Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor – Dec. 12, 2013
Fossil fuel divestment at CMC
This December, I will finish my graduate degree in sustainability studies from Colorado Mountain College. Students from the Steamboat Springs and Edwards campuses and I saw outspoken author and climate activist Bill McKibben speak. Bill McKibben and 350.org offer a solution to the overwhelming complexity of climate change – fossil fuel divestment.
What is fossil fuel divestment? Screening all related investments for the Top 200 carbon polluters over five years, as well as immediately rejecting all gifts from said companies. Divesting from the fossil fuel industry will not harm CMC’s finances. In fact, investors are recognizing that fossil fuel companies are inevitably becoming stranded assets, obsolete investments due to the escalating climate dangers of an unregulated carbon market.
A recent Oxford study shows that fossil fuel divestment is gaining momentum faster than any other divestment movement in history. Over 300 college campuses, major cities, retirement funds, religions and Europe have opened a dialogue about divesting from fossil fuels. Watching Colorado Mountain College’s sustainability program grow since day one is a point of pride for me. Sustainability, in a nutshell, is about protecting the planet’s life support systems. Five years from now, I want to see CMC continuing to lead the way in doing so.
Allocating federal mineral lease funds into a green revolving fund for business and sustainability students to pursue green energy opportunities on campus and in the community is a socially-conscious use of these funds. We are also looking into lobbying state legislators to get the State of Colorado to divest. We are excited to work with our president and foundation in exploring how they can divest the scholarship endowment from fossil fuels as well.
To win, we need solidarity from CMC stakeholders across all campuses to have an open discussion about fossil fuel divestment.
Frackin’ retail greed
In the latest opinion sections of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, I’ve been impressed with the commentaries by Jana Richman (not from here, but that’s OK, few are) and David Halford. Very good point regarding the ludicrous statements Rush Limbuagh is capable of and still remain a published columnist, and pointing out the greed from large retailers and attempts to camouflage their illegal profits with holiday specials.
Jana mostly picked on one perpetrator of apathy for the environment, but the same thing happened to my family’s farm. First, Walmart – after I warned them they couldn’t build in the flood plain my grandfather created to maintain proper water drainage – upon realizing I was right, attempted to recover their earnest money deposits from the surrounding property owners (unsuccessfully). So I left my guard post and a fracker came in and cut down over 150 pecan trees my great-grandfather planted 100 years ago and replaced them with natural gas storage tanks, only a mile from downtown Fort Worth, Texas.
So all you warriors against waste, greed, overindulgence and apathy to the environment, keep fighting. Don’t never give up! Happy holidays.
“Uncle Joe” Lewis
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