Divesting is as important as ever, but it can now be seen as one plank in a more comprehensive approach climate activists are taking on college campuses.
Like all large movements, youth climate activism has had its successes and setbacks, its enormously inspiring moments and others when it failed to live up to its ideals. What follows are some reflections on lessons from the movement, necessarily limited by my own experience and position as a white male organizer from a middle-class background.
This week, millions of Americans will gather in theaters to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. While for many the film is little more than big-budget Hollywood pop fare, for others the story will dramatically shape the way they see the world’s economic situation.
In a standard test of reasoning, you are given a candle, a box of thumbtacks, and a book of matches. Your task is to attach the candle to the wall so that it does not drip onto the table below. I thought about how to melt the wax and use it to stick the candle to the wall. What would you do? This challenge is designed to reveal functional fixedness, mental blocks against using objects in a new way. The experience that comes with age is a disadvantage here because it leads to thinking of the normal use of the box as a container for tacks. People who have never seen a tack box are less likely to have that preconception and are therefore more likely to see that the box can be emptied, tacked to the wall, and used as a support for the candle. This is why 5-year-olds do better than adults on the test.