In a column for The Detroit News, Professor Mark Perry writes about efforts by college students at campuses across the nation aimed at convincing university officials to divest their endowments of investments in companies involved with producing energy from fossil fuels.
“[C]ollege students are once again at the vanguard of a national movement to force colleges and public pension funds to participate in a political cause, this time against global warming, by diverting all their endowment holdings away from large fossil-fuel companies,” writes Perry.
This seems foolish for two reasons. First, global temperature trends don’t seem to be following any of the dire models global warming alarmists created as proof of this supposed crisis. Despite the self-assurance of environmental activists, and even many scientists, it remains to be seen if the “climate change crisis” is a crisis at all.
Second, thanks in large part to innovations in the fossil fuel energy markets, carbon emissions in America are actually falling already. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing (which, for many environmental activists, is the new global warming) America has opened up oceans of previously unreachable natural gas reserves. In turn, natural gas is replacing coal as a cheap and reliable source of electrical generation.
That has caused US carbon emissions to fall to their lowest level since 1992, meaning that for many of these college students US carbon emissions are at the lowest point in their lifetimes.
That drop in emissions is possible, in part, thanks to the investments in fossil fuel companies which these students oppose. Without capital, fossil fuel companies wouldn’t have been able to develop the technology and techniques needed to unlock centuries worth of oil and gas reserves locked away in shale formations around the country.