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Beyond divestment!

The Fossil Free Divestment movement at Stanford has gained traction in national media this week. Student protesters pledge to occupy the main administration building until Stanford divests not only from coal, but also all fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas as well. However, the real power of divestment lies not in its ability to curb emissions, but rather in encouraging broad engagement to create a more inclusive climate change dialogue.

Why Stanford should divest from fossil fuels

As the weeks bore on, the messages accumulated. Some solicited sign-ups, others informed me of mandatory meetings, and the latest one instructed me to pick a time slot to get legal training so that I may be ready to become one with the civilly disobedient. Yet as each one arrived, I kept putting off action. The pledge sat in the back of my mind, flaring up and dying off again like an incessant ocean swell. Would divestment even have any impact on the climate change conundrum?