A Moral Case Against Fossil Fuel Investment

A group of students at Colby is working with the administration to divest the endowment from fossil fuels. The administration has asked us to develop a moral case for divestment, and I think that we have a bomb-proof argument.

Let’s start at the basics: climate change is not only a concern for the environmentally-conscious type, but a concern for all those who plan to live on planet earth from here on out.

Hurricane Sandy this past fall was not a freak, inexplicable event. It was part of a pattern of more frequent and more intense storms due to a warmer climate. If we continue to ignore climate change, we had better get used to seeing New York City under water. NYC is not the only place in danger of being destroyed – the Maldives, an entire nation, looses ground each year to the rising sea levels.  Global food prices spiked this past summer due to the severe crop-killing drought in the American Midwest. Like hurricanes, the scorched summer is something that we can expect to occur again and to intensify. The climate we are setting ourselves up for simply does not support the growth of crops.

Those who will get hit the hardest by climate change are those who do not contribute to it – kids my age and younger who were born in the midst of an already-altered climate, subsistence farmers on the edges of expanding deserts, fishermen in the Caribbean whose homes are destroyed in moments by tropical storms.

Currently, Colby invests in companies that are the root cause of climate change. The endowment pays for our education, but it pays for our education at the expense of our climate. Those of us who are involved in divestment at Colby see a great irony in this. Climate change, in my eyes, is the biggest moral concern of our time. If we do nothing, we are setting powerless people all over the world, and ourselves, up for a rough time.

Today’s Colby students were born when climate change was an already known threat. Somehow, the situation has progressively grown worse. I am part of a growing group at Colby who will not stand for this.We ask for divestment for everyone’s sake. Never has there been a greater moral case for immediate action.

Sign our petition: http://act.350.org/sign/Fossil_Free_Colby

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