News

Stanford students continue sit-in at main quad

Student organization, Fossil Free Stanford, calling for divestment from fossil fuels

A sit-in by students calling for Stanford University's divestment from the fossil fuel industry has continued for a second day.

More than 100 students have assembled at the college's main quad outside university president John Hennessy's office since Monday afternoon.

Fossil Free Stanford, a student organization, led the sit-in and is calling for the university to divest from the fossil fuel industry, according to organizer Michael Penuelas.

Penuelas, 22, who is working on his master's degree in environmental policy and management, said the university divested from coal last year and now the group is looking for "comprehensive divestment" from fossil fuels including oil and gas.

The group doesn't want their education to be funded by profits in the fossil fuel industry, he said.

Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies, who staff the campus's Department of Public Safety, have been patrolling around the sit-in and are monitoring the group, university spokeswoman Lisa Lapin said.

Lapin did not know of any plans by the university to address the students' requests.

On Monday, Stanford's dean of students Chris Griffith went to the quad with deputies to warn students that they are violating the university's main quad usage policy and may face trespassing charges, Penuelas said.

Students set up tents and sleeping bags at the quad, where they slept overnight, Penuelas said.

Other student groups have coordinated to provide meals for the protesters, according to Penuelas.

Fossil Free Stanford is holding teach-ins on environmental issues at the quad and reaching out to the university's board of trustees through social media to address the divestment issue, Penuelas said.

The students are asking the university to divest from the fossil fuel companies before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Paris later this month.

Fossil Free Stanford has been working with the university's Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing, which can recommend the board of trustees to follow through on the divestment, student organizers said.

Penuelas said he suspects the university has been stalling on their decision and is not bargaining with them in good faith.

He acknowledged the university has to thoroughly research the companies before they make a decision, but said the delay will result in more costs to the communities impacted by the fossil fuel industry for their inaction.

Comments

44 people like this
Posted by observer
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

Want a fossil [fuel] free Stanford? Here are first steps. Each step is entirely in an individual's hands to implement:

- do not travel to Stanford in an airplane, automobile, bus, or diesel-electric train, all of which consume enormous quantities of fossil fuel;

- do not travel to SF, Tahoe, LA, the beach, etc., using any of the above;

- do not purchase anything during the academic year except necessary food and academics supplies, all other purchases have manufacturing industries and supply chains which consume vast quantities of fossil fuels Just study!

Who will show the courage of their conviction?

<crickets>


15 people like this
Posted by 38 year resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by Polly Wanacracker
a resident of Professorville
on Nov 17, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Come on, people. It's nothing to get burned up about.


21 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

Some people just want to feel like they are "doing something" -- even if it isn't entirely rational or well-considered. I guess that this is just part of being young and naive -- true even for students admitted into Stanford.


14 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

We should be celebrating fossil fuels, because they lift massive numbers of people out of poverty. Natural gas is a natural bridge away from coal, and nuclear power is carbon free. [Portion removed.]

The real question is why Stanford adults don't stand up against global warming alarmism.


52 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 17, 2015 at 1:41 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ observer: Don't leave out all of the products that are made from fossil fuels!

I'd love to see these protesters give up eyeglasses, contact lenses, sunglasses, computers, cell phones, tablets, laptops, televisions, tennis shoes, athletic socks, tennis balls, basketballs, footballs, synthetic clothes (e.g., nylon), toilet seats, tape, red solo plastic cups, bandages, cameras, toothbrushes, toothpaste, medical devices, paint, lipstick, toothpaste, trash bags, battery casing, life jackets, ski jackets, winter jackets, appliances, microwaves, air conditioning and refrigerator refrigerant, hand lotion, bicycle parts, shower curtains, DVD's and BluRays, luggage, skis, snowboards, roofing materials, brushes, combs, fans, graduation robes, dyes, bluetooth speakers, guitar strings, insect repellent, tires, nail polish, ice chests, paint, paint brushes, pens, pencils, hair color, dice, surfboards, boogie boards, straws, video game consoles, video game disks, exercise equipment, rugs, carpet, backsplashes, tiles, vitamin capsules, ibuprofen, artificial turf, golf balls, football helmets, boats, airplane interiors, pet transport containers, soaps, shampoos, dentures, etc.

I suppose that we can add many more things to this list that I suspect many of these protesters cannot live without.


