Published: 11:01, 25 March 2021
| Updated: 13:37, 30 March 2021
A biology student from Canterbury is putting his morals before his meals and not eating for three days - all to raise awareness of the impending danger of climate change.
Ben Mott, in his second year of an undergraduate degree in wildlife conservation at the University of Kent, decided to take the drastic action after learning of global warming's potentially-fatal effect on our planet.
The 21-year-old is the only student at the university to be taking part in the global hunger strike, the first action planned by new climate movement Scientist Rebellion.
The group are calling for "non-violent civil disobedience", with people in countries such as Germany, France and Italy taking part.
Ben told KentOnline he no idea he would do something like this before starting his science degree: "Even during the last couple of years of my undergrad, I didn't think I'd be doing this.
"The initial reasons for doing the course I'm doing, was just a general kind of interest in the environment and ecology.
"The severity of the situation never really struck me until I began to be taught about it. But most crucially until I began reading about the wider kind of social justice implications of what's at stake here."
"Even during the last couple of years of my undergrad, I didn't think I'd be doing this..."
Ben said the act of his hunger strike ties in to the demands that Scientist Rebellion are making to world leaders and governments, who hold the keys to kick-start genuine change.
"We face maze, soy bean, and wheat and rice crops risking simultaneous crop failure," he said.
"And then hunger strikes by 2100, they might be kind of an enforced or daily routine, and they are currently for hundreds of millions of people because our governments in the global North have failed to treat this as a global kind of social justice issue as it should be."
Although the science activist is committed to his three-day fast, he knows the act itself will not inspire any immediate change.
But the hope of his - and scores of academics across the world who are also taking part - is that it could be the start of making people sit up and take notice.
Ben said: "My individual act of doing this won't change much, but this is the first global protest Scientist Rebellion has organised.
"This can be a key moment, a turning point in how we react and how we respond.
"And I'm not going to say that Scientist Rebellion's protests now will bring about the change we need explicitly by themselves. But I think what it does is it sets those wheels turning."
Ben and the activists that make up Science Rebellion passionately believe the only way to halt the effects of climate change on our planet is degrowth.
This is the idea that we need to reduce energy and resource use and rebalance the economy, reducing inequality and improving people's wellbeing at the same time.
The concept is one which has been championed by fellow climate movement Extinction Rebellion, whose protest tactics have often been at the centre of criticism for their disruptive effects.
Now faced with the beginning of his 72 hour hunger strike, Ben is a little nervous.
He said: "I'm someone who eats quite a lot of small amounts throughout the day. I'm a grazer, you could say, so I am quite concerned.
"I think that I'm just going to have to keep reminding myself and reaffirming why I'm doing this and why I think it's so important."
His plan raised the eyebrows of his mum too.
"As every good mum is, she's been very, very supportive despite all the concern she has," said Ben.
"She's very keen for me to convey the messages that I think should be heard."