Last month, the University of Michigan became the latest to accept the obvious — that investing in the destruction of society is fundamentally counter to the mission of higher education.
My position ever since Trump was elected is that because there is such a deranged administration in charge at the federal level in the world’s largest economy, in the world’s largest historical emitter, everywhere Trump does not control, we have to do more.
As the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is devastated by Cyclone Pam, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben links the storm to global warming and responds to the new decision by the the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to back the fast-growing divestment campaign to persuade investors to sell off their fossil fuel assets.
Rather than convincing administrators, or even the fossil fuel industry, of their wrongs, divestment campaigners should be convincing everyone that the movement is right.
It is not preordained that low oil prices will either hurt or help the climate movement. If we do nothing, then it’s more likely that low oil prices will work against sensible climate action, just for simple economic reasons. When oil is cheap, people feel able to buy more of it.
Since Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, America’s poor urban populations have known that climate change is more than a cause for the liberal, college-educated elite.
When it comes to divestment — be it the U.S. campaigns against tobacco and sweatshop labor in the 1990s or the current global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel — the anti-apartheid struggle is always cited as an influence.
•Climate Risks as Conclusive as Link between Smoking and Lung Cancer •The New 400ppm World: CO2 Measurements at Mauna Loa Continue to Climb •Official prophecy of doom: Global warming will cause widespread conflict, displace millions of people and devastate the global economy •Newly Discovered Greenland Melting Could Accelerate Sea-Level Rise •Why We Must Divest From Fossil Fuels: A Student’s Open Letter to Harvard President Drew Faust •Exxon agrees to disclose ‘unburnable carbon’ reservesI•saac Cordals incredible tiny sculptures offer a chilling view of climate change
Apocalyptic climate change is upon us. For shorthand, let’s call it a slow-motion apocalypse to distinguish it from an intergalactic attack out of the blue or a suddenly surging Genesis-style flood.
There is a robust debate happening in university halls, around religious congregations, and at individual kitchen tables nationwide. The driving question: Should we divest from the fossil fuel industry?
Fossil fuel divestment has been featured in the news a lot recently. Often discussed as yet another push towards a more sustainable energy system and economy, fossil fuel divestment is, essentially, a notably public, economic boycott.
U.S. climate activists have launched a movement to persuade universities, cities, and other groups to sell off their investments in fossil fuel companies. But while the financial impact of such divestment may be limited, the campaign could harm the companies in a critical sphere — public opinion.