As we begin this new year, our group goes from strength to strength.  We have new members joining every month, established projects and an ambitious work programme under development.

Later in this newsletter, you will read about our plans for an Energy Fair in April and HuG 2 in June. Our Youth Engagement team has fantastic plans to provide a week-long festival of events in our local schools, and we are starting to look into the practicalities of one (or more!) Repair Cafes in the Moorlands.

Members recently visited a repair café in Macclesfield to see how it runs and will shortly visit the Buxton café.

Our Nature team are as busy as ever with their various projects - more details later. We plan to take MCA on the road this year - taking our message to community groups across the Moorlands, to learn more about their hopes and fears.

We aim to be the true representative group for the whole of the Moorlands when it comes to the Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergencies.

As we grow, we always need more people to get involved in our projects. I hope you find this newsletter of interest. If you have not yet joined MCA, please do so - membership is £10/£5 per year. We are still mainly meeting via Zoom, but we hope to be able to restart our face to face meetings soon.

We had a fantastic year last year, despite Covid and the challenges that brought us all. Our HuG event was so well supported, and then we welcomed the wonderful Camino-to-COP walkers, followed by our biggest ever demonstration of people power in our Totally-Globally Day of Action - our contribution to the coordinated global action launched during COP 26.

We are still trying to engage with SMDC, but sadly our emails, letters and phone calls go unanswered.  That Net Zero deadline of 2030 is not going to change, but the longer the council delays making real changes and investment, the harder that challenge will be for all of us.

Thanks to Nigel Williams for Chairing the group for the last two years, and welcome to Alison McCrea as joint Membership Officer and Mark Johnson as Secretary.

With hope,

Mike Jones, Chair MCA

AGM

 

Thank you to all those who attended our AGM. The minutes to the AGM can be seen here: AGM Pack

Here's a long-term perspective on climate change and its influence on human societies. Consider the fate of the Norse settlement of Greenland, established using European farming systems during the relatively warm period that preceded the Little Ice Age, and that of the neighbouring Inuit, who adapted well to an icy environment.

The Norse settlements on this rather marginal land, really only suited to pastoral farming, fishing and some forestry, and named ‘Greenland’ in a rather optimistic form of Viking marketing, nevertheless survived for about 450 years. However, scientific analysis of sediments shows that from the start the land was degraded by deforestation and soil erosion, so that by the time the climate deteriorated, the Norse inhabitants were already struggling and dependent on imports from Iceland and elsewhere in Europe.

By comparison, the Inuit, who had settled another part of the island, coming north from mainland America, had adapted a lifestyle that was independent of farming and forestry, hunted seals and whales, had little need of wood for building or fuel, and had developed revolutionary boats, based on sealskin stretched over whalebone frames. However, it seems that the Norse had little positive interaction with them, did not seem to copy their technologies and generally regarded themselves as superior, describing the Inuit as ‘Skraelings’ or wretches.

The nub of the story is that the Inuit survived the worst privations of the Little Ice Age, while the Norse did not. The detailed descriptions of archaeological excavations of their final settlements make poignant reading. Likely reasons for their failure to adapt and ultimately to survive are described by Jared Diamond in his book Collapse1.

“There were many innovations that might have improved the material conditions of the Norse, such as importing more iron and fewer luxuries….copying from the Inuit or inventing different boats and different hunting techniques. But those innovations could have threatened the power, prestige and narrow interests of the chiefs. In the tightly controlled interdependent society of Norse Greenland, the chiefs were in a position to prevent others from trying out such innovations.

“Thus Norse society’s structure created a conflict between the short-term interests of those in power, and the long-term interests of the society as a whole. Much of what the chiefs and clergy valued proved eventually harmful to the society……..Ultimately, though, the chiefs found themselves without followers. The last right that they obtained for themselves was the privilege of being the last to starve”.

Are we fated to make the same sort of mistake? Certainly some of Diamond’s observations carry echoes for our present times.  A key problem is reluctance to make change or move outside our bubbles of perceived normal and rational behaviour. The Norse, after all, had lived in Greenland for 450 years and the ecological decline triggered by their activities may have been too gradual for them to recognise or for everyone to take seriously. The climate change that finished them off would have been well-nigh impossible for them to predict. By comparison, we’re fortunate that science has identified these threats, giving us the opportunity to take action.

