Climate Control: Bringing It Together

Today’s post is by Bryony from the Visitor Team at Manchester Museum. We are each sharing our passion and  interest in the museum and its objects.

For more about nature and the Climate Control exhibition, have a look at the curator blogs; Nature Manchester and Palaeo Manchester.

Climate Control: Bringing It Together

Climate Control, for those who haven’t yet come to see it, is all about inspiring action, and you’ve all being contributing admirably to our wall of suggestions. In short, the idea is that while on one side there is a white wall you can leave your black carbon footprint sticker on and show how it all adds up, the flipside is that there is a black wall that you can turn white with your suggestions of what you can do to help.

So here is a roundup of the unedited ideas from you, the general public! After all, we don’t have all the answers, we wanted other people’s innovative solutions, so we turned this part of the exhibition over to you.

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The wall as a whole. Climate Control, Manchester Museum.

The first thing we noticed was that there seem to be quite a few of you vegetarians, vegans, and reducing-your-meat-intake-ans out there, and this makes sense – 10% of the greenhouse gases produced in the UK are through the meat industry, not to mention that it contributes towards rainforest loss as it is often burned to put more profitable fields of methane-producing cows on instead.

A collection of the many veggie/vegan/meat-free-day stickers we have.

Many people have decided to make adjustments to do their own bit – we can make an enormous difference by putting together our small actions, not to mention the side benefits such as living a healthier lifestyle and saving money. Making sure you don’t leave your TV or games consoles on standby, for example – in the UK, about 8% of our daily energy usage comes from devices left on standby, so imagine how much of a difference the habit of regularly turning them off could make to the world and your electricity bill! Be inspired by some other suggestions too:

For a few links, including a tasty orange peel recipe, see the list at the end of the post.

… While some people feel that it is the methods currently used to produce energy that need to change. Hydrogen cells, for example, are efficient and produce just water vapour as a byproduct, but would need major infrastructure changes before they could be used in the UK.

There are links to more information about some of these diverse ideas at the end.

Many of you would also like to take action to make the government to get more on-board with all things climate change. After all, it’s also in their best interests – the effects of global warming are already having an impact on the economy and on infrastructure.

Other people would prefer to see legislation put in place for organisations and people, because institutional change (involving more people) has a bigger impact when mobilised together.

Some more ideas for society – sorry ‘Cheshire wives’, it looks like someone has singled you out!

And for many people, this appeals directly to the sense that we are part of something larger than ourselves. Whatever form this expression may take – some call for peace on earth, while to others it calls to their spiritual or religious side – we are ultimately members of a society that can take collective action to effect change, which is exactly what we were hoping to get across.

The feeling of being a part of something bigger.

After all, at Manchester Museum we’ve got the world on board.

As far as we can tell, comments so far have included Chinese, Spanish, Bulgarian, Welsh, Japanese, Urdu, Polish, Malay, Greek … quite a mix!

… Well, mostly. (We’ve had a few odd responses too!)

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A young visitor slightly misunderstanding what we do as a museum …

Well, whether your reaction is something like these, or something completely new, we want to hear from you! The exhibition closes soon, so this is your last chance to head on over and add your voice to the many that have already been raised about what we can do, and what you can do too.

And thank you to those who have contributed already and decided that you would like to make these changes in your lives, however small. It’s been really inspiring just how many of you there are, and after all, this sort of collective action really can change the world.

Bryony Rigby

The Climate Control exhibition is open until 4th September 2016, and you can join the conversation now at #MMClimateControl

P.S. Want to find out more?
What is Climate Change?
How much methane cows produce
Meat-free Mondays
Veganism infographic
How accurate is the movie Cowspiracy?
Free cycling training in Manchester (and bike routes)
You CAN use orange peel
Leaving devices on standby
Leaving devices on standby
Starting a car sharing scheme
About the impact of recycling
Pros and Cons of energy sources
How Hydrogen fuel cells work
Hydrogen cell infrastructure already in the UK
Solar panels and selling back to the grid
How to contact your MP
How to start a campaign group
Global Warming effects on the economy
The benefits of urban greenspace
Carbon footprint of air travel
Palm oil
How can community groups help tackle climate change?
The carbon footprint of war
And finally, did museums really kill off the dinosaurs?

Read more about climate change from the Visitor Team:

Climate Control: Climate Exchange
Climate Control: Marvellous Moths
Climate Control: Changes We Can See
Climate Control – The Polar Bear Fact File
Climate Control – Join the Conversation!

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