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A New Wave Of Campus Activism: Fossil Fuel Divestment

Members of Divest Harvard. From left to right: Oliver Kerr, Harold Eyster and Murtaza Nek. (Courtesy of Divest Harvard)

Members of Divest Harvard. From left to right: Oliver Kerr, Harold Eyster and Murtaza Nek. (Courtesy of Divest Harvard)

College campus activism came alive in the 1960s to oppose the Vietnam War. It happened again in the 1980s, with a divestment campaign aimed at ending apartheid in South Africa.

A new generation of college activists is mobilizing to stop climate change. Their tactic is to demand that university endowment funds shed their coal, oil and gas stocks.

Students at dozens of universities around the country, including Harvard, are making the demand: Divest from fossil fuel companies that they say are recklessly contributing to global warming. Two small schools — Unity College in Maine and Hampshire College in Massachusetts — have agreed to shed their fossil fuel stocks. But will the movement grow?

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