Oxford University: Best Response Ever to a Fossil Fuel Divestment Demand

Andrew Parker
Oxford Bursar Andrew Parker.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Dr. Willie Soon; how should Universities respond to demands they divest from fossil fuel? By rubbing the protestors’ noses in reality, of course.

A Heated Oxford Education

Protesting students get a personal lesson about fossil fuels. 

By The Editorial BoardFeb. 2, 2020 4:49 pm ET

… The students want the college to sell the more than $10 million of its endowment now invested in Shell and BP, and they want it now.

The Times of London reports that bursar Andrew Parker made them a counteroffer. “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”

The idea that the students themselves make a fossil-fuel sacrifice did not go over well. …

Read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-heated-oxford-education-11580680180

If only Greta had been there to encourage the students to stand their ground, this pathetic double standards attempt by students to cling to the fossil fuel comforts they would deny to others might have ended with a little less embarrassment for the students.

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108 thoughts on “Oxford University: Best Response Ever to a Fossil Fuel Divestment Demand

  1. And of course in winter in Oxford, lack of fossil fuel-generated warmth would also mean frozen pipes and consequent lose of water. Forecast low tomorrow-1 degrees C.

    Oxford student, 1973-75, during the three-day week, thanks to coal miners’ strike.

    • Yes, they would no doubt drain the pipes because frozen pipes burst. A lack of washroom facilities should close the facility.

      An alternative to fossil fuel heating is electric heating. Electric heaters are quite inexpensive. The cost of electricity in a winter month can easily exceed the cost of the heating unit itself. The extra expense would, of course, have to be tacked on to the tuition.

    • Oxford student, 1973-75, during the three-day week, thanks to coal miners’ strike.

      The good old days :^}

    • When I was there in 1976 we had the famous heatwave “drought” summer and on one December evening, it snowed over 6 inches in a 3 hour period – lots of weather. The latter led to a snowball fight between 3 colleges which the police tried to break up by getting in the middle of. We didn’t have all the current tech and the Interweb thingy so we had to make our own fun I suppose.

      • Yes that’s right, the year the Guvment, Dennis Howels? was Minister for Drought told us all that it would have to rain from September to December to replenish the reservoirs to end the water shortage issues, I seem to recall the “weather” did just that! Last time I looked the annual rainfall data for the UK was a flat-line, some years were wetter than others, some years were drier than others! Long-term average, no change at all! I also recall the then Thames Water Authority as it was then called, making a video about how the powers that be (i.e. them) tackled the drought, with scenes of workmen wearing thick heavy “Donkey” jackets & Wellington work boots staggering around in thick slimey mud, to show how dry everything had become, demonstrating that the weather never plays ball when one wants it to! 😉

        • Dennis Howels him heep powerful magic. As soon as he was appointed Minister of Drought in 1976 the year of the drought, it started raining. I was surprised that other drought ridden countries did not try to borrow him.

          There were also problems with the air conditioning in 1976. In the Electrical Engineering department at the University of Surrey I seem to remember that the air conditioning started working in reverse.

          • They made him Minister for Floods after that, he really was a man for all seasons. He was also Minister of Sport at one time, a former football (soccer) referee. When they asked what he was doing about the water shortage he said was taking baths with his wife.

      • I lived in England in 1962 – 63. It was on of the coldest winters ever recorded. One of my children had her clothing catch fire when she backed too closely to the fireplace, the only source of heat in the house. There was ice on the insides of the windows. Try living without fossil fuels for real. I can tell you, it’s no fun.

    • I too recall the days of power strikes too, no power in winter. Fortunately had gas and and open fire, but still. Country had always been held to ransom by the coal miners. Scargil was a blatant communist.

      • Living in a house with no electricity my mother was oblivious to the 3 Day Week. I was a student in Edinburgh and walked between our flat and the students Union at around 9pm when the blackouts switched areas. I anticipate a similar situation with we’re 100% carbon free.

