93 Harvard Faculty Call On University to Divest from Fossil Fuels

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93 Harvard Faculty Call On University to Divest from Fossil Fuels

CAMBRIDGE - Today, in a dramatic acknowledgment of the dangers of man-made climate change, and of the direct link between fossil fuels and climate change, nearly 100 members of Harvard University’s faculty sent a “Faculty Open Letter” to Harvard University President Drew Faust and the members of the Harvard University Corporation.  The Letter criticizes what its authors describe as a “failure of leadership” and calls on the university to divest its endowment—the largest university endowment in the world—from the fossil fuel industry. 

On October 3, 2013, President Faust and the Corporation issued a statement that dismissed the efficacy of divestment, declined to proceed in that direction, and failed to acknowledge faculty support for any such divestment. A second statement, released on April 7, 2014, reiterated the refusal of the President and Corporation to consider divestment.  In their Letter the faculty state “We wish to remind the Corporation that Harvard boasts a tradition of divestment for ethical purposes—and that now, with massive global consequences from climate change occurring, continued investment represents a political act, too.  We therefore ask that the Corporation begin, as soon as possible, to divest from fossil fuel corporations.”

The signatories include leading professors from a wide range of academic departments and from every school at Harvard, several department heads, and distinguished members of the scientific community. They emphasize the overwhelming evidence of fossil fuel as a primary cause of human alteration of climate, and decry the industry’s documented attempts to misinform the public in order to protect its market value.

To read the Open letter and for more information, visit www.harvardfacultydivest.com

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350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.

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