Community number capture

Winter 2014

This article is about using community to tackle climate challenges. It concerns the tensions that can arise when grassroots community groups receive funding from government schemes designed to reduce carbon footprints through community. The difference between this bottom-up volunteering and top-down state funding uses the same word—community—but can mean very different things by it. It discuss the particular experiences of a Transition Town group who received funding from the Scottish Government. Both are interested in using community to tackle climate change, but in different ways. At root the tensions this funding created revolved around the introduction of numbers; whether demonstrating value for money, collecting data or measuring environmental relationship as a carbon footprint. The article argues that as states become increasingly neoliberalised, so too can their state funding further the rolling out of market principles into everyday life, including in environmental community groups. 

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