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Liveable Crouch End - School Streets in the midst of a "Climate Emergency" and the use of children in propaganda

It's official - we have a Climate Emergency in Haringey. The Full Council passed a motion (motion H) at their meeting on 18th March 2019 to declare a Climate Emergency.

And there is now a plan to produce a plan to implement School Streets. 

Some of this seems massively optimistic. Point 2 of the Climate Emergency motion reads:

"2. Together as a community and with wider stakeholders, collectively work towards making
Haringey carbon neutral by 2030, delivering impact on both production and consumption emissions;"

I suspect that this, or something even more ambitious has been proposed before. This clip is of Bob Hare questioning Haringey's climate change achievements so far, and the benefit of making the targets ever more ambitious. His comparison of Cllr Ejiofor with the Kardashian's raises a laugh. 

This video clip is a reminiscence by Cllr Hearn about her mother, and Cllr Hearn's own failure to understand science. Cllr Hearn is responsible for the Environment Portfolio on Haringey's cabinet.

I remain doubtful abut the recruitment of children to the climate change argument. Recent Research suggests that some brains are not fully formed until the age of 30. Persuading children to take Friday afternoon off school is mainly a gimmick. A few of these young people will have understood the arguments. Most of them are simply impressionable and idealistic and repeating what their teachers and parents have told them, and hoping to take a turn with the megaphone.

The Somewhat amended LibDem motion on School Streets

Council resolves:
1. To implement School Streets or No-Idling Zones around every primary school in the
borough by 2022. Review our work on school streets and bring a school street action
plan to Cabinet in March 2020.
2. To increase spending on active travel in future budgets.
3. To conduct a feasibility study of using a Workplace Parking Levy as a way to fund
this. To continue our work to develop a proposal for a potential Workplace Parking
Levy for active travel/cycling and school streets.
4. To encourage local businesses to sponsor green walls on school buildings and tree planting near schools

Let's hope the Liveable Crouch End project bases its proposals on scientific fact, sets achievable goals and conducts a fully mature examination of the situation.

And apparently ordinary people are taking the initiative in NW3

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I guess if it's an emergency, then emergency measures are required. A rolling programme of power cuts maybe. Closure of major roads. Civil Defence mobilisation. Emergency police powers. Moving vulnerable people to higher ground. Curfews. Evacuation of children.

Or perhaps we need some sort of scale to help us understand the severity of the 'emergency'? And perhaps a method of educating children to (as you say) understand scientific fact and to spot hyperbole?

I say this as someone who thinks climate change is indeed extremely important. I also say this as someone who thinks the ramifications of climate change will demand people accepting painful and unpopular changes to their lifestyles. Changes that require resisting hyperbole, mature debate, and an unequivocal belief in democracy and the country's political institutions. 

Alas I notice the Greens are particular cheerleaders in the dismantling of what remains of trust in democracy.

Is this hyperbole in respect of water?

"  . . the country is facing an "existential threat", Sir James Bevan told the Waterwise Conference in London."

"He told his audience that, in around 20 to 25 years, England would reach the "jaws of death . . . "

Sir James does go on to admit that there are infrastructure projects which would transfer water from areas of water surplus to areas of deficit . H2O-1 rather than HS2 perhaps. 

Aye, I noticed that story. As you say, the dying millions can be averted by building a couple of extra reservoirs and pipes. Which is what they want to do but they clearly perceive a need to go way over the top just to attract a couple of politicians onto their side to get permission.

The New River (no longer new and not really a river) brought drinking water from the north of London to the unwashed masses of Islington. My recollection is hazy, but I think as a feat of engineering it manages to drop only 5 inches a mile over its length, and had to overcome a number of Nimby farmers on the way.

I think there is a contour line runs nearly all the way from the Northern Pennines to London. This might refer. A big project, but infinitely preferable to legislation denying me a bath.

Replying to 

Hi Adrian, to confirm no children were coerced into making this film m, in fact many of the schools that took part have their own environmental groups which are run by children. My child took part in that film he’s 7 he asked to say something because he loves his school street

Telling children they are victims (victimhoods available from a long, long list) appears to be the acceptable norm I'm afraid. Perceived injustices that are internalised, brook no dissenting opinion, and are then used to demand authoritarian responses from the state.

I WAS fortunate to grow up in a capital city with permanent air-conditioning over the entire district (Wellington, NZ). Sometimes, the air-con was on full blast and it could knock you over.

Elsewhere however, many live by heavily-trafficked, polluted roads.

In this recent BBC news item, extensive "use" is made of a child in what some might also dismiss as propaganda.

It is young and growing citizens who are the most vulnerable to high levels of pollution.

They and their parents and responsible politicians are increasingly concerned about the effect of Haringey's high, road-side pollution levels on health.

Over and again, the council favours the unfettered operation of pollution-emitters over public health.

I received this email today:

https://assets.change.org/photos/email/Templates/spacer1.gif" width="1"/>


I have some great news - Labour have just declared an environmental and climate emergency. Now I need your help to get the Tory government to do the same.

Declaring a climate emergency would be a huge step towards averting environmental disaster. Man made climate change has already caused mass extinctions of wildlife and extreme weather across the globe - but it is not too late to save our planet if we take urgent action.

When we got our local council in Machynlleth to declare a climate emergency we were one of the first in the country to make that happen. Since then around 50 councils have declared, and our campaign for a nationwide climate emergency is growing every day.

The government is so far refusing - but the momentum is growing and with your help we can make them listen.

Will you add your name to my petition calling for a nationwide climate emergency and protect our planet before it’s too late?

?Thank you for fighting to protect our environment,


DECLARATIONS by themselves, are not a "huge" step towards averting environmental disaster.

They are a tiny, first baby-step toward the goal.

Without action and commitment from leadership, it's little more than empty posturing, something of which we've seen much.

In our local authority, the evidence of long-term posturing and the chronic lack of meaningful action is not difficult to find: it may be seen here.

Currently, we have seen the council putting up posters claiming or exhorting "Haringey Walks".

The council needs to enable residents to walk and cycle, not encourage. A resolute leadership would begin with a clean-out of some of the municipal Highways crew currently mislabelled, "Sustainable Transport".

The absence of political will for Active Travel is illustrated by the current, novice leader:

One might have hoped that he would have expressed a few more thoughts on transportation deeper than his sole twitter comment on transport policy.

We are ill-served.


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