Around 20 researchers from NTNU rallied in the streets of Trondheim on Wednesday to warn of “climate collapse”.
In front of NTNU’s main building on Wednesday was an eye-catching group wearing lab coats. They stood for a few minutes on the Gløshaugen plateau before walking towards the center of Trondheim. There they disrupted traffic, and three of the participants were arrested.
“We chose to start here to show that we belong in the NTNU research environment and should take to the streets to make our voice heard,” says Thomas Haaland, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at Khrono University.
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All of the demonstrators belonged to Tamarod al-Ulama. They state that they have more than 1,000 researchers and academics in 32 countries as members.
They say their form of action is nonviolent civil disobedience. In Norway, there are approx. “100 people are active to varying degrees,” says Halland.
– I am deeply concerned about what we are doing to the planet and our common future. As researchers, we have a responsibility to sound the alarm when society faces risks, such as the climate and biodiversity crisis, explains in a press release from the organization.
“Just as the climate and nature crises scare, most decision-makers at all levels of society ignore science and research-based knowledge when they make decisions that are important to us in the here and now and for future generations,” says biodiversity researcher Ivar Herfindahl.
The researchers also called on Norway to stop expanding the use of fossil fuels.
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Thomas Haaland told Chrono that last year they personally delivered a letter to the school’s principal, Anne Borg, with a number of demands. Among other things, they asked NTNU to phase out education and research that contribute to maintaining oil extraction.
– We are eagerly awaiting the follow-up message. If this is not the case, it is not out of the question for us to make demands directly to NTNU.
From 7-13 May 1, more than 1,000 scientists and academics will take to the streets with nonviolent action across Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Australia, according to the press release from the Rebellion of Scientists.
I refuse to accept that people are dying, that my country, Portugal, is burning, that Norway continues to ignore it and search for more oil. I can’t just sit in the library and watch the world burn. I want a future. I demand climate justice, says Rita Obrist, a master’s student in industrial ecology.
Thomas Haaland says there are no specific plans to take action at other universities in the future.
– But we are ready to continue to put pressure on the authorities as long as we do not see the necessary action.
Some of the activity has begun under the auspices of the Scholars’ Rebellion at the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen and NMBU University, but most of the activity has so far been based in Trondheim, says Haaland.
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