National Association of Scholars says ‘The fossil fuel divestment movement, is an exercise in futility.’

National Association of Scholars LogoNEW YORK, March 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As United Nations delegates gather this week to negotiate new Sustainable Development Goals, the National Association of Scholars released the first major critical report detailing how the campus sustainability movement harms higher education.

Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism shows that the sustainability movement distorts college curricula and cuts off free inquiry on important questions. The 260-page report also shows that, at a time when tuition and student debt are soaring, colleges are spending lavishly on sustainability programs.

The study shows how the sustainability movement has shut down reasoned debate on campuses by foreclosing open inquiry about climate change. (The report takes no position on global warming itself.) The report criticizes the 685 institutions that have signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment for demanding of students and faculty members “blind obedience” in the place of critical examination of the facts.

The Greening of the Curriculum
Students can now earn credentials in sustainability in 1,438 distinct college programs, ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees. But sustainability is also a theme that has spread across the whole college curriculum, including seemingly unlikely subjects such as English composition, mathematics, and psychology.

“Harnessing higher education and the liberal arts into the service of sustainability seriously undermines their purpose,” said Peter Wood, co-author of the report and president of the National Association of Scholars. “It treats other disciplines as mere grist for the sustainability mill.”

What Sustainability Costs
The report examines how much colleges and universities spend to achieve their sustainability goals. Using Middlebury College in Vermont as a case study, the authors find that the costs far outrun the purported savings. Middlebury spends close to $5 million annually on sustainability efforts. The report estimates that American colleges and universities overall spend over $3 billion annually on sustainability-related programs and initiatives.

“Colleges and universities fail any test of transparency on the costs of sustainability,” said Wood. “Colleges routinely boast that their sustainability ‘investments’ save money, but they make these claims behind an opaque wall.”

The Nudge-Culture of Sustainability
Sustainability: Higher Education’s New Fundamentalism shows that many colleges and universities attempt to manipulate students into complying with sustainability goals. Students are not only bombarded with promotional material and pressured by peers, they are also manipulated with sophisticated programs designed by psychologists to “nudge” them into new patterns of behavior.

“The campus sustainability commitment represents a significant shift in higher education, away from giving students access to rational and moral knowledge that prepares them for wise, conscious choices, and towards training operations that elicit automatic responses,” stated Rachelle Peterson, co-author of the report.

Divestment: Sustainability’s Last Frontier
The study examines the growing demands by sustainability advocates for colleges and universities to divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies.

“The fossil fuel divestment movement,” said Peterson, “is an exercise in futility. Its leaders fully understand that divestment, even if college trustees went along with it, would have no effect on fossil fuel companies or the environment. The divestment movement is really aimed at reinforcing the loyalty of students to the firebrands of the sustainability cause, who need a mass of followers in order to gain political leverage.”


 

About the National Association of Scholars
NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by their commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. We uphold the standards of a liberal arts education that fosters intellectual freedom, searches for the truth, and promotes virtuous citizenship.

http://www.nas.org

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86 thoughts on “National Association of Scholars says ‘The fossil fuel divestment movement, is an exercise in futility.’

  1. The average person would have more sympathy for the aims of the divestment movement if they thought that any of the students would go a day without their internet connection.

  2. “The National Association of Scholars (NAS) is a non-profit organization in the United States that opposes multiculturalism and affirmative action and seeks to counter what it considers a “liberal bias” in academia.[1]

    In 2010 and 2011, its president was espousing climate contrarianism under the group’s auspices, with no evident expertise in the climate science field.[2]

    The Association’s officers are not answerable to its membership: according to its 2009 IRS Form 990 (Part VI Section A), the Association doesn’t have members (line 6), members don’t elect the officers (line 7a), and the decisions of the governing body are not subject to members’ approval (line 7b).[3] Mid-2000s IRS filings also indicate that the Association was controlled by 0 or 1 person.”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Association_of_Scholars

    LOL

    • You disgrace the good name of Flashman. Shame on you. Flashman, of all people, would have mocked the AGW scam and pointed out the hypocrisy of “green” money-grubbers like Al Gore.

