Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin can advance the cause of fossil fuel divestment by his proposal to divest from oil and Exxon. California’s pace setting divestment law which passed the Legislature this year, was restricted to ending California’s long dependency on coal. At the time of passage, advocates began to focus on other states and big cities where the divest/invest approach will have popular and electoral support. The hope is for a domino effect this year. Enviro groups based in networks and chapters have a real opportunity to move forward. The first step is to form a coalition based in the right areas, target a city, state, university or church, find an elected official to submit a draft to legislative counsels, and expect an argument which can be won with hard work.
I was involved in the fights to divest from South African apartheid and Big Tobacco decades ago. Goals which were considered “impossible” were achieved in those cases.
Are we reaching the tipping point? Who will be next to step up? New York? Massachusetts? Washington state? We now know the process is unfolding through our efforts. Next in sight— slashing black carbon, methane, and F-gases as fastest path to preventing catastrophe ahead.