AMPLIFY! | Divestment Isn’t Over

The divestment campaign began many semesters ago but notably gained momentum starting in the fall of 2019. CJC members reached out to faculty and students from other clubs, gaining support from a wide collection of allies ranging from Mothers Out Front, to Cornell University Sustainable Design, to the Vegan Club. CJC and other clubs held public protests nearly every week during the spring of 2020 until the campus shut down due to COVID-19. The most notable of these was a mock wedding between Cornell and the fossil fuel industry — two puppets modeled after the clocktower and a Monopoly Man-esque fossil fuel executive were paraded around Ho Plaza by students in orange beanies and oil-themed masks. 

Following Divestment Success in Ithaca, Cornellians Look Statewide

Following success in pushing Cornell University to divest from fossil fuels in May, Prof. Robert Howarth, ecology and evolutionary biology, and Climate Justice Cornell activist Katie Sims ’20 joined other climate experts from across the state on a virtual panel hosted by to push for New York’s Common Retirement Fund to divest from fossil fuels.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell Continues to Stall Fossil Fuel Divestment With Flimsy Arguments

To the Editor:
In the last week, Cornell has made two public statements to congratulate themselves on their sustainability efforts and deny the need for fossil fuel divestment — without addressing the student protests which incited these statements. The University can and must divest from fossil fuels, and campus sustainability efforts are not an acceptable substitution. The University’s recently-released Fossil Fuel Divestment FAQ states that the Board “will consider a proposal for divestment from the Cornell community when either the President forwards a resolution from one of the shared governance assemblies, or all five of the assemblies support such a resolution.” However, the Board of Trustees can take up the issue of divestment on their own (as outlined in the process for divestment they developed when deciding to continue investing in fossil fuels in 2015), and they will if they have a conscience about climate change or consideration for the campus community. A report prepared by the Campus Infrastructure  Committee of the University Assembly, which the University’s FAQ links to, already highlights many powerful arguments for divestment, and it is a shame the FAQ didn’t discuss them further. However, the FAQ did provide two flimsy arguments against fossil fuel divestment.