    • The self-admitting bad person Hairy Flesh is back, peddling his usual “…no evident expertise in the climate science field” comments. Thanks for pointing out the you and Al Gore have no evident expertise in the climate science field, troll.

      Cheers!

    • Sirhairytrollman – Do you have any background in science at all? It appears that you don’t, or otherwise you’d understand what a credible source is. Your source watch link cites sources that have no credibility whatsoever while some of the sources don’t mention what is cited or are even pertinent to the citation. One of the citations is even hearsay. The editor of that link is confused by a tax form by claiming that NAS “doesn’t have members” from a 2009 tax form showing that they received $80,000 in membership.

      So my only question is, do you come here with the sole purpose of looking dumb or is that merely by accident?

      • Sir Harry Flashman March 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm
        “I come here mostly for the clever variants on my handle.”

        This speaks volumes as to your credentials, motives, intelligence, maturity level….

      • db: Beyond your tenuous grasp on reality, what I admire most about you is that you actually troll a site where you agree with everything they say.

    • Although Sir harry tries to paint a picture of a sinister , antiscience organisation it appears from his link and the Wiki source to be as open as many such organisations attempting to change public or academic opinion and far more open than the masked and anonymous attackers of wall street and politcians of conservative views.
      These strictures do not come well from someone hiding behind the mask of a fictional character .
      I was irritated enough by Sir Harry’s smug sniggering to actually look at what they publish , and whilst their journal , published by Springer academic press , and called “Academic Questions”, has a paywall you can see the content titles and the first 2 pages :
      http://link.springer.com/journal/volumesAndIssues/12129

      Some of the essays may surprise you : eg this one on the “Eastern origins of Western Civilisation”
      http://link.springer.com/journal/volumesAndIssues/12129

      If it was not that the society is at the opposite side of the political stage to The Guardian such essays could well have come as a feature in that paper or from , say Le Monde.

      Not quite the picture Sir Harry was painting is it?
      BTW mikewaite – real name

    • Dear CUR Harry Flashman.
      And the deputy PM Clegg with his wife a wind turbine manufacturer director is totally unbiased in demanding that people here heat or eat on the basis of so called beyond question climate drivel?
      I was taught that science stands of falls on the quality of its predictions and the standards of its measurements. We have a chain of shops here called Poundland and the climate models miserably fail the computer modelling assessment used in the manufacture of its electronic products. Life critical products go through a far more stringent assessment and more die from cold related problems in the UK than any other premature death so the models should have to pass these tests.
      All we ask is that climate scientists are assessed by their vastly superior counterparts from electronics engineering in the measurement and certification of those measurement, the methods used by climate “scientists” to determine normal climate which to engineers are a mere two and half centuries behind the times and the computer models that do not even model the non man made behavior of the CO2 cycles before presuming on zero basis that man’s affect is 100% of the CO2 released.
      If the case for climate science was sound we would have a legal right to free access to all data paid for by tax payers used to determine taxation. We do not so we should assume that climate science and its practitioners are corrupt by default unless proved otherwise. People like you are a blight on decency.
      ther is no liberal bias in climate studies academia. There is a pathological control freak behavior that in a domestic situation has had the individual concerned certified as insane.

    • Flashman says “Mid-2000s IRS filings also indicate that the Association was controlled by 0 or 1 person.”
      =========================================
      LOL, which is it?

    • Flash,

      As usual, you posted total misinformation. The NAS was founded almost thirty years ago, and it has affiliates in 46 States; also in Canada and Guam.

      Your bogus link says it is all run by one person. So I have a question for you:

      Could your credibility go any lower?

