Tag Archives: fossil fuel

Three Reasons to Support Divestment From Fossil Fuels

by Jared Naimark, ’14


Last Monday March 4th, student activists from Fossil Free Stanford, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, and a host of other environmental groups gathered in White Plaza in a day of solidarity with hundreds of campuses all over the country, to show their support for the movement to divest from fossil fuels.  This day of action, punnily dubbed “March Forth on Climate Justice” was the kick-off of our first ever Environmental Justice Week, a series of events aimed at raising awareness about the ways environmental issues intersect with issues of social justice and human rights.  Below is a version of a speech I gave at the rally, explaining three reasons why I support divestment from fossil fuels. Continue reading

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Fossil Fuel Divestment Dinner

by Sophie Harrison, ’16 + Graham Provost, ’13


As Stanford students, we are surrounded by research that brings into stark relief the profound implications of climate change. With ever-increasing clarity we recognize the disastrous impact it will have on the natural world, on humanity, and particularly on vulnerable communities in the developing world. Climate change poses a threat to future quality of life worldwide, and as our society continues to head down a calamitous emissions trajectory, we cannot postpone action any longer.

Amidst this gloom there is a ray of hope: a growing movement. Last weekend, 50,000 people gathered in front of the White House, and thousands more assembled in solidarity across the country. We called on President Obama to move forward on climate and reject the disastrous Keystone XL pipeline. And, in the past few months, a movement has spread to more than 250 colleges. Students across the country are calling on our schools to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Continue reading

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My Problem with Having a Problem With Activism

by Conor Doherty, ’13

Activist workshopThe efficacy of Stanford’s student activist movements has been a frequent topic of conversation around campus and in the editorial pages of The Daily the last few weeks. Most prominently, outgoing Executive Editor Brendan O’Bryne wrote an article questioning our “campus’s definition of activism” and raising important concerns about troubling events and policies that have received little attention. While I disagree with some of Brendan’s comments about our the insularity of Stanford’s activist community and narrowing the scope of issues we should be addressing, I appreciate his call for more focused and effective engagement with pressing on-campus problems.

Others have been more dismissive of Stanford’s student activist movements. Toward the end of Fall Quarter, The Daily published an editorial explaining one student’s “problem with activism.” More recently, another writer went so far as the say that the word “activist” should be “banished” from the Stanford lexicon. On the surface, these “critiques” are broad and ambiguous. I recognize that, if you look past the dismissive facades, their author’s are (I think) calling for “better” activism, rather than no activism at all. However, their reductive use of straw man arguments is frustrating and undermines substantive discussion. I get that the “panel on muskrat rights in 19th-century Bulgaria” line was supposed to be funny but, as someone who has written a lot of bad satire, I know it when I see it. Continue reading

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The Earth is Not a Commodity: How Capitalism Perpetuates Global Warming

by Jovel Queirolo, ’14

Capitalism is designed to promote competition and social inequality (Parjis, 1995) which cannot accommodate a climate change movement meant to benefit the entire earth and its inhabitants with an even distribution. As an international leader, the United States government along with its citizens must shift from a mindset of social and economic capitalism toward a political framework that encourages collective equality. In the U.S., capitalism privileges wealthy, upper-class, white individuals who hold positions of power (Keister and Moller, 2000) over the rest of the country’s diverse constituency. This constituency must be invited into the climate change movement, and granted equal access to technology and research geared towards addressing dangerous levels of human-induced climate change.

Capitalism as an economic and social theory, as popularized by the United Sates, will not work as a tool for organizing the climate change movement because the environment is not a commodity, nor is the environment a human construct. Continue reading

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