Skip to main content

To: Provost Patrick Prendergast of Trinity College Dublin

TCD: Hold a Climate Assembly and Referendum

TCD: Hold a Climate Assembly and Referendum

Trinity College Dublin must hold an emergency academic assembly on the role of the university in the climate and ecological emergency. The assembly must be modelled on a Citizens' Assembly, with students, academic staff and non-academic staff being selected by sortition from the university population.

The assembly should cover, at a minimum:
- The extent of the climate and ecological emergencies, including the threat of climate tipping points and the potential for mass displacement and loss of life.
- The economic mechanisms that have brought us to this precipice
- The history, rationale and essential techniques of effective non-violent direct action (NDVA) as practised successfully by Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Suffragettes and many others.

Speakers should be provided by both Mobilise Peace campaign activists and the university, with attendees choosing who they wish to hear more from. Policy resolutions agreed by the assembly should be binding.

The assembly should conclude with a referendum on whether or not to mobilise into civil disobedience against the government.

Why is this important?

The Mobilise Peace campaign is reaching out to universities across Ireland, the UK and globally in a peaceful and escalating campaign calling for them to support, encourage and prepare their student, alumni and staff populations for national peaceful civil disobedience.

Our global climate and ecological systems are in a state of severe crisis.

Our economic system, which demands infinite growth on a planet of finite resources, is largely to blame for the above crises. Furthermore it inflicts untold suffering on defenceless others here, and around the world in numerous other ways. [1]

There are many peaceful, positive practical, and powerful alternatives to our current system. These alternatives should be decided by a citizens' assembly.
Governments worldwide have proven themselves to be either unwilling or dilatory to implement the changes needed. New climate models to be published in 2021 predict heating of +5C by the end of the century, translating to as much as +10C over land. [2] For perspective, 2-3 degrees of warming will result in 2 billion climate refugees by 2100. [3, 4]

Through 2050 net zero targets, inordinately high per capita emissions, and raised border policies, our national and EU governments are taking a trajectory consistent with climate genocide of the Global South.

There is a great injustice occurring and there is strong reason to believe that policies, laws and lawful recourse to changing them will not work. Peaceful civil disobedience may thus present the best option and possibly last hope we have of bringing about positive societal change. [5, 6]

The fastest way to rapidly change a society is through non-violent civil disobedience. This has been demonstrated time and time again throughout history — the Suffragettes, the Civil Rights Movement, resistance to apartheid in South Africa and the fight for India's independence from British rule. [6]

1. Sachs et al., 2020, Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy The Guardian
2. Voosen, P., 2019. New climate models predict a warming surge. Science, pp.Science, 04/17/2019.
3. Vince, G. 2019 The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work. The Guardian
4. Xu et al., 2020, Future of the human climate niche, PNAS, 117, 11350
5. Lemons, J. & Brown, D., 2011. Global climate change and non-violent civil disobedience. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics, 111, pp.312.
6. Chenoweth, E., &; Stephan, M. 2011. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict Columbia University Press.

2 College Green, Dublin, Ireland

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2021-01-13 18:12:08 +0000

100 signatures reached

2021-01-12 21:34:22 +0000

50 signatures reached

2021-01-11 12:00:59 +0000

25 signatures reached

2021-01-10 16:37:54 +0000

10 signatures reached