On June 2, 2014, the Cambridge City Council voted to pass a a resolution congratulating Divest Harvard on our new leadership team and on “the important work [we] undertake to battle climate change”. Thank you City Council!
Divest Harvard applauds the Stanford community for taking an important stand for our shared future by divesting from coal. Leadership is never easy. At Harvard, we have seen our President and Corporation shy away from leadership not only in their refusal to act, but in their refusal to participate in public discussion. Stanford’s actions have shown that leadership on divestment is possible and discussion should not be feared. We hope that Harvard follows Stanford by showing the courage to act.
Addendum: Krishna Dasaratha, Harvard alum (Class of 2013) and current Stanford PhD student, wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe about his experience working on divestment at both universities. Please read his article here.
60,000 people have signed a petition in support of divestment and the stand that student activists have taken to fight for a public dialogue with their administration. Join us tomorrow at noon as we deliver the signatures and hear from Brett Roche, the first student arrested in fossil fuel divestment movement history. Faculty members will be featured as well, and we invite you to join us in conversation about our progress!
WHEN: Friday May 2nd, 12 pm
WHERE: Outside Massachusetts Hall, Harvard Yard
For more information on our blockade, please see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stacy-clark/why-we-are-blocking-the-o_b_5237319.html
Our friends at Forecast the Facts circulated a petition asking people to stand with Harvard faculty members in support of fossil fuel divestment. The petition has received over 23,000 signatures so far. Please sign, spread the word, and helps us reach 100,000 by our action on April 30th!
Join in the movement to get Harvard to divest from climate disaster, and support the many faculty members who have spoken out in favor of fossil fuel divestment. This will be our biggest event to date!!! All the events will take place outside Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard.
Join in the movement to get Harvard to divest from climate disaster, and support the many faculty members who have spoken out in favor of fossil fuel divestment. This will be our biggest event to date!!!
10:00 am: KICK OFF RALLY! Divest Day of Action Begins. Featuring:
12:00 pm: Faculty and Alumni Rally: Come hear your professors and graduates of the university speak about why divestment form fossil fuels can’t wait. Featuring:
3:00 pm: Campus Justice Rally: What challenges do student activists face on campus? How can we make Harvard a more just institution? An open and invigorating discussion about student organizing.
6:00 pm: Community Rally: Climate change affects everybody, but it affects some more than others. Community leaders will share what the divestment movement means for their neighbors, their struggles, and their future.
9:00 pm: Skype-in / Movie Time: Hear from divestment and climate activists beyond Boston, and join us for a green move screening. Featuring:
ALL DAY: Arts and crafts, music, and more: paint banners, write letters, have your picture taken, and share your passion.
Updates at: https://www.facebook.com/events/735446629819722/
Big news today for the Divest Harvard campaign!
Over 100 Harvard faculty members have authored a strongly worded Open Letter calling on the University to divest from fossil fuel companies. You can read the open letter and learn more about the faculty’s initiative here: www.harvardfacultydivest.com
Please support the faculty members by spreading the news far and wide!
Today, Drew Faust wrote a letter to the Harvard community in which she outlined the University’s new plan to confront climate change. This is Divest Harvard’s response:
We’re glad that Harvard has recognized the need to align its investments with its values. However, there are still inconsistencies in Harvard’s investments. Harvard’s decision to invest in climate solutions is an important step forward, but the truth is that we still have $32.6 million directly invested–and millions more indirectly invested–in the fossil fuel industry’s climate destruction, science denialism, and political obstruction. We need to divest from the problem as we invest in new solutions.
Divest Harvard wrote to Drew Faust after we released a video in which she says that the fossil fuel industry doesn’t influence the political system. Below is President Faust’s email response as well as the entire video of our conversation. The full video with President Faust speaks for itself. If President Faust wishes to clarify her statement, we invite her to join us in a public forum–which we have been requesting for months–to discuss her views on how the fossil fuel industry influences politics.
