Experts and students discuss campus climate policy

Photo/Mike Lovett

As part of an ongoing, campus-wide conversation, Brandeis held its second of four events this semester to discuss issues related to climate change and divestment.

“Money Matters: Fossil Fuel Divestment as Political Power” included a panel discussion with faculty and students.

Keynote speaker environmentalist Bill McKibben, participating via Skype, urged Brandeis University to divest its stock portfolio immediately from fossil fuel companies at a campus event held Tuesday in the Usdan Student Center.  “Divestment is meant to break the will and power of those companies right away so they begin to change what their business is.”

Biology and environmental studies professor Dan L. Perlman took a pragmatic approach to divestment.
“You can make the argument that we’ve already gotten the benefits of divestment,” he said. “We are on the radar, people are talking about the real issues, so maybe the marginal benefit of working toward Brandeis divestment — it would be nice — but I’m not sure it will push the conversation that much further.”
Craig Altemose, director of Better Future, advocated swift action. “Divestment is necessary and we need to do it as soon as possible. [Climate change] is a crisis of untold proportions and we need guns blazing,” he said.
Brandeis Climate Justice student activist Abbie Goldberg ’18 sees divestment as a social justice issue. “As a prestigious university, Brandeis can lead other institutions in divestment, make a difference and stand by our values, while also continuing to prioritize other methods of combatting climate change.”
The series of  climate change and divestment discussion events is sponsored by the Office of the President, Brandeis Climate Justice and Faculty Against the Climate Threat (FACT).

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