      • “As usual, you posted total misinformation. The NAS was founded almost thirty years ago, and it has affiliates in 46 States; also in Canada and Guam”

        Have you finally lost it entirely? Where in the quote which I posted does it say anything about when the NAS was founded or where it has affiliates, and what difference does it make?

      • Flash, apparently you have lost it completely if you believe that a one-man operation can be run for for thirty years in 46 states and foreign countries.

        Your link was false, that’s all. In fact, another commenter [policycritic] has already stated that he’s a member of NAS.

        I was originally responding to your smug “LOL” comment — as if you were Perry Mason cracking a case. It seems you just can’t stand the thought that there are scientists and organizations that don’t buy into the MMGW eco-religion.

        Now, to get back on-topic: none of your organizations are willing to divest themselves of fossil fuel companies. That certainly seems to be total hypocrisy, doesn’t it? They won’t put their money where their mouth is.

    • Your only problem is, they are speaking the truth. History has seen this type of dogma where servitude to the cause trumps truth and freedom – Nazism and Stalinism (in the form of Lysenkoism). A lot of lives were lost as a result.

  3. Will Rogers said “Common sense ain’t common.” If he were alive today, his common sense would tell him Sustainability ain’t sustainable.

  4. Indeed ! The way to hurt companies whose business you do not like it to stop using their product. So in this case, don’t drive, don’t use any transport that uses hydrocarbon based energy, don’t use any form of electricity unless you can prove it comes from renewables, do not enter other premises that use electricity, do not buy anything plastic.

    Fossil fuel companies will be out of business tomorrow. If you hold stocks, suggest to divest them first.

  5. “The campus sustainability commitment represents a significant shift in higher education, away from giving students access to rational and moral knowledge that prepares them for wise, conscious choices, and towards training operations that elicit automatic responses,” stated Rachelle Peterson, co-author of the report.”

    It’s not a “a significant shift in higher education”.
    The manipulation of impressionable young minds who are experiencing their first taste of individual freedom has been the point of arts courses for a very long time. Since the 19th century , at least when the Classics (like Horace) were used to inspire civic pride.

    This is just a new norm not a new method.

    • M Courtney, you may be correct in the classification of this policy, but not in the magnitude, and the new world order outcome with success with this stuff. Sustainability and the UN writing totalitarian policy in general for governments and educators under the umbrella of motherhood-like rationales are new and potentially devastating, on this side of the ocean. We have created a monster with the UN and somehow its managed to make itself look cuddly to most. I believe your view is more, shall we say, relativistic than universal.

      All this stuff is really to subdue the US which has been an exasperatingly and embarrassingly successful model (up ’til now, perhaps) compared to the “utopia” that basically EU elites have been pushing for. That they seem to be having their way with the once mighty US is something greatly to be concerned about by not just the US. This engine of world economy has handily won over 300 Nobel Prizes, well over 50% of the scientific prizes which is no small measure of the effectiveness of higher education in the country and its freedom of enquiry. It still wins over half of the science prizes even in the face of increasing political correctness pressure and corruption of the Nobel Committee by the same forces, but It’s numbers are slipping now. The stature of the prize, like the education system, has been steadly degraded, I believe by utopian elites and we are seeing prizes handed out apparently for “participation” as I see in K-12 schools. Obama got one for getting elected and as a hopeful bribe to support the new world order’s CAGW Trojan Horse.

      No, M. Courtney, this is another step on a grand scale program. It’s different and it matters.

    • M Courtney says this method is not new.
      Well, yes and no.
      The Marxists examined (and continue to examine) how society works. This gives them quite an edge on operating and steering society.
      Analogy: watch the dog whisperer – he understands how dogs “work,” including on an individual basis and in packs — he uses that knowledge to guide the environment around the dog, and get the behaviors he wants.

      With the establishment of the Frankfurt School, and since, this has been a major avenue for them.

      Along the way, they realized that the role of academia and of research was one the passive side of things.

