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Letter to the Editor: Divestment counterproductive for Bowdoin

February 8, 2019

This piece represents the opinion of the authors.

Dear Editor,

We were concerned with last week’s editorial, “Midd divested. Will we?” We believe divestment would severely limit Bowdoin’s ability to address climate change and lead toward the Common Good.

Bowdoin’s divestment would be inconsequential to the fossil fuel industry at great cost to our endowment. The 200 largest public fossil fuel companies, in sum, have a market capitalization, or total value of all publicly traded shares of stock, exceeding $2 trillion. In short, these companies would feel no impact from our divestment. We believe the $100 million that President Barry Mills claimed Bowdoin could stand to lose by divesting would be better allocated towards local environmental initiatives or working to accomplish other goals the Editorial Board has rightly espoused in the past. These include paying living wages to housekeeping and facilities staff, improving financial aid and creating programs which improve institutional access, such as THRIVE.

Bowdoin should continue tangible initiatives to combat climate change, such as supporting the 75-megawatt solar facility in Farmington and funding world-class research on the environment. We also think Bowdoin should follow in Middlebury’s footsteps by committing to 100 percent renewable energy use, but at this time we believe divestment for Bowdoin amounts to costly virtue signaling at the expense of other, more impactful programs.

Sincerely,

Tim Moran, Class of 2019

Theo Christian, Class of 2019

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