The Guardian (UK) is reporting that Cambridge University has refused to divest its £5.9 Billion endowment in fossil fuels. It has been under pressure to do so by students, academics and even by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The University argued that it was better to keep a relationship with fossil companies as a way of maintaining influence on their decision making. As if. Those who dwell in ivory towers often have their heads in clouds. But more often illogical decisions are based on pure greed and dirty, oil soaked money.
The Cambridge financial Dons have displayed their colours and it’s a black as the oil they protect. They should be remembering what happened to the Welcome Trust last year when they lost $175 million due to plummeting share prices in the energy sector.
Which makes one wonder why would Cambridge University, which ranks itself the most prestigious university in the world, not want to protect their £5.9 bn bag of gold by moving it to something more sustainable? Do they know something we don’t?
Perhaps they know of the details in the very controversial TTIP treaty (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) that is being secretly negotiated between the US and EU. It’s the latest plan by US corporations to control any country that can be lured into signing trade deals. “TTIP is about reducing the regulatory barriers to trade for big business, things like food safety law, environmental legislation, banking regulations and the sovereign powers of individual nations.”
Leaked details say it includes a ‘corporate’ court that has jurisdiction over the courts of sovereign nations. “Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) provisions, allow companies to sue governments if those governments’ policies cause a loss of profits. In effect it means unelected transnational corporations can dictate the policies of democratically elected governments.” Fossil fuel companies could sue governments over any actions to limit use of their products – no matter what destruction it causes to the environment.
Is that what Cambridge university is counting on to maintain their own endowment profits? Is that why oil companies are so keen to find new reserves and why British lawmakers and their paymasters are so anxious to sink fracking wells all over the UK to prove reserves? Do the fossil companies and their enablers expect to empty the treasuries of Britain and other European countries by claiming that climate change legislation has denied them the profits and capital they outlayed on ‘stranded assets’?
Has Cambridge University chosen the ‘dark side’ of climate change by choosing profit over common sense? If so, it will be the beginning of the end for this 800 year old institution. Activists within the university vow to continue the fight. This is going to be a tight race between divestment and TTIP. If TTIP backers win then we will enter a new global order where democracy is a thing of memories and the official ‘corporate-state empire’ becomes a reality. It won’t last long because that new empire is determined to destroy all life on the planet – or at least all life that they deem as surplus to requirements.
Is it time to demand complete transparency in ALL public and private institutions?
It’s long overdue. And, it’s a very big elephant in the room.
Quotes from: The Independent Newspaper, http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-is-ttip-and-six-reasons-why-the-answer-should-scare-you-9779688.html 6 October 2015