To: Board of Trustees

Kenyon College: 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 Kenyon College to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within three 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 in the Midwest which have had a direct effect on the local community, and hurricanes, which impacted hundreds of thousands of people (many of our student body included) 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 Kenyon College to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and to divest within three years from direct ownership and from any commingled funds that include fossil-fuel public equities and corporate bonds. We believe such action on behalf of Kenyon College will not only be a sound decision for our institution’s financial portfolio, but also for the wellbeing of its current and future graduating classes, who deserve the opportunity to graduate with a future not defined by climate chaos.

President Obama himself said in his second inauguration speech, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations." Similarly, the failure to divest from fossi fuel companies is a betrayal to future generations of Kenyon students and alumni. As James Lawrence Powell, Former Acting President of Oberlin College, Reed College, and Franklin and Marshall College argues in a recent piece: "The overriding obligation of those responsible for a college endowment is to ensure that future student generations benefit to the same relative extent as the current generation." The Board of Trustees cannot continue to validate this hypocrisy.

Kenyon College

Reasons for signing

  • The generations following ours deserve the best stewardship of the Earth's resources and habitability we might offer them. Moving away from a carbon fuel-based global economy is not only ethical stewardship, it has become a matter of practical necessity.
  • Because this is THE ISSUE of our lifetime.

Updates

2015-11-04 15:56:34 -0500

10 signatures reached