        I was working in Nottingham during The Miners Strike and knew Scargill would lose, the stockpile of coal at Ratcliffe on Soar could have lasted three years. Police on all motorway exits in the area for months.

        Neglecting the unemployed for 30 years gave rich pickings for someone offering change and a future; the EU and immigration made good scapegoats. I sincerely hope that Boris creates wealth before he runs out of money.

        • Lets hope no innocent motorists get k!lled either. (Motorways, strikers and a concrete post thrown over a bridge. Totally innocent!). Remember the EU branded the UK as the “Dirty Man of Europe” because of coal.

          • Don’t worry, Patrick, they are taking steps to ensure that the bulk of the UK population can no longer afford cars. The BBC had the pleasure (for them) of reporting yesterday that government intends to bring forward the complete ban on sales of new internal combustion vehicles to 2035. I don’t see electric vehicle becoming affordable for all by that time.

        • I remember the poster “Labour isn’t working” with a pic of a long unemployment line. The Labour Party ignores the workers at its peril.

        • Enough sun hits the Earth in one hour to cover mankind’s current needs for one year. We have tidal, wind and geothermal to name a few other methods of generation – all much less expensive than a coal plant or even a reactor. Done correctly, Ben, you’d likely have a surplus.

    • John Tillman:

      ….lack of fossil fuel-generated warmth would also mean frozen pipes …

      Not if the plumbing was original. A decade before your time my room in the College pump quad had the original plumbing from 1284… a wash stand. A pitcher of hot water was delivered each morning by the Scout.
      Cheers
      Mike

  2. Oh that is just so beautiful ! LOL.

    The poor little princesses and princes must have been shocked to receive such a brutally frank and appropriate reaction. ‘Mummy would never be sooo mean… sob, sob’

  3. Well lets take this all the way. No electricity! Means no light no computer no charging for your smart phone…… Water is pumped using fossil fuels…..

      • In Oxford mid winter – big problem. And that’s just to power you personal electronic devices. It will not pump water, dispose of sewage, heat buildings, run the equipment in the various laboratories, power the equipment required for cleaning and maintenance etc, etc.
        I grew up off grid in outback Australia. I know how hard (and expensive) it is, and that’s just for a family not for a large institution. In the inimitable words of The Castle, you’re dreamin’.

  4. And if they’re wearing clothing (including coats) made with synthetic materials, they need to divest themselves of it immediately.

  5. Great answer by Andrew Parker.
    It ranks with the question asked by the judge in the City of New York v. Chevron Corporation litigation,
    “Does New York invest in fossil fuels?”

      • Interestingly the HS2 (High Speed Train for our Colonial friends) is a EU dictat, all regions of the European Union MUST be accessiable by High Speed train! I dare say this happy little protester against fossil fuel use thinks the oil companies are paying for it! Did he hitch a ride with his friends in their electric vehicles I wonder?

    • Unfortunately not. I appraised Parker of the futility of believing in Co2 mitigating thinking it might one way or the other influence the way in which our climate might change accompanied by a few UAH graphs featuring topical issues like Australia and forest fires showing decline not rise and this is what he sent me in reply before blocking any further emails from me: Dear Mr Wells

      Thank you for your email. Contrary to any impression you may have gained from today’s article in The Times, I do actually believe in the reality of global warming, as do many of my Oxford colleagues who are much more accomplished in this area of research.

      The present discussion is about how to reach the goal of carbon reduction and the St John’s students, I and others will be able to discuss this without adopting alarmist views from either side.

      Yours sincerely
      Prof Andrew Parker, Principal Bursar
      St John’s College Oxford
      principal.bursar@sjc.ox.ac.uk

      Last night Channel 4 featured a program titled Australia is burning Climate Emergency and a few weeks ago a similar piece of hysterical nonsense. I took the same approach as I did to Parker I emailed Alex Mahon included temperature graphs and data about cows and Monbiot’s strange delusional relationship with methane and the end of the world. Pointed out that there was no climate emergency and that methane at 0.00017% was unlikely to cause one and she reacted in the same way as Parker Mahon blocked further emails.

