Take Divestment to the Next Level
Community groups, places of worship, and neighborhood associations all exist for the public good. We can teach them about divestment. Small businesses in Austin want to reflect their customers’ principles, and larger businesses at least want to look like they do. By offering information and incentives, we can sell them on divestment. The City of Austin, which promotes its environmental stewardship, handles enormous sums of money through its depository accounts, pension funds, and bond offerings, as does Travis County. With enough public pressure, we can urge their divestment. The University of Texas and the Texas State Capitol are steeped in histories written in oil. Divestment is one way that we might change the course of history before it’s too late.
DIVESTMENT IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST “VOTING WITH YOUR DOLLARS”. Fighting for climate justice means learning again and again that those with the most at stake—those whose lives are most threatened by new projects or environmental disasters—are not those who receive the spoils. As long as there’s such massive disparity between wealth and vulnerability, voting with our dollars can never yield a fair election. Instead, divestment is just one part of building a movement utilizing all of the collective resources we can muster to stop the destruction of our planet.