‘Don’t teach, strike’ is message from Middlebury College professor, others

Local environmental activists are gearing up for the so-called Global Climate Strike starting on Friday. The coordinated protests will include civil rights-style sit-ins, street marches, and attempts to close businesses, along with other municipal disruptions.

The planned actions key to publicizing what the activists consider a worldwide “climate emergency” based on the use of fossil fuels.

Several actions are planned in Vermont, including campus actions by Middlebury College students.

“In Middlebury, we stand in solidarity with students and workers around the world in halting business as usual,” wrote Dr. Jonathan Isham, a professor of economics and environmental studies at Middlebury College.

He and his students will be walking out of class at 9:45 a.m. to meet at the green at College Park, where the group will meet up with local high school students and community members. The activists will then carpool to Burlington to participate in the Vermont Climate Strike Rally at noon.

YouTube: Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Prof. Jonathan Isham of Middlebury College: “In Middlebury, we stand in solidarity with students and workers around the world in halting business as usual.”

Last month Isham and Lee Smithey, a professor of peace and conflict studies and sociology at Swarthmore College, co-authored a commentary that appeared in the U.K. Guardian. In it, they say Middlebury students are heavily involved in green political activism.

“As college professors, we’ve learned much over the past 15 years from our Middlebury and Swarthmore students about standing up for climate justice. On the forefront of the climate movement, they’ve launched the worldwide fossil-fuel divestment campaign and gone on to found 350.org and the Sunrise Movement. Young brown, black and indigenous activists who have courageously stood up to powerful fossil fuel companies have taught us how all fights for justice intersect,” Isham and Smithey wrote.

Coordination of the strikes has mostly taken place on campus as well as through social media like Facebook.

Isham’s Middlebury faculty colleague, Bill McKibben, was a cofounder of 350.org. The NGO, based in New York City, was founded in 2007 with a protest-oriented mission to cut carbon dioxide emissions and build a global activist movement for climate solutions.

On Aug. 3, McKibben was arrested in Glens Falls, New York, after a sit-in at U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik’s upstate office. The action, which was planned in response to the White House’s policy regarding immigrants entering the country illegally, was not McKibben’s first run-in with law enforcement over disruptive protests.

Isham said that the Middlebury campus strike will attempt to accomplish several objectives, primarily to focus attention on creating what amounts to an utopian, fossil-free world.

“All are welcome to join us in imagining a better world together. (We want) to accelerate the world’s transition to a better, clean economy,” Isham said. “Yes, many student groups and two dozen or so (and growing) faculty will participate.”

Isham also noted that like-minded Vermonters are also involved with Extinction Rebellion Champlain Valley (ERCV), a local radical-leftist environmental group.

According to ERCV’s Facebook page, “The story of climate change, both its history and its future, needs to be told by people who have already experienced injustice and disempowerment, people who are justifiably angry at the way the system works. And some of those stories are beginning to be told.”

A public letter appearing on the Action Network website, and signed by Middlebury’s Isham plus eight other college and university professors, calls on educators worldwide to
“take action for climate justice on Friday. The message is titled, “Don’t Teach, Strike!”

But not everyone in the Green Mountain State supports the mission and planned disruptions of the upcoming Global Climate Strike.

John McClaughry, a long-time critic of environmental extremism and efforts to create a carbon tax in the state, told TNR the strike is going to be mob rule, not the democracy-in-action event being touted by organizers like McKibben and Isham.

“Vermonters ought to be appalled at the efforts of 350VT and VPIRG (Vermont Public Interest Research Group) to mobilize scientifically clueless teenagers to become their pawns in a ‘global climate strike’ civil disobedience campaign to banish fossil fuels from our economy,” he said. “This makes a mockery of our democracy, which succeeds only after reasoned debate, not mobs in the streets.”

Wikimedia Commons/Darij and Ana

John McClaughry: “Most of today’s public high school students don’t know ozone from Prestone.”

McClaughry suggested that many students are being manipulated by teachers and activists with leftist political agendas — agendas that should be kept out of the classroom, especially in light of skeptics and other vocal opponents being left out of the discussion.

“Most of today’s public high school students don’t know ozone from Prestone,” he added, “and I dare say most of the teachers collaborating in this ‘strike’ don’t either. The Earth’s future climate certainly deserves informed and rational debate, but propaganda-led campaigns by adults sending excitable students out to annoy and inconvenience ordinary citizens is way over the line.”

