How to fight the divestment campaign in less than 10 minutes
The divestment campaign is an attempt to generate support for radical, unpopular bans on fossil fuel use by calling on universities to officially condemn the fossil fuel industry. (Look to see if there is an active divestment campaign listed for your school on http://gofossilfree.com.)
If you’ve read our “Don’t Divest, Educate” open letter and you agree with the dozens of leading scholars who have signed on, calling for universities to reject divestment, then you can help us fight this campaign: get your university’s administration to sign the letter. It’s easy and only takes a few minutes.
Just send the following email to the President and top administrators in the Office of Finance and Administration (you can their email addresses on your school’s website):
I am troubled by the fact that our university is being asked to divest from fossil fuels without a real discussion of both their hazards and their incredible benefits. I’m even more troubled by the fact that my fellow students and I are being pressured to take a position on one of the most important questions of our time—the value of fossil fuel energy—without a real understanding of the relevant issues. Instead of being educated about energy, we are being told to demand divestment on the basis of empty slogans such as “coal is dirty.”
I’m attaching a statement, “Don’t Divest, Educate–An Open Letter to American Universities,” in which dozens of academics, scientists, energy experts, and economists call on universities like ours to reject divestment as “an attempt to silence legitimate debate about our energy and environmental future” and instead insist that “you are an institution of education—not indoctrination.” I encourage you to sign the letter at http://industrialprogress.com/signtheopenletter.
You can increase your impact by sending the same email to other members of the administration as well as professors and asking them to sign the “Don’t Divest, Educate” open letter. Here are some possible candidates.
For contact information, consult your student handbook or online college directory.
Want to do more? Start An Anti-Divestment Movement On Your Campus
The divestment movement is a threat to the future of energy, but it is also an opportunity for anyone who values fossil fuels and the technological civilization they make possible.
Whether the divestment campaign is just getting started at your school or whether it has already convinced your administration or student government to take a position, it inevitably counts on silencing debate. By becoming a voice for open debate, you can immediately seize the high ground. You will find that even many of the people who disagree with your conclusions will come to your defense: they may be skeptical of fossil fuels, but they also believe it is wrong to silence dissenting views.
What this means is that you can quickly gain a hearing. And, with the resources we provide, you will have the tools to make that hearing count. Through our tested approach to defending fossil fuels, we believe you will be able to achieve real success turning fossil fuel skeptics into fossil fuel supporters.
15 Ways To Make Your Campus Fossil Fuel Friendly
From Julian Hassan, student leader at Vassar College:
When I first read Alex Epstein’s book Fossil Fuels Improve the Planet, I came across a chapter on the ‘I Love Fossil Fuels’ Campaign. I was looking for a quick way to create a positive campaign to oppose divestment, so I decided to use the Center for Industrial Progress’ social media strategy with a twist. During the countdown towards Epstein’s talk at Vassar, I promoted the Vassar Loves Fossil Fuels Campaign and it went viral on campus almost overnight.
Before the talk, my campaign crowded the opinion editorial pages of my school newspaper. After the talk, it monopolized it. For the next month, I watched as the Vassar Loves Fossil Fuels Campaign kept the high ground with just one event, ultimately leading to the resignation of the divestment leaders who had tried to stop it. However, it was the outpouring of student support that convinced me, and other students, of the power of passionately declaring that my college and I love fossil fuels.