Bill McKibben Speaks at Amherst
One of the world’s leading environmentalists and Middlebury’s Schumman Distinguished Scholar made the trip to the Pioneer Valley this past Friday, drawing an amazingly large crowd containing students from Smith, UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, Harvard and Brandeis as well as many people from local towns. Bill McKibben‘s speech had all the good stuff, like statistics, anecdotes, jokes, slandering Mitt, etc., and it also brought to the forefront what may be the next step in slowing down climate change: divestment (which you may recognize for its role in ending apartheid in South Africa). Divestment, or having businesses and institutions (like all our schools in the ‘Cac) stop investing in fossil fuel companies, is a key component to taking away the financial stability of fossil fuel industries, and in combination with revenue-neutral carbon taxes, this sort of action could lead to a major decrease in carbon emissions. McKibben is on the road until December working to get this message across, and he was certainly successful last night, rousing the crowd into a “green action” frenzy and joining more than 100 people at a post-speech rally held by the Green Amherst Project. This event was part of the GAP’s campaign to get Amherst College to divest – perhaps this will become another ‘Cac trend, a goodly and environmental one at that.
(Photos by Elodie Reed).