      So, they invented “action research.”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_research
      –Look at the individuals noted as the leading developers of this concept: Lewin was part of Frankfurt School, and the rest of them are Marxists once you explore enough. Fortunately, Wikipedia has not been hiding these strains of history, although you are never informed of the political motivations of these guys while taking your mandated humanities, liberal arts, and civics courses.

      Action Research puts a moral obligation on researchers to directly somehow have the betterment of mankind as a goal in research, versus a more classical understanding of striving to understand and explain the world around us.

      This concept has worked its way down into elementary school:
      http://www.drawntoscience.org/educators/action-research/index.html

      Like the rest of Marxism, it gets presented in a very benign way; it in fact gets presented as what we would call problem-based learning or hands-on learning. No one will argue with that. But the theme is always present, if subtle: society is greatly ill and needs us enlightened educated people to rescue it.

      How does this relate to the post? It doesn’t. Wait – yes it does:

      there is a logic that says: if we are going to teach our students to better the world, should we not build that into our educational institution, as well? Why, we almost have a moral obligation to not just be a university, but to be an example of our teachings (as if there is one set of political beliefs, one set of global justice prioritis, etc., across a typical heterogeneous university).

      • “Lewin was part of Frankfurt School, and the rest of them are Marxists once you explore enough.”

        Well, they originally intended to call their institute the Institute For Marxism, but settled for Institute for Sociology instead to not arouse suspicion. That should be clear enough.

  6. All part of Agenda 21 I am sorry to say! There are many socialist policies within it, up to & including one about lowering educational standards, on the grounds that educated people have a higher “Carbon Footprint”! So the philosphy of educators to develop enquiring minds to build a succesful future, has been reduced to brainwashing, which is happening in the UK’s education system, & believe it or not, it is illegal for educators to do so! You’re next USA!

    • Agenda 21 is hardly socialist. It’s 100% fascist, and completely dictatorial. Although the USSR attained to communism, it didn’t succeed, not 100%. Socialism, yes. And the USSR put in one of the best higher educational systems in the world, for free, starting right after the Russian Revolution. Their students had to compete to get into their institutions and the competition was fierce. Ditto their trade and ballet schools, which were also some on the best in the world.

      • “Agenda 21 is hardly socialist. It’s 100% fascist, and completely dictatorial.”

        The inventor of Fascism, Mussolini, started his career as socialist, and the manifest of his party reads pretty much like any old socialist list of demands. Just a few tweaks in the organizational structure. But, even that is left pretty open by socialism – after all, socialism needs a socialist state, which can only dissolve once the New Human has been created, which will be communist on autopilot so doesn’t need a state anymore.

        So, calling the Fascist state one example of possible socialist states is perfectly reasonable.

      • Agenda 21 is straight out of the national socialist/communist/ facist hand book of the future written by Orwell as science fiction. 1984 is the new norm.

    • Thanks for the link. From what I can see, there is nothing whatever wrong with an organization that promotes free speech.

      What is it that bothers you? Would you prefer censorship of any ideas you don’t like?

      • Free speech and freedom from censorship? Hey! Why do you think I hang around the Village, where you can find this stuff by the truck load ;-)

      • Idiot:

        Your comment makes no sense, just like most of your comments.

        Your pals censor me, and plenty of other skeptics. But you can post your nonsense here. Doesn’t that tell you something?

        It tells me that WUWT isn’t afraid of different opinions, even when they’re nothing but nonsense. But your pals are terrified of letting their readers see a different point of view. Tell me: why are you all so insecure?

  7. The funny thing is I’ve met several “sustainability” majors and minors recently and many of them don’t buy into any of the dogma. They completely see through the thin veneer of scholarship. They just want the credential so they can get a decent job and will jump through whatever hoops the Academy sticks in front of them.

      • Alex,

        I added “in GA” to the end of my name when I discovered there was already a Welshman posting here with the same handle when I first started posting here, and my name is no where near as popular as Alex.

