‘Nobody Wins’: Hundreds of Climate Activists Delay Harvard-Yale Football Game to Urge Fossil Fuel Divestment
Students, staff and alumni from Yale and Harvard put aside a famous rivalry Saturday to call for action on the climate crisis when hundreds of them interrupted the annual football game between the two Ivy League schools, delaying it for nearly an hour.
The protesters called on the two universities to divest their combined endowment of more than $71 billion from the fossil fuel industry and from companies that hold Puerto Rican debt. Around 150 demonstrators initially rushed the field at the end of halftime, but organizers said they were joined by hundreds of other fans from the stands, NPR reported. At one point, according to The Washington Post, 500 people were on the field.
"That moment, when we saw people running onto the field was just really incredible," Harvard senior and protest organizer Caleb Schwartz told NPR. "I saw organizers around me crying because it was such a beautiful moment."
BREAKING: Over 150 Yale + Harvard students, alumni, faculty stormed the field at #HarvardYale to demand DIVESTMENT… https://t.co/4bUqhXt0lk— Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard 🔶 (@Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard 🔶)1574535814.0
The protesters, who were mobilized by the groups Fossil Free Yale, the Yale Endowment Justice Coalition and Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard, carried banners with messages including "Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice." The majority stayed on the field long enough to delay the TV broadcast of the game, The Guardian reported. Most of the protesters then left the field of their own free will, and a few stayed to face arrest. Forty-two were issued misdemeanor summons, Yale officials told The Washington Post.
The protest delayed the second half of the game long enough that it occurred close to sunset, which made a difference because the Yale Bowl does not have floodlights. In the end, Yale won 50 to 43, moments before it became too dark to continue playing.
Some attendees expressed frustration with the demonstrators.
"They're all supposed to be intelligent people. It looks like there's a lot of common sense that has missed their generation," 68-year-old Chuck Crummie told The Washington Post. "It goes to show that this generation is all about themselves and not a football game."
Director of university media relations at Yale Karen N. Peart also expressed disappointment with the timing of the protest.
"We stand with the Ivy League in its statement that it is regrettable that the orchestrated protest came during a time when fellow students were participating in a collegiate career-defining contest and an annual tradition when thousands gather from around the world to enjoy and celebrate the storied traditions of both football programs and universities," she said in a statement to NPR.
But the demonstrators had the support of many of the players themselves. Several Harvard players wore orange wristbands as a show of solidarity, according to a press release.
"Harvard and Yale can't claim to truly promote knowledge while at the same time supporting the companies engaged in misleading the public, smearing academics, and denying truth," captain of the Harvard Crimson football team Wesley Ogsbury said in a video supporting the action. "We're coming together to call upon President Bacow and President Salovey to divest from the fossil fuel industry now … for the sake of our generation."
Statement from Wesley Ogsbury, captain of the Harvard Crimson, on today's #NobodyWins disruption by us and… https://t.co/w9HzrmupVN— Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard 🔶 (@Fossil Fuel Divest Harvard 🔶)1574540634.0
Students have been trying to persuade Harvard and Yale to divest from fossil fuels since 2012, according to The Guardian. Harvard has outright refused to divest, while Yale has said it would consider the climate crisis in investment decisions, NPR explained. However, the school refused to divest from fossil fuels completely, and chief investment officer David Swensen said "we would all die" if fossil fuel production were to cease now, according to The Washington Post.
In their press release, the demonstrators said they felt direct action was their only option for changing university policy.
"For seven years, the university administrations have refused to engage in real dialogue and instead stalled and silenced student voices. We've attempted to go through the official channels. It hasn't worked," Josie Ingall, Yale '23, said.
- University of California Will Divest From Fossil Fuels - EcoWatch ›
- Fossil Fuel Divestment Debates on Campus Spotlight Societal Role ... ›
Scientists are on the brink of scaling up an enzyme that devours plastic. In the latest breakthrough, the enzyme degraded plastic bottles six times faster than previous research achieved, as The Guardian reported.
- Mutant Enzyme Recycles Plastic in Hours, Could Revolutionize ... ›
- Scientists Find Bacteria That Eats Plastic - EcoWatch ›
- Plastics: The History of an Ecological Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Accidentally Develop 'Mutant' Enzyme That Eats Plastic ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Jessica Corbett
In a rare calm moment during a historically active Atlantic hurricane season, an international team of climate scientists on Monday published a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change showing that human-caused global heating is making the world's oceans more "stable"—which, as co-author Michael Mann explained, is "very bad news."
