Changing the world is hard and takes courage, but that’s why we will win. Bill Sargent had given up on global projects and turned to smaller local problems where it seemed there was a greater change of making a real difference. He wrote for Harvard Heat Week 27 April 2015, Heat Week: Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks,
But then I met Divest Harvard. Here was a group of bright, eager, sleep-deprived young undergraduates and grad students — free of such skepticism and willing to take on both Big Oil and the richest University in the world in one fell swoop.
He listed a number of ways Divest Harvard is winning because they chose the biggest targets under adverse conditions. For example:
Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s President, has looked especially uncomfortable. As an undergraduate, she skipped her midterms as an undergraduate in order to march in Selma, Alabama. Now, she’s been forced to admit that Harvard already divested itself of tobacco and companies that had been doing business in South Africa. She is trying to make the argument that Harvard has a responsibility to earn the highest return on its endowment, even though the University has lost $21 million dollars on it’s fossil fuel stocks in just the thirty months.
Harvard alumnus President John F. Kennedy, 12 September 1962 at Rice University:
William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage….
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
Ending the the fossil fuel industry’s century-long domination of our economy and political process may seem hard, but that goal has already served to organize the skills and energies of people who did not know they even had them.
And if activists can turn the most corrupt state into the fastest growing U.S. solar market, we can collectively convert the U.S. to sun, wind, and water power.
Even Harvard will eventually recognize fixing climate change is profitable.
Yes, even the VSU Foundation will eventually listen to the consultation that has already happened with faculty, staff, students, and administration. Like Harvard, Valdosta State University divest from fossil fuels. Even if they wait until their alumni demand they stop losing money.
We will win, and in less than a decade. First we need to stop the trail of destruction and hazards the dirty pipeline snakes want to plow through Georgia from the west (Spectra Energy and FPL’s Sabal Trail fracked methane pipeline) and the east (Kinder Morgan’s Palmetto Project fracked oil products pipeline).
There are great and honorable actions to do. Courage is required, but we shall overcome.