Thursday Tutu-spirations

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A must-read: Bill McKibben on fossil fuel divestment

The case for fossil fuel divestment: on the road with the new generation of college activists fighting for the environment.

This gives me hope, and makes me so freaking proud of all the students who are working tirelessly to, quite literally, save the world.

If you’re a college student or an alum, and your school has a divestment campaign, I urge you to support them. Write letters, threaten not to donate any money to your alma mater until they divest from fossil fuel, do whatever else you can.

The logic of divestment couldn’t be simpler: if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage. The fossil fuel industry, as I showed in Rolling Stone last summer, has five times as much carbon in its reserves as even the most conservative governments on earth say is safe to burn – but on the current course, it will be burned, tanking the planet. The hope is that divestment is one way to weaken those companies – financially, but even more politically. If institutions like colleges and churches turn them into pariahs, their two-decade old chokehold on politics in DC and other capitals will start to slip. Think about, for instance, the waning influence of the tobacco lobby – or the fact that the firm making Bushmaster rifles shut down within days of the Newtown massacre, after the California Teachers Pension Fund demanded the change. “Many of America’s leading institutions are dozing on the issue of climate,” says Robert Massie, head of the New Economics Institute. “The fossil fuel divestment campaign must become the early morning trumpet call that summons us all to our feet.”

Reading while fat, part 4

“Buildings and cars, electricity and language–what a piece of work is man, right? What triumphs of rationality, you know? If you really take it all in, you can become enamored with a smug belief about how smart you and the rest of the human race have become.

Yet you lock your keys in the car. You forget what it was you were about to say. You get fat. You go broke. Others do it too. From bank crises to sexual escapades, we can all be really stupid sometimes.”

–David McRaney, You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself

Pretty ironic for a book about unconscious biases, huh?

The Oscars: the good, the bad, and the ugly

I didn’t actually watch the Oscars, but who needs to, when all the highlights (and, unfortunately, lowlights) are all over the internet?

The Good 

-The gowns of Octavia Spencer, Fan Bing Bing, Helena Bonham Carter, and the ridiculously adorable Quvenzhane Wallis–check out her puppy purse!

-Jennifer Lawrence’s reaction to ridiculous questions from the press:

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