Anthropocene : the current geological age we’re living in, characteried by climate and earth systems being heavily influenced and altered by human activity.
Biome: An area of the planet that can be classified by the flora and fauna that live in it; for example, rainforests, savannas and deserts are all biomes.
Carbon Budget: the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions permitted over a period of time to keep within a certain temperature threshold. [see interview with Dr Joe Blakey].
Eco-anxiety: anxiety stemming from concerns about the current and future transformative changes caused to the environment due to human-induced climate change,
Fossil Fuels: Fuels formed by natural processes such as the decomposition of buried dead organisms- this includes petroleum, natural gas and coal. These release carbon dioxide and trap heat in the atmosphere.
Fracking: This is the process of drilling down into the earth to extract hard-to-reach oil and gases, with toxic and dangerous environmental consequences.
Global North: largely comprises the Western world including the United States, Canada, almost all the European countries, Israel, Cyprus, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand.
Global South: refers to countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, as well as the low and middle income countries in Asia and the Middle East.
Greenhouse Gases: These are gases in the earth’s atmosphere that can both absorb and emit radiation- these include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and some artificial chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): the intergovernmental body of the United Nations created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation. The IPCC provides objective, scientific information on the risks and impacts of human-induced climate change, and also outlines policy recommendations. It was shaped by US power and has been attacked by denialists for 30 years (Hudson conversation piece)
Local Authority: An administrative body in local government. Manchester City Council, for example, is this region’s local authority.
Net-Zero Carbon Emissions: This means that the amount of carbon dioxide produced is balanced with the amount removed or absorbed from the atmosphere.
NVDA: This stands for Non-Violent Direct Action, a public form of protest.
Ozone: Ozone is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Depending on where it is in the atmosphere, ozone affects life on Earth in either good or bad ways.
Ozone Layer: The ozone layer is a thin part of the Earth’s atmosphere that absorbs almost all of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light.
Renewables/Renewable Energy: This refers to energy from sources that are naturally replenished on a usable scale- for example, sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat.
Retrofitting (Housing): To retrofit something is to add a component to something that was not in its initial manufacture. When we talk about retrofitting in terms of energy efficiency, this is largely referring to altering housing or buildings to make them more energy efficient.
Scope 1/2/3 Emissions: Scope 1 emissions are defined as all of an organisation’s emissions that are directly under their control- this includes gas boilers, vehicles, etc. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions produced from the electricity purchased by the organisation. Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions from the organisation’s activities from sources they do not own and control, for example the emissions from business travel. Scope 3 emissions tend to have the greatest share of a carbon budget.
Solastalgia: refers to the lived experience of environmental change, and sparks feelings of emotional or existential distress. As Albrecht (the philosopher who coined the term) puts it, solastalgia is “the homesickness you have when you are still at home”.
Tundra: The coldest type of biome where tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. It derives from the word for “treeless plain” in Finnish and Subarctic languages.
United National Environmental Programme (UNEP): created in 1972 to coordinate environmental governance and activities, especially in ‘developing’ countries. Also provides assistance to countries in implemental environmental policies and practices.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): is a multilateral environmental agreement created in 1992, with the main purpose of stabilising anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. There are 197 parties to the convention which attend the “Conference of Parties” (COP) meetings annually.
World Meteorological Organisation (WMO): created in 1950 and consists of 187 Member States and six member territories. The WMO publishes annual reports on global, regional and national temperatures and extreme weather events and also publishes information on other climate change indicators such as sea level rise, and atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases.
We intend to do another edition, so if you’ve found something wrong with this page, or you have comments, you can either leave a comment below, or else email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like this handbook, and you’re reading this before November 10th 2020, and you live, work or study within Manchester City Council’s boundaries, please sign the petition for a seventh scrutiny committee, then share the petition with seven of your friends…
Student Climate Handbook home page