Gore Backs Harvard Divestment Campaign

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In December, we reported on students on campuses across the country who have been working to get their universities to drop their investments in fossil fuels. Harvard’s divestment campaign got a big boost on Wednesday as Al Gore—the former vice-president, climate crusader, and Harvard alum—backed their efforts.

“Students here at Harvard have raised the question of divestment,” Gore said in a speech on campus. “I cannot fail to address the issue, even at the risk of sounding impolite and undiplomatic. First of all, if I were a student, I would support what you’re doing. But if I were a board member I would do what I did when we took up the apartheid issue. This is an opportunity for learning and the raising of awareness, for the discussion of sustainable capitalism.”

“The students here at Harvard who are seized by the moral imperative to grab hold of this climate crisis and find ways to raise awareness inspire me,” Gore said.

A Harvard spokesman previously told Mother Jones that the university “has a strong presumption against divestment” in fossil fuels. But Gore’s remarks offered 350.org and the students behind Divest Harvard some high-profile encouragement.

“It was incredible to hear someone like Gore applaud the work that young people like us across the country are doing to solve our generation’s most pressing problem,” said Hannah Borowsky, a member of Divest Harvard. “Five months ago, no one knew what divestment was. Now students are organizing for it on over 250 campuses, and we’ve gained the nation’s attention. It’s really starting to feel like this movement is going to change the world.”

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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