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MIT, Harvard, and Yale students take action on climate

Recently, students have taken to climate action at MIT and elsewhere.

At the Harvard-Yale football game in New Haven, protesters delayed the game:

https://twitter.com/i/status/1198320965240799232

MIT Divest, led by a group of MIT students are circulating a petition (link) which asks the MIT administration to:

Disclose. In line with one of the goals of MIT’s own Climate Action Advisory Committee, publicize the specifics of the “effectiveness of MIT’s efforts to engage on climate change issues with outside institutions, including industry and government”.

Divest. Divest the endowment within 3 years from companies that have continued to: Develop fossil fuel resources beyond the 2°C carbon emissions limit. Spread climate disinformation, by themselves or through their proxies. Engage in anti-climate lobbying directly or indirectly.

Reinvest the funds previously invested in fossil fuel companies into carbon-free energy investments.

Why?:

  • Climate change is an existential threat to society and already contributing to the suffering of hundreds of millions of people worldwide through intensified natural disasters, rising sea levels, and ecosystem destruction.
  • These effects will endanger food and water resources, displace entire communities, and increase resource-based conflicts.
  • Climate disinformation and anti-climate lobbying are two of the most significant barriers to addressing the climate crisis and have prevented our society from enacting decisive, fact-based policies against climate change.
  • These activities amount to attacks on science and political exploitation of our democracy, enabling unchecked development of fossil fuel reserves that will push us beyond the Paris Climate Agreement’s 2°C limit.
  • By investing its $17 billion endowment in fossil fuel companies, MIT supports entities that lobby to prevent action on catastrophic climate change.
  • In 2015, members of the MIT community asked the Institute to remove its investments from fossil fuel companies. Despite significant pressure, the MIT administration declined to divest its endowment from fossil fuel companies and instead committed to strengthen relationships with these entities through a plan of engagement.
  • Although MIT claims to “deplore the practice of ‘disinformation’”, its ownership of and engagement with fossil fuel companies has failed to eliminate the unacceptable practices of climate disinformation and anti-climate lobbying.
  • As an institution whose mission is to “advance knowledge...that will best serve the nation and the world”, MIT cannot be complicit with companies that politically exploit and scientifically mislead the public for profit. Ultimately, MIT cannot be complicit with companies driving climate destruction.

See the MIT Divest website for references and more.