As Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Josh Fox prepare to tour the country, Cornell students prepare to send a large troop of students to NYC to attend their event “Do The Math”. This campaign was launched in response to Bill McKibben’s article “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” which received a wide amount of attention and became the most read article in Rolling Stone magazine’s history. The goal of McKibben’s campaign is to help students and communities alike to convince their universities and companies to divest from the fossil fuel industry. They are especially keen on acquiring student allies since college endowments represent $400 billion, a sizeable portion of which is being used to buy stocks in the fossil fuel industry. Thus students are being offered free tickets to attend the event such that they may be empowered by this incredible opportunity to connect with other students and professional organizers such that they may launch and succeed in their own divestment campaigns at their respective colleges and universities. Over 30 schools now have already started and Hampshire College has taken the lead as the first university to divest, just as it did for the apartheid. The power of divestment should not be underestimated nor should the power of students in achieving it. Join us on November 16th as we join forces will Bill and hundreds of student activists by signing up here.
Of the 30+ schools working on divestment, Cornell is of course included. KyotoNOW has outlined a campaign known as DivestNOW that will demand Cornell to divest our $5.6 billion endowment from any and all fossil fuel companies it is currently supporting. Our short-term goal is to accomplish 20% divestment by May of this year, but ultimately we would like 100% divestment by 2020. It is our ambition to to hold Cornell accountable for its commitment to becoming Carbon neutral by 2050 as outlined in Cornell’s Climate Action Plan (CAP). Given this goal, we feel as though we have an advantage that will give us significant leverage in forcing Cornell to appeal to our demands. The CAP includes all external emissions and therefore should not exclude emissions attributed to the companies they invest in. Therefore by their own promises, it is their obligation to divest but it is our job to remind them. We are calling on as much support from the student body as possible and one way you can help us is by signing our petition and/or joining us in NYC by acquiring a free ticket here. If you would like to be involved before then we are planning our debut appearance to the board of trustees this weekend. Stay tuned for updates!