We have a ‘1 million trips a day’ challenge in Greater Manchester – which we can only solve if we stop driving short distances

In this in-depth post I set out compelling evidence why…

    • our climate and health crisis can only be solved with dramatic cuts to car use
    • leaving cars at home for short journeys is now critical, almost obligatory
    • we therefore need a massive programme of measures to disincentivise car use and induce behaviour change including


If Greater Manchester is to meet its environment, civic, and health commitments  – the city region’s transport challenge is very clear.

About one million MORE journeys EVERY day need to be made by foot, bike, bus, tram or train* by 2040, instead of by car.

The trouble is – no-one likes to talk about the last four words of that sentence. 

Our current strategies assume that this massive transformation of our daily habits will just ‘kinda happen’ as a result of new infrastructure, public transport investment and a bit of ‘awareness raising’. 

But a new report from the influential Transport Select Committee makes a clear set of recommendations that spell out this is a car-reduction challenge which must now be tackled head on.

Continue reading “We have a ‘1 million trips a day’ challenge in Greater Manchester – which we can only solve if we stop driving short distances”

Three Climate Emergencies Declared – yay! And then ignored. Oh…

Credit: Dilbert/Scott Adams

You know that uncomfortable, jarring feeling you get.

When your body experiences one thing, but your eyes see another?

It’s known in the psychologist trade as cognitive dissonance – when beliefs are contradicted by information.

When it happens our brains get very uncomfortable and have three options – change our beliefs (hard), change our actions (quite hard), change our perception of our actions (easiest).

Well this has been the experience of being on the environmental campaigning beat in Manchester this week.

Extreme cognitive dissonance – as the city revealed we’re way off our carbon targets, rose up to declare a climate emergency – and it all went completely ignored.

It could have been so different – a momentous, landmark, ground-breaking week.

It started with Monday’s revelation at the Manchester Climate Agency’s annual ‘conference’ that the city had only managed 2.5% of our pledged 13% year on year carbon reductions .

Continue reading “Three Climate Emergencies Declared – yay! And then ignored. Oh…”

What’s the block to creating the world you want? (clue: it’s not what you think)

When I saw this question promoting a talk from an experienced tutor at the well-regarded Northern School of Permaculture, I was intrigued.

What is the block indeed?? Great – here I will find the answer!

So when Angus Soutar asked this question of the 25 or so of us who gathered in the back room of the Briton’s Protection pub in Manchester, a very suitable venue with it’s connections to the Peterloo Massacre, I was ready with my replies..

‘Exploitative capitalist economics’, ‘inadequate government policies’, ‘fickle politicians’, ‘a broken voting system’…What should I pick first?

So I was very surprised when people volunteered very different answers to those on my mind…

Continue reading “What’s the block to creating the world you want? (clue: it’s not what you think)”

Why launch Bee The Change Blog?

Beethechangeblog came from my desire to do something positive in these challenging times – The Great Turning as it has been called.

And to document my own discoveries and difficulties as I and the rest of the world wrestle with the monumental challenge of de-carbonising ourselves and re-balancing our relationship with earth.

Firstly, for myself because the act of transforming thoughts to written words helps me make sense of what I’m experiencing.

Secondly in the belief that they might be useful to others.

Thirdly because it seems, just in these deeply troubling times when we most need an independent media, this part of this agenda isn’t being covered in the way it should be. Continue reading “Why launch Bee The Change Blog?”