Today the Times Union published the following letter to the editor by Ruth Foster, SHARE Co-Chair:
Teachers Retirement Fund Must Divest
This has been a bad year. As we have coped with our new lives during a pandemic, we have watched the news in horror as California burned, as Midwest crops and homes were flattened by a “once in a hundred year” wind storm, as Louisiana was flooded by hurricanes, and as the Southwest hit record-high temperatures. Similar climate disasters are playing out across the planet, and the burning of fossil fuels is the main cause.
The Times Union reported that 1,100 academics signed a letter calling on state Comptroller Thomas D. DiNapoli and lawmakers to divest New York’s pension fund from all fossil fuels. But the pension fund DiNapoli manages isn’t the only one investing in climate destruction. The New York State Teachers Retirement System also has billions invested in coal, oil and gas.
The job of teachers is to prepare their students for the future. They must demand their pension fund stop funding climate destruction and use the pension to support a sustainable future for the next generation. This pandemic has shown us that we can make drastic changes in an emergency. We are in the midst of a climate emergency. Let’s act like it.