A grass-roots movement that once relied only on small petitions and local meetings now has the support of the White House. In a June speech at Georgetown University outlining his environmental goals, President Obama urged college students to stand up and make their voices heard. “I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the United States of America a global leader in the fight against climate change,” he told students. “Invest. Divest. Remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.”
The Fossil Free movement, happening on more than 300 college campuses — including MIT, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and my alma mater, Boston College — is already taking the lead. Student-run chapters around the country are devoted to getting their school’s endowment funds to immediately freeze new investment in fossil-fuel companies, and divest of existing holdings in any such businesses over the next five years.