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Growing Fossil Fuel Divestment Protests Hit Colleges Nationwide


Growing Fossil Fuel Divestment Protests Hit Colleges Nationwide

Jamie Henn

The movement to push colleges and universities to divest from fossil fuels is heating up on campus. Everywhere you look, divestment sit-ins, protests, and rallies are sweeping across campuses. At Harvard this week, more than 1,000 students, alumni and professors have taken part in sit-ins, rallies and protests.


You are a troll paid to discredit Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and the divestment movement. ALL of your posts denigrate any and all efforts underway to thwart corporate control of this planet’s food, energy, and political systems.


Divest from Dick Cheneyism. The Texas legislators are under the power of its unrestrained greed and their tactics of betraying democracy are spreading throughout these United States of Amnesia. Last week it took over the Collier County Commissioners in Naples, FL. The energy corporations must have their free passes instantly taken away. Since Mr. Cheney, they have enjoyed the US press’s entire blackouts of the truth that they are not subject to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, nor for waste management, contaminant cleanup, chemical safety, wildlife and plant conservation, fish and game regulations, sustainable development rules and easily ride roughshod over citizens’ mineral rights and otherwise mandatory environmental impact assessments. Democracy’s requirements for transparency and public participation are ignored and nullified. This is happening everywhere, most especially wherever objections by an involved public threaten corporate profits. Take away the free passes the kings of carbon have enjoyed for far too long. Destroy these all-powerful corporations by making them pay for their use and destruction of natural resources. Divest from fossil fuels; invest in solar and wind.


There are two hoped-for outcomes of the divestment movement, as I’ve read them articulated.

One is to “defund” the oil companies. There is no way that divestment can do this, as the oil companies only make money on the initial shares of stocks, and have no financial interest in subsequent resales of the stock. When a school sells its shares in oil or coal companies, the ONLY impact that has on the company is that they change the name and address on the dividend checks.

The other outcome I’ve read about is to make the fossil fuel companies pariahs and outcasts even in the investment community. The very fact that an institution CAN divest proves that this outcome isn’t happening. If Harvard caves in and sells off it’s oil stocks, it sells those shares to a willing buyer. If the campaign ever does make the oil companies complete pariahs, then the institutions would be stuck with their shares because no one in the world would purchase them. That is certainly very unlikely to happen.

So, the only real outcomes of divestment are that the silly and uneducated protesters feel good about themselves, and the endowments of the schools involved are squandering the contributions of their donors by investing in equities with lower revenue potential.

Sounds like a winning proposition, eh?