Video: UMW Student Presents Powerful Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment; Rector Condescends

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    Superb job by DivestUMW Representative Zakaria Kronemer. Here’s some background on what you see in the videos (part 1 here, part 2 on the “flip”).

    University of Mary Washington Board of Visitors Rejects Student, Faculty, and Administration Voice

    March 18th, 2015 – The University of Mary Washington’s Board of Visitors, a governor appointed university advisory board, has rejected the student’s, faculty’s, and the administration’s concerns over the university’s investments in the fossil fuel industry. The Board of Visitors has refused, without deliberation, to form a subcommittee in order to explore divestment options. DivestUMW, the central organization campaigning on the issue responded within 15 minutes to confront the Board of Visitors with a rally of over 30 students.

    Zakaria Kronemer, a member of DivestUMW stated to Holly Cuellar, Rector of the Board of Visitors, “we were asking for information, we were asking you to take our voices seriously, and you flat out rejected it, and we will hold you accountable for that.”

    DivestUMW has been campaigning for 2 years at the University of Mary Washington to demand a divestment from the fossil fuel industry.

    Also see Part 2 of the video, on the “flip,” in which UMW Rector Holly T. Cuellar replies in an utterly inadequate, condescending, even insulting fashion to Zakaria Kronemer of DivestUMW. Kronemer’s response is right on point: “You didn’t respond to us then and you’re not responding to us now.” I’d just a link to The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming, which explains why investing in fossil fuels is so risky (e.g., Paul Fisher of the Bank of England warns, “As the world increasingly limits carbon emissions, and moves to alternative energy sources, investments in fossil fuels – a growing financial market in recent decades – may take a huge hit”), and why divesting from fossil fuels isn’t just a moral and environmental imperative, it’s also the financially imperative thing for investors (including university endowments) to do – ASAP.

    P.S. By the way, I sure hope that the great work we’re seeing at UMW is going on at every other Virginia college and university. If not, why not?!?