    • 2 users with the same name. Houston you have a problem.

      [Reply: Over the years there have been more than two with your name. There are other examples of readers with the same screen name. We don’t pick favorites without a good reason, so if you would like to add something that identifies you, feel free. We can also send any other commenter your email address with your permission, if you would like to work it out that way. ~mod.]

  8. An American university cutting off free inquiry into important issues? Hilarious. Nothing like a report 50 years late. I’m sure everyone reading this is “shocked “.

  9. Now that’s an organization I would sign up for. I would go a step further and criticize the use of graduate students to further the interests of their department head’s pet research interests. If you want well-educated researchers, make them go through the toil of independent original research in order to obtain their doctorate. Otherwise you are just padding the ranks of researchers with minion robots.

    • “…criticize the use of graduate students to further the interests of their department head’s pet research interests.””

      I had a professor who had his own company and used graduate students as free labor. He was a CS professor at UM and so proud of the fact, he bragged and laughed about it! I marked him as a bad person that day.

  10. Probably just the tip of the iceberg in explaining the explosion in cost of higher education. I’m sure the faculty aren’t limiting their retirement investment choices they choose for themselves in their own plans. Even treasuries are massively dependent on the profitability of the vast fossil energy complex for royalties and taxes.

  11. Pardon my ignorance, but does the National Association of Scholars have established & meaningful traction with either Academia or working-scientists?

    Are the NAS sluggers, or are they wiffers?

    • They are a small organization, but are as credible as their facts and their research.

      Sadly, many more recognized “associations” are formed specifically FOR the propaganda value of the organization title, and the assumed “respect” such a self-assumed title generates. Thus, a “Voter’s Right Group” that issues a prejudiced and biased call for some action that “meets” the needs of a liberal’s bureaucracy’s agenda will be published and promoted as legitimate. A liberal bureaucracy, for example, will pay for a liberal actress to come before “Congress” as a witness strictly BECAUSE of the effectiveness and publicity of her tears and call for action.

  12. Community Organizers are herding their brainwashed Minions. Spending on Sustainability and Divestiture from profitable companies is cutting of available funds for education. IF education was the purpose, this is counterproductive,
    Liberal thought is a Disease that is contracted in the school system from infected educators and often causes a loss in the ability for independent thought. pg

    • You don’t need/want “independent thinkers” when all they’ll be doing is clicking the right software buttons (which will be rearranged in version 2.0 so that re-training will be necessary – no real knowledge gained, just operator instruction changes). Expert knowledge built into the software, software operated by unquestioning, easily-replaced employees.

  13. Middlebury is, of course, the home of the lunkhead McKibben.

    It is largely populated by trust-funded children of affluence who are largely unacquainted with how the world works or any concept of earning a living.

  14. When I first heard of these divestment actions, it was obvious that they were pointless and purely symbolic
    and an indicaton of just how ignorant college students are with respect to capitalism and the stock market.

  15. The Case Institute of Technology is/was a perfect example of what liberalism does to an educational institution. In 1965 it was consistently ranked in the top 3 science and engineering schools in the US. Approx. 500 of us entered the freshman class that year and about half of us eventually graduated. It was a very difficult school with very high admission and performance standards. The school amalgamated with the liberal Westen Reserve University and has sjnce gone down all of the politically correct avenues and today ranks, last I saw, about 50 something. But then even the ranking criteria are questionable today with items such as “diversity” included in the rankings. Not like we were not diverse back the, either, as many of my math professors did not speak recognizable English!

  16. …manipulated with sophisticated programs designed by psychologists to “nudge” them into new patterns of behavior.

    Isn’t it great how the current popular definition of “social engineering” refers to tricking someone into giving you their password and not its more nefarious original meaning?

  17. Skeptics aren’t just a timely group that arose, for example, to put CAGW proponents feet to the fire. They are (unfortunately) a small percentage of people in society that actually question stuff. Nearly all the last two generations have been put through the mold of socialist education in North America.