According to McClaughry, Middebury College’s Isham has shown no interest in dialoging with skeptics such as the Ethan Allen Institute, a free-market think tank at which McClaughry serves as vice president.

He added that while he met Isham once, the Middlebury professor has mocked critics of anti-carbon and radical environmental activities, calling them “flat earthers.”

Lou Varricchio is a freelance reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at lvinvt@gmx.com.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/PenelopeIsMe, YouTube: Center for Social Entrepreneurship and Wikimedia Commons/Darij and Ana

10 thoughts on “‘Don’t teach, strike’ is message from Middlebury College professor, others

  1. If my kids ever brought a Middlebury catalogue into our home, it would immediately go into the burn pile. This place turns out a bunch of mush minded, misguided robots. If one wants a real college experience, Middlebury isn’t for you or any other clear thinking individual. And it ain’t cheap.

  2. I have a suggestion for this Middlebury professor, the Middlebury College Administration, and all the other far left school faculty and their administrations pretending to be educators today in America.

    “Teachers should be teachers, not political activists.”
    “Don’t pay your college tuition until your school actually teaches .” .
    “Just strike.”

  3. We have been subjected to the end is near or just 10 years away stories for 50 years now. And the first one I know of was published in the 1920s. — When are they going to get it right? More importantly, when are they going to figure out they just don’t know what they are talking about?

  4. Gee, that is funny.
    Going on strike?
    Getting paid while on strike?
    What about some studying?

    Middlebury College could not even calculate the CO2 emitted by its wood burning biomass plant.

    1) The Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (ES 401), Middlebury College, Winter 2010, states, “according to the Middlebury College biomass plant website, the best estimate of wood chip delivery is 20,000 tons of wood chips per year”.

    The study states, “thus, a more realistic estimate of carbon emissions is: 20,000 * 0.50 * (44/12) * 1 = 36,667 tons of carbon”. See URL, pages 38 and 39.
    NOTE: The word “carbon” should read “CO2”

    The wood chips would contain 20000 x 0.500 mc = 10,000 US ton of dry wood.
    The dry wood would contain 10,000 x 0.487 = 4,870 US ton of carbon.
    The CO2 released due to combustion would be 44/12 x 4,870 = 17,856 US ton of CO2.
    It is likely the woodchips would be about 85% of the total heat input of the biomass plant.
    About 15% of the total fuel input would be from liquid fuels, to stabilize the combustion process during start-ups, etc., and for low load operation during summer, spring and fall.

    The study estimate of biomass plant CO2 is more than 100% too high.

    2) For reference: Vermont forestland, 4,511,000 acre, sequestered about 4,390,000 metric ton of CO2, or 0.973 metric ton of CO2/acre, or 1.07 US ton of CO2/acre.

    The study states, Middlebury College forests, 1295 ha (3200 acre), will sequester about 9905 US ton of carbon/y, or 3.09 US ton carbon/acre, or 44/12 x 3.09 = 11.35 US ton CO2/acre. See URL, page 39, table 7.

    It is physically impossible for Middlebury College forests to sequester at 11.35/1.07 = 10.6 times Vermont’s rate.

    Remember, these are the same people “saving the world”

  5. Strike don’t teach??? what’s any different??? The worthless collage degree in ‘envrio studies”
    is no more relevant to changing the environment then the worthless degree AOC was given for partying for 4 yrs.. The best thing that could happen is all future collage goers dismiss the brick and mortar for online that actually give you a education for your hard earned money..
    I think the idea is to NOT teach so the little dweebs have no science background or know how to determine what’s what by themselves instead of thru indoctrination.

  6. This so-called ‘professor’ and his dysfunctional, brain-washed students want a ‘fossil-free’ future, yet will ride to Burlington in gasoline powered motor vehicles. How precious.

  7. It just shows that the liberal agenda that is being taught in our schools from day one is working.
    I’m paying through my taxes for these kids education and not for them to be out there striking on my dime.
    All tax money should be withheld from all the schools that allow participation.
    We still have to go to work to pay those taxes and if we ever told our bosses that we were taking time off to protest for our cause, they’d tell us to go find another job.
    What is happening to this once great State? It’s getting totally ridiculous and enough is enough…..

  8. The so-called Global Climate Strike, disrupt normal peoples lives for what, agenda-driven
    nonsense and all these mastermind professors promoting this walkout during school hours.

    I assume these precious darling have full concent of there parents to skip class that’s what
    they get for there $40k a year.

    Liberals, if they only had a real-life….

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