Climate Activists Delay Yale-Harvard Football Game To Call For Abandoning Fossil Fuels
Ivy League universities Yale and Harvard still invest in the fossil fuel industry despite the threat that climate change poses to our planet. On Saturday, protesters stormed the field to demand both schools abandon it.
Currently, the two universities have endowments totaling $71 billion with the fossil fuel industry, therefore aiding the 19th-century energy industry to stay alive when by all rights it should have gone out of business decades ago in favor of clean energy sources.
Of course, administrators of the schools are not listening, so protesters forced the issue during the annual football game between the two teams by taking over the gridiron at halftime carrying signs reading “Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” among other slogans.
Only about 150 people initially stormed the field. But they were soon joined by enough students from the stands that there were 500 protesters. Even many of the football players on both teams supported the event.
“That moment, when we saw people running onto the field was just really incredible,” protest organizer Caleb Schwartz told NPR. “I saw organizers around me crying because it was such a beautiful moment.”
Indeed, the protest was inspiring and clearly spoke to the students, whose generation will be the most impacted by climate change. The administrators who run these venerable institutions, meanwhile, clearly don’t care about the future of the planet as long as they get money.
Unfortunately, older attendees and school officials frowned upon the demonstration.
“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.”
“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,” Yale director of media relations Karen N. Peart said.
Football is just a game, a game that continued after the demonstration ended. If the planet dies because of climate change, there will be no more football games to enjoy. This is a continuation of the mass climate protests that have swept the globe in recent months, which included appearances by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. And school officials and older fans should support the demonstrations and actually do something to stop climate change. Their selfishness is why our world is in the mess it is in.
They may not like what the protesters did, but the captain of the Harvard football team threw his full support behind it, and many players wore wristbands to show their support as well.
“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,” Wesley Ogsbury said. “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.”
A Yale student voiced agreement.
“For seven years, the university administrations have refused to engage in real dialogue and instead stalled and silenced student voices, Josie Ingall of the Class of 2023 said. “We’ve attempted to go through the official channels. It hasn’t worked.”
And yet, Yale and Harvard officials wonder why the protesters chose to hold a demonstration during a football game. That’s clearly the only way to get their attention.
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