To: Caltech Board of Trustees

California Institute of Technology: Go Fossil Free!

California Institute of Technology: Go Fossil Free!

Because it is unconscionable to pay for our education with investments that will condemn the planet to climate disaster, we call on California Institute of Technology to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds.

Why is this important?

Climate change is accelerating.

We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently; in this last year alone our country experienced record-breaking heat, droughts, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people and cost our country hundreds of billions of dollars. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50bn in damages.

Experts agree that global warming caused by humans burning fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.

As public pressure to confront climate change builds, we call on Caltech to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within five years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. This action will bring Caltech's investments in line with its research goals in clean energy. We believe such action on behalf of Caltech will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the well-being of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.

California Institute of Technology

Reasons for signing

  • Tech Prof Bradford Cornell's arguments against divestment are based on politically biased assumptions. But even if he's right that divestment is costly, it is still the morally right choice. Caltech should be a leader in the divestment movement -- the "leave fossil fuels in the ground" movement. Thanks, students, for initiating this petition.
  • It makes financial sense to divest, and it's very odd that an organization committed to serving humanity and young people would seek to profit from the destruction of our biosphere!
  • The oil companies market cap assumes we will burn their proven reserves. Staying invested in oil companies gives us a vested interest in overheating the planet.

Updates

2013-07-20 19:11:23 -0400

100 signatures reached