Cambridge Hunger Strike: Students Take Action over Fossil Fuel Scandal

Here Youth Time Magazine publishes three of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains just some of the most important developments in the world of global youth. Follow, like and submit comments on Facebook and other Youth Time media.

Students and their fights

Cambridge hunger strike

Three Cambridge University students have gone on hunger strike as controversy over the university’s investments in fossil fuel companies heats up. Sam Warren-Miell, Ben Margolis, and Beth Bhargava are all first-year undergraduates and members of the Cambridge Zero Carbon Society. 

A campaign supported by hundreds of leading academics to force Cambridge to cut fossil fuel firms out of its future investment strategy was given a large dose of publicity when angry students spray-painted the university headquarters.  

Public figures who back the protest include former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and Sir David King, once the UK’s special representative for climate change.  The Zero Carbon Society estimates that Cambridge has almost €400 million invested in fossil fuel companies.

In response to the protest, the University has pledged to reevaluate all of its investments at an emergency meeting. University authorities have previously said that there are no direct investments in companies involved in the most polluting industries, such as thermal coal and tar sands.

But for the hunger strikers that doesn’t go far enough.  “Climate change is already having a devastating impact on millions of people in the global south today,” said Ben Margolis. “Every day that the university continues to invest in fossil fuels, directly or indirectly, it is complicit in their suffering, and this is why we will not stop the university commits to full divestment.”


Mama’s home cooking

A poll of thousands of young Europeans found huge variation in the average age they leave their parents’ home across different nations. Performed by Eurostat, the analysis revealed that the average EU citizen flees the nest at 26, with the average male going independent at 27, while women go earlier at 25.

Men in Croatia stay at home longer than any other demographic, not leaving until they are over 33-years-old. The situation is similar in Malta, where both men and women stay well into their thirties, leaving at 32 on average.

Overall, adults in southern Europe stay home the longest – likely a combination of economic and cultural factors. In Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Portugal adults leave aged 29 on average, compared to 30 in Italy – famed for its mama’s boys – and almost 31 in Slovakia.

In Europe’s industrial heartlands and larger economies, young adults typically leave home in their mid-20s. Adults leave home aged around 24 in the UK and France, while in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium it is slightly earlier at 23.5.

Young people flee the nest earliest in the Nordic countries – 21 in Sweden and Denmark, and 22 in Finland. Across the EU women leave home earlier than men, with the largest difference in Romania where women depart at 25, while men wait until they are 30.


Gig economy 

Young workers are anxious about their future employment prospects and are dire need of effective leadership, a comprehensive survey of millennials has found. Deloitte – one of the Big Four professional services firms – interviewed more than 12,000 millennials and younger members of Generation Z to get their opinions on everything from Industry 4.0 to corporate culture and automation.

Highlights include the finding that millennials are losing faith in business. Less than half believe that “businesses act in an ethical manner” and 75% agree that companies “focus on their own agenda” rather than act for the common good.

Deloitte found that businesses are largely out of step with millennial priorities – especially with regards to the environment, diversity in the workplace, and trying to improve their lives of their employees.

Just 19% of young people approve of politicians, and 33% of religious figures. Business leaders are more favoured with 44% believing they do a good job. NGO and non-profit leaders enjoy the highest approval at 59%.  

The survey revealed interesting perceptions of the future of the workplace. Almost half (43%) of millennials expect to leave their current job within two years. Among Generation Z respondents the figure is 61%. A majority of all the young people surveyed said they would prefer the flexibility of the ‘gig economy’ to the more rigid nature of full-time employment.

More about Harward students you can read here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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