Students across the globe are calling for their University boards to divest from the fossil fuel industry. As the effects of climate change become more apparent young people are organizing and mobilizing to meet the challenge head on. Following the examples set by campuses across Canada and the US, European students are now adapting divestment campaign models to launch campaigns on their own campuses, and with support from former President Mary Robinson the question at hand is – are Irish students ready to join the global divestment campaign?
December and January have certainly been the wettest, windiest most volatile months I can remember. Homes have been destroyed, business decimated and communities devastated. With the financial cost of the past two months exceed 100 million as our nation continues to struggle with relentless storms and nationwide flooding I ask if anyone is really thinking about Why This Is Happening?
Unless you have been living under a rock you will have seen or heard media coverage relating the recent events in Pungesti, Romania.
In an unprecedented attack on peaceful protesters the Romanian police and CHEVRON have overnight become the subject of international condemnation and outrage.
As youth we are vibrant. As activists we are angry. As youth activists we can be frustrated and even at times be utterly deflated. The system in which we exist is often our biggest obstacle when attempting to challenge norms and promote new ways of thinking.
Do we tackle this obstacle head on? Yes. Are we always successful? No. But sometimes we are – even if not in the way we had hoped.
COP 19 was the perfect example of how hope can turn to despair. But with an exciting twist at the end!
David Suzuki writes that before we can hope to adequately tackle climate change we must internalise the fact that “we are the earth, and whatever we do to the earth, we do to ourselves.
Yet ‘hope’, to my mind, is not enough of a driving force for the promotion of sustainable living. It is has an air of sacrifice and persists in the idea that the way we live in the Global North, with an overt reliance on dirty energy, daily power showers and avocados from Peru, is normal. In reality, living within your means, within your 1.8 hectares of a planet that you share in companion with 7 billion others, is simply what is right. This to me is the meaning of climate justice, that no other human being, present or future, should suffer due to the greedy consumption of resources that you neither need nor deserve.
Our grandparents did not live the way we do now, nor do the majority of the planet’s human inhabitants from whom we rob the resources for a gluttonous way of life. Hope can stunt action, leading us to believe that ‘doing what we can’ is enough to obstruct an uncertain future where growing inequalities and climate chaos are already at hand.