    Despite this, skepticism, a similar proportion likely makes it through unscathed. These are the types that were dissidents in the most extreme form of totalitarianism, that of the USSR.

    These are the types that were sent to re-education camps in PRC. These are the types that are exterminated in despotic societies less in full view of the world. Freedom in the world rests on this small “sustainable” number of “unmanageable” skeptics.

  18. Perusing the climate commitment list, there were only four eyebrow-raisers for me: UF(Gators), OSU(Buckeyes), UI(Fighting Illini), and Duke(Blue Devils)!

    RGB, where are you again?

  19. The retraction of the first carbon tax overreach effort in Waxman Markey came from a groundswell of push back across the country. It was a bridge too far too fast. The activist response underway now is the slower approach of embedding it across all fields and in all agencies to the point that the next attempt is better prepped and conditioned. Unfortunately, that second attempt will come with more overreach, redistribution of wealth schemes, slush funds, and even less model validation with actual data than the first attempt. Prediction error never stopped religious radicals from the assault.

    • Thank you for that comment, it appears they are the only ones that learn from their own mistakes. I believe it is because their philosophy gets carried over generation after generation, they teach their young ones well.

  20. Thanks, NAS.
    I hope you can help bring back open debate and skeptical thinking into colleges that seem to be now only capable of graduating climate change zombies.
    The book “Evidence-Based Climate Science” (Elsevier, September 2011, .pdf) by Joseph D’Aleo and Don Easterbrook should be part of any science curriculum.

    I have recently posted an article on chapter 5; Relationship of Multidecadal Global Temperatures to Multidecadal Oceanic Oscillations.
    D’Aleo and Easterbrook forecast global cooling from moderate to extreme, coming soon.

  21. I’m pretty certain this Shakespeare quote applies:

    Oh, what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

    • Oops
      Quotes Mistakenly Attributed to Shakespeare

      Oh what a tangled web we weave
      When first we practice to deceive. – Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

  22. “The fossil fuel divestment movement,” said Peterson, “is an exercise in futility. Its leaders fully understand that divestment, even if college trustees went along with it, would have no effect on fossil fuel companies or the environment. The divestment movement is really aimed at reinforcing the loyalty of students to the firebrands of the sustainability cause, who need a mass of followers in order to gain political leverage.

    (bold was mine) No trace of sugar-coating there, eh?

  23. AEI’s Ben Zycher exposed the divestment movement’s misanthropic ‘logic’ in a post on Real Clear Markets: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2014/10/15/the_breathless_hypocrisy_driving_energy_divestment.html.

    Here’s the gist (with some embellishments of my own):

    Fossil energy companies exist only because other industries — manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications, etc. — require energy to create and deliver products and services. So if colleges have a moral imperative to bankrupt carbon-energy producers, they should dump all their stocks.

    Nor is that all. Energy-consuming companies exist only because lots of people want their products and services and are wealthy enough to buy them. So if bankrupting Big Carbon is a moral imperative, divestment leaders should advocate growth-chilling taxes and regulations. Hey, many already do — what a coincidence!

    Best of all, though, divestment leaders don’t have to wait the Republican-led Congress to act. The wealth creation responsible for the demand for carbon-fueled products and services utterly depends on human capital formation (acquisition of knowledge and skills). Obviously, then, universities should ‘divest’ the endowment and scholarship funds that enable millions of students from low- and middle-income households to pursue lucrative careers.

    As the saying goes, misanthrope begins at home.

