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Interview with Kevin Anderson

Bread and roses

THERE’S a homeless man living in our street. Or, more accurately, living in his car on our street. I first noticed him early this year. I’m not sure when he moved in – he’s good at it, see.

I know lots of my neighbours, and no one else seems to be aware of him (although I haven’t mentioned him to them, either). I’m going to call him Danny.

Danny comes and goes. He parks on our street half the days of the week, more or less.

LAST weekend, the G20 leaders agreed to increase economic growth by an extra 2 per cent or more. It’s a strange promise – if it was in their power to increase growth by that much, I’m sure they would have been doing it anyway. It’s also strange because of the troubling relationship between economic growth, as we know it, and carbon dioxide emissions.

So with those conundrums in mind, here’s an edited version of an interview I did early this year with climate scientist Kevin Anderson, from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester.

THIS past couple of weeks I’ve been meeting with striking cleaners in the CBD. My attention was piqued a month or so ago by a news snippet saying cleaners were refusing to change toilet paper. They were advising office workers to bring in their own.

So I went to their noisy protests. All this year, their union, United Voice, has been coordinating protests four days a week. They do it like this: one or two dozen workers materialise in front of a building, armed with wailing megaphones and 20L steel buckets and drumsticks. They make the worst racket they can for 45 minutes, hand out flyers to office workers, and leave.