Let me begin with a Biblical text.
The Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, speaking to the people on behalf of God, wrote “For I know the plans I have for you.
They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a hope and a future.” (29:11)
HOPE AND A FUTURE
Isn’t a hopeful future what Franklin and Marshall aspires to offer? Doesn’t the college recruit top professors to bring the best of accumulated knowledge to students in the classrooms, the laboratories, studios and practicums…..preparing young minds to make a contribution to the world and thus to receive compensation for their contributions? Looking just 2 or 3 decades into the future; if today’s graduates have truly been well prepared, they may consider sending their own children to Franklin and Marshall thus establishing or continuing a family tradition.
CHOKING THE FUTURE/FUNDING DISASTER
Yet a future hope of making a contribution and even establishing family traditions is being choked off like the life of a condemned person with a noose around her neck.
Why do I say that?
Because the very best knowledge in the field of climate science tells us so. As an institution of higher learning, you do want to rely on the latest and best knowledge, right?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released most of their findings on their massive 2014 report. This study was the most extensive, the biggest assessment of scientific knowledge in ANY field-EVER!
What have these scientists told us? Quite simply, they warned us that the future of life on this planet is bleak unless we quickly transition to a low-carbon economy.
The planet is heating. Seas are rising. Extreme weather events are increasing around the globe. Species are going extinct at an alarming rate.Food systems are breaking down. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/13/3426117/climate-panel-avoiding-catastrophe-cheap/
The emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels are the chief cause of an ever tightening noose around all of our necks. A livable planet is slipping from our grasp and disaster looms for today’s graduates and their children.
Franklin and Marshall, and other institutions charged with preparing young people for the future, are limiting the prospects of their graduates by putting investment dollars into the hands of those who are tightening the noose, i.e. the fossil fuel industry.
By doing this, F&M has it’s fingers wrapped around that noose as well.
We are here today to call on F&M to divest from fossil fuels.
Move away from funding disaster.
It is inconsistent and counterproductive to prepare for a hopeful future while investing in it’s destruction.
We challenge you to become totally invested in hope and a future. Become the leaders you claim to be. Do it now. Set an example for others to follow. Put your money where your mission is.
I gave this message for a Go Fossil Free Rally at Franklin and Marshall College on May 9, 2014 just before a group of F&M students made their plea to the Investment Committee of The Franklin and Marshall Board of Trustees. This student group is part of an international movement. http://gofossilfree.org