14 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:28 pm

@observer, @38 year resident, @Polly Wanacracker [the answer is yes], @Nayeli, @Craig Laughton

Fossil Free Stanford has very specific demands. From the website:

We ask Stanford University to:
-Immediately freeze any new investment in the top 100 oil and gas companies, ranked by carbon content of their proven fuel reserves, and,
-Divest within five years from direct ownership in those 100 companies and from any commingled funds that include their equities or corporate bonds

Unless those 100 companies publicly commit to:
-Only burning 20% or less of their reserves, which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has agreed is the maximum before we hit "dangerous anthropogenic interference with our climate system"
-Stop seeking new fossil fuel reserves, given that they already control five times the resources we can afford to burn
-Stop actively lobbying against national legislation and international agreements that would limit GHG emissions

It seems deeply unfair to ask an activist to make their own life completely unlivable (e.g. by giving up the list of suggestions posted earlier) in order to achieve gradual change that makes life much MORE livable for marginalized communities all over the world.

Nevertheless, I will point out that many protesters are making the kinds of sacrifices you suggest. FFS is providing only vegetarian foods for protesters. Most of them do not own cars and are trying hard to structure our lives so that they don't need them once they graduate university. I personally donate 20% of my income (when I have an income) to impoverished communities, and I spend 10 hours every week tracking the effect of all of my actions and donations so that they are as effective as possible. I live frugally to minimize my own carbon impact.

It's fine if you want to have a discussion about the mechanism by which successful divestment might affect the fossil fuel industry's impact on climate negotiation and policy. I'm sure that you are well-informed about the way climate negotiations work, and the role many of the largest oil and gas companies play at them. This is undoubtedly why you feel so strongly about our movement.

But it is very hard to engage with you if you accuse us repeatedly of being naive and hypocritical. That makes us think that you are dismissing us out of hand without considering our arguments. We have spent hundreds of hours individually, and far more as a group, researching this cause and communicating with people across many movements and within related industries. On top of that, the majority of our leadership is pursuing careers dedicated to minimizing the negative impacts of climate change through sustainable agricultural practices, sustainable energy research, urban planning, and other areas.

It's true that we are younger than you and, therefore, our worldview is likely different. But please engage with us at the level of our ideas, rather than by engaging in ad hominem attacks that really aren't that relevant to our cause in the first place.

We look forward to hearing productive ideas about better ways to reduce fossil fuel consumption!


5 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Most of them do not own cars and are trying hard to structure THEIR lives so that they don't need them once they graduate university. (not our, typo)


18 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2015 at 3:11 pm

This actually seems like a fairly reasonable objective for a protest. The effects of global warming are deadly. On a local level, we're already locked in to a sea level rise that will puts a third of Palo Alto under water. It's no longer a question of if, but of when. We can no longer prevent that sea-level rise, we can only deal with it--wetlands, underwater dykes.

Ironically, those fossil fuels may make the Persian Gulf uninhabitable by 2100. We're looking at a long-term disaster on multiple levels--economic, human, environmental--I'm glad someone's noticing.


6 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm

@ Anita, @ Opar: Do you support nuclear power (carbon-free)for electricity production, or not? If not, why not?

Of course, I could also ask why you are so alarmist about climate change, caused by human activity. There is very little solid evidence for it. Why not be skeptical, without being a true believer?


7 people like this
Posted by @Craig Laughton
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm

My expertise is in renewables, but I would prefer nuclear as a stepping stone to 100% renewables. I am not wedded to this, I could be convinced of natural gas as a better stepping stone.

Having spent 4 years reading as many studies in climate science available to me, I join the vast majority of scientists in observing that today's climate change is real, anthropogenic, and dangerous. I highly recommend reading the IPCC and the NIPCC reports and comparing the papers they cite, as well as the relevance of those citations. If you do this comparison and decide the NIPCC actually has better results, I'd definitely like to hear your argument.


4 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm

As many studies as possible. Sorry, typing on small screen.


8 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:23 pm

>Having spent 4 years reading as many studies in climate science available to me, I join the vast majority of scientists in observing that today's climate change is real, anthropogenic, and dangerous.

Anita, The studies you are reading are funded by government grants that ONLY support anthropogenic global warming alarmism. I have studied as much as you have, probably more, and I remain a skeptic (but not a denier). My background is in science, and I had a career in it. Please feel free to send me an email (claught1@earthlink.net)...we can discuss.

BTW, I was a student at Stanford when Paul Ehrlich was selling his propaganda, and I bought into it. I am sorry about that now, but it seems to come with being a true believer in college.

You seem to be somewhat open minded, though...you are willing to consider natural gas and nuclear...good for you. If you email me, we can have a good discussion. Not enough bandwidth to do it here.

