The University of Denver has joined the ranks of universities from all over the country in rejecting fossil fuel divestment, but not before putting on a months long dog and pony show that wasted a lot of people’s time and energy.
In an email to students and faculty, DU’s Board of Trustees announced that while divestment wouldn’t be good for the school’s endowment (wasn’t that obvious from the beginning?), they were going to double up efforts to fight climate change in other ways (read: throw a bone to crazy enviros):
Regarding divestment, the Board adopted the task force recommendation that divestment in fossil fuel companies, or any other industry, would not be an effective means of mitigating global warming nor would it be consistent with the endowment’s long-term purpose to provide enduring benefit to present and future students, faculty, staff and other stakeholders. Rather, the University of Denver’s greatest ability to mitigate climate change and foster a sustainable future lies in deploying its core competencies: education, research and the ability to foster informed community discourse and in accelerating its sustainability in its operations.
While we’re glad that DU made the right decision, it took seven public hearings and 16 presentations from 23 different speakers for them to reach a very obvious conclusion. And it was all so the board could CYA from criticism of a very small, albeit vocal, minority of divestment advocates. Not exactly what we’d consider a profile in courage, but it’s about the most you can expect from college leadership these days.