Op Ed: On Divestment

Cornell has already divested from coal — there is no reason to cling to the fossil fuel investments any further into the 21st Century...

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By Opinion Department via The Cornell Daily Sun, 4/3/16

To the Editor:

Every prospective student tour group I see on campus has been about hearing how Cornell University still has oil, gas and fracking investments. For Cornell to put a lot of energy into sustainability efforts is wonderful. Such initiatives though, need to have the support of the Cornell Board of Trustees with their decision remove all University investments, to divest, from fossil fuels.

Cornell Trustees have thus far chosen to ignore the advice of experts as well as the representative faculty and student bodies on campus and are only looking at the financial bottom line. Perhaps the Trustees will at some point realize that doing the right thing, de-investment from all fossil fuels, will be good for PR and marketing to potential students, while also maintaining the positive bottom line. There are non-fossil fuel investments that have similar returns as oil and natural gas investments. Cornell has already divested from coal — there is no reason to cling to the fossil fuel investments any further into the 21st Century.

I urge every member of the campus community who has concerns about climate change and is proud of Cornell’s other efforts on issues of sustainability, to talk to the tour groups on campus. Tell them how Cornell is profiting from climate change. Be sure that students and their families, when considering whether to invest their time, energy, and money into an education at Cornell, hear the term and get a chance to look up the word #DIVESTMENT. Hopefully, incoming students and their families will have follow-up climate change-related questions for the University to address.

To the Board of Trustees: there is a growing resistance to your inaction on this topic. Divestment is the way forward. It’s time to complete the picture of Cornell University’s leadership on sustainability and climate change. Trustees: now is the time for divestment.

Daniel Keough grad

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