Climate Change 350_111812unity_

Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Michael Ricciardi

0

Maine College Is First In Nation to Sell Off Its Fossil Fuel Stock

Buffer this pageShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someone

November 19th, 2012 by

Common Ground fairgoers, Unity College, MaineMost every college or university endowment needs growth to insure that money is available for future academic needs (buildings, equipment, teachers, expanded curricula, etc.). For this reason, nearly every such institution of higher learning maintains a diverse investment portfolio. And obviously, if one hopes for this portfolio to grow in value, then high-valued (high yield) stocks are very attractive investments. This has traditionally included purchasing stock in oil and natural gas companies which are perennial high-performers.

They are also the largest emitters of CO2. And, many such companies fund climate change denialist “think tanks” and websites, using questionable and discredited “science”.

Questions of Integrity and Responsibility

So then, how can one justify investing in such companies if one is concerned about human-caused climate change? Further, do our institutions of higher education have a moral and intellectual responsibility in regards to educating future generations that will bear the brunt of human-caused climate change?

Well, the answer to those questions have been provided — at least in one case, so far — by one small college in the great state of Maine.

On the same day that climate change awareness group 350.org launched its ‘Do the math’ national tour (Nov. 7), Unity College (located in Unity, Waldo County, Maine)* announced that its board of trustees had decided to divest all of its financial holdings in fossil fuel companies…making it the first in the nation to do so.

And, in doing so, Unity College has taken a tough stand on what is the global issue of the 21st century, one that may cost the college in the short term, but may also benefit its students and fellow academic institutions (by principled example) in the medium to long-term.

We can only hope that this decision is imitated and spurs on a national movement in academia…and beyond.

Read the full letter by Unity College president Stephen Mulkey explaining his college’s decision and guiding philosophy.

* In 2007 Unity College — which bills itself as ‘America’s Environmental College’ — was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. In 2010 it was named to the Princeton Review list of the eighteen leading “green” colleges, having received the highest possible rating

Top photo: (description) Led by students at Unity College in Maine, over 500 Common Ground Fairgoers raise local organic pumpkins in a massive 350 to celebrate local agriculture solutions to climate change. Photo by Megan Mallory.

 

 

Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.




Buffer this pageShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on StumbleUponShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInDigg thisEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Michael Ricciardi is a well-published writer of science/nature/technology articles as well as essays, poetry and short fiction. Michael has interviewed dozen of scientists from many scientific fields, including Brain Greene, Paul Steinhardt, Arthur Shapiro, and Nobel Laureate Ilya Progogine (deceased). Michael was trained as a naturalist and taught ecology and natural science on Cape Cod, Mass. from 1986-1991. His first arts grant was for production of the environmental (video) documentary 'The Jones River - A Natural History', 1987-88 (Kingston, Mass.). Michael is an award winning, internationally screened video artist. Two of his more recent short videos; 'A Time of Water Bountiful' and 'My Name is HAM' (an "imagined memoir" about the first chimp in space), and several other short videos, can be viewed on his website (http://www.chaosmosis.net). He is also the author of the (Kindle) ebook: Artful Survival ~ Creative Options for Chaotic Times



Back to Top ↑