Nial Rele's action
The action would include gathering a group of people together consisting of friends and faculty, who share your sentiments on the climate crisis, to plan a 24-hour hunger-strike at your College. The immediate focus and aim behind the hunger-strike would be to provide awareness on how the institution may reform its approach towards consumption on campus.
Before the actual event, it would be important to publicize it so as to get more people involved. Participants may put up posters and announce this event at other public events or even send emails to the College community. The more people involved in the action, the more successful it will be.
The hunger-strike could be staged in front of the President’s office building or a dining hall. Participants in the hunger-strike can take turns in being present at the events but it should be held for the entire twenty-four hours. There can be stalls at the staging of the hunger-strike to help promote the following ideas to those who visit.
The consumption habits of an institution, whether they be the catering at the dining halls or any other utility of the institution, have important links with the health of local economies and producers. The more widespread the web of suppliers of utilities to the College is, the more the consolidation of wealth is for these large centralized suppliers. The basic message would be to switch over to consuming more locally produced goods. This shift in mindset would naturally foster a stronger spirit of local conservation- both natural and economic. At the same time the underlying message would be to stress the urgency of the climate crisis through the sacrifice of the participants.
This action would play out as a bold statement to the College administration and the College community to promote on-campus conservation measures and shift away from choices and lifestyles which are wasteful and harmful to the environment. Examples of steps that the college may take include switching to buying only locally produced vegetables and meats or hiring local construction companies, even though such choices may be more expensive than current practices.
The participants may assist their institution in this reform by researching the best alternatives available. To further strengthen the significance of the event, the organizers may invite the owners of local businesses, who use practices in their production which are green and sustainable, to come and take part in the event and also speak to others about what they produce and the manner in which they produce their goods.
The ‘filtering-down’ of responsibility embodied in such a form of conservation, which is promoted by the event, helps to reduce net green-house gas emissions through an increased local responsibility towards the climate, reduced transportation and mass-production emissions.
Reforming the institution’s policies regarding responsible purchasing can go a long way in effecting positive change against climate change if conducted on a large scale. This act would also symbolically promote personal lifestyle changes and exemplify the importance of these changes on the bigger picture. It is often thought that Global Warming and Climate Change are abstract problems that are above resolution through the intervention of common man. This assumption must be abandoned. Empowerment at a personal level is central to the motives of the National Teach-In. Such an action can also go a long way in promoting this personal empowerment.