350.Org Says: Stop Investing in the Fossil Fuel Industry
I’m fascinated by the dynamics at work in our society that surround climate change. The United States is notably sluggish in its response to the challenge, and, perhaps because of this, certain groups with progressive ideals are getting fairly militant. One example is the Sierra Club, which, after 120 years of law-abiding environmental advocacy, announced recently that it will espouse civil disobedience as a weapon to create a progressive change in national energy policy.
….have launched a national campaign to persuade colleges, universities, churches, foundations and, yes, people like you and me, to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry. The campaign raises interesting questions as, I’m sure, McKibben hoped it would. Among them: Does divestment make sense as a strategy to curb climate change?
At the risk of sounding cavalier, it’s hard to imagine how such a strategy could possibly be ineffective. Lower demand for shares of stock will reduce total market capitalization, and therefore diminish horsepower in terms of all the factors that make the industry what it is: legal strength, political muscle, and good will in terms of public relations. I’m interested to see what happens when the common American sees through the oil companies’ PR and rejects the idea that fossil fuels are clean, safe, abundant, and form the heart of our modern lifestyle.
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