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Divestment will make pariahs of fossil fuel companies

Monday, May 19, 2014

Should fossil-fuel companies be the targets of an economic boycott like the one directed against apartheid-era South Africa? Archbishop Desmond Tutu, august moral leader, calls for divestment from the companies responsible for anthropogenic climate change. He’s convinced that fossil-fuel companies will do everything in their power to maintain the fossil-fuel-dominated status quo, resulting in climate catastrophe. 


There’s just too much money to be made, and let’s face it, put yourself in the shoes of an oil company executive. Your education, your career, your social status, your mortgage, your children’s university fund, your material possessions…they all depend on a continuation of the industry in which you’ve invested your life’s purpose. 


These companies will not change from the inside out. In fact, they have done everything in their power to make belief in anthropogenic climate change one based on ideology rather than one based on science. They will have to be compelled to change by outside forces.
Harvard faculty and students are among those who have taken up the cause of divestment from fossil-fuel companies.