The efforts to pressure Harvard University into divesting from fossil fuels continues to heat up, as Harvard Heat Week kicks off later this year in April, and some of Harvard’s big-name alumni pen an open letter to the University in support of divestment.
The last we had heard of the court case suing Harvard University being filed by the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition was that the motion to dismiss, filed by defendants Harvard Corporation, was postponed due to the court being “closed due to the snow emergency.” The Harvard Climate Justice Coalition posted that the hearing had been rescheduled to Friday, February 20, but so far I have not been able to find any outcome from the hearing.
However, over that time, students at Harvard conducted a 24 hour sit-in prior to a rally held on Global Divestment Day. The success of the rally has encouraged the organisers to host an even larger event, Harvard Heat Week, scheduled for April 13 to 18.
Even more importantly, however, the news of Harvard Heat Week came accompanied by a letter signed by some of Harvard’s most prestigious and prominent alumni, inviting “fellow Harvardians” to join in Harvard Heat Week, and in particular, “to help students press our alma mater to divest its stock in the fossil fuel industry.”
The letter was signed by Harvard alumni as Darren Aronofsky, Al Gore, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Natalie Portman.
As has been covered repeatedly now at CleanTechnica, educational institutions the world over are looking to the future and divesting from fossil fuels. And while some of the petty-minded ‘experts’ believe that “cutting returns by selling at the worst possible time … might directly harm students more than if the university continued to generate returns from fossil fuel investments,” many more are aware of the overriding value in such institutions taking a stand against dirty investment.
The issue has never been about the economic benefits — although those are many and have been addressed many times — of divesting from fossil fuels. As the students behind the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition have made clear, fossil fuel divestment makes a very clear sign to fossil fuel companies that their “reckless activities” are no longer acceptable to the majority.
If you’re particularly interested in helping out the Harvard students, they are running an Indiegogo crowdfunding appeal in an attempt to cover their legal costs. Check it out here, and maybe throw them a few dollars. And if you want to find out more about the legal aspects of the case, check out the Harvard Climate Justice Coalition website.