The University of Michigan divesting from fossil fuels shows that change is here | Bill McKibben
Relentless student pressure and the cold facts of the bottom line forced an institution with close ties to the car industry to reverse course in just six years
If you want proof of how decisively the climate zeitgeist has begun to shift, you could look to Washington and the transition between the Trump and Biden eras.
But you could also look further west, to Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, which routinely tops the rankings of America’s best public universities. It’s a massive institution whose faculty and graduates have collected scores of Nobel, Pulitzer and MacArthur prizes; somewhere on the surface of the moon there’s a plaque marking its first extraterrestrial alumni chapter, because all the astronauts on Apollo 15 had studied there. It couldn’t be more middle-American, with deep ties to, among other things, the state’s world-leading automotive industry.
Related: It’s unavoidable: we must ban fossil fuels to save our planet. Here’s how we do it | Roland Geyer
The only perspective that matters now is long-term – the future of the planet is at stake – and so the only actions that matter are short-term