Yes Men fool college students into thinking their school divested from fossil fuels
College students are speaking up loud and clear: They want their schools to cease investing in fossil fuels. (Sometimes this even happens in rap form!) At least 11 colleges and universities have committed to dirty energy divestment so far, including Stanford. And now Oregon hippie haven Reed College is divesting too!
Only … it isn’t. The announcement came during a commencement speech on Monday by 1990 Reed grad Igor Vamos:
I was very pleased to learn that the board of trustees of Reed College has just now decided to divest the school’s $500 million endowment from fossil fuels! … But what they’re doing with the money is what’s most interesting: They’re pulling the money from those industries, and they’re re-investing it in community-owned, renewable energy projects.
YAY! Except that Vamos is one half of political prankster duo The Yes Men, and he was just tugging Reed’s chain. But wouldn’t that have been awesome? Students thought so, giving the announcement a standing ovation. Seeing that Reed has committed to sustainability and invested $5.4 million in cutting the school’s carbon emissions, divestment is a logical next step.
Vamos urged students, in all seriousness, to think of the future:
During his speech, Vamos implored students not to “do what they love,” as Steve Jobs famously said in his 2005 commencement address at Stanford, but rather to “do what you must,” to ensure that the planet has a sustainable future.
Let’s hope Reed takes the hint and drops its fossil fuel investments soon!