I’ve just done my first bike commute into Manchester of the year – and it happens to be match day at Old Trafford. Had a great seminar at Manchester University on Sustainable Communities and then, at 6.30, I got back on my bike and headed out to . . . gridlock.

This was a striking conclusion to the discussion I’d just been having, where some very sensible, well-read researchers were explaining that we have run out of time for any gradual, democratic, community-led changes, and that major, rapid, centralised changes are the only way we can even come close to a 50-50 chance at keeping temperature rises to below 2.4C (remembering that anything more than 1.5C means the disappearance of many Pacific Island nations).

So then, out into a world solid with cars, our clearest way of demonstrating how little we care for the future of the human race.

70,000 people descending on Old Trafford, by car, coach, taxi, (and many by bus, train and tram), many travelling from far beyond the local area – especially the many thousands of Milan fans. How can we keep such strong community events going without destroying our chance of future happiness? or indeed of any future?

Back to the match report – it seems to be Manchester United 5, ¬†Nature nil – but it’s only half time, and maybe – just maybe – it’s a game of two halves.

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