The Age of Self-Deception – A Reflection on 16 Years of Transport Politics

At the end of this year Steve Melia will retire after 16 years of researching, teaching and writing about transport and sustainability. Steve is a long term BCyC supporter and the driving force behind the influential Living Heart for Bristol initiative. He’s giving a talk on 15 December 2021 at 5pm in UWE Frenchay Campus which is sure to be insightful and entertaining and highly relevant to cycle campaigning.

Much of his material was collected from trips cycling across Europe. Next year, he plans to take up to 9 months to cycle across the whole continent.

Since 2005 he has advised government departments, local authorities, political parties and the UK Climate Assembly. He has also been arrested four times at protests over climate change. In this talk he will draw lessons from his involvement in controversial transport issues, starting with the Eco-towns programme in 2008 and finishing with COP26 in Glasgow. One of his surprising conclusions is that “we are all practising self-deception”. That is not necessarily a bad thing; it may even be necessary in some circumstances, but as practised by politicians over climate change it is threatening our survival.

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