Recently, we covered a story about University of California – Los Angeles student groups considering capitalism as a way to end their budget woes.
It’s too bad some professors lack that common sense and perspective. Minding the Campus writer George Leef recently took a look at the true impact of college “divestment campaigns”:
College campuses abound in silly sentiments and enthusiasm for actions that make zealous students, professors, and administrators to feel good about themselves, but accomplish nothing. The current push to compel colleges and universities to divest their stock holdings in companies that produce fossil fuels — discussed in this article in The Chronicle of Higher Education — (subscriber content) is a good example.
Lots of college students think they need to devote time and energy to “saving the planet,” which requires stopping the use of fossil fuels. They insist that college officials take “an ethical stand” against companies that produce and sell fossil fuels because those fuels contribute to global warming.
Instead of either ignoring the students or, better yet, telling them facts they would rather not hear, some college leaders are going along.
For example, Stephen Mulkey, president of Unity College in Maine (which modestly calls itself “America’s environmental college”) says that he supports divestment because it will “send a very strong signal that conservative investors have agreed that this is not an ethical investment.”
What a perfect example of the cocoon in which academic leftists live.
… the act of selling the stock won’t make the slightest bit of difference to ExxonMobil. The activist students and compliant officials evidently believe that divesting a college’s stock somehow hurts the evil company and will make it change its ways or go out of business. It won’t.
In equity markets, vast numbers of trades occur every day. Sellers part with stock because they (for whatever reason) want cash instead and buyers part with their money because they prefer to hold the stock. The firm that issued the stock is not affected by the trades. ExxonMobil’s leaders don’t care if a fraction of its shares are held in Unity College’s portfolio or somewhere else. They will continue using the company’s assets as profitably as possible to produce fuels that almost everyone wants.
The whole idea that it is “unethical” to continue using fossil fuels is nonsense and the divestment mania is a silly means to that nonsensical end. Typical of higher education these days.
Feel-Good "Divestment" Campaigns Thrive on Campuses - Short Takes (Minding the Campus)