A National Conversation on Democracy and Climate April 17, 2013

Have you ever heard of the Maldive Islands? Well, neither had I, until a few months ago.  The Maldive Islands, also known as the Republic of the Maldives, or just plain Maldives, are a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of India.  Why are they important? Oh, only because they are being slowly swallowed up by the ocean thanks to sea level rise and climate change.  Did I also mention that they are the same sea level height as parts of Manhattan?

Google Maps image of the Maldives

The former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, democratically elected in 2008 and overthrown by a coup in 2012, has fought ferociously for global climate change action to save his islands from disappearing.  Now Nasheed fights for democracy in his homeland while simultaneously struggling to stabilize the climate.  Nasheed is doing all that he can in the fight against climate change, even going as far as to hold an underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness.

Maldives underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness about climate change issues (2009)

Another way Nasheed raised awareness about the urgency of the issues that climate change presented to the Maldives was through a documentary about the plight of the island called The Island President.  Nasheed has even gone as far as promoting the documentary on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Late Show with David Letterman, advocating for action on climate change mitigation.

Interested in seeing the documentary? Well, you’re in luck.  The C2C Fellows Network and the Bard Center for Environmental Policy are teaming up to host a national screening of The Island President on April 17th, 2013 at 7pm EST.  Colleges, Universities, and communities across the nation are signing up to screen the documentary and participate in the webinar discussion following the screening with interesting and invested people such as:

  • Jon Shenk– the Director
  • Thilmeeza Hussain– Former UN Deputy Permanent Representative to the Maldives
  • May Boeve– Executive Director and Co-Founder of 350.org
  • Eban Goodstein (moderator)- Director of Bard Center for Environmental Policy and Bard’s MBA in Sustainability

Join us! Participate in this national day of action focused around political corruption and climate stalemate. We guarantee you will leave the theater both newly cognizant of the scale of the challenge we face, and inspired to be part of the fight for real democracy and a stable climate.

Some people say that stopping climate change is impossible, but in the worlds of Mohammed Nasheed, “We refuse to give up hope.”

For more information about the event, visit our website.

About C2CFellows

C2C Fellows are young sustainability leaders from across the country committed to pursuing meaningful careers in sustainable business and politics. Leaders join the national network through participation in a weekend long leadership workshop, and remain engaged with the network moving forward into their careers after college. For more information, visit www.bard.edu/cep/c2c.