First African American Catholic Cardinal Supports the Fight Against Climate Change

First African American Catholic Cardinal Supports the Fight Against Climate Change

Wilton Gregory, appointed the first African American Catholic cardinal, is an ally in the fight against global warming. He not only believes in climate change, but he also has supported the Pope’s landmark environmental treatise— “Laudato Si:’ On Care for our Common Home” —when many archbishops in the United States did not, and put together a plan to address the Pope’s concerns about climate change that has been an inspiration for other faith leaders in Boston, Columbus, Minneapolis, San Diego, and other cities.

Why this Matters:  Spiritual leaders across faiths have been taking a stand against climate change. On November 16th, 47 faith institutions— 42 representing Catholics— announced their divestment from fossil fuels.

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DITCHED: Dark Money and Political Influence with Dr. Leah Stokes

DITCHED: Dark Money and Political Influence with Dr. Leah Stokes

In the United States, electric utilities are an outsized influence on our political process. Utilities can be a force for good but as UC Santa Barbara professor Leah Stokes explained to ODP this past spring, “There is an abundance of shadow, dark money, and nonprofits groups whose missions’ are to stifle clean energy progress and […]

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University Divestment Movement Grows – Cornell and UC System Are Latest Wins

University Divestment Movement Grows – Cornell and UC System Are Latest Wins

Cornell University’s Board of Trustees announced on Friday that the University will make no new investments in fossil fuels, and it is believed that they have been divesting of their previous investments for several years, though the details of their endowment are not public. 

Why This Matters:  The climate movement has been led by young people and one easy focus of their activism is the universities they attend.

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Large Institutions Continue to Get Pressure To Disclose and Divest

Large Institutions Continue to Get Pressure To Disclose and Divest

Senator Elizabeth Warren continues to push for greater transparency in corporate reporting documents so that shareholders and the public can get meaningful information about climate risks facing companies. Similarly, large institutions are also being pressured by shareholders and stakeholders to divest from fossil fuels in order to lower their climate risks.

Why This Matters:  The pressure is having an impact.  Harvard announced last week that its endowment would be “carbon neutral” by 2050 but does not go enough for climate-conscious students, faculty, and alums.

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Climate Protesters Disrupting South Bend and THE Game

Climate Protesters Disrupting South Bend and THE Game

Saying he was not doing enough to combat the climate crisis in his home town of South Bend, The Hill reports that the Sunrise Movement staged a sit-in at Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s office on Friday.  And then on Saturday, students at the annual Yale-Harvard football game brought it to a halt for nearly an hour when protesters from both universities (including some of the football players) took the field in protest.

Why This Matters:  The Sunrise Movement’s new pressure on Mayor Pete shows that his move up in the Democratic pack will bring with it some additional scrutiny and criticism because his climate positions are more moderate than some of the other leading candidates.

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New Group Seeks to Address Harvard University’s Failure to Act on the Climate Crisis

New Group Seeks to Address Harvard University’s Failure to Act on the Climate Crisis

In response to widespread frustration in the Harvard community about the University’s inaction to climate change, a  coalition of alumni, students and faculty have launched a campaign called Harvard Forward to elect five new members of the Board of Overseers with the goal of changing the University’s policies on divesting from fossil fuels and on committing more resources to climate initiatives.

Why This Matters:   What makes this campaign interesting and different from previous ones (like South African divestiture in the ’80s) is that rather than protest the decisions of university leaders, this campaign is seeking the power to make the decisions themselves.  The last time the university restructured its Board of Overseers was almost 150 years agoIt seems like its time to modernize it and addressing climate change is the perfect impetus.

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