Day of ActionTaking place on the 6th November 2021, the Global Day of Action will see millions coming together from all over the world to demand change from leaders at COP26. We need urgent solutions to combat the nature and climate emergency that affects us, the wildlife and the surrounding landscapes that we all love. 

The purpose of the Global Day of Action is to unite all climate activists and groups around a common goal: to demand governments and corporations limit global temperatures to 1.5°C and deliver real and just solutions to the climate crisis. This will be a historic moment in history as we give nature a voice. The walk coincides with the World Climate March (a virtual 1.5km or 2000 step) walk for climate justice, representing the 1.5C or close to global temperature rise limit for global warming as established by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Our leaders must be reminded of their commitment to this legally binding international treaty.

As world leaders gather for the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Moorlands Climate Action will be staging a walking demonstration around Leek as part of the Global Day of Action. Join residents of the Staffordshire Moorlands on a walking parade in Leek as part of the Global Day of Action on Saturday, November 6th 2021 meeting from 10:30am to design banners (between the Foxlowe Arts Centre and Leek Town Council offices on Stockwell Street) followed by the walk beginning at 11:30am.  

Camino walkers arriving in LeekI am on a journey through this world; I see the world as a sacred place and I pass through it with reverence and gratitude, without any desire to possess the world and exploit it for any short-term gain”. Satish Kumar (1)

1b Walkers route IMG 0091On Sunday 26th September, we welcomed the wonderful ‘Camino to COP’ walkers into Leek – at the halfway point on their 500-mile journey from London to Glasgow. The Camino Walkers, from XR Faith Bridge, set out on their journey to urge governments to act on the climate emergency and to spread the word along the way about the urgent need to address our climate and ecological emergency.

The effects of climate change are already evident. Natural disasters are more frequent and devastating. These negative impacts are – unjustly – more severely felt by poor people and by poor countries. The Camino Walkers were travelling on foot to Glasgow and to COP 26 asking for Climate Justice and to save the Earth.

COP 26 (or the 26th Conference of the Parties) is the most important global climate change event to take place each year. Leaders from 196 countries meet in Glasgow in November for this major climate conference. This year is crucial because world leaders had agreed to come to Glasgow with definitive plans to keep emissions at a level that would keep global warming to ‘well below 2% and as near to 1.5% as possible’. These are the so-called Paris Targets. Scientists say that cutting emissions drastically this decade is our last chance to come up with plans that can hit those targets and bring climate change under control.

1c at Foxlowe IMG 0372

Individual sign up: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/moorlands-global-day-of-action-registration-193379171307

Group sign up: https://forms.gle/ivkfs39T2cp8r7ib9

Route: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1huIFckbgFziGU4NcQRXZ9oznDBnIX4U_&usp=sharing 

 

A walk in Leek as part of the Global Day of Action on Saturday November 6th.

Taking place on the 6th November 2021, the Global Day of Action will see millions coming together from all over the world to demand change from leaders at COP26. We need urgent solutions to combat the nature and climate emergency that affects us, the wildlife and the surrounding landscapes that we all love. 


The purpose of the Global Day of Action is to unite all climate activists and groups around a common goal: to demand governments and corporations limit global temperatures to 1.5°C and deliver real and just solutions to the climate crisis. This will be a historic moment in history as we give nature a voice. The walk coincides with the World Climate March (a virtual 1.5km or 2000 step) walk for climate justice, representing the 1.5C or close to global temperature rise limit for global warming as established by the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. Our leaders must be reminded of their commitment to this legally binding international treaty.

As world leaders gather for the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Moorlands Climate Action will be staging a walking demonstration around Leek as part of the Global Day of Action. Join residents of the Staffordshire Moorlands on a walking parade in Leek as part of the Global Day of Action on Saturday, November 6th 2021 meeting from 10:30am to design banners (between the Foxlowe Arts Centre and Leek Town Council) followed by the walk beginning at 11:30am.