  24. If you want to know the history of sustainable development ie. etc. you just have to peruse the sites and videos of Rosa Korie I have my favorite video of hers regarding sustainability, but she has many video interviews, but my favorite is:

    Just look around her websites to find out about “sustainable development”

    Here is one of her websites – you can look around and find out a lot about Agenda 21 and sustainable development:

    http://www.postsustainabilityinstitute.org/who-funds-un-agenda-21.html

    It is UN advocated, but implemented locally through ICLIE.

    http://www.iclei.org/

    • I wish that Rosa Korie would join in the discussion here more often. Her website has very few comments. She would have a larger audience here.. She is aware of this website. There have been other agenda 21 issues here which she should have added top the tread – I’ m not sure why she has not participated…

  25. Thank you An-y for a timely posting. In December of last year, I wrote to my university about my concern for the push to divest. I closed my letter by summarizing that the manmade global warming issue is far from settled and urged the university to follow a conservative path with respect to its investments rather than yielding to scare tactics that might financially impair future generations of students. Coincidentally, I had a meeting today with the dean of the college and gave him a copy of my December letter, plus excerpts of your NAS posting. I plan to follow up with an email with links.

  26. Does anyone here know what sustainability is? Can sustainability be measured? Are there units for sustainability? Is is related to entropy in some way?

    “Entropy is an extensive property. It has the dimension of energy divided by temperature, which has a unit of joules per kelvin (J K−1) in the International System of Units (or kg m2 s−2 K−1 in terms of base units). But the entropy of a pure substance is usually given as an intensive property — either entropy per unit mass (SI unit: J K−1 kg−1) or entropy per unit amount of substance (SI unit: J K−1 mol−1).

    The absolute entropy (S rather than ΔS) was defined later, using either statistical mechanics or the third law of thermodynamics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

    Or is it related to efficiency in some way? “Sustain” seems to suggest time. Do the units for sustainability contain a time dimension?

    And if there are no units associated with “sustainability”, how is it measured? And if it cannot be measured, what is it?

    • Never fear, gregole. The UN has an app for that;-)

      As I had noted – back in 2010 – one which they had developed (via a rather ciruitous and rambling route, as is their custom) and which came to full-fledged fruition – in no small measure, thanks to the heroic efforts of dedicated luminaries, such as TEEB’s Pavel Sukhdev.

      Sukhdev may (or may not) have resiled from his oh-so-catchy mantra: “What you do not measure, you cannot manage”. Considering what I have not seen in the intervening years, I’m somewhat inclined to suspect not!

      That being said, as far as I have been able to ascertain in the interim, to the best of my knowledge, there is absolutely no scientific definition of “sustainability”. Many mantras, monologues and mindless misperceptions … but zero, zip, nada on the “scientific” front.

      Quelle surprise, eh?!

      • Oh, drat … once again, my kingdom for a WordPress spellcheck prior to posting. “…rather ciruitous …” should read “… rather circuitous …” (Memo to self: do not rely on that which you have composed via comment, prior to verifying via test on your own blog!)

  27. ‘The fossil fuel divestment movement, is an exercise in futility.’

    If the National Association of Scholars actually wrote that they should be renamed as the National Association of Semiliterates.

    Putting a comma between the subject clause and the main verb is totally wrong.

  28. When I was in college ‘sustainability’ meant daisy-chaining two or more kegs so you wouldn’t have to stop in the middle of a party to tap a new one.

  29. Who is NAS? I never heard of them. They have a small office in New York. Are they setting themselves up as the anti-Union of Concerned Scientists? Anyone know anything about their membership?

    I mostly agree with their positions, which makes me suspect that not many academics would join. Anathema to them, as the Universities have turned into cesspools of liberal mendacity. Or maybe they (the Universities) always were?

  30. Clearly any institution that dumped their FF stocks have saved billions of dollars in the last 6 months. May have been for the wrong reasons but at least they didn’t ride Peabody Coal from the low 20s to it’s current price of $5.05. You can also thank the big Wall St. brokers for their relentless downgrades and the over production of Natural Gas for the death of the coal industry. Equity owners will be wiped out but the bond holders will pick up the scraps. As you might guess Wall St. owns the bonds and will pick them up for pennies on the dollar.
    I’m really pissed off at these guys for destroying a industry.

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