Halifax, NS – Climate change is one of the most urgent problems facing the planet today. Whether it’s Greta Thunberg addressing the United Nations, or university students taking to the streets to raise awareness, it’s an issue that’s top of mind with people around the world.
NSCAD University is taking a number of steps to combat climate change through the actions of its students, faculty, and staff. As an institution, it’s working with internal and external partners in developing an emerging climate action plan that will include examining its infrastructure, research, materials and technologies. Many NSCAD faculty members, including Jennifer Green, Gary Markle, Kim Morgan, Dr. Christopher Kaltenbach, Dr. Karin Cope and Angela Henderson, are dedicating their research to sustainability and adaptability.
Professor Green is investigating sustainable plant fibers in Nova Scotia, and how to bring these materials to market in a way that is economically feasible, while enriching our material and cultural heritage. Professors Markle and Morgan partnered to explore the use of bioplastics as an alternative material for sculpture and fashion. Professor Kaltenbach examines the use of insects as a vehicle for design exploration and practice, while Professors Cope and Henderson are examining environmental sustainability in art institutions like NSCAD.
“We have extraordinary faculty who are dedicating their efforts and research to exploring functionality and design – improving the way we see the world,” says Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, President, NSCAD University. “Our students are engaged and making it known that climate change isn’t something that can be ignored, and they want to see those values reflected in the institutions they support, like NSCAD.”
There are many events taking place in Halifax as part of a week of action, including the Party for the Planet event in the Granville Mall today (today), and the global climate strike tomorrow (Friday), an event that will see demonstrators in more than 150 countries demand immediate action to protect the environment. Party for the Planet will include a sustainable zero waste vendor market during the day and a concert in the evening, with the market serving as an information-sharing tool. NSCAD has made available power and access to its facilities to the organizers of Party for the Planet and has shown support for students participating in Friday’s climate strike.
“Young people around the world are staging regular protests, inspired by Greta Thunberg, to force governments to turn their attentions to the climate crisis and shock them out of their business as usual attitudes,” said Sam Fisher, Associate Professor, Media Arts. “As the climate situation worsens across the planet, a number of non-environmental organizations are now joining the protests. This includes businesses, schools, and trade unions. I’m proud to see NSCAD stand behind the climate strike movement – it will provide a positive and important first step in the battle against climate change.”
NSCAD University has asked faculty to be flexible on Friday in order to make it easier for students to participate. Though the school remains open, it is expected that a great number of students will take part in the demonstration.