Quantum social activism invites us to think differently about familiar dilemmas, and see what new possibilities may open as a result.
California and Colorado’s public pension funds together lost out on over $19 billion over the past decade by investing in fossil fuel stocks, according to a report released on Tuesday. The three public pension funds analyzed are currently worth a combined $663 billion.
Today UC administrators confirmed that the University of California will be going fossil free at their quarterly UC Regents’ meeting. After a 6-year campaign, led by UC students and faculty, the UC will be divesting their $13.4 billion endowment and $70 billion pension funds from fossil fuel companies.
While divestment shifts capital away from industries that exacerbate inequality and harm community and ecological well-being, it’s only the first step in achieving a just, sustainable future.
In recent days members of the Dáil, the main law-making body in the Irish parliament, have passed a bill which will mean no more money goes into exploiting and using the coal, oil and gas which are among the principal drivers of global climate change.
It has become one of the fastest growing political campaigns in human history, surpassing similar battles against the tobacco industry and the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Its logic is simple: the only way to avoid climate change and dangerous levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is for most fossil fuel reserves to stay in the ground.
Local government these days has public health responsibilities. It is this that has led to some funds divesting from tobacco (but not all – Hackney is increasing its tobacco investments). The reputational and liability risks are arguably there with fossil fuel investments too: already oil majors are facing collective lawsuits for their negligence and conspiracy.
The fossil fuel divestment campaign has become one of the most rapidly growing divestment movements in history and has unified an impressive diversity of supporters—from liberal Californian universities to the Rockefeller’s family trust. But the contradictions between divestment and the logic of neoliberalism are enduring, and arguments between campaigners and their opponents are typically framed by questions relating to efficiency, feasibility, and the ethics of using fossil fuels.
Is Peak Oil Dead and What Does It Mean for Climate Change?
Despite a lack of attention on energy in the UK elections, important changes are underway and challenging the viability of traditional energy.
In a rare moment of unity, the leaders of the UK’s three major parties last week agreed to work together on climate change.
Although many supporters of oil and gas will no doubt try to shift the focus claiming such divestments could only be driven by an ethical stance, their case appears weak.