Divesting from fossil fuel industries

Since the early 1900s the science has been clear: The more carbon we pump into the atmosphere, the warmer our planet becomes.

In spite of having this knowledge, our planet and society have continued to develop a fossil-fuel-based economy regardless of the environmental cost. The decision to go down this path has led us to the point where we must ask ourselves, IF the children of today and tomorrow will have a livable planet in their future.

With the outcomes so clear, it begs the question, what are we thinking? Why for so long would we engage in this self-destructive behavior? I would propose the most obvious answer is explained with one word: Money.

Throughout the development of our fossil-fuel-based society, the wealthiest among us learned that a lot of money could be made in harnessing, selling and burning fossil fuels. Due to this seemingly unending source of wealth, companies, politicians, etc. have done everything they can to fund, protect and support a fossil-fuel-based economy. Unfortunately, those efforts continue today.

One powerful tool in the fight against a fossil-fuel-based future is that of divestment. Divestment simply means removing financial holdings from funds or companies supporting the fossil-fuel-based economy.

This effort does two things. First, it removes money from an industry that is literally killing our children’s future. Second, these individuals/groups who divest are showing where their values are by where they put their money. At a minimum, they are stating they are unwilling to fund the killing of our children’s futures.

The good news with this effort is that we are seeing it done locally! Kudos to St. Paul Public Schools that this last November officially decided to divest their financial holdings from fossil fuel industries.

In this one effort, SPPS has taken a clear and tangible step in the fight against climate change. So much more is needed, but thanks to SPPS for leading the way.

Hopefully, in response to their effort, we will see others follow along, whether it be other school districts, local government, local business, etc. There is no time to wait and our children deserve nothing less.

Tom Lucy, Como Park

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