      For whatever reason those people that promote climate hysteria have an intense dislike of any information reason logic data and evidence which substantially dismisses their consensus beliefs with which they adorn themselves with like garish costume jewellery they need to be seen as saviours of the planet fighting for its survival and that is more important to them and their social standing than anything whatsoever to do with reality. My Son pointed out recently that 28 years ago his essay related to this issue was rejected and marked E for his A level course work because it dared to contradict what the syllabus wanted him to obey. He questioned the mark with his tutor who was perplexed that Steven should even dare to question the authenticity of the syllabus demands and became distraught and petulant.

      Steven persisted and it was eventually remarked by another tutor who make it abundantly clear to Steven that government demanded children were brainwashed to believe Co2 was the anti christ and one way or the other the syllabus was just the thin end of the wedge he remarked the essay at B+ which he said was the best he could do because the female tutor who had downgraded Steven’s essay was already in campaigning mode and objecting to her control being questioned.

      Alex Mahon and Parker like his students have been educated to believe and to become eco warriors determined to be controlled by environmentalist rhetoric. I listened to a show on BBC Radio 4 decades about an American woman who had felt lost for most of her life but found Islam and became much happier because she no longer had to think for her self and make decisions which might be right or wrong with Islam your decisions are made for you so she felt free. Climate religion I suppose is much the same worship your carbon footprint and your life will be golden and one step further towards paradise before you fall into the huge hole in the ground fill with the toxic waste from mining and refining neodymium.

    • It got even better if you have access to the entire article. One student claimed he wasn’t serious and another said he was just being provocative.

      He replied ““You are right that I am being provocative but I am provoking some clear thinking, I hope…” and went on to talk about it being easy to make demands when you’re not the one being asked to give something up. Smart fellow.

    • Ha ha!

      “it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the heating”

      Yes. Yes it would. So why are you expecting everyone else to do so? Why is it ok for you, but not for others? Privileged, much?

      • ( “it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the heating”

        Yes. Yes it would. )

        But only to the heating system; so run the system on the ‘Frost setting’ 6°C.

      • In order to reduce CO2 production, from this point forward, we will only use the heater when it is cold.

    • UK residents could try it, return their disconnection notices to the utility companies with a note: “this is an inappropriate and flippant response to my energy use”.

  6. Good for Mr. Parker, who made the point that young people seem to always miss, which is that wealthy corporations acquire their wealth by enhancing the common good. Exxon didn’t get rich by addicting anybody to its product. It got rich by selling a product that vastly enhances the quality of life of hundreds of millions of people.

    Few arguments annoy me more than the specious comparison between oil and tobacco companies. No one has to smoke, but everyone has to use fossil fuels.

  7. How about turning the heat down to about 10 C where possible without causing damage? When students and faculty complain then point them to the group who demanded the University divest! Don’t turn it back up until those that demanded divestment publicly end their call for divestment and admit they were wrong and apologize. It would be a good lesson for the students in how political hardball is played.

    • We have to remember that Universities are businesses too. If teaching a lesson to a few knuckleheads causes anger in the majority and a few to to look for a new University, then the lesson becomes bad business.

      Although if anyone thinks Colleges and Universities are hurting for money one only has to look at new construction on campuses.

      • Donald, that reminds me of the infamous Jimmy Carter White House chat during the late 70s energy crisis, when he put on a cardigan and instructed all households in the USA to turn their thermostats to 65 degrees, this was in the midst of a bitter cold winter storm that blanketed most of the nation.

  8. Hmmmm, I was happily thinking that Oxford and Cambridge were still able to cherry pick only the brightest. Its clear from this article that the rot has spread to a far greater degree. 🙂

          • Intriguing, I see from Wiki she got a degree in History with honours from Stanford, so the Masters in International Relations is sort of linked.

