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Al Gore Endorses Fossil Fuel Divestment at Harvard

Here’s an exciting update from Hannah Borowsky on some amazing news from Harvard: 

Last night, as I searched my desk for an envelope that wasn’t crinkly, I couldn’t have possibly imagined how exciting today would be for me, Divest Harvard, and our entire movement. I needed a not-so-crinkly envelope because I had a very important letter to deliver – a letter to Mr. Al Gore.

This evening, the former vice president came to Harvard to deliver the inaugural Paul R. Epstein Memorial Lecture at Memorial Church. I was lucky enough to get a gig working the coat check at the reception that Mr. Gore attended before the address. I hung guests’ coats, fingers crossed that I might get a chance to deliver our letter. Suddenly, I found myself beside a coat rack, face to face with one of the greatest intellectuals of our time and the most influential environmental leader in American politics. Starstruck, I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my formerly un-crinkly letter to pass on to Mr. Gore. He thanked me profusely, insisting that he would read it, and moved along.

At the same time just outside, fellow members of Divest Harvard were hard at work, making sure that everyone who waited for the doors to open saw our banner, signed our petition, and had divestment at the tip of their tongues. Indeed, as the lecture began and the tweets started rolling, our ears were peeled for mention of divestment.

Then, to an audience of nearly one thousand people with hundreds more watching the livestream nearby, the former vice president publicly endorsed the fossil fuel divestment movement.

Our movement, spreading like wildfire across the country, has made it impossible for leaders to ignore.  “Students here at Harvard have raised the question of divestment  I cannot fail to address the issue, even at the risk of sounding impolite and undiplomatic,” Mr. Gore remarked. He went on to describe his support for Harvard’s divestment from apartheid when he served on Harvard’s Board of Overseers. “First of all, if I were a student I would support what you’re doing.  But if I were a board member I would do what I did when we took up the apartheid issue.  This is an opportunity for learning and the raising of awareness, for the discussion of sustainable capitalism.”

Moreover, the former vice president sincerely applauded our efforts.”The students here at Harvard who are seized by the moral imperative to grab hold of this climate crisis and find ways to raise awareness inspire me” It is the “passionate advocacy” of young people, he said, that “is what’s going to save our future.”

And it’s not just us here at Harvard. Thousands of students on over 230 campuses across the country are making this happen. You all inspire me. Together we are changing the world.