Finance for the Planet

Bill McKibben, real-life Captain Planet, is midway through his lecture tour in his Do the Math campaign. The aim is to get schools, churches, and government pension funds to divest from big oil and move their endowments and investments to more responsible funds and companies. Two schools’ trustees have already voted to divest, and student organizations from several others—including Harvard—have called upon their leaders to divest endowments.

Vermont’s Seven Days spoke with McKibben:

On divestment: “It’s an inherently moral call, saying if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.”

On the oil companies: “I don’t think financially we can cripple them. They’re so big and so rich … I do think we can have a very powerful effect on changing their status, on removing their veneer of respectability… It’s an industry so blinded by the size of its profits, the size of its greed, that it’s literally willing to take down the planet.”

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