            Much as I’d love to think that the entire Clinton family are rascals of the highest order, there may be a chance that Chelsea is actually bright ? On balance though, maybe the college folk thought it unwise to cross the Clinton firm. It brings to mind the allegations that our own Prince Harry had to have his course work written for him by one of staff at Eton. 🙂

      • Yes her gleam was brightest, if she stands next to her mother’s open purse. As Duffy Duck said, “Doubloons! Tribloons! Quadruploons!”

  9. Well done Mr. Parker. I fear that were I in his shoes, my response would be less polite. I think I would reply “Sure, no problem. Consider it done.” Then I would turn off the heating and wait.

  10. Mayor Pete should be apprised.

    Alma mater: getting hotter

    The key to making a carbon tax work for everyday Americans is to rebate out the value to the American people every year, and do it with a progressive formula so that most people are better off than before.

    Say what?

    • The key here is “progressive formula”. That’s socialist speak for taking from the rich and giving to everyone else. That’s how socialism works.

      • It seems to me that the modern take on socialism is now taking from those that work and giving to those that are “entitled” (those that can’t be bothered to work).

    • Ha! The socialists can’t even run a simple caucus in Iowa and they want to control every aspect of our lives!

      (Yea I know. They blew it up on purpose. The DNC was feeling the Berne. The communist wing of the democrat party must be kept in their place and that place is nowhere near any leadership position.)

    • If you take 1 million dollars from 1 person, and give 1000 dollars to 1000 people, then according to the left, most people are better off.
      Socialism is a belief that the majority have the right to take whatever they want.

      • & under that scenario, within a month 100 people have rid themselves of their $1,000 share; within a year 700 have piddled away their share; and within 10 years you are back to where you started (except the one person has learned from the experience and you need find a better way to extract the $1,000,000)

  11. I used to live in Oxford and the conclusion I reached was that you can teach any subject, even the most abstruse ancient language, but the one thing you canty teach is ‘common sense’!!!!

  12. Hans Rosling once asked a group of environment students if they road bicycles. Most said yes.
    He then asked if they hand washed their clothes. No response.
    I like to see these students hand wash and air dry their cloths in winter.

  13. We had very cold winters at Cambridge in the mid 1960s, cold enough to skate on the river Cam which ran by the colleges.
    My first digs had one cold tap in the house and toilet down the garden. Each morning the landlady would leave a kettle of hot water outside the he door so I could wash and shave in a basin with a jug of cold water.
    The only heating was a gas fire which was very efficient and warmed the room up in a couple of minutes, as well as making great toast. It was town gas made from coal.
    We dressed up warmly and bicycled to college and lectures.
    All of which were conditions that my father had experienced at Cambridge in the 1920s.
    We survived.
    We had no mobile phones, computers, internet or Wikipedia, so had to read books in the library.
    All lecture notes were written in ink, and all essays were hand written. You had to write neatly or got the original thrown back at you to rewrite legibly.
    The lectures and lab work were 9 to 12 each day from Monday to Saturday, with library study in the afternoons and supervisions (tutorials) in the late afternoon. Vacations were spent getting work experience.
    At the same time we managed to fit in a good social life.
    All in all it was a great learning experience that has lasted me well for over fifty years, and I still have good friends who were doing the same degree.
    Where the students get the time from to be activists puzzles me. They must have very few lectures or were skipping their studies. They must also be very inexperienced in the practicalities of living, short on common sense and unwilling to give up the trappings of modern life.
    (NB. No Oxford commas)

    • I was at infant school during the winter of 62/63, our school milk froze, heating in the school was inefficient coal or oil fired boiler with radiators. At home we had a coal fire, no bathroom and outside WC ( we didn’t get central heating or bathroom until I was 11 or 12). We regularly had ice on the inside of the windows. We just wore warm clothing and kept one room warm. My grandmother had a coal fired boiler for hot water, and had no central heating right up to the 1980’s when she died.
      It wouldn’t be borderline dangerous to turn the heating off in the halls of residence, it might build some resilience in the students.
      On a different tack, perhaps Ms. Thunberg would like to have a return to climatic conditions of the tail end of the 19th century when the last famines in Europe took place in Finland and Sweden.