Regards,

Craig


69 people like this
Posted by Clueless in Palo Alto
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Do these kids even realize that what they are doing will go on their college transcript--and future employers will see it?

Their silliness today will affect their job searches tomorrow.


36 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm

The majority of oil production is in countries that require oil for transportation, heating, food production, and everyday general living. Take Russia for example - the whole economy is into an expansionist mode in-part for oil producing countries. Russia's control over areas is based on the ability to provide oil for heating, manufacturing, and cooking.

As to the US blanketing the deserts with solar panels has it's own destructive characteristics.

Ted Koppel's book - "Lights Out" points out that there are three main electrical grids across America that are driven by turbines. Petroleum drives the turbines. If terrorists take out any one of the grids then the part of the US will be in blackout that is supported by that grid.

Bottom line is that petroleum is critical to keep the lights on, the heat on, and the production of the many products and services that require petroleum, including transportation.

Most university students are not yet of an age when they are out in the world supporting themselves and a family. And most college students have not yet reached full maturity in which to determine how the world works. Their brains have yet to reach the full ability to critically evaluate the outcome of any action.

A better use of their time would be working in the engineering and chemical fields as to how to manage and improve on what is out there rather than shutting down the main power ability of all countries. that is what the terrorists want to do.


5 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm

I appreciate your openness but I am not interested in engaging in skeptic ideas. I spent a long, long portion of my time at Stanford specifically reading skeptic studies because I started out fairly skeptical. At this point, I am much more interested in solutions than arguing over the science. I am sure you can find people who are want to talk about the science, but I frankly find it draining enough that afterwards I'm less useful at generating good solutions.


5 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Resident 1, again, we are not trying to turn off the power. We're trying to get it to come from more renewable resources over time. And right now we're simply asking for a change in investment strategy. And again, many of us are in fact studying energy for the purpose of improving what we have.


10 people like this
Posted by @Craig Laughton
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:03 pm

"The studies you are reading are funded by government grants that ONLY support anthropogenic global warming alarmism."

Take off your tinfoil hat, Laughton, it's destroying your brain.


Like this comment
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:05 pm

>I appreciate your openness but I am not interested in engaging in skeptic ideas. I spent a long, long portion of my time at Stanford specifically reading skeptic studies because I started out fairly skeptical....

And what studies were those, Anita? Please be specific, since you do not care to go offline to discuss.


3 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

I started with the entire NIPCC with all its cited sources. It took a year and a half. I hope that is a sufficient starting point given it is basically the starting point for skepticism.


12 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:08 pm

> but I am not interested in engaging in skeptic ideas

Another example of how many people claiming to be "experts" in the area of "climate science" have become so closed that they shout down, even vilify, the traditional scientific method unless the "science" endorses their position.

We have some climate zealots even calling for the incarceration of people who don't agree with them. Given the klaptrap of Paul Erlich (et al)--it's hard to take the absolutist positions of these extremists in any way other than an attempt to impose dogma over open discourse.

One can only wonder how long it will be before these people will be demanding that strict population control that results in the reduction of the earth's population to perhaps 50% of its current numbers via eugenics, or some other government-imposed controls, are the only "solutions" they are willing to allow into the public discussion of this topic?


3 people like this
Posted by @Craig Laughton
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm

What are YOUR studies, Laughton? And I mean actual, peer-reviewed scientific studies...


2 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm

NIPCC report


7 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

Come on, Joe, that is clearly an uncharitable reading. I have engaged with these ideas extensively in the past and I found it very costly to change my mind, which is why I now find it draining to engage with them even more.


3 people like this
Posted by @Joe
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

"Another example of how many people claiming to be "experts" in the area of "climate science" have become so closed that they shout down, even vilify, the traditional scientific method unless the "science" endorses their position."

Once upon a time, those who believed the earth was flat attacked those who insisted that it was actually round.

Once upon a time, those who believed the sun revolved around the earth attacked those who believed that the earth revolved around the sun.

[Portion removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

I sort of appreciate the support in this thread, but the tone isn't that helpful. Craig was actually pretty polite about disagreeing. I wish I had availability to engage with him. I just know from experience that it will be counterproductive for work I want to do later.


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:47 pm

>Craig was actually pretty polite about disagreeing. I wish I had availability to engage with him. I just know from experience that it will be counterproductive for work I want to do later.

