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In the midst of the Paris Climate Talks, We Demand UMass Divest From Fossil Fuels


#1

In the midst of the Paris Climate Talks, We Demand UMass Divest From Fossil Fuels

Sarah Jacqz

On December 9th, just two days shy of the close of the Paris climate talks, the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees will meet, and the UMass community will be watching. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni expect that the Board will vote to divest their endowment from the fossil fuel industry, thus removing their support of global climate disaster, exploitation, and human suffering. For three years, the UMass Board of Trustees has ignored the calls of the student body and the community for full divestment from the fossil fuel industry.


#2

Has the student body asked the university to divest from agribusiness by offering vegan meals at campus eateries? And by banning the serving of dead bodies as food? Divesting from fossil fuel is good but divesting from agribusiness would have much more impact; the animal slaughter industry produces more greenhouse gases than all other industries combined. Why is that fact ignored? We have a nearly 100% news blackout on this fact.


#3

From the article:
"Students, faculty, staff, and alumni expect that the Board will vote to divest their endowment from the fossil fuel industry, thus removing their support of global climate disaster, exploitation, and human suffering."

Let me do a slight but important edit:
"Students, faculty, staff, and alumni expect that the Board will vote to divest their endowment from the fossil fuel industry, thus removing their support [from this one narrow component] of global climate disaster, exploitation, and human suffering."

Then the university climate justice movement can turn its attention to a far more comprehensive campaign, targeting every aspect of design, production, consumption, and resource use [and let me edit my post to add, since it is a university setting: curriculum, and research]. If an impossibly universal divestment campaign suddenly brought the market valuation of fossil fuel stocks to zero, we would still have to restructure the energy economy, the overall economy, our work, our lives, our communities, and perhaps most importantly, our understanding of what we "need."


#4

"... the animal slaughter industry produces more greenhouse gases than all other industries combined. Why is that fact ignored?"

Because it is not a fact. The industrial meat industry produces a fat chunk of greenhouse gases, and should be shut down. But it does not produce "more than all other industries combined." Exaggeration, and pushing data until it screams so that you can make such a claim, do NOT support your cause.


#5

I notice at the bottom of the article that it says:
"Sarah Jacqz is a second-year student at UMass Amherst, studying an
independently-designed major called “Spatial Justice,” and minoring in
Black and Latino studies."
What does it say of UMass Amherst's relevance as an educational institution that it supports its students telling it what they will study instead of the other way around?

On the issue of fossil fuel divestment, I would advise Sarah and her fellow protesters:
UMass Amherst will divest in fossil fuels the moment that you and all your other PC pals stop depending on the internal combustion engines those fuels power for: transportation, electricity, food to eat, clothes to buy, heating and air conditioning, and on and on it goes... Until then you are asking for that whose outcomes you cannot handle and refusing to see the problem of fossil fuel dependence for the complicated issue it is.


#6

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#7

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#8

It is a fact. See Cowspiracy.com/facts.


#9

i've seen it. You, as i've pointed out, are free to insist that the most extreme "assessment" of the "facts" possible is the core truth. There are very solid reasons why the vast majority of analysts come NOWHERE CLOSE to asserting that meat causes 51% of greenhouse gases. It's not a fact. Carry on.


#10

The "vast majority of analysts" that you cite are meat industry consultants. The tobacco industry used that same tactic for decades. Scientist who are not paid by the meat industry are the ones who came up with the 51% figure. I trust neutral scientists more than I trust in-house scientists. I fully understand why people who eat meat are very eager to denounce that figure.


#11

"The "vast majority of analysts" that you cite are meat industry consultants."

Again, BULLSHIT. i've worked a bit in ecological accounting, and the vast majority of analysts are working to develop genuine systems to discern the actual ecological impacts of economic activity. You quite simply do not know what you are talking about.


#12
  1. Climate Change Challenges

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Pollution Include:
1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2), 82%
2. Methane (CH4), 9%
3. Nitrous Oxide (N2O), 6%
4. Flouronidated Gases, 3%
Source: EPA
Implement low-carbon energy base that promotes conservation, conversion into renewal energy sources and fusion technology, providing a fair transition from fossil fuels and a “global treaty” to block the export of fossil fuels. How to do these?

(A) Implement the climate protection bill by Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Bernie Sanders that includes a carbon tax on the nearly 3000 of the largest fossil fuel polluters, covering about 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

(B) Implement the modest Obama’s Clean Power Plan that pushed for 32 percent diminishes in carbon dioxide surges from power plants by 2030 with the base year of 2005, and requiring a 28 percent of a power production to be generated from renewable sources.

(C) End tax breaks and subsidies for big oil, gas and coal companies. Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act to stop taxpayer-funded $135 billion giveaways to oil, gas and coal companies.

(D) Eliminate and inevitably boycott Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) gasses which are intense greenhouse gasses used as a part of fridges and ventilation systems and are discharged essentially amid repairing of or toward the end of the life-span of these items. In October 16, 2015, Obama administration has announced new efforts to diminish the use of hydrofluorocarbons as a piece of worldwide treaty to confine their uses.

(E) Keep it in the Ground Act. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders, have introduced in Nov 2015 the bill Keep It In The Ground Act, that would bar new leases on coal, gas, oil, and tar sands extraction on federal lands in the U.S. The bill, would likewise preclude offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic Ocean and forbid the renewal of leases that haven’t yet produced fossil fills.

[F] Expand research and development into climate change mitigation techniques. These include efforts to cut or prevent the emissions of greenhouse gases-limiting the magnitude of future warming. It might likewise include attempts, for example, (a) carbon capture and storage and (b) geoengineering...

[G] Revitalizing Coal and Oil producing regions. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has disclosed in Nov 2015, the Plan For Revitalizing Coal Communities to invest in coal and oil country, to recover as the “clean energy economy” develops, saying “We can’t ignore the impact this transition is already having on mining communities, or the threat it poses to the healthcare and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families.

[H] Fossil fuel divestment. This is the elimination of investment resources including stocks, securities, and speculation reserves from companies included in extracting carbon and fossil fuels, trying to diminish climate change by accelerating the adoption of renewable energy through the stigmatizing of fossil fuel businesses. A number of environmentalist and student groups advocate fossil fuel divestment, which in 2015 was apparently the quickest developing divestment development in history. By September 2014, 181 organizations and 656 people had resolved to divest
over $50 billions.

For details, read more: For details, read more: http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/11/29/1455241/-What-to-Do-to-Mitigate-Looming-Climate-Change-Specific-Policies

https://progressivewishlist.wordpress.com/


#13

Funny! You really believe that the science cited in Cowspiracy is bullshit? And that more reputable scientists are going to produce contradictory findings? The fact is that scientists originally put the meat industry contribution to greenhouse gases at 18%. Then they studied the problem more carefully and came up with a 51% figure. You are simply in denial.


#14

You found a source that claims that science proves meat causes 51% of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and you will continue to believe what you choose to believe because it suits your ideology. i will stick with the best science on the matter. As i said, i've actually studied the ways in which independent scientists and others are working to develop rigorous accounting standards for ecological impacts. Your insistence that the source you prefer trumps every other professional in the field remains absurd.


#15

"... scientists originally put the meat industry contribution to greenhouse gases at 18%. Then they studied the problem more carefully and came up with a 51% figure."

That's an extremely incomplete narrative of what "scientists" studying the sources of greenhouse gases have done. Again, you found a source that makes the 51% claim, but that IN NO WAY defines the true trajectory of "scientists" studying these matters. Keep clinging!