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The Guardian

Universities Must End Financial Ties to Climate Denying Fossil-Fuel Giants – Now

Schools like Harvard exist to foster knowledge and understanding, yet they're investing in an industry that has systematically undermined that work. That is wrong

(Photo by Camilla Gibson/Divest Harvard Facebook)

There are many compelling reasons for universities to divest themselves of investment in the fossil fuel industry – including and especially the physical and potentially irreversible effects of climate change to which university endowments essentially contribute.

But for our colleagues now asking for an end to these investments, there's an almost equally compelling argument: universities exist to foster knowledge, learning and understanding, and the fossil-fuel industry has worked systematically over the past 20 years to undermine that work. It has worked and continues to work in direct opposition to our mission as scientists and educators through the political process and PR campaigns.

While giving money to support research, fossil-fuel companies also spend money to undermine its results, both directly through misleading advertising and indirectly by supporting think-tanks, trade organizations and other "third party allies" who are continuing to promote disinformation and doubt.

It is in the following context that diverse individuals and institutions are increasingly calling for divestment from fossil-fuel corporations:

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian...

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Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes is professor of the history of science and affiliated professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University and co-author, with Erik Conway, of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Her latest book, also with Conway, is The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future. Follow her on Twitter: @NaomiOreskes

Clara Belitz

Clara Belitz is a freshman at Bowdoin College, where more than half the student body has signed a letter endorsing divestment.

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