Student disrupts U.N. climate proceedings with impassioned speech

Middlebury junior Abigail Borah made a big impression at the U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa this week. Borah, who is attending the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a delegate of SustainUS, interrupted the proceedings with an impassioned plea to speed up the urgency and timetable for serious climate action by the United States. The incident has been widely reported, including a piece on the New York Times “Green” blog and an AP story that appeared on NPR and other news outlets. From SustainUS, here is a clip of Borah’s talk before being ejected from the conference:

 

Photo: www.SustainUs.org

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  1. How embarrassing.

  2. Admire Abigail Borah , Am SO proud of her. She represents hope for the future . Thank you for the most decent education that you have provided her. This school must truly be doing something very right. With many blessings and much thanks, g

  3. Brava! Abigail Borah >
    Thank you for speaking out for all of us!
    No doubt, one day, these short sighted, greedy bastard tactics
    To twist & deny the scientific evidence for the ringing-out of our suffering earth
    Will be seen & felt for what they are >
    CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
    & not mere,
    “MIS-CONCEPTIONS”

    heard on: Democracy Now, wbai.org

  4. What Abigail Borah may have lacked in terms of tact and timing, she more than made up for in terms of courage. She cut to the quick through the thickness of bureaucratic prose to insist that intervening in the human causes of climate change is not a long-range road map or a prolonged study initiative but rather an environmental crisis. There is no question that the United States, the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is ducking the issue and postponing meaningful action. Climate change has become a political football, and Congress is fumbling the ball. I see hope in the young people who are starting environmental initiatives both in the public schools and colleges and universities. They seem to have

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    a clearer vision of how important it is for us to preserve a healthy planet for coming generations. Enough heel-dragging. We’re running out of time. I’m glad Abigail got an ovation before the pundits kicked her out of the meeting.

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  5. It made me so proud to see our elite school represented so well in this and other clips. I’m shocked anyone could feel anything but proud of her. She gives me hope that there is a future of young people out there will be able to lead us out of the current mess we find ourselves in.

  6. I find it interesting that Ren above wrote “how embarassing”. All I can say to that is “how strange”. Also Barbara says Abigail lacked tact and timing, while praising her courage. There is no tactful way to say the truth, sometimes. Tact is not that important. Embarassment is sometimes the price for speaking out, when others sit back and silently disagree with what is going on. I imagine Abigail suffered at the moment of her ejection from the meeting. Her voice had the intensity of sincerity. It was no doubt “embarassing”. But I hope that she knows that she expressed what many of us are

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    thinking. Abigail is an example of the finest tradition of intellectual truth tellers. She had the choice of participating passively, writing articles that no one reads, trying to “negotiate” without power. But she took the road less travelled by and that made all the difference.
    As a Middlebury parent, Abigail has added to my many reasons to be proud of this college. Bless her and may she continue to speak out. Cynthia Cannady

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