Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices: IU, please divest from fossil fuels

<p>Demonstrators on Feb. 8, 2022, march down Tenth Street. Sunrise Bloomington called on the IU Foundation to fully disclose their investments, divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in green energy.</p>

Demonstrators on Feb. 8, 2022, march down Tenth Street. Sunrise Bloomington called on the IU Foundation to fully disclose their investments, divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in green energy.

Sunrise Bloomington led a rally Tuesday at Harlos House on campus to protest against the use of fossil fuels. The organization is urging IU to discontinue its investments in fossil fuels, divest from them and then reinvest in more sustainable and green energy.

Sunrise Bloomington is a group dedicated to bringing about positive changes towards the climate justice initiative. Regardless of anyone’s political beliefs and personal ideologies, everyone should get involved in some way with protecting the planet as this issue affects each and every one of us. 

IU senior Sara Bredemeyer said climate change leaves the future unknown, but we can take steps now to fix these issues. 

“Everyone our age questions what our future will look like and we know climate change is going to continue affecting our lives,” Bredemeyer said. “Working on a campaign for divestment is a way we can band together and produce some kind of hope for the future instead of fearing uncertainty.”

According to the Sunrise Bloomington website, IU’s monetary investment in fossil fuels is about $50 million.

While the IU Board of Trustees lists a resolution on fossil fuel divestment in 2014, not much has been changed, congressional candidate Isak Nti Asare said. The resolution explains how student leaders urged the university to divest from fuels by 2020. 

It has been eight years since the resolution was created and acknowledged by the Board of Trustees, so there should be no reason why IU has not acted against the use of fossil fuels. Some of the most drastic effects of climate change tend to take place in areas inhabited by minority populations and in underdeveloped countries. 

According to the Sunrise Bloomington website, between 150,000 to 400,000 people are dying every year as a result of climate change. 

IU master’s student Alyson Alde has been involved with Sunrise since August 2021 and said this divestment effort is collective as opposed to individual. 

“Divestment means an educational institution meant to promote a promising future for the people who attend and the community around them, should put their money where their mouth is and take their money out of industries killing our planet and the idea of having a promising future,” Alde said. 

Alde said institutions should put their money into industries promoting a better future for the environment and creating jobs. 

Capitalism is at the top of the priority list for the country, but it continues to play a negative role in the sustainment of climate issues. Money should be secondary when the well-being of the entire world is at stake. 

Members of previous generations need to realize they have left the future generations in a dangerous position as the conditions of the world are continuing to decline. 

Everyone, no matter the generation, has the ability to advocate for a better future regardless of if they will physically be a part of it or not. 

IU sophomore Joleena Mundy said the IU Foundation needs to take action against investing in fossil fuels. 

“IU Foundation can no longer avoid the crucial conversation of climate change that affects our present and challenges our future,” Mundy said. “We must hold IU accountable to do right by its students and stand on the right side of history.”

Mundy said investing in fossil fuels is unethical and environmentally disastrous.

For the community, there are ways to get involved which can be found on the Sunrise Bloomington website and social media platforms.

Overall, the use of fossil fuels is damaging to the entire ecosystem and can be even more disastrous if more people do not begin to realize the issue. 

This earth is our home and we all should work together to protect it.

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