Students, faculty, staff across UC system to rally for UC Green New Deal this #UCEarthDay

Click here for more information about each campus’s #UCEarthDay plans.

This Earth Day, April 22, in an historic show of collective concern and action, students, staff, and faculty at nine University of California campuses are rallying to confront the UC’s complicity in contributing to the climate crisis and advocate a bold, just, and transformative UC-wide “UC Green New Deal.”

Earlier this month UC President Michael Drake tweeted that he was “proud of how UC scientists & researchers are paving the way to a more resilient CA” through their pioneering research and technological innovations, but UC itself continues to burn fracked methane which contributes more than a million metric tons/year of carbon dioxide through its Scope 1 (direct campus power) emissions – a level that has remained constant for a decade even as its scientists call with increased urgency for a rapid transition off fossil fuels.  

Instead, the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) continues to promote its “Carbon Neutrality Initiative” that involves purchasing carbon offsets, a system of exchanging “carbon credits” that independent non-partisan research groups like ProPublica call “worse than nothing.”

Nine UC campuses are rallying on Earth Day to advocate a UC Green New Deal that (among other things) calls for the total electrification of UC’s energy infrastructure by 2030. Several campuses, in addition to their rallies (see poster above), have more elaborate plans, like UC Merced’s Shakespeare in Yosemite and UC Santa Cruz’s full day of Climate Teach-Ins, featuring several dozen scholars, students, and community leaders hosting concurrent talks on topics ranging from Antarctic ice flow dynamics to California’s drought to legal mechanisms for protecting natural resources.  Some campus talks will be Zoomed and open to all: details below. You can also find a comprehensive list of campus Earth Day plans (not all UC GND related) here.

The #UCEarthDay organizers are committed to consistent actions calling on the UC administrators to act on the climate research they praise in tweets. Our UC system, our state, and people around the world, do not have a moment to lose.

We hope you will join us!

#UCEarthDay Zooms of interest to all:

UCSD: Thurs 4/21 12:00 pm: Fossil Fuel Funding on Campus:” What to Do? ZOOM LINK

As scrutiny over the fossil fuel industry grows, increased attention is also being placed on the industry’s funding of academic research, especially work related to climate change and the energy transition. In this talk, Dr. Franta will discuss the extent of fossil fuel funding of climate-relevant research in the U.S., the historical context of such funding and potential reasons for concern over conflicts of interest, and possible solutions. The talk will be followed by an open discussion of how to address this important issue.

UCSF: Thurs  4/21 5:30 pm REGISTER HERE

Panel discussion with clips from Don’t Look Up, talking about climate change, science communication, science denial, and eco-anxiety and despair. Panel includes Daniel Hinerson (NRDC), Britt Wray, Grace Nosek, and others. 

UCSC: Fri April 22, 2022 Teach-ins via Zoom:

8-9:05 am — A Screening of Coming Clean with live filmmaker Q&A — Tix via Eventbrite

How is UC addressing the greatest crisis of all time — climate change? In this riveting documentary, learn about the climate crisis, why UC purchases carbon offsets to cover its dependence on fracked methane, and what students and faculty system wide are doing to wake up UC campuses and help UC live up to its own ideals as an environmental leader. Live Q&A with filmmakers (and recent UCSD grads!) Carolina Montejo and Andre Salehian follows the zoom screening.

9:20-10:25 Yes We Can! How to End Greenhouse Gas Emissions at UC and Elsewhere ZOOM LINK  Instructor: Stephen Wheeler, Human Ecology, UCD.

A brief history of climate activism UC-wide, what it would take to actually end UC’s greenhouse gas emissions, likely obstacles and ways around those, and GHG-ending strategies in the broader world.  About the instructor: UC Davis professor Stephen Wheeler recently spearheaded the Fossil Free UCD initiative that has led to the UC Davis chancellor creating a special committee to develop a fossil-free (not just carbon neutral!) UC Davis energy plan.

3:00-3:45 Lower Your Carbon Footprint? Sure…But Don’t Stop There!  ZOOM LINK Instructor: Andy Szasz, Environmental Studies, UCSC

One response to the threat of climate change is that one should be a more mindful shopper, to consume in a way that lowers one’s carbon footprint. And that’s fine, but… In this talk, Szasz will explain why lower carbon footprint consuming is not enough. About the instructor: Professor Emeritus Andy Szasz has researched and taught on environmental regulation, grassroots toxics movements, green consuming, environmental justice, and the sociology of climate change.

Campus Contacts:

In solidarity,

UC Green New Deal Coalition

Check us out on Instagram @ucgreennewdeal and Twitter @ucgreennewdeal!

We are a climate justice and action coalition of organizations and individuals across the University of California (UC) system building a movement to push the UC to enact a bold, just, and transformative UC Green New Deal that meets the emergency of the climate crisis.

You can read the UC GND Policy Platform here:

You can check out the 1-page summary here:

And please sign the UC Green New Deal petition here!

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