'The Time Is Now: environment, social justice and you'
PUBLIC MEETING AT SOAS - PANEL DISCUSSION FOLLOWED BY WINE RECEPTION AND STALLS
Supported by: Time To Act, Student Broad Left, Student Assembly Against Austerity and student activists from around London.
“All we have to do is nothing. Just continue to do what we are doing now, whether it’s counting on a techno-fix or tending to our gardens or telling ourselves we’re unfortunately too busy to deal with it. All we have to do is not react as if this is a full-blown crisis. All we have to do is keep on denying how frightened we actually are. And then, bit by bit, we will have arrived at the place we most fear, the thing from which we have been averting our eyes.”
--Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
The stakes have never been higher.
2015 is the year of the UK general election. It is also the year of the UN Climate Change talks in Paris. More pressingly, however, it also happens to be two years away from 2017 - the year by which our energy infrastructure will have generated all the CO2 emissions allowed in our carbon budget for limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. After this threshold, the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will set in motion a series of events so catastrophic we collectively can't bear to conceptualize. What we do this year - how and whether we choose to act, to put pressure on our leaders, to look reality square in the eye - will likely determine the future of generations to come.
This event aims to translate climate change from abstract images - melting ice caps, vanishing rainforests - into concrete reality which affects us all. We will be discussing how it is just one facet of our dysfunctional political and economic system and how it ties into corporate greed, austerity, racism, unemployment and cuts. It will also attempt to explain how the attitudes that allow climate change to happen stem directly from a deregulated capitalist market model and neoliberal ideology - and what we can do to challenge them directly.
* Donna Hume, Friends of the Earth
* Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition
* Ruth Peacegood, London Young Greens
* Guinevere Carter, UCL Fossil Free
and more TBA.
We encourage questions and contributions from the floor.
“We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we’re really talking about, if we’re honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet.”
—Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, 1973–2012
* Co-organised by a coalition of students:
SOAS Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Society
SOAS Stop the War Society
Student Assembly Against Austerity
Student Broad Left
UCL Green Party Society
and students from several other universities including Birkbeck College, Institute of Education, and Kings College London
* Venue detail:
- Where: School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London
- Address: Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG
- Nearest tube station: Russell Square (Zone 1, Piccadilly Line)
- Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT), lower ground in SOAS main building in Russell Sq campus