If you’ve had a look at our annual report for 2019 you’ll know that we’re a busy bunch at mySociety, keeping lots of useful civic services running and talking about our work on an almost daily basis.
In 2020 we’re going to be doing something a bit different.
You’ll still hear from us regularly through our blogs and research and conference, but we’re going to be talking about one thing above all else – the climate crisis.
We’ll still talk about democracy; but more than likely we’ll be considering how participatory and deliberative approaches can be useful in finding consensus on the difficult decisions we’ll all need to take to avoid the worst climate impacts. And thanks to your contributions towards the successful crowdfunder for TheyWorkForYou, we’ll be able — along with other much-needed improvements and updates — to help you hold the new parliament to account on how they respond to the climate emergency.
You’ll still hear from us on transparency; we’ll be helping people make the most of WhatDoTheyKnow to request information from public bodies on how they are responding to the crisis, and we’ll be looking at how we might apply our long experience of improving access to public information to similar private sector services in areas like pensions and investments – where divestment from fossil fuels is urgently needed.
When we refer to community, and especially our work with FixMyStreet, we’ll be underlining how important it will be to support local democracy and help create resilient flourishing communities if we’re to mitigate how our changing climate will hit the least well off in society.
One focus, one reason
We are doing this for one simple reason – there really is not a more important issue facing our society today.
We can’t address the climate crisis without also addressing the parallel democratic crisis we face in many countries around the world, where lies, deceit and fake news have become normal paths to power.
We can’t solve issues like climate change without also addressing the lack of equality and fairness in society, where those with the least power and influence will be affected the most.
And we can’t avoid the worst impacts without building and living with strong and resilient communities where every citizen can play their part.
So we’ll be exploring what small role we might be able to play at mySociety — both improving our environmental impacts internally, and examining how we align our current and future work with the need to tackle the climate crisis. And alongside this you’ll still be able to report a pothole on FixMyStreet, or follow your MP on TheyWorkForYou on every other topic beyond the climate as usual.
We’d encourage all our friends and colleagues in civil society, government and the private sector to consider what role they might play themselves both as individuals and through their organisations – and we hope you’ll also share your plans and we can learn more from each other in the year ahead.
What an amazing piece of news! Thank you for this commitment. Nothing is more important.
There is nothing more important and urgent now than climate change and how we can use democratic instruments to effectively tackled it.
Climate change is natural but the current excessive increase is caused by only one factor and that is overpopulation of the human species.
Unless steps are taken on a global basis to reverse the runaway population explosion then all the mitigation on carbon emissions will be pointless.
Four hundred years ago the population of the planet was half a billion. It is now seven point five billion, a fifteen fold increase. This will only accelerate as people extend their life spans and medicine makes more advances. In four hundred years time the population will be over one hundred billion at least. In the meantime we cover more of the countryside with housing estates and all the infrastructure that goes with them plus fields full of solar panels and wind farms, using up more and more of the Earth’s natural resources.
The best hope for the planet is a pandemic which will correct the population imbalance and restore space for the other species which have been threatened by our selfish behaviour.
The Malthusian comment by John Neilan is not only wrong but shockingly misanthropic. The main cause of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. Richer individuals and countries tend to emit far more than poorer ones, so must take greater responsibility for reducing emissions. Also most countries have now passed through demographic transition, meaning that their populations are relatively stable (discounting migration effects). A greater focus on reducing global inequality would help to accelerate this transition and thus bring about a stable global population.