Carleton and Climate Crisis

An Open Letter to the Carletonian, September 29, 2019

Earth is in the midst of a climate crisis. In July of this year, several higher education networks concerned with sustainability recognized this crisis by declaring a climate emergency. Carleton indirectly supported this emergency declaration as a member of Second Nature, a network of about 600 colleges and universities.

The organizations declaring a climate emergency simultaneously published a Climate Emergency Letter that they planned to give to government officials and the media before the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September. The organizations called on other networks and educational institutions around the world to join with them in signing the letter.

So far, despite appeals from dozens of alumni, President Poskanzer has refused to sign Carleton onto the emergency letter individually. We believe that signing the letter directly is important to reaffirm Carleton’s commitment to taking emergency action and to emphasize its awareness that climate change poses a threat to Carleton students. See the email to President Poskanzer and his response here.

But signing the letter is just the first step. We face a climate emergency, and Carleton’s response to date does not reflect that reality. Significant new action is required.

Continue reading

Carls Join Climate Strike

Carleton students and alumni from Northfield and beyond were active in the September 20th Global Climate Strikes.

Alumni Eleanor Haase, ’79, rallied at Northfield’s event which was encapsulated by this KYMN radio story. The collage of photos below are also from the story.

Images from KYMN Story, Climate Strike in Northfield, Minnesota

Alumni Jorde Ranum, ’15, marched in the Denver, Colorado Climate Strike!

Jorde Ranum, 2015, marching in the Denver, Colorado Climate Strike

Maddie Halloran, ’14, did her part in the Arcata, California Climate Strike!

Images by Maddie Halloran, 2014, from the Arcata, California Climate Strike

Alumni Dwight Wagenius, ’64, checked in from the St. Paul, Minnesota strike with other members of the Mayflower UCC!

Mike Mullen at the St. Paul march with other members of his congregation from Mayflower UCC

Alumni Mike Mullen, ’90, sent a photo of him marching with his sign at the Boston Event at City Hall Plaza. He reports: “With all the colleges and universities in the area, there was a good amount of focus on divestiture.” Thank you for that hopeful comment!

Mike Mullen in Boston, Massachusetts speaking for the trees with The Lorax

Alumni Mindy Bell, ’80, was one of the thousand plus participants in the Flagstaff Climate Strike. The energy was phenomenal and you can read the KNAU article and see some of the images from Ryan Heinsius below.

Images by Ryan Heinsius, Climate Strike in Flagstaff, Arizona

If you attended a strike please share your story and images to add to this blog! Send them to divestcarleton@gmail.com. And if you want to experience more global hope, relish the amazing photos from worldwide marches in this CNN article.

President Poskanzer refuses alumni request to add Carleton’s name to Climate Emergency Letter

On July 18, 2019, forty-seven Carleton alumni emailed a simple request to President Poskanzer.

Dear President Poskanzer,

We write to urge you to add Carleton’s name to a Climate Emergency Letter to be shared with key government officials and the media prior to this September’s UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit. This letter has been organized by the EAUC (the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education), the UN Environment’s Youth and Education Alliance, and Second Nature. Carleton is a member of Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Network. Continue reading

The Doom Of Fossil Fuel Investments

by Nathanael Nerode, Carleton Class of 1998 – Originally published in Clean Technica, November 18, 2018

Summary

  • There is a very short window of time to get out of pure-play oil & gas company investments without substantial losses. It is imperative to sell them now.
  • It is already too late to get out of pure-play coal company investments without substantial losses. But they will lose even more money going forward.
  • Utility companies which have a heavy reliance on fossil fuels are also in trouble.
  • Diversified companies will lose money on their coal, oil, and gas portfolios, although this may not be significant enough to warrant getting out of a diversified company.
  • It will remain possible to do short-term swing trading in coal, oil, and gas companies with no future, but this is inappropriately risky behavior for a conservative investor.

Continue reading

Divest Carleton Panel at Reunion 2019

Divest Carleton hosted a panel discussion in the Goodhue Superlounge that attracted 88 participants and generated great discussions.

Panel discussion in the Goodhue Superlounge during Reunion 2019

The panel was moderated by Joel Weisberg, professor of physics and astronomy. Panelists included Daniel Groll, professor of philosophy and the faculty co-chair of the Carleton Responsible Investment Committee (CRIC); Aaron Swoboda, ’01, professor of environmental studies and economics; David Loy, ’69, author of Echodharma: Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis; Maddie Halloran, ’14, natural resources graduate student; and David Roizin, ’20, Divest Carleton student leader and economics major.

Divest Carleton is working to host another panel at the Reunion in June 2020. Contact Divest Carleton at divestcarleton@gmail.com if you would like to assist in our efforts!

Why Seven Liberal Arts Colleges Divested from Fossil Fuels

The worldwide movement to divest from fossil fuel companies is rapidly escalating. According to the Fossil Free campaign, 1055 institutions have committed to divesting $8.73 trillion, including seven U.S. News-ranked liberal arts colleges: College of the Atlantic, Warren Wilson, Northland, Pitzer, Lewis and Clark, Whitman, and most recently Middlebury, which shares Carleton’s ranking.

Considering this momentum, we compare the Carleton Board of Trustees’s stated reasons for refusing divestment with the reasoning of the seven liberal arts colleges.

Continue reading

Every Carl for Divestment Campaign

In reply to the recent “Every Carl for Carleton” campaign, set to raise the college’s endowment to over $1 billion, alumni are enhancing pressure for the administration and board of trustees to divest from fossil fuels. The response campaign, “Every Carl for Divest,” intends to highlight Carleton’s moral ideals that the capital campaign advertises, the greater financial possibility of divestment with a larger endowment, and alumni involvement within the divest movement.

 

Continue reading

Carleton Must Divest from Fossil Fuels

by Rebecca Hahn and Brett Smith

The support for Carleton to divest from fossil fuels has been high for years, and is only continuing to grow. This past reunion, the alumni Divest Carleton group collected over 300 additional signatures on its petition, for a total of over 1300. The student petition, as of 2017, listed over 1000 signatures. The recently formed Carls Talk Back movement also included divestment from fossil fuels in its list of demands.

Divest Carleton’s request is for the College to divest from all its fossil fuel holdings, including those commingled in the endowment. But the Board of Trustees hasn’t even taken the easy step of dropping its fossil fuel direct holdings. This is despite the near-unanimous recommendation by the Carleton Responsible Investment Committee in 2015 that it do so (a recommendation that the Board itself requested).

Continue reading