<div id="e639b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d8d112e123588b9bf3c3eadcc89627e8"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310602217825726465" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Thank you to @MichaelEMann for patiently and clearly explaining to non scientists why increased ocean stabilizati… https://t.co/yW2BmQhKGp</div> — Dr Naomi Wolf (@Dr Naomi Wolf)<a href="https://twitter.com/naomirwolf/statuses/1310602217825726465">1601306893.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="85eca" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="43780424fc8b04e23a525e1bad1086eb"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310608647651811336" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Canada has oceans on 3 sides-we can't ignore the climate news that The Oceans Appear to Be Stabilizing. Here's Why… https://t.co/SfWJWWRHr7</div> — Friends Of Halifax Common (@Friends Of Halifax Common)<a href="https://twitter.com/FriendsHalifax/statuses/1310608647651811336">1601308426.0</a></blockquote></div>
<div id="3e52e" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f210e186b6e1481a64770e0c8722a438"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1310638669477236738" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">"Das bedeutet, dass das CO2-Budget, das zur Vermeidung kritischer Erhitzung (z.B. 1,5°C) übrig bleibt, möglicherwei… https://t.co/675YBTSybJ</div> — Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange (@Parents For Future #SystemChangeNotClimateChange)<a href="https://twitter.com/parents4future/statuses/1310638669477236738">1601315583.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Ending his piece on a similar note, Mann wrote that "in short, it's unwise to be complacent given the accumulating scientific evidence that climate change and its impacts may well be in the upper end of the range that climate scientists currently project. There is ever-greater urgency when it comes to acting on climate. But there is agency as well. Our actions <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/dangerous-new-form-climate-denialism-making-rounds-opinion-1455736" target="_blank">make a difference</a>—something to keep in mind as we head into a presidential election <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/greta-thunberg-donald-trump-true-leadership-climate-change-free-world-1461147" target="_blank">whose climate implications</a> are monumental."</p><p>Mann is on the mounting list of climate experts and advocates <a href="https://www.axios.com/2020-presidential-election-joe-biden-endorsed-climate-scientists-24013990-0300-4c2c-ad95-57571b397196.html?fbclid=IwAR3vTCBmK5BwvoafwGefadTsnIMnKo9FS6ssc9PCdFLEeXr6p4KHlnrFWKU" target="_blank">supporting </a>Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his effort to oust President Donald Trump—who has, at various points, ignored and exacerbated the climate emergency. Earlier this month, the <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/15/matter-life-and-death-after-175-years-scientific-american-backs-biden-magazines" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">editors</a> of<em> Scientific American</em> as well as the political action arms of both 350 and Friends of the Earth also <a href="https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/24/clarion-call-all-progressive-environmentalists-defeat-trumps-planetary-destruction" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">endorsed</a> the former vice president.</p><p>"The stakes are clear and present," Tamara Toles O'Laughlin from 350 Action said of the general election, for which early voting is already underway in some states. "The planet cannot withstand four more years of Trump."</p>
- 5 Things to Know About Earth's Warming Oceans - EcoWatch ›
- Report Details Climate Crisis Impacts on Coral Reefs, Warns of ... ›
- 'A Little Shocking': Ocean Currents Are Speeding up Significantly ... ›
By Hannah Murphy
When he talks about the Trump administration, David Doniger likes to say: "Imagine where we'd be if they knew what they were doing." The climate lawyer and senior advisor to the NRDC Action Fund spends his days defending the environment from the U.S. government, and for the past three and a half years, that's meant a front-row seat to the Trump administration's relentless attacks on any regulation that's meant to slow the climate crisis.
- Trump's Climate Change Record Threatens the Planet - EcoWatch ›
- Climate Change Purged From White House Website - EcoWatch ›
- America Burns From Climate Change While Trump Officials Attend ... ›
The Johns Hopkins University tracker for worldwide coronavirus cases showed that the world passed a grim milestone early Tuesday morning, as more than 1 million have died from the virus and the infection it causes, COVID-19.
- US Coronavirus Deaths Pass 200000 as New Surge in Cases Begins ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Tops 170,000 Ahead of Flu Season ... ›
- U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Now No. 1 in World - EcoWatch ›
Maryland will become the first state in the nation Thursday to implement a ban on foam takeout containers.
- New Jersey Legislature Passes 'Most Comprehensive' Plastics Ban ... ›
- Canada to Announce Ban on Single-Use Plastics - EcoWatch ›
- The Complex and Frustrating Reality of Recycling Plastic - EcoWatch ›
- Dunkin' Says Bye to Foam Cups (But Bring Your Own Thermos ... ›
- Maine and Vermont Pass Plastic Bag Bans on the Same Day ... ›