UAF students practice climate activism

Alaskan communities are on the front-lines of damage caused by climate change. UAF students are trying to mitigate that damage through activism, direct action and education, according to Odin Miller, a graduate student in Anthropology and member of UAF Climate Action.

UAF Climate Action and their parent organization the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition seek to advocate a “just transition” away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources of energy, according to Miller.

“A ‘just transition’ would speak to a transition off of fossil fuels toward a more climate-friendly future in accordance in the principles of social justice,” Miller said. “Putting front-line communities first and making sure they’re not further being marginalized by the effort.”

In the 1990s and 2000s there was a variety of top-down solutions to climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol. These top-down solutions were not very effective, and more bottom-up solutions, like UAF Climate Action and the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition, have been coming into fashion, according to Miller.

UAF Climate Action will be having their first meeting of the year on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5 p.m. in the Wood Center Multilevel Lounge. While they have not yet had a meeting, the club has been active working on events like the Standing Rock Solidarity event and the showing of the movie “Merchants of Doubt.”

There is a general meeting for Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Cold Climate Housing Research Center. At this meeting, they’ll be discussing what is happening with the organization and what their plans will be for next year.

Climate Action and the Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition will be hosting George Lakey, author of “Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right and How We Can Too” on Nov. 7. He will be speaking at the Murie Auditorium.

The club was formed in the Spring of 2016 to work on UAF campus-based activism. Their faculty adviser is Michelle Mouton, who is the director of UAF’s Office of Sustainability and is a member of the Coalition.

“This is like our future and this is also our present, climate change is happening now,” Miller said.

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