Salem State Honors Earth Day with Week of Events April 8-12, 2019
Climate Activist Tim DeChristopher to Give Keynote Address and Receive Award
Salem State University is honoring Earth Days Week April 8-12 with events whose theme is “Sounding the Alarm on Climate Change: Critical Actions for a Livable Planet.” The theme is designed to inform as many people as possible about the limited window that humanity now has to avoid the more dire effects of climate change.
According to the Fall 2018 comprehensive report by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, humans have just over a decade to make “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” or the Earth will become a less habitable, more hostile environment.
This year’s Earth Days keynote speaker will be world-renowned climate activist Tim DeChristopher. In December 2008, DeChristopher disrupted an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction by posing as Bidder 70 and outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. For his act of civil disobedience, he was sentenced to two years in federal prison and served 21 months. His imprisonment earned him international recognition as an activist. He is also the subject of the documentary Bidder 70, which will be shown on campus Tuesday, April 9, at 9:25 a.m. in the Ellison Campus Center’s Martin Luther Ling Jr. room.
DeChristopher has co-founded the climate justice organization Peaceful Uprising in Salt Lake City and the Climate Disobedience Center. Rolling Stone magazine named him “America’s Most Creative Climate Criminal;” in 2011, Treehugger called him “Person of the Year;” The Salt Lake City Tribune named him “Utahn of the Year;” and in his book The Art of Non-Conformity, author Chris Guillebeau supports DeChristopher’s actions as “creative acts of protest” at a time when “morality and law are on opposite sides.”
DeChristopher’s keynote address, titled “Activism for the End Times,” will take place on Thursday, April 11, from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in Veterans Hall at the Ellison Campus Center. After his talk, DeChristopher will receive Salem State’s annual Friend of the Earth Award in recognition of his work spreading the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world.
In addition to the keynote address, Earth Days Week 2019 will feature more than a dozen discussions, films and other presentations that explore and examine climate change research, mitigation and possible solutions. Events will include a panel featuring six Salem State professors presenting their climate change research; a discussion about how each person can work to help lessen climate change at the regional, local, campus and individual level; a talk about the “Green New Deal” proposed by Congress and carbon pricing; and an art installation titled “Disconnected” at the Berry Library on campus. All events are free and open to the public.
April 22, 2019 marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day as a national event, and it is the 16th anniversary of Earth Day events at Salem State.
For more information and for the week’s schedule of events: