A community group set up to inspire, generate and support local responses to the climate crisis: Independent. Voluntary. Resident-led.
The Climate Crisis is already devastating the lives of people in some areas of our planet. Sooner or later, through fires, drought, crop failures, food shortages, storms, and the flooding of riverside and coastal cities, it will affect everyone. It is destroying farms as well as forests and other natural habitats, and the creatures who live there.
Advisers and governments, along with David Attenborough, say the average temperature of the earth cannot rise more than 1.5°, without causing serious and self-perpetuating damage.
The priority for all of us is therefore:
- to work out how we might reduce (mitigate) our own damage to the earth in the things we do and buy: that can be about living better, healthier, and more cheaply;
- to call our suppliers, government and council to account when they indulge in ‘greenwash’ promises without actions;
- to work out ways that our communities can collaborate to adapt and survive it: collaboration is vital because hard-up people always suffer most.
Who are MossSide1.5°?
We are a small group of residents living in the East side of Moss Side. We all individually do projects connected with our own streets, neighbours and groups. But we needed something where a focus on the Climate Emergency is central to our activity. We have joined together to try to multiply the effects and involve more people across and around Moss Side.
What unites our different groups is a strong determination to use our skills, experience and contacts to encourage ourselves and others in the ward to do practical things to reduce our carbon emissions, and improve our living environments.
Priorities for collaboration
We are aware that for many neighbours, issues like social justice, inequality, poverty, health, and overcrowding are far more important. Of course they are. The Climate Emergency can seem distant and low on the list of priorities. So far, the floods, fires and food shortages are on TV, not here in Manchester. Many people also work long hours, so have no time. So in our collaborations we must always respect other people’s limits and priorities.
Yet there are also growing numbers of residents who are very aware of the crisis, and have the time and/or resources to try to do something positive. If you are one of these, you may be looking for things to do and engage with, and if so, maybe we can work together. Maybe we can also reduce the impacts on those who aren’t able to join us.
We are therefore keen to grow and attract enthusiasts from other parts of Moss Side and nearby, who are keen to be involved in thinking, planning and actions that go beyond just ourselves as individuals, to think about the community. We are also sure there are many things going on that we do not know about, and can learn from.
What will MossSide1.5° do?
Be practical and active: As ever, our focus is on practical activity, in this case around Climate Emergency themes.
Connect, collaborate and communicate: We want to connect us all as individuals with effective collaborative activities we can enjoy and are interested in. We will organise gatherings of residents to find out more about what different things people in the ward are doing, or may feel inspired to do.
Inspire and challenge: Together we also want to inspire those who may doubt the importance of the crisis for them, or who believe it’s all about giving up things rather than improving things. We also want to inspire and challenge the council to be more practical, supportive and active.
We have good connections with Manchester City Council, but we worry about their ability to achieve enough in the ward as we have been one councillor short for the last 5 years and we have no ward officer as she has been seconded to a different job, with no replacement in place. In addition, the council employs outside facilitators instead of locals, and their most recent meeting attracted more paid officers than residents. So there is a clear need for resident collaboration and action. But the council is needed to help people turn good ideas into action, with support and funding.
Our next gathering: ‘Keep Moss Side Cool’
Thursday November 18, 6-8pm, at Claremont Primary School
Everyone is welcome! We will focus our leaflets on the central area of Moss Side to attract residents to connect and push forward projects in this area. If you can help us deliver some leaflets, get in touch. More information.
The contact email for the gathering is: WhatNext@MossSideStory.uk
Want to know more, get involved and share your ideas?
This new website – MossSideStory.uk – is a hub to enable people and local groups to post. You can subscribe to emails, and contact the existing groups through their individual pages and posts. With support, we hope it will increasingly include most things happening across Moss Side of community relevance.
We are compiling separate posts on the many developing projects across Moss Side that are focussed on the environment and are trying in different ways to respond to the Climate Emergency.
We suggest it is useful to think of Moss Side in three parts, for ease of sharing ideas and resources.
Moss Side E (east) between Wilmslow Rd. and Upper Lloyd St.,
Moss Side C (central) between Upper Lloyd St. and Princess Parkway,
Moss Side W (west) between Princess Parkway and Alexandra Rd.