    • My earliest recollections are walking everywhere before I got my first bike at ten or eleven – with no neurotic parents monitoring every step I took, nor pandering parents acting as personal butler and chauffeur, nor activist parents indoctrinating me in politics and entitlements. We had to stand up to bullies or outwit them. I do not remember drugs in the fifties and early sixties – bar an fag tried by boy trying to show off – and teen suicide and mental health issues were virtually non existent. Yes, there have been amazing advances during the past 60 years and an explosion of easily accessible knowledge but I would not want to swop places with these students and their woolly ideas.

  14. We need a Society for the Protection of Chilblains. The bedrooms of all children are to be unheated throughout the winter, even when frost forms on the inside of the windows*. Chilblain ointment is to be rationed.

    JF
    My daughter had a set in the quad facing the library — electric heating in a very cold winter and the excess heating charges rather made my eyes water. Natural gas is the best space heating solution — what a shame we don’t have huge gas reserves under Lancashire and Yorkshire…

  15. Let’s assume that Oxford students determined to achieve ‘no emissions’ by 2025 are prepared to immediately upend their modern day lifestyles and make sacrifices, as with energy consumption set to soar by 50% by 2050, renewables can not take up the fossil fuel energy gap for decades.

    Examples of likely sacrifices: Assuming journeys are necessary in the first place, travel only by bus, cycling, walking or train. For students, no parents taxi service. No flying except in an emergency. No spring water in plastic bottles, No imported food or food out of season when there is a local alternative. Little meat, dairy or fish, no hot daily showers, an embargo on throw away fashion clothes and shoes, no cotton. Infrequent washing of clothes in tepid water and no artificial drying.

    Drastic reductions of energy guzzling internet and social media, with environmentally damaging smart phones and computers rationed to one a household and kept for years, and curtailment of consumer good purchases. Accept carbon rationing.

    Curtail consumption of habitat destroying coffee and forego endless home deliveries, whether fast food or shoes. Cease attendance at festivals or sporting events, especially overseas or with floodlights. Minimal home heating. Expect regular power cuts. Curtail vegan foods which have achieved mythical planet saving status, despite many vegan ingredients being imported –often by air-bearing huge carbon footprints.

    So, presumably local activists and Students believing in this climate emergency have taken their own drastic steps to try to prevent it? May we know which of the above list they are personally immediately implementing?

  16. Now, Stephen P., old people (and I’m 67) should always resist the temptation to claim that the young don’t know hardship, because indeed the young do. Maybe not the hardships that were common when we were young, but hardships all the same. The greatest misfortune that I can see is that now young people must delay marriage and parenthood. When I was young, most people had had their first child in their early twenties., so they were still young (40 is plenty young, kids) when their children were nearing 20.

    I wouldn’t want to be young today, because pleasure has become too diffuse. For example, there is an exhausting array of entertainment choices. Remember when you could see new movies only in theatres? That made watching a movie a special and exciting treat, unlike the casual diversion it is today, when it is something you can do whenever you want, without leaving the house.

    Like most people who consult WUWT, I think that the big climate change scare is just a silly monster-under-the-bed story that has somehow taken hold of people’s minds. But we had similar popular delusions when I was young. The need to fight international Communism was the main one, and it led to the tragedies of Korea and Vietnam. Climate change is a false scare, but I doubt if anybody is going to get killed on the way to everyone figuring out that it is.

    • On the contrary I can foresee many lives at stake.
      Without fossil fuels: medicines, heating and refrigeration, transportation, medical supplies, hospital utilities, the list touches everything in modern medicine will be jeopardized.
      How about some surgery in a dark room with non-sterilized utensils?
      Technology is the only way to reduce fossil fuels.
      These kids need to learn that…

  17. That professor is a man who can think on his feet, well done.

    On another note, just listened to a few minutes of the Dem caucus. Thought the segment would be Buttigieg talking, but jumped into the video where a supporter is giving an intro speech first for Pete. That person makes the outstanding comment “… under Pete Buttigieg’s plan to rule America …”. Since when did America have rulers (outside of the classroom?). at 10:10 into the video … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhbgB86NUSQ&list=UUXIJgqnII2ZOINSWNOGFThA

    • The Democrat Iowa Causes have apparently turned into a fiasco. They still don’t have any results to report.

