At Earlham College, we hold ourselves and our community to high moral standards in our Principles & Practices. These are the values that inform what kind of community we aspire to be and provide guidelines for shaping and sustaining such a community, and they are at the heart of our college’s unique identity.
But Earlham College is falling short of its own moral standards by continuing to hold shares in and profit from the fossil fuel industry.
Our principle of Peace and Justice states that the Quaker peace testimony “extends beyond personal interactions to institutional and social structures that, while sometimes invisible or taken for granted, may do violence”. The fossil fuel industry is one such social structure, as the extraction and burning of fossil fuels wreak havoc on the natural environment, cause harm to human health, and contribute to global climate change.
These issues are serious and urgent. Between frequent reports of massive chemical spills and the effects of climate change becoming increasingly dire, we can no longer afford to think of environmental issues in terms of the future. Our principle of Respect for Persons reads, “We aspire to be a community whose members act with regard for the intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being of everyone”. Fossil fuels have caused a human rights crisis that affects the well-being of people around the globe every day, and this is an injustice we must resist.
Therefore, we of Earlham College stand with the Responsible Energy Investment (REInvestment) Campaign in asking the SRIAC to uphold one of its own guiding principles: “Earlham seeks to minimize investing in the securities of companies whose overall behavior results in irresponsible use of the natural environment and/or denigrates the dignity of individuals”. As Quakers and as Earlhamites, divesting our fossil fuel holdings is a moral imperative if we wish to live up to our values.
Our principle of Integrity “calls us to be truthful, honest, and fair and to take responsibility for our actions and decisions”. It is time for Earlham to act with integrity and take responsibility for our fossil fuel investments.
By signing on to this letter, I declare my support for the REInvestment Campaign.