Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Devyn Powell, Arts and Sciences, 2014

Fossil fuel companies are the parties most directly and indefensibly responsible for driving the destructive warming of our climate. Unless these companies switch their portfolios entirely to renewable sources, and pledge to stop extracting oil, coal, and gas, they will remain enemies, not allies, in our efforts to solve the climate crisis. By investing in these companies, Tufts is investing in climate change. Period.

The most common arguments against fossil fuel divestment are proving to be myths, one by one. Shareholder advocacy doesn't work - ask the Rockefellers, who recently divested their foundation's portfolio from the industry. Divestment doesn't hurt return on investment - many fossil-free portfolios perform as well or better than standard mixes. Ask any number of investment professionals, several of whom are also Tufts alumni! The increasingly mainstream media coverage of divestment and the involvement of diverse institutions including foundations, churches, towns, and hundreds of public and private universities show that this is a social movement with staying power beyond the Ivory Tower bubble. And Peabody Coal's recent report that they fear divestment could ""hurt demand for their products"" shows that the impact of this movement is much more than symbolic.

I could go on, but the verdict is in. Your move, Tufts.

The time is now, Tufts. Stand for your values. Create lasting impact. Lead where Harvard and MIT will not. Divest!

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