I'm not talking about climate change (directly). I’m talking about the debate around divestment from fossil fuels at universities and institutions around the world. Friday (2/13) was the first ever Global Divestment Day, calling on “climate leaders” to dump fossil fuels from their investments. I can’t sum up why divestment matters better than this Mean Girls-themed BuzzFeed article, or this prescient quote from the Australian coal lobby:
And the industry is noticing. Last week alone, there have been studies and articles and videos “debunking” divestment (funded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, along with other pressure groups), while completely missing the real point of divestment: we aren’t trying to affect the stock price of BP, but divestment does go a long way towards delegitimizing and revoking the fossil fuel industry’s social license to operate. Just listen to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a leader in the Anti-Apartheid movement who knows a thing or two about making change:
At the University of California Santa Cruz, Fossil Free UC has been campaigning for years to get the university to ditch $3 billion dollars worth of fossil fuel investments and put the money into climate solutions. Chancellor Blumenthal wrote this blog post on our efforts to coincide with the GDD festivities!
And in celebration of the corrupt corporate relationships of our time, the University of California renewed their vows to the fossil fuel industry at a mock wedding in the College 8 Plaza. Video to come!