Editorial: All signs point to divestment

Julia's Editorial

In a few years, Irving Berlin won’t be the only one dreaming of a white Christmas.

According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, 2014 was the hottest year on record across the globe in 120 years. Though different climate institutions use different data sets and have varying results, it is increasingly impossible to ignore the trend.

We’ve witnessed flooding in the Maritimes, tropical weather in the west and flip-flopping temperatures elsewhere across Canada. If you still think climate change is a myth, it’s time to wake up and smell the (impending) catastrophe.

Concordia already has – in December it became the first Canadian university to board the divestment train. Though it still has $95-million invested in oil and gas companies, the $5-million divestment from fossil fuels was right on track.

Dalhousie University should be looking to purchase its divestment ticket, too. Why not take some of the $20.3 million now invested in the oil industry – out of of a total endowment of $486 million – and put it into tidal, solar or wind energy?

Last November, when Dalhousie’s board of governor’s voted 15 – 2 against divestment (with two absent voters), president Richard Florizone supported the decision, saying, “I agree with the end, but not the means. The harm to our mission outweighs the benefit.”

Not to be apocalyptic or anything, but the real harm is yet to come.
With steady pressure, Dalhousie could join the global movement: last year, over 800 organizations with more than $50 billion in assests have committed to divestment.

More and more it is clear that scrapping fossil-fuel investments isn’t just an ethical decision – it’s a logical one.

With some reports saying crude oil has plummeted to a nearly six-year low, and others saying global CO2 emissions have soared to an all-time high, it is a crucial time to heed our planet’s warnings and back renewable and sustainable energy.