EJ/CJ’s UPCOMING NEARLY CARBON NEUTRAL CONFERENCE AT UCSB
“CONFRONTING THE CLIMATE CRISIS WITH SYSTEMIC ALTERNATIVES IN THE AGE OF CORONA VIRUS”
October 19 to November 16, 2020
The UC Santa Barbara Environmental and Climate Justice Hub invites you to take part in a nearly carbon-neutral online conference of pre-recorded talks that will collectively explore the range of environmental and climate justice initiatives ideas, visions, movements, strategic orientations, and on the ground alternatives that resist extinction by confronting the current crisis in every kind of way.
In 2018 and 2019, the state of play in the climate crisis seemed to shift, with urgent climate reports, the rise of new social movements and tactics, especially among young people, and a pluriverse of proposals and projects for more life-affirming ways of being on this Earth.
Now, well into 2020, the world is beset by a global pandemic that is devastating lives and livelihoods and a climate crisis that worsens intensifying inequalities, fraying political systems, and cultures of violence everywhere, from police brutality to authoritarian governments to U.S. militarism.
While people have celebrated reduced CO2 emissions due to economic stoppage, communities at the margins of the world are faced with even stronger extractivism (of fossil fuels, mining, agro-industries, etc.). They are similarly identifying the interconnectedness of the health crisis and the systems at the source of climate injustices – capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy.
Collective social forces of and for climate justice and systemic alternatives are confronting this renewed crisis with imagination, new forms of online organizing, and hard work.
In this conference, we invite papers that engage with these global drivers of environmental and climate crisis and investigate their deep structures and histories. Likewise, contributions may analyze alternatives and the possibilities of more just climate futures.
We also welcome other forms of participation that seek to bridge the academic, social movement, and policy domains.
This online conference will take place from Monday, October 19 to Monday, November 16.
We hope to create spaces for real-time discussion and analysis of the U.S. election on November 3, the People’s Assemblies to prepare for COP 26, the current state of the pandemic, and the unforeseeable events that will occur everywhere between now and then.
To contribute to the conference, please send us by Monday, August 17 an abstract/proposal of 250 words for your pre-recorded individual talk or a whole panel along with a brief biographical note on the speaker(s). Final videos of 8-15 minutes per speaker will be due on Monday, October 5. We welcome international submissions!
Send questions to: John Foran (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ken Hiltner (email@example.com)
As a precursor or first installment, witness Greta Thunberg’s address to the 2019 World Economic Forum.
In the course of calendar year 2020 [January-December], EJ/CJ will host talks, conferences, and events that document, analyze and confront the climate crisis and support the global youth uprising for climate action.
highlights of the past year and a half compiled by John Bellamy Foster
- August 2018: 15-year-old Greta Thunberg begins her school strike outside the Swedish Parliament.
- October 8, 2018: The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºCpointing to the need for “systems transitions…unprecedented in terms of scale.”
- November 6, 2018: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat) is elected as a Congressional Representative on a platform that includes a Green New Deal.
- November 13, 2018: Members of the Sunrise Movement occupy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional office; newly elected Representative Ocasio-Cortez joins them.
- December 10, 2018: Sunrise Movement activists flood key Democratic Party Congressional offices demanding the creation of a Select Committee for a Green New Deal.
- January 25, 2019: Thunberg tells World Economic Forum: “Our house is on fire.… I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
- February 7, 2019: Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey introduce the Green New Deal Resolution in Congress.
- March 15, 2019: Nearly 2,100 youth-led climate strikes occur in 125 countries with 1.6 million participating (100,000 in Milan, 40,000 in Paris, 150,000 in Montreal).
- April 15–19, 2019: Extinction Rebellion shuts down large parts of central London. April 25, 2019: Extinction Rebellion protesters blockade the London Stock Exchange, gluing themselves across its entrances. May 1, 2019: UK Parliament declares a Climate Emergency shortly after similar declarations by Scotland and Wales.
- August 22, 2019: Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveils the most comprehensive Green New Deal plan to date, proposing a public investment of $16.3 trillion over ten years.
- September 20 and 27, 2019: Four million people join the global climate strike, staging more than 2,500 events in 150 countries. 1.4 million protest in Germany alone.
- September 23, 2019: Thunberg tells the United Nations: “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”
- November 29 and December 6, 2019: Another wave of youth-led climate strikes occurs around the world and in the United States.
If we think of the first year of the “decade of decision” that we entered on January 1, 2020, we may note the following signposts:
- November 3, 2020: Presidential and Congressional elections in the United States will determine the direction of U.S. national and global climate policy for the next four years.
- November 9-19, 2020: COP 25 will be held by the UNFCCC in Glasgow, Scotland. The nations are tasked with updating their commitments to the Paris Accords at this COP, but the disappointing results of COP 26 in Madrid [moved there from Santiago, Chile] cast doubt on the ability of the process to move forward in any kind of adequate way.
Thus we arrive at a crossroads where we are compelled to confront the climate crisis, just as global civil society is doing with its youth strikes, proposals for all kinds of Green New Deal across communities, trying to conceptualize and enact what a “just transition” would mean, and an array of systemic alternatives designed to create the new in the shadow of the crisis that besets us.