Environmentalists Use Millennials to Further Divestment Agenda

By JD King Published on March 17, 2015

Environmental activists are at it again — using well-meaning college students to further their political agenda.

There was an effort last month led by the organization Fossil Free to turn February 13th and 14th into “Global Divestment Day.” Since then, several colleges and universities have made the pledge, including Lesley College, which just recently divested $7 million (35%) of its holdings in “dirty energy.”

A student at Barnard College summed up the reason she’s chosen to be part of the movement: “I can’t sit by an institution that claims to be investing in my future when they are also investing in the destruction of our planet.”

But the divestment movement, which began a few years ago, is not what it is made out to be. If achieved, its goals would worsen the environment, make life more difficult for most of humanity and restrict freedom in the name of one of the apocalyptic conjecture that grows less in touch with the evidence with every passing year.

The organizers claim fossil fuels are “wrecking the planet” and that’s “wrong.” Therefore, they say, fossil fuels should be phased out of existence. Companies involved in extracting energy resources are described as “rogue entities seeking profits at the expense of people and planet.”

Fact Free

Unsurprisingly, Fossil Free presents zero facts to back up its claims.

None! Zilch! Zappo!

They just make claims and call for action. “The sky is falling so show up and protest!” scream the pages of their site. But if you don’t bite this hook, line, and sinker, they don’t even try to bait you in.

The justification of the divestment movement relies entirely on the assumption that greenhouse gas (namely carbon dioxide) emissions will radically disrupt the Earth’s climate system and cause cataclysmic weather events. But again, where’s their evidence?

Thankfully, the evidence continues to pile up against them.

Even though the President has constantly touted climate change as the greatest threat the world has ever seen, global warming is consistently ranked last on issues Americans are most concerned about.

But it’s not just Americans who aren’t buying into the scare.

The Pope and the UN aren’t having any success selling it as a top priority to the rest of the world either.

And for good reason!

Despite increases in carbon dioxide there has been no discernable global warming for at least the past 18 years.

If burning fossil fuels causes runaway global warming, like the climate models and IPCC have said it does, where is it?

Earth’s temperature has always fluctuated — before and after fossil fuels came into existence, and it always will. The Medieval Warm Period is a prime example. The comparison of historic CO2 levels with temperatures in Earth’s past strongly suggest that carbon dioxide is not the big driver of climate change.

In fact, so far, the CO2 we’ve added to the atmosphere has made us better off.  As we all learned in 3rd grade, plants eat carbon dioxide. The more of it is in the air, the faster the vegetation grows. Carbon dioxide is an essential limiting ingredient for plant growth. Wild plants are growing faster because we have burned fossil fuels and thus increased atmospheric CO2 levels. In other words, we’re making the world more fertile and luscious.

For some reason, environmental activists consistently ignore these facts.

The Blessings of Fossil Fuels

There is no mention anywhere on the Fossil Free site about other major benefits of fossil fuel use.

What benefits?

How about running water, electricity, plumbing, refrigeration, hospitals, weather-resistant housing, cell phones, cars, trains, planes, computers, internet, abundant food and medicine?

But that’s not all!

From most uses, fossil fuels are the only currently-known source of abundant, affordable energy. With this type of fuel, Western countries threw off the yoke of extreme poverty, and created a society of health, wealth and comfort. And it is only through fossil fuels that developing nations can rise out of poverty.

This Astroturf Isn’t Green

By the way, Divestment Day is an entirely astroturf (fake grassroots) movement. It is the farthest thing from an organic uprising. Fossil Free and its parent organization, the environmentalist radical Bill McKibben’s 350.org are artificial movements kicked off and backed by some of the world’s wealthiest elites.

As a millennial, I can relate to the urge to be part of something important. We want vision, need purpose, and love movements greater than ourselves. There’s a vacuum inside us for camaraderie and belonging, and we experience these feelings when we’re united for a cause.

But the causes we often sell our souls to don’t always keep their promises. Social movements always hold forth hope for a brighter future but sometimes they actually wind up making the world worse. That’s exactly the case with “Global Divestment Day.”

Instead of supporting Global Divestment Day, let’s support a Global Fossil Fuel End Poverty Day, and we’ll have a profoundly positive impact on the well-being of humanity. Flora will flourish, with the animals and ecosystems that rely on them. I’d say that’s a win-win!


JD King is a contributing writer for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He is also a filmmaker and has two documentaries on environmental subjects, Crying Wolf, and BLUE.

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