Student Voice Post On Fossil Fuel Divestment

I wrote a post for Student Voice, a “a grassroots organization that works to unite and elevate the student voice,” about fossil fuel divestment. It’s inspiring to see how quickly the movement is spreading and catching on!

This is my new cause. Pressuring my university, Harvard, to divest from fossil fuels. The Harvard campaign is not alone though. Students from fifty universities around the US have joined the movement to Divest For Our Future. We are hitting the fossil fuel industry where they feel it the most: their bank accounts.

Our communities, environment and future are threatened by rising global temperatures caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore we believe our universities should not be invested in corporations which are involved with the extraction, production, or distribution of this deadly energy.

Students around the country are coming together to fight for our planet’s future. We want our universities’ to divest their endowment holdings from fossil fuel companies and reinvest in environmentally and socially responsible funds.

The mission of higher education is to provide individuals with the tools, resources, and knowledge to have an influence on the world around them. Our schools invest in our future. Yet at the same time, they are supporting corporations that are actively threatening the future of all life on earth.

Fossil fuel companies pollute without paying for the damage that they inflict on society. As a result, climate change is wrecking havoc on our lives.  In 2012 alone we experienced horrifying wildfires, the gulf-coast-wrecking Hurricane Isaac, heat waves in much of the country, and a massive drought that spiked world food prices by 10%.   In a final blow, more of the Arctic ice sheet melted this year than at any point previously in recorded history.

Environmentalists have fought climate change with individual action for decades. This is important because it brings a green consciousness into lifestyles and influences habits. But at the end of the day, your CFL is still powered by coal. So environmentalists tried to fight through the political system, lobbying for green legislation to cap or tax carbon emissions. Yet our political system is so clogged by the fossil fuel lobby that we cannot push through meaningful legislation. So we are fighting the fossil fuel industry ourselves.

Many schools–including Brandeis, Tufts, BU, UNH, Harvard, Amherst, and more–have already started mobilizing their campuses, and 350.org is officially launching a nation-wide divestment campaign in November with the Do The Math Tour.

You can learn more about the national campaign at divestforourfuture.org, and see what Divest Harvard is up to at Facebook.com/divestharvard. 

Global warming is here.  We must divest from companies that cause climate catastrophe.  We will not sit by and watch corporations destroy our world. We must divest from an industry of destruction and death.  We must divest for our future.


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