      Trump won his Iowa causes with a record 30,000 votes. The previous record in Iowa was 25,000 votes for Barack Obama in 2008.

      • Tom, I think you meant “caucuses” but perhaps we should blame the Democrat problem on the climate. Perhaps they have been unable to take the heat like the Republicans? 🙂

    • What a massive slip of the tongue! “plan to rule America”, my fat Aunt Harriet!

      It’never fails to amaze me how easily arrogance lets us know what people are really like.

      Thanks for the link.

  18. It does not matter who owns the stock. It is those who make use of and pay for goods and services that involve the use of fossil fuels that keeps the fossil fuel companies in business,

  19. maybe get the accounting students to figure the returns ON investments they wanna divest from?
    then figure out what the uni would have to CUT of students benefits etc if that wasnt available?
    wonder if theyd think that investing in the riskier things like apple amazon fkbk twit etc would be preferred
    and teh deal is THEY make up the losses when they fall over;-)

  20. Thought our friends across the Atlantic might like this little gem from the UK’s ‘eternal summer’ of 1976….
    When water levels got to crisis point the water authorities erected ‘standpipes’ in the street – and we had to collect water from these for all purposes – washing; cooking; flushing toilets etc – because by law our mains supplies were turned off at street level.
    HOWEVER – if you were a pensioner (Senior Citizen over 65) LIVING ALONE – you were excused – and so the water authorities thoughtfully painted the cover for the stopcock in the street with red gloss paint….
    Cue inventive ‘antiques dealers’ – travelling the country looking for red-painted stopcocks….
    ‘Knock, knock…’ ‘Allo, luv – (foot in door) – got any old furniture and stuff you don’t want..? Let’s see – I’ll give you a fiver (five pounds sterling) for that old (Chippendale) sideboard….’

    You can’t beat good ol’ British inventiveness….!

  21. Surely all committed climate change believers refuse to use any electricity that is generated by coal or fossil fuels as a matter of principle.

    *crickets*

  22. Unfortunately not. I appraised Parker of the futility of believing in Co2 mitigating thinking it might one way or the other influence the way in which our climate might change accompanied by a few UAH graphs featuring topical issues like Australia and forest fires showing decline not rise and this is what he sent me in reply before blocking any further emails from me: Dear Mr Wells

    Thank you for your email. Contrary to any impression you may have gained from today’s article in The Times, I do actually believe in the reality of global warming, as do many of my Oxford colleagues who are much more accomplished in this area of research.

    The present discussion is about how to reach the goal of carbon reduction and the St John’s students, I and others will be able to discuss this without adopting alarmist views from either side.

    Yours sincerely
    Prof Andrew Parker, Principal Bursar
    St John’s College Oxford
    principal.bursar@sjc.ox.ac.uk

    Last night Channel 4 featured a program titled Australia is burning Climate Emergency and a few weeks ago a similar piece of hysterical nonsense. I took the same approach as I did to Parker I emailed Alex Mahon included temperature graphs and data about cows and Monbiot’s strange delusional relationship with methane and the end of the world. Pointed out that there was no climate emergency and that methane at 0.00017% was unlikely to cause one and she reacted in the same way as Parker Mahon blocked further emails.

    For whatever reason those people that promote climate hysteria have an intense dislike of any information reason logic data and evidence which substantially dismisses their consensus beliefs with which they adorn themselves with like garish costume jewellery they need to be seen as saviours of the planet fighting for its survival and that is more important to them and their social standing than anything whatsoever to do with reality. My Son pointed out recently that 28 years ago his essay related to this issue was rejected and marked E for his A level course work because it dared to contradict what the syllabus wanted him to obey. He questioned the mark with his tutor who was perplexed that Steven should even dare to question the authenticity of the syllabus demands and became distraught and petulant.

