This past weekend (November 1-3), I attended People & Planet's Shared Planet conference in London. It was the largest UK student gathering on human rights, world poverty and the environment!
Friday was the last night of the Fossil Free UK tour. It featured Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, author, environmental activist for Climate Change, etc.. and Kumi Naidoo, the Executive Director for Greenpeace International! Honestly, I fangirled so hard over the two of them.
The Fossil Free UK tour was about understanding the math behind climate change and getting pumped up about divestment (taking away investments into fossil fuel companies and investing in renewable energy sources). The FAQ on the http://math.350.org/ is very very very informative!
But essentially, three super important numbers:
- Almost every government in the world has agreed that any warming above a 2°C (3.6°F) rise would be unsafe.
- Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees.
- The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists, estimates that proven coal, oil, and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies, equals about 2,795 gigatons of CO, or five times the amount we can release to maintain 2 degrees of warming.
KUMI NAIDOO IS AWESOME, CAN I JUST BE AROUND HIM ALL THE TIME PLEASE OKAY YEAH.
The Friday event was at the Troxy, and it was pretty cool!
The actual Shared Planet Conference was held at Newvic College. We had lots of amazing workshops and open panels and discussions about the two main campaigns: Sweatshop Free and Fossil Fuel Free!
This open panel pictured below was about youth engagement and barriers for youth. The lady at the right side is Caroline Lucas, the Green Party member of parliament for Brighton! She's the only Green Party member of Parliament in the Westminster government. I just think she's awesome, like Elizabeth May is awesome. Yay for awesome women heading the environmental politics movement.
Can you spot me in the picture below?
Another open panel discussion! Pretty awesome people talking!
I bought this poster during the conference, and it's kind of hard to read because my phone quality isn't great... but it's an INCREDIBLE poster. If you want to see any part of it more clearly, let me know. I couldn't find an online version of the poster, but it makes me so happy.
All in all, I was SO happy being able to spend an entire weekend about people who care about the environment. It was such a nice atmosphere where people wanted to talk about environmental issues and really get into it.
The most important part of the weekend though? Knowing there are people who are working hard in their respective universities to pursue environmental action and promote sustainability - and being re-energized and motivated to keep keep trying to make our societies more eco-friendly.
Next up: Lewes Bonfire Night aka Guy Fawkes Night on November the 5th! Remember remember...