Investing in its surrounding community is a step toward real justice — environmental and otherwise. As PILOT renegotiation approaches, I urge Harvard to take it.
Despite efforts to sell off its land investments, Harvard’s transition away from this extractive practice is not complete. Harvard should make a point to end not just individual investments, but the practice of land grabbing overall.
If Harvard has acknowledged this industry is imprudent to invest its endowment in, why would it invest its students in fossil fuel jobs? Why would Harvard allow any of the talent it has cultivated to be funneled into an industry focused on making the world worse?
Harvard needs top environmental talent in its classrooms as it works to train the next generation of climate leaders. The oil industry cannot be allowed to divert that talent for its own gain, taking energy away from the education that is the school’s central mission.
As long as the fossil fuel industry has its hands in our research, dragging us backward as they’ve been doing to the world since the 1970s, Harvard will not be a leader. It’s time for Harvard to take the next step since divestment. It’s time for fossil free research.
Where is the acknowledgment that we’re in an emergency? The solution isn’t as simple as installing more air conditioning units or more solar panels. Addressing the climate crisis long-term will require transforming our buildings, our consumption, and our approach to energy.
Here at Harvard, the call for Rubenstein is this: recuse or resign. Legal ethics 101 says he should have removed himself from votes within the Harvard Corporation that relate to the University’s response to the climate crisis years ago. If he can’t take this basic step now, he should immediately resign from the Harvard Corporation. It’s time for Harvard to do what it has promised: put people and the planet over profit.
Don’t ask me what I’m even doing here, she says. My life is a series of real-life Wikipedia spirals. Just keep looking up related readings.
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