Climate change is a shared crisis

The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming; climate change is real and accelerating every second. In the last year alone, we have experienced record-breaking heat and droughts that have impacted millions of people and have cost billions.

Who is responsible for climate change? We are set up to believe that we are the culprits and we made climate change happen. However, fossil fuel companies have created this mentality.

Despite the availability of renewable energy, the oil industry has constructed this system where we believe that they are the only answer to meet the energy demand in order to lead the market. Exxon Mobil has been aware of their contribution to climate change since 1981, yet they did not freeze their destructive actions in order to maintain profits. In order to stop climate change and preserve this planet, fossil fuel companies must end the burning of fossil fuels. Our planet can only sustain an additional 565 gigatons of carbon emission without dangerously warming the planet; however, fossil fuel companies currently have five times that amount in their reserves, ready to burn. They will continue to destroy our environment unless we take action.

So how do we take action?

We as students must stop our contribution to the fossil fuel industry. You may be asking yourself, “How am I contributing to the fossil fuel industry? I don’t even have a car!”

Well, SF State’s Foundation Board is currently using its endowments to invest in the fossil fuel industry. According to SF State’s Foundation’s Investment Policy H., Social Responsibility and Prohibited Investments, “The Foundation Board continues to monitor and take into account a wide variety of information to help it in determining what it considers to be socially responsible investments.”

It is in our institution’s policy to make socially responsible investments. However, the Foundation Board is clearly breaking this policy by investing in the fossil fuel industry. Therefore, SF State must divest (take money out) from the fossil fuel industry in order to prohibit the destruction of this planet.

Knowing the severity of climate change and investment policy violation, Fossil Free at SFSU has approached the president of our University’s Foundation Board, Robert Nava, and demanded to take money out of fossil fuels. However, Nava avoided making a commitment to divest and follow the Foundation investment policy.

Therefore, it is time to build student power and take action on this issue. Fossil Free at SFSU, partnered with ASI Sustainable Initiatives, is holding a rally and march in Malcolm X Plaza on Thursday, April 21st at 11am to demand climate justice and the end of policy violation. Idle time is over. Please take a stand and advocate justice. The rally and march is open to the SF State community.

This is not just my issue. This not only your issue. Climate change is our shared crisis.