Interview with two Divest Harvard faculty

Interview with two Divest Harvard faculty. Full link at The Nation.

Science historian Naomi Oreskes on precedents for fossil fuel divestment:

No historical analogy is ever perfect, but there are aspects of history that can be informative. Apartheid is relevant, because many institutions did divest in those cases, which belies the argument that divestment is inappropriate because it “politicizes” the university. Tobacco is relevant for the same reason—and Harvard divested from tobacco—and also because in many respects the fossil fuel industry has followed the tobacco industry playbook. Slavery is relevant because it addresses the “but we all use fossil fuels argument.” Of course we do, and people in the North wore clothes made of cotton picked by slaves. But that did not make them hypocrites when they joined the abolition movement. It just that they were also part of the slave economy, and they knew it. That is why they acted to change the system, not just their clothes.

Atmospheric chemist James Anderson on the Harvard Corporation:

The most effective thing for [Harvard President] Drew Faust to do would be to come out with an op-ed in The New York Times saying, “I was wrong, this is absolutely the crucial thing. This is what universities are for, this is their purpose. They’re for leadership. They’re the only entity with real power in this country that cannot be destroyed by the fossil-fuel industry, and I’m sorry that I didn’t see the importance of the climate connection to the moral imperative to the university’s responsibility. But today I do, and we are divesting.”

We’re not going to get riled up about this. We’re just going to win.