In a newly released statement, “Don’t Divest, Educate--An Open Letter to American Universities,” dozens of academics, scientists, energy experts, and economists have condemned the fossil fuel divestment campaign as “an attempt to silence legitimate debate about our energy and environmental future.”
Last year, students at Harvard University, in a resolution inspired by the anti-fossil-fuel activist group 350.org, voted 72% for the university to publicly condemn and divest from the fossil fuel industry. Two hundred other universities are considering similar resolutions to, in the words of movement leader, journalist-activist Bill McKibben, make the fossil fuel industry “Public Enemy Number One.”
McKibben and other professional activists have told students that there is no legitimate debate about the evil of fossil fuels. But a new challenge to the divestment movement by scholars from Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and other elite institutions (including a Nobel Prize-winning physicists) exposes this as a lie.
The scholars condemned the divestment campaign for attempting to indoctrinate students, and called for “a more rigorous education on energy and environmental issues.”
Today’s students do not learn even basic facts about the energy sources that make our civilization possible. But they are encouraged to take strong policy positions on the basis of extremely speculative predictions by individuals and institutions who falsely claim to represent the conclusions of all informed scientists.
The scholars defended fossil fuels, and challenged their opponents to an open debate.
We the undersigned are proud to stand in favor of fossil fuels. Based on our honest attempt to reach a balanced, to reach a balanced, big-picture perspective on coal, oil, and gas, we passionately believe that the economic and environmental benefits of fossil fuels far outweigh the hazards, and that it is not a “necessary evil” but a moral imperative to make use of the most productive, life-giving energy sourcesavailable to us at any point in time...The undersigned scientists, philosophers, energy experts, and economists are willing to debate anytime, anywhere to defend what we believe is right.
Will supporters of divestment accept the challenge and bring a real debate to campus—or continue their campaign of indoctrination?
The letter, which can be read in full here, was organized by the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), which is coordinating fossil fuel debates around the country. CIP president Alex Epstein is available for interviews. To interview Mr. Epstein or book him for your show, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-478-3670.
For more information, visit fossilfueldebate.com