The burning of fossil fuels has been proven to be the lead cause of climate change as it causes the release of CO2 and other nasty pollutants into the atmosphere, trapping heat and increasing our planet's temperature among other things. The consequences of the global atmospheric temperature increase are numerous. From the melting of polar ice caps and rising water levels to droughts and stronger hurricanes, fossil fuels seem to have nothing but devastating effects on our planet.
With all the different changes occurring to the planet due to it's changing climate, everyone is being impacted. However, those who seem to be seeing the effects of climate change affect them the most are those living in the southern hemisphere, specifically the island nations. These nations are losing their land as ocean levels rise and face increasingly devastating storms constantly. Though they are being affected the most, they actually emit the least amount of greenhouse gases comparatively to the rest of the world, specifically countries such as the United States who is second only to China on the list of largest amount of CO2 emissions.
Cost of Fossil Fuels
"In the United States, credible estimates of annual fossil fuel subsidies range from $10 billion to $52 billion annually yet these don’t even include costs borne by taxpayers related to the climate, local environmental, and health impacts of the fossil fuel industry. As of July 2014, Oil Change International estimates U.S. fossil fuel subsidies at $37.5 billion annually, including $21 billion in production and exploration subsidies." http://priceofoil.org/fossil-fuel-subsidies/
Western Washington University prides itself in its strong focus on the environment and sustainability. Home to Huxley's College of the Environment, including a newly added energy major, WWU's focus on the environment is an obvious one, but why won't we divest? We know the impact of the fossil fuel industry on the environment, so why do we choose to continue funding it? For SRE, divestment is an obvious choice for Western, but how do we convince the Foundation and University? But also, why does it take convincing?