Don’t make money by trashing the climate: that’s what students are telling their colleges and universities. Across the country, fossil fuel divestment campaigns—movements supporting requests that the institutions pull their investments from fossil fuel companies—have sprung up at 300 colleges. The campaigns are asking for the divestments because research cited by climate change activist Bill McKibben shows that pollution resulting from the burning of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels will raise global temperatures beyond safe levels.
In the Valley, the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign has gotten an enactment passed by the Student Government Association that asks the UMass Foundation Investment Committee to cancel investments in such companies made with money from UMass’ endowment fund. The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs also signed on to the enactment.
The Campaign has been circulating a petition requesting that UMass President Robert Caret vote for the divestment. By March 15, the petition had more than 500 signatures. A teach-at UMass is planned for Friday, April 5 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Mahar Hall, room 108; for updates, check www.facebook.com/divestumass.
Hampshire College has already cancelled its investments in fossil fuels. Divestment campaigns are active at Smith, Mount Holyoke and Amherst colleges.•