By Rita Flores
Dr Elia Valentini joins the Scientists Rebellion hunger strike for three days in protest of the lack of action towards the climate emergency.
Valentini, a senior lecturer at the University of Essex who works in the psychology department, will not eat between 25 March and 27 in protest of the government’s “failure” to develop an appropriate plan to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.
Those on strike are demanding urgent decarbonisation and equitable economic de-growth – paid for by the wealthiest – as steps to avoid a climate disaster.
The strike, which has been organised by the Scientists Rebellion, will involve more than 100 academics from more than ten countries.
Their aim is to convince the public immediate action needs to be taken on the climate crisis before the damage is irreversible.
Their premise is: “If scientists do not act like this is an emergency, we cannot expect the public to do so.”
Dr Valentini feels he has the responsibility to act to raise awareness and influence societal change.
“Scientists have long warned leaders and politicians of a looming threat to civilisation that is ever-escalating ahead of us. We are heading towards a tragic worsening of global warming and extreme weather, destruction of eco-systems and extinction of species,” said the lecturer.
This action is part of an activist path that Dr Elia started more than two years ago, but he never managed to go without food for longer than 16 hours.
He said: “A 3-days fasting may not look particularly powerful but it symbolically represents the determination to make a little sacrifice for a greater good.
“I hope this action will help people to be more aware of this problem and perhaps take action themselves.”