    Steven persisted and it was eventually remarked by another tutor who make it abundantly clear to Steven that government demanded children were brainwashed to believe Co2 was the anti christ and one way or the other the syllabus was just the thin end of the wedge he remarked the essay at B+ which he said was the best he could do because the female tutor who had downgraded Steven’s essay was already in campaigning mode and objecting to her control being questioned.

    Alex Mahon and Parker like his students have been educated to believe and to become eco warriors determined to be controlled by environmentalist rhetoric. I listened to a show on BBC Radio 4 decades about an American woman who had felt lost for most of her life but found Islam and became much happier because she no longer had to think for her self and make decisions which might be right or wrong with Islam your decisions are made for you so she felt free. Climate religion I suppose is much the same worship your carbon footprint and your life will be golden and one step further towards paradise before you fall into the huge hole in the ground fill with the toxic waste from mining and refining neodymium

  23. College bursars can be notoriously “based”. I still recall the name of one from my undergraduate days. The students used to refer to her as the Soup Dragon.

  24. Kudos to Andrew Parker, giving his students an introduction to cold hard truth!

    That might work will with Greta–Sweden is not known for its balmy climate in February!

  25. Let me guess, a professor put them up to it and maybe offered extra credit in protest participation. Which proves an education does not necessarily give good judgement.

  26. I’m at a loss to understand why there is a problem at all here. Issue: Students demands divesting from petro investments. Management doesn’t want to for some reason or another. The fix: Invite students in for discussion. Explain problem. Invite them to respond with solution. Caveat: It must make sense. It must not lose too much investment capital. This IS an education institution, after all. Isn’t it?! A confrontational response leaves students with two choices. #1 Let it slide, get on with life. #2 Respond with opposite and equal force. With choice 1, it’s over. With choice 2 the institution has more to lose than the students. I’d be careful if I were on the board of directors of Oxford. The first step would be for the students to elect a leader and/or mouthpiece. The student’s next step would to invite power to be cut. It’s the campus buildings that will take a hit. Students can move. Buildings can’t. Leave ‘some’ students in dorms on a revolving basis to ensure power or heat is not put back on. Attend classes. Make sure punitive measures are followed through with. Call non-hostile press for international bad optics. If Oxford elevates the fight, students simply strike. The year will pass. In this case, students can find education elsewhere. Fight over. OR…you could just be non-confrontational right off the bat! More and more this is happening. Learning institutions are losing public money from gov’t. The middle class is contracting and so is the tax base that goes along with it. Nowadays, many institutions find it necessary to take money from corporations (who underpay in taxes, by the way) I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case with Oxford. If this is the case, Oxford is stuck with their backs to the walls – the same intransigence as the pass onto their students

  27. My response to these kids would be: “You first. Lead by example.” Then I’ll include an exhaustive list of everything they’ll have to give up that is even remotely touched by fossil fuels if they truly believe in the crap they spew.

  28. The administrator’s response illustrates exactly why individual (consumer) choice will not be enough to decarbonize the global economy. Obviously the largest levels of infrastructure and investment must make the change. Oxford University’s large endowment and high visibility could influence investors and business leaders and policy makers to move more quickly to mitigate climate change.

  29. Therefore, I only take people seriously who live what they preach. You can do a lot with smarter consumption, but if you have a look at these students, you know they are just a bunch of losers, fakes and hypocrites.
    As soon as they have impoverished their parents due to the climate hoax taxes which then won’t be able to pay the smartphone contract for their useless NEET kiddies, the climate jumpers are going to suffer from withdrawal syndrome.

  30. I started at Boarding School in 1947 a bitterly cold Winter, The Housemaster told we New boys that the Bathroom hand basins have two taps, one is cold the other is colder. The water in the glass by the side of your bed was solid ice in the morning. Food was rationed and in short supply and coal and petrol were rationed. The cold was followed by an extremely very hot summer.
    For the uninitiated it was called Weather not Climate!

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