Divestment’s Inconvenient Truth

There’s a fundamental flaw in fossil fuel divestment efforts: they pretend that their divestment campaign will force oil companies to keep oil and natural gas in the ground.

The reality is that oil and natural gas—both as fuels and as the petrochemicals derived from them—are inextricably intertwined with every aspect of our economy and personal lives. It is literally impossible to find a single company that exists without using them or a person whose life has not been made better by them.

Divestment efforts are not only inherently ineffective (after all, there are always other investors more than willing to buy up the divested stocks), but also hurt the pensioners and students who are directly affected by the diminished value of their pension funds or university endowment.

That’s a high price for students, pensioners, and investors to pay for what is nothing more than a PR campaign.