In one of the clearest signs yet that the college fossil fuel divestment movement is being taken seriously on the national stage, The New York Times ran a series of opinion articles online yesterday discussing the effectiveness of the divestment movement. One of those articles was written by Swarthmore Mountain Justice’s very own Kate Aronoff ’14.
The articles, which ran under the headline “Is Divestment an Effective Means of Protest?” is part of The New York Times’s ”Room for Debate” series. The respondents were asked to answer the question: “Calling on companies to cut their ties with certain companies may be a worthy goal, but does it bring about change?”
Three of the five responses said, essentially, “yes,” including–of course–Kate’s. Another of these three was written by Bill McKibben, the prominent environmentalist who has interacted closely with MJ in the past. McKibben visited Swarthmore last spring.
The remaining two, one written by an anti-Apartheid activist and the other by a sustainability professor at the School for International Training, were more measured. While these two did not condemn divestment, they claimed that the political ends of divestment campaigns can only be achieved within broader contexts of activism.
Kate’s article makes reference to the upcoming “convergence” at Swarthmore. MJ has invited over a hundred student activists to Swarthmore’s campus to push for divestment during the weekend of February 23.