I am disappointed but not terribly surprised by the trustees’ decision to divest the endowment from the fossil-fuel industry as well as by the campus movement to withdraw related research funding. It is a fundamental truth that the United States and the rest of the world have for many decades relied on fossil fuels to foster economic growth and to provide the basic comforts we all take for granted. As we transition to more electrically powered vehicles and appliances, the demand for electricity will expand exponentially. It defies logic that wind, solar, hydraulic, geothermal et al. can satisfy this demand any time in the near future, or that the industry will be able to provide the means for transmitting this power from where it is generated to where it is consumed. In the meantime, some fossil-fuel companies are investing significant funds in the development of renewable resources, recognizing that such expenditures are in their own as well as society’s best long-term interest. In today’s politically correct environment, I realize that it is challenging to resist well-meaning but often irrational pressures from faculty, students, and some alumni, but one can only hope.
In Response to: Student Activists Cover Blair Arch with Climate Message