By Miles Goodrich
This is an invitation.
Five years ago, I was a high school junior sequestered away from global politics and carbon anxiety on Maine’s ragged coastline. News from the Copenhagen Climate Summit, however, navigated its way through jutting peninsulas and shoddy internet to my farm-school in Wiscasset. Normally tasked with scrubbing toilets or feeding dew-soaked sheep, for the week of the summit, I reported on climate talks to salt-of-the-earth Mainers.
On the final day, I stood up at breakfast, pushed in my chair, and announced that the negotiations had fallen apart without a binding treaty. The United States would not lead the rest of the world in reducing carbon emissions. As sixty disappointed students, teachers, and farmers turned back to their eggs, I tried to finish my glass of milk, fresh that morning from Adeline the cow. It tasted bitter. My future, it seemed, was in my own hands for saving.
This is an invitation to dig deep.
Five years later, the fossil fuel divestment movement is growing up. From the coal mines of Australia to the slopes of Burnaby Mountain to the streets of New York, students have demonstrated that if our politicians will not lead, then we will. And we have proven that when we stand united for an end to the era of fossil fuels, we get results.
This is an invitation to link up.
And we have the world’s attention. As global leaders meet for a fourth time to discuss what they will do about climate change since creating this organizer five years ago, divestment has put the solution in the spotlight: fossil fuels must remain in the ground. Students seem to be leaving their mark.
This is an invitation to take non-violent direct action.
On February 13th, 2015, after years of being told “no,” students will come together to say that the status quo is not good enough. We expect better from our schools–better leadership, better investments. Students from across the nation will join citizens internationally in the Global Divestment Day of Action.
Here’s the plan: over the next few months, we’ll gather our allies and craft action plans for strategic escalation–intentionally ramping our efforts up to block business as usual and demand climate justice. On February 13th, we will hold rallies, vigils, and press conferences announcing our intention to escalate in late March and April. While our administrations might be afraid to take bold action on climate, we won’t be.
If you pledge to escalate through nonviolent direct action over the course of the spring, add your name to this form. The next step is to get everyone on your campus to sign the pledge. We will add you to our mailing list to follow-up.
This is an invitation to change everything.
This post was written by Miles Goodrich and students driving the divestment movement.