Fossil Free Stanford (FFS) sit in participants responded Wednesday night to the University’s warning letter to protesters by affirming their resolve to remain outside President Hennessy’s office. Throughout the day, many faculty supported the sit-in participants by holding “teach-ins” and relocating regular classes to the area outside Building 10, where protesters are camped out.
Six faculty members released a letter on Wednesday urging more immediate and comprehensive divestment from fossil fuels by the University, citing the petition signed by 376 faculty members last March. This most recent letter was written in response to an earlier letter written by the Board of Trustees and President John Hennessy in anticipation of the Paris climate negotiations to take place in December.
Biofuels are a step towards greener energy but they aren’t perfect. It is important that the current method of biofuel production does not prevent other more environmentally aware methods from being developed.
Now, we have a unique opportunity as human beings: we can interpret these warning signs and make long-term plans for the future. We can begin today to prepare a gift for our own future, and for the future of our descendants. At the very least, we can leave the promise of hope and the courage to try.
When something of this nature comes up, something that poses to wreak havoc on the environment and compound the disadvantages of countries that are already economically marginalized, we have a responsibility to anticipate and prevent the damage.
Divestment from coal was a great step in the right direction, but it remains to be seen if that was a real commitment to future generations. Divestment from coal is arguably just a sound financial move and may have just been cover for a larger commitment to the new face of fossil fuels. Instead, we should apply the same effort to build our carbon-free future.
Dialogue already exists on this campus. Resources are already available for those who want to learn. What this campus needs more of is not dialogue, but action. Not silence, but justice.
The scale and severity of the climate crisis demands that production of all fossil fuels be curtailed. Therefore, Fossil Free Stanford has called for full divestment from oil and gas companies as well. Our work with the administration has thus far been productive, but we are rapidly running out of time in the inexorable march towards irreversible climate change and falling behind in the courageous opposition movement which Stanford helped to catalyze.