Subject: RE: Invitation to Divest Harvard Event on Wednesday 3/12
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “Madsen, Lars Peter Knoth” <email@example.com>
Dear Members of Divest Harvard,
I write in response to your latest invitation to attend an event designed to promote your call for divestment from fossil fuel companies. As I have noted in our many conversations on the subject, I respect the passion you bring to the issue of climate change. I share your belief that we, as a society, need to address climate change and vigorously pursue a transition to clean renewable energy sources as one important strategy. University research is a crucial avenue for hastening the development of cost-effective alternatives to fossil fuels, and it is through research that Harvard can best advance progress on this issue. I and my fellow members of the Corporation do not believe that divestment is an appropriate way for Harvard to contribute to the development of solutions to this pressing problem.
Let me also take this opportunity to express my disappointment in the way you have distorted a comment I made last month when your group decided to follow me with a video camera as I walked to my office. After all of our frank discussions on this topic over the past couple of years, I had hoped you would carry on your campaign with a greater degree of civility and fairness.
When I said “that is not the case” I was addressing the assertion that fossil fuel companies were somehow disrupting Harvard’s ability to implement programs of research into climate change and renewable energy. That is, as I said, not the case. The University has a vital role to play in the development of new technologies that could lessen the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, and we should protect the endowment’s ability to continue to fund such research into the future.
Harvard will also continue efforts to advance sustainability on our own campus. Since the launch of our sustainability initiative, we have conserved resources, improved our building operations, invested in renewable energy, and reduced our greenhouse gas emissions. We have more to do to create a culture of sustainability, and I am committed to building on the strong progress that we—as one Harvard community—have made. I hope you will join this effort.
From: Divest Harvard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Mar 5, 2014 at 11:31 PM
Subject: Invitation to Divest Harvard Event on Wednesday 3/12
To: Drew Faust <email@example.com>, “Madsen, Lars Peter Knoth” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear President Faust,
Last Friday, we were surprised and disappointed to hear that you believe that fossil fuel companies are not blocking the implementation of climate solutions.
A wealth of research and journalism, including work done by Harvard’s own faculty, proves the very opposite. Your arguments against divestment have been built on a fundamental misunderstanding about the fossil fuel industry.
Now is the time to revisit the facts and reconsider divestment. We would like to invite you to hear from your faculty and students at a teach-in next Wednesday March 12 on the myriad ways that the fossil fuel industry uses its wealth and power to block climate action. As we are striving to make this convenient and accessible for you, we will hold the teach-in on your doorstep at Massachusetts Hall and repeat it three times, at 1PM, 1:30PM, and 2PM. We will have a chair waiting for you.
Our community at Harvard revolves around the idea of Veritas. This university instills the courage and humility to admit mistakes, absorb new information, and revisit conclusions. We hold our scholars to this standard because there is no other way to pursue the truth that our community holds so dear. We expect the same courage and humility of our President because truth provides the foundation for moral and responsible action.
We hope that you will honor Veritas by joining us next Wednesday to learn how the fossil fuel industry has blocked clean energy and climate action.
President Faust believes that the fossil fuel industry isn’t getting in the way of climate progress (yes, we wouldn’t have believed it either if we hadn’t caught it on video). In response, Divest Harvard is holding a ROLLING SERIES OF TEACH INS on President Faust’s doorstep next Tuesday (the 11th) at 12PM, 12:30PM, and 1PM.
Show up if you think it’s time for President Faust to revisit the facts and reconsider divestment.
MORE INFO: In the 20 minute teach-ins, we’ll be going over how the fossil fuel industry created and funds climate denialism, distorts elections, blocks clean energy projects, and defangs climate legislation. We’ll talk about why divestment can help solve this problem, and we’ll be reading statements from faculty and prominent climate scientists like Michael Mann who are speaking up in response to Faust’s words.
IF YOU MISSED THE VIDEO, check out the footage of Faust revealing her beliefs about the fossil fuel industry here: http://thinkprogress.org/
Here is the Facebook event for the teach-in: https://www.facebook.com/events/613585998695970/
Last Friday, Divest Harvard activists sat in the front of Sanders Theater as Drew Faust gave a speech to students and parents on Junior Parents Weekend.
After the speech, we followed President Faust out of the theater, and we walked with her back to her office in Massachusetts Hall. Along the way, we talked about divestment–and we filmed the entire conversation. When Divest Harvard member Alli Welton told Faust that the fossil fuel industry is standing in the way of the transition to a clean energy economy, President Faust said: “That is not the case.”
Read this article on ThinkProgress to understand why President Faust is wrong, and watch the video of her statement.