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Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

By Howard Pellett, PSARA member 

Global climate change is the biggest threat to humanity that we face! No rational argument can be made against rising CO2 levels and the consequent global climate change. We are losing the battle to effect any change.

Bill McKibben formed 350.org in 2008 to try to stop global climate change at 350 ppm carbon level that scientists agreed would stabilize global climate. The level of CO2 is now 400 ppm and there is no end in sight.

Recently, McKibben lead a “Do the Math” tour. He pointed out that there are 2795 gigatons of fossil fuel reserves held by fossil fuel companies, five times the 565 gigatons of fossil fuel which scientists say can be burned to keep global temperature at 2 degrees Celsius as agreed by the world’s nations at the Copenhagen conference. The movie, “Do the Math” can be viewed at math.350.org.

Nevertheless, the multinational fossil fuel corporations plan is to keep drilling and keep digging the known reserves, 2795 gigatons, and promote burning all of those gigatons! Their plan will create the biggest calamity the world has ever known as temperatures increase 4-6 degrees Celsius. These corporations are willing to cause the resulting environmental tragedy because of the huge profits they reap from the sales of oil and gas.

We know what we must do. We can convert to renewable energy sources like wind, tidal and solar. We have the resources now to do this. What is holding us hostage is the political and economic power of the fossil fuel companies.

We can organize to stop the tragedy we are facing. Divestment is one positive thing we can do. The only language the fossil fuel companies understand is money. Divestment offers a means to organize against fossil fuel companies. Working with church members, university students and other institutions we can demand divestment from fossil fuel corporations.

Divestment was an important tool in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. PSARA can join with the City of Seattle, the United Church of Christ and 250 student movements across the nation in this effort. Check out gofossilfree.org for more information.

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