It is no secret that our world is burning. Untold numbers of human beings are at risk, alongside the countless known and unknown animal and plant species subject to endangerment or extinction. Furthermore, our most vulnerable communities—victims of colonialist imperialism or racial apartheid or economic exploitation—remain those most threatened by worsening climate change, despite their negligible contributions to the crisis relative to the state-sponsored extractivism of the world’s fossil fuel corporations. As long as neoliberal myopia prolongs our societal carbon addiction in the name of profit, our civilization will march closer and closer to devastation—or perhaps even annihilation. None of this in dispute.
Princeton University is complicit in enabling the global climate crisis through its continued investment in the fossil fuel industry. In accordance with its motto “In the nation’s service, and in the service of humanity,” the University has in many ways striven to be a leader in the fight against climate change through institutional frameworks such as the Princeton Environmental Institute and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. In blatant disregard of the same motto, however, Princeton continues to maintain unhealthy, counterproductive, and immoral connections with the corporations whose propaganda and negligence have posed the most aggressive threat to human life in its short and increasingly precarious history. Instead of leading an effort to prosecute these corporate entities for their criminal negligence, Princeton continues to prolong their destructive relevance in the name of an already eleven-figure endowment.
In the interest of ensuring a livable future for the generations to come, we at the Nass call on the University by way of its resource committee, its Board of Trustees, and our University President to conduct an immediate and complete divestment from all fossil fuels. Until it does so, it will continue to cede all moral and intellectual authority in the face of its decisive inaction on the defining global issue of our time. We encourage them to follow the recommendations and guidance of the brilliantly organized student-alumni movement Divest Princeton, to whom we at the Nass lend our complete and unequivocal support and with whom we stand in solidarity.
Princeton, history is watching. Don’t be the one who stood idly by as the world burned. Be the leader you claim to be.
Peter Taylor ’22, Editor-in-Chief
Mika Hyman ’22, Co-Publisher
Anika Khakoo ’23, Co-Publisher
And the rest of the masthead of the forty-third volume of the Nassau Weekly