Divestment Movement News and Updates 4/9/14

Today I wanted to collate a few exciting resources to share with you!

1) The Trillion Tonne Communiqué: 70 major companies (including SHELL!) are calling on governments to take action and address climate change. The Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.12.40 PMGuardian has great reporting on this update: “…the signatories demand governments put in place policies to prevent the cumulative emission of more than a trillion tonnes of carbon, arguing that passing that threshold would lead to unacceptable levels of climate-related risk. The statement urges political leaders to set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century, design a credible strategy to transform the energy system, and create a plan to tackle the global economy’s reliance on fossil fuels, especially unabated coal power.” This is HUGE (especially that Shell is involved) because it strengthens the arguments that we use for fossil fuel divestment–and shows that companies are actually listening, changing, and evolving.

2) The Week has an exciting article on divestment. It’s definitely worth a read.

3) Right now, students are Washington University are staging in a sit-in. They are escalating and calling on the University to cut ties with Peabody Energy. This is an incredibly important action, and we should all support these students! To learn more about what they’re doing and how to support, visit http://studentsagainstpeabody.tumblr.com.

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 12.12.54 PM4) Kate Aranoff, a divestment activist at Swarthmore, and I wrote for Dissent Magazine about divestment. I wrote about the origin and rational for the movement, and Kate talked about escalation. Check it out here!

 

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  1. Well I would agree with the majority of your points in the Dissent article, with a couple of exceptions. I actually think that most folks around the world are not suffering from any illusions of errors in predictability. On the contrary I bet that they feel that the climate is changing quickly. The problem is that they are occupied with just survival, and so have neither the time nor the resources to cope with this enormous, complicated crisis. And so they might just try to vote for candidates that promise to fix the problem, but then realize that they were lied to, and then a kind of learned helplessness sets in, and fatalistic attitude. So that leads to my other exception, where all that’s left is their little daily individual behavior changes, but the miracle is that, this indeed could, maybe not avert, but somewhat delay at least, the worst case climate scenarios. Maybe it’s a bit like the ‘butterfly effect’. The divestment movement would be a part in that it would raise awareness in the general population of the harm of fossil fuel burning, and that would lead to them to look for ways to stop buying and burning their products.

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