I know you have no objective reason to trust me. All I can say is that you can try to give it a little teeny try (via email). I will not give you away (trust me!...I am locally known, and I would not breach your trust...I have a wife and a daughter and a son...I would do nothing to endanger your future career). My only effort would be to discuss the underlying science about global warming and potential approaches.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there...if you care to engage, via email, let me know (it will be between us, and I will do nothing to shut down your career. Maybe I can make your arguments stronger....)

Regards,

Craig


30 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Having read the article both here and in the SJM I am concerned that students are being side-tracked from getting their degrees and becoming contributing members of society. I am sure that their parents would appreciate that the investment in a SU education is beneficial vs. a potential problem in their ability to progress in their chosen field.

So who is Anita? Is Anita a student or teacher? Where does Anita come from? Does Anita come from a foreign country? I do not see that name in the article. And who is leading this adventure in faculty/administration harassment? Is it a student or someone who is a professional agitator? Student activists make a career out of such activities.

Energy is a big topic and the people who spend the most in developing new techniques are the oil companies. I am not for coal at all but petroleum is critical. So why is China trying to usurp oil producing areas in the Pacific? Because they see the value in oil. They are willing to go to war over oil.

From the beginning of time oil has been used for many purposes that have promoted further development of civilization. Other countries need oil vs coal.

Suggest that people start reading the financial section of the paper and see who are the most heavily invested companies. The students are not seeing the whole picture - only what the activist are telling them.

Suggest that the students try and learn something in their chosen field rather than harassing the faculty and staff.

Having just read "The Organized Mind" by Daniel J. Levitin - a neuroscientist - he points out the development functions of the brain from birth to death. The students are still in the impressionable department. They are ripe for the pickings.


5 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 7:04 pm

I'm a grad student here who's part of the sit in. I'm from the northeast. I've been out at Stanford for five years.

I completely agree that we're impressionable. I just don't like the implication that we are being intellectually lazy. We are all seeking out as many sources as we can (including ones like Craig, thanks Craig, I swear there are people who'd like to talk to you) on campus.


6 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Is is impossible to be intellectually lazy at SU. The brightest students are there. But they are still in a formative stage of development. And if Anita is a graduate student then she is still not out there having to work in the world as an adult. Sorry Anita - spending time harassing the administration and prompting other students to side-track their educational development is what is lazy - go do real work - get a job in the oil industry and find out what is really going on.

Side note - Germany lost in WWII is part because they ran out of oil. They lost the ability to keep moving their troops. The US help win WWII because we increased our development and use of oil to move our troops. Oil in the world scheme of things is very important - always has been.


Like this comment
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 17, 2015 at 7:25 pm

Things we have been talking about at this sit-In include how to improve the smart grid, how to encourage oil and gas companies to invest more in renewables, stats on extraction methods, and plenty more. Many of our professors have moved classes to us. We have not stopped doing homework. We are not sacrificing the incredible opportunities Stanford provides.

We have impeded no one from entering buildings and certainly done nothing that can be classed as harassment. Some administrators have chosen not to speak to us but we would not impede ten going anywhere. Again, all I am looking for is engagement on respectful terms. Which Craig has kindly given. (Also, I've been in the work force and if the only form of work you find acceptable for enacting this kind of change is within the oil industry I think that's unnecessarily limiting.)


21 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Ah, so the hundreds of articles from around the world that support the occurrence of man-made climate change are all part of a government conspiracy. Damn, I had no idea the world gov. was that well organized and efficient. I'll remember that next time at the DMV.

Well, the reality is grim, so no wonder that climate-change deniers will spin all sorts of fairy tales to deny it. Damn shame though.


4 people like this
Posted by @OPar
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2015 at 8:03 pm

"Ah, so the hundreds of articles from around the world that support the occurrence of man-made climate change are all part of a government conspiracy. Damn, I had no idea the world gov. was that well organized and efficient. I'll remember that next time at the DMV."

OPar for the win!


36 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2015 at 9:46 pm

Anita - you are in double speak. First you want to divest the oil companies - then you want them to invest in better production methods. Guess what - they are already doing that. You cannot run around talking about divestment on the one hand and then talking about them investing in newer methods - it takes money for research and development on new methods.

Divestment is the latest buzz word. Have you all noticed that they always want you to divest in the largest held companies - the top 20.

Start reading the financial pages and read up on the energy section. Many large oil companies are not on the US stock exchange - they are foreign owned companies owned by their governments - like Russia. You all are betting for the other countries - a lot in the soviet block - and betting against America.

[Portion removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 17, 2015 at 9:55 pm

"Don't leave out all of the products that are made from fossil fuels! etc., etc."

Um, it ain't a