare a climate emergency, what should its first actions afterwards be?
Manchester City Council has been engaging with climate change for a long time now but it feels like there’s a window of opportunity right now to step things up a gear. Science-based targets have been really important for legitimising attention and creating some action, but they also create problems for policy makers, cutting the city up into areas of activity that don’t address the interconnected nature of the problem. This allows good work being done in one area to be undone by work in another area.

In response to a climate emergency declaration I think the council needs to go beyond climate change as a demarcated area of concern as defined by the science to treat climate change as a key aspect of all the material transformations of the city (not just the low carbon ones). Last year I was part of a research project, People’s Republic of Energy, that recommended Greater Manchester set up a people’s Infrastructure Observatory (based on the Paris Water Observatory). I still think this would be a great idea – creating the opportunity to link devolution, development and climate change into a single agenda on the city’s future. Tackling climate change is ultimately about transforming infrastructure, so using it to drive infrastructure planning (road, rail, digital, gas, electricity, buildings) would be a way of shifting action into a new, more positive, register.

5. How do you think citizens could/should act to make sure that such a declaration is followed up with actual actions? What skills and knowledge are needed for that?
So the idea of an infrastructure observatory would be that citizens and representatives from other big organisations (NHS, Universities, Property Firms) would all be part of the panel. This would put people at the heart of city transformations and would provide some kind of structure of holding the city to account during (rather than after) the process of decision making. In infrastructure development there is a long (not always successful!) history of public engagement so it would also be a good place to pursue innovative forms of public participation that go beyond consultation (e.g. Hybrid Forums, co-production, citizen’s panels).