Endorsements from the NYU Community
WHY NYU SHOULD DIVEST
BY PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN PARENTI
"Though divestment will not hurt the bottom line of fossil fuel companies, it does send a powerful message to our government and society at large. Divestment by colleges and universities indicates a broad and mainstream concern about the climate crisis. It is a powerful symbolic act that reminds our law makers that the fossil fuel industry needs to be tightly regulated, stripped of subsidies, then put out of business and replaced with a new clean energy system.
That project, rebuilding our energy system, is not as far-fetched as it sounds. We have three of the four components we need to make the transition. We have the technology, for example commercial scale solar and wind power. We have the money, the American private sector is sitting on more uninvested cash than at any time since such records were kept, plus government consumes enormous amounts of energy meaning it could consume (fund) the production of clean energy. We even have the laws needed: the Clean Air Act, as augmented by the 2007 Supreme Court ruling in Massachusetts v EPA , mandates that the federal government drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The only missing ingredient in this transition is political will. Divestment can help overcome that last deficiency.
NYU students have been working very hard and skillfully for two years on divestment. It’s time for the NYU board of trustees to show real leadership and vote to divest. History will look kindly on them if they do."
Christian Parenti teaches in the Liberal Studies program, has a PhD in geography from London School of Economics, and has published four books, most recent of which is: Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence.
Incarceration to Education Coalition (IEC)
"We see the climate crisis as intrinsically tied to colonialism, racism, and capitalism. These systems work in tandem to oppress people of color by taking resources from poor and non-European communities to fuel power and privilege. We must divest for those who grow up in food deserts and asthma-ridden neighborhoods like the South Bronx; for the communities of color acutely devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; for farmers repeatedly devastated by typhoons in the Philippines; for those fighting for development justice and alternatives to coal power in places like South Africa; for the indigenous communities laying down their lives to fight the Keystone XL Pipeline. This is a global human rights issue that affects historically oppressed communities everywhere. IEC is accountable to such communities, and one of the most effective ways to stop the accumulation of resources is to divest.
We therefore support NYU Divest’s campaign that calls on NYU to divest $139 million from the fossil fuel industry and to cut ties with corporations that finance the climate crisis and perpetuate imperial power. We believe that NYU and other institutions of higher education have a social and moral responsibility to prioritize the futures of their students and their communities. We also believe that because of the privilege that we have in the United States, we are accountable to the “developing” world and to indigenous people to stop extracting resources for profit. We call on NYU to not remain complicit in this environmental injustice and to uphold human rights, whether they be the right to access education or live in affirming, uncontaminated environments."
Academic Workers for a Democratic Union (AWDU)
"The graduate workers of NYU-AWDU are thrilled to endorse NYU Divest's campaign to have our university divest from fossil fuels. We believe the university must divest its resources from the fossil fuel industry, whose economic activities and political attacks on low-carbon policies are threatening the well-being, even the survival, of students, workers, and community members—at NYU, and around the world."
Learn more: http://www.nyuawdu.com
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)
“NYU Students for Justice in Palestine joins NYU Divest in calling on our university to divest from the fossil fuel industry because universities have a responsibility to invest responsibly, and should not be complicit in violating human rights, whether that be the right to an inhabitable environment, or the right to live free of military occupation.”
Learn more: www.nooccupiedpalestine.org
Student Political Action Club
"Student PAC at NYU supports NYU Divest’s efforts to lobby NYU to sell its investments in fossil fuel companies. Because Student PAC believes that climate change is a serious threat to the sustainability of our planet, we believe that NYU should not attempt to profit from an industry that is accelerating the pace of climate change. NYU should instead immediately invest its endowment funds in energy companies that are attempting to make clean energy sources more accessible and affordable. Although NYU’s investments in fossil fuel corporations are small compared with the size of today’s energy companies, we believe that NYU can make a tremendous impact by sparking further discussion about the importance of aligning investments with moral convictions and that, in turn, this discussion will lead to more universities and corporations divesting from fossil fuel corporations."
Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/studentpacatnyu
NYU Community Agriculture Club (CommAg)
“Community Agriculture Club supports the NYU Divest campaign because climate change urgently and directly affects agriculture and our community.”
Learn more: https://gardennyu.wordpress.com/
Global Media & Creative Production Club
“We support the NYU Divest campaign because we support innovators of the future. Yet the fossil fuel industry inherently threatens that very future. In this time of crisis, we call on NYU to invest responsibly.”
Students for Organ Donation Awareness
"Students for Organ Donation Awareness supports NYU Divest because we support equal opportunity to live healthily--and that begins with clean air for our clean bodies."