In response to a very downbeat diatribe by Bill McKibben in Rolling Stone on the occasion of the U.N.’s Rio+20 conference being some sound and less fury accomplishing not much about stopping climate change, [Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone, 19 July 2012, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math: Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is”] Harvard student Chloe Maxmin followed up McKibben’s problem statement with a plan for what to do: divest from fossil fuel companies. [“In Honor of Kalamazoo: An Open Letter to Bill McKibben,” NextGenJournal, 25 July 2012, no longer online, referred to in a post the same day by Chloe Maxmin on First Here, Then Everywhere.] Maxmin didn’t just wish, either, she joined up with McKibben’s 350.org and helped organize Harvard students to do something about it: persuade Harvard to divest its shares of fossil fuel companies. Students at the University of Georgia, or at Valdosta State University, for that matter, could do the same.
Alli Welton wrote for 350.org 18 November 2012, 72% of Harvard Students Vote to Divest from Fossil Fuels,
Last Friday night, the Harvard College Undergraduate Council announced that the student body had voted 72% in favor of Harvard University divesting its $30.7 billion endowment from fossil fuels.
Members of the Harvard chapter of Students for a Just and Stable Future have been campaigning since September to divest Harvard’s endowment from the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel corporations that own the majority of the world’s oil, coal, and gas reserves.
Harvard actually already has divested its shares of one fossil fuel company due to public pressure. Continue reading