Middlebury students, faculty join others in climate strike action

MIDDLEBURY — Students from Middlebury College, and from area middle and high schools, met at College Park by the hundreds to protest the use of fossil fuels.

Holding up posters and Earth Day flags, the crowds marched to promote awareness about climate change, which they claim is due to fossil fuels. The demonstrators also pushed issues relating to open borders, “migrant justice,” and gender and racial equality.

Lou Varricchio

STRIKE: Hundreds of college, middle- and high-school students gathered in Middlebury’s College Park to urge and end to much of America’s energy supply — fossil fuels.

The global strike, inspired by Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, was coordinated by the Middlebury College student organization Sunday Night Environmental Group. A similar climate strike action took place internationally and in Middlebury in 2015.

The Middlebury portion of the international Climate Strike had various leftist environmental and social-justice groups backing it.

Also known as “Global Week for Future,” the strike was coordinated worldwide by groups such as Earth Guardians, Earth Uprising, Extinction Rebellion Youth, Fridays for Future USA, Future Coalition, International Indigenous Youth Council, Sunrise, U.S. Youth Climate Strike, and Zero Hour.

In Vermont, activist Bill McKibben’s New York-based 350.org was behind much of the organizing.

Chanting “We are unstoppable, another world is possible,” Cora Miller, of Middlebury College’s Sunday Night Environmental Group, led the strikers assembled in College Park. The Sunday Night Environmental Group promotes climate justice on the campus of the “little Ivy League” liberal arts college. It was instrumental in organizing the local strike.

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Retired teacher Ann Friedrichs holds up her end of a tattered Earth Day flag at the Global Climate Strike protest.

“Today is the coalescence of a year’s worth of student walk-outs and student strikes for climate justice,” Miller said. “We’re standing in solidarity here with students and workers around the world. … But any effort of climate justice must stand for decolonization, prioritizing racial justice, native resistance, liberty and self-determination. We’re standing here on stolen Abenaki ground. Let’s hold a moment of silence. We demand an end to fossil fuels.”

She added her belief that “Exxon knew about climate change in the 1980s and hid it from us.”

Zoe Grotsky of the Sunday Night Environmental Group thanked the local strikers.

“I am in awe of the young people that showed up today,” she said. “I stand in solidarity … demanding that business as usual must come to a halt. We refuse to comply with a system that relies on exploitation, oppression and extraction (of natural resources).”

Grotsky added that “not taking action in a system that relies on white supremacy is an act of white supremacy itself. … Fighting for climate justice means fighting for migrant, racial and economic justice.”

Lou Varricchio

Middlebury College sociology professor Jamie McCallum

Middlebury College sociology professor Jamie McCallum was invited to address the protesters about strikes, labor and the environmental movement.

McCallum, author of “Global Unions, Local Power,” teaches courses on political sociology, labor and globalization.

“I love that the language of strikes is being used here today,” McCallum said. “Strikes have always been a way to win a better world. Strikes have given us the weekend, strikes have given us health and safety laws, strikes have given us better supplies of better teachers in public schools, helped pave to way to a multi-racial, multi-gender middle class…; strikes have toppled governments, and ended brutality like apartheid. To reverse climate change we’re going to need a lot of strikes.”

McCallum urged for the climate justice movement to “align itself with the labor movement” and urge radical action.

“We need real democratic, radical change in America,” he said. “If that means canceling class, we’ll do that; if it means blockading the ICE facility, we’ll do that. There’s nothing that’s more ‘liberal arts’ than professors, students and community members being hauled off to jail together after such an action.”

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Vivian Ross, a student at Middlebury Union High School, skipped class to be a part of the strike.

Vivian Ross, a student at Middlebury Union High School, skipped class to be a part of the strike. She spoke to the strikers about why she was there.

“I want to live in a world where my grandchildren can look back at climate change and say, ‘Wow that was a close one.’ But with the way things look right now, that’s not going to happen. I am missing several classes to be here and having to make up school work is a b—. … Climate change is even more important than that. Business as usual is tearing this planet in pieces.”

Middlebury College Professor of Environmental Studies Rebecca Kneale Gould stirred the gathering by teaching a song of solidarity — in Hebrew, titled “My Strength.”

“This song will help you keep in tune and balance with the song of the universe. It starts low and goes high. It’s about protest singing, not choral singing,” she said.

After singing aloud Kneale Gould’s protest song, strikers had a moment of silence.

An unidentified Middlebury College student then jumped up and shouted, “This is what a movement looks like. … This is just the beginning. Let’s make some noise.”

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

Image courtesy of Lou Varricchio/TNR

8 thoughts on “Middlebury students, faculty join others in climate strike action

  1. I would love to see these people get the kind of world their seeking in their stupidity. Then they would be protesting the injustice of the kind of world they are seeking – if permitted, which I doubt. Succinctly, in their ignorance, they haven’t a clue what they are really asking for. But since, if they get their way, it would be my world to, I’m hoping and praying some common sense enters their feeble brains and they realize the folly of their efforts.

  2. Middlebury students should do homework that leads to accurate calculations, instead of inane demonstrating.

    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.

  3. Little Pipi Warminscarum (greta the little nazi yout) isn’t the little innocent teen she pretends to be.

    A relative of her Father, the chemicist Svante Arrhenius is the founder of the Global Warming scam

    Thunberg is a known fr€€ma$on family. The ancestor of her mother was a natural philosopher (social engineer) from uppsala who has ties to Bavarian llluminati founder Adam Weisshaupt.

    Luisa-Marie Neubauer, her handler is a member of “ONE Foundation” managed by BONO, Bill Gates and George Soros

    She’s just the latest puppet pulled out for the big push to “The One World Order”.
    She is a scary little goebbelsesq socialist leading the children like the children of the corn… Her little speal at the corrupt UN was full evidence of her being pushed to the forefront in a frantic effort to stem the disappointing news of growing ice at the top and bottom of the world and a mere 0.3 degree rise in ocean temps and studies that man ain’t the cause.

  4. Aside from the fact that these people are deeply clinically insane, they clearly have ZERO business talking about “liberty and self-determination.” They have NO concept of what that even means.

  5. Middlebury faculty ” educated fools ” with an agenda join others in climate strike action,
    what an outstanding display, how many of the faculty walk to work every day or even live
    in Middlebury ??

    Then these liberal minions follow this parade of fools ” saving the world ” well at least these
    little darling weren’t driving around in there BMW’s that daddy bought !!


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