ON-Lion Letter

The fossil-fuel divestment movement is an attack on freedom of inquiry and responsible social advocacy in American higher education.  The movement impresses on a generation of students an attitude of grim hostility to intellectual freedom, democratic self-government, and responsible stewardship of natural resources.

A November study from the National Association of Scholars (NAS) in New York City, Inside Divestment:  The Illiberal Movement to Turn a Generation Against Fossil Fuels, comprehensively shows how that is happening.  Inside Divestment is the sequel to Sustainability:  Higher Education's New Fundamentalism, published last March by NAS.

"[T]he divestment movement is doing significant damage," Inside Divestment concludes.  "It affronts academic freedom, the tradition of civil debate, and the purpose of higher education -- along with free markets, republican government, and individual liberty.  The movement offers nothing but symbolic scorn toward the major supplier of energy in modern economies.

"The fossil fuel divestment movement, like most popular fads in higher education, would benefit from close scrutiny," it continues.  "This report is a start.  But there are more questions to be asked, and more people -- students, professors, trustees, government officials, public observers, parents, alumni, and scholars -- who should ask them."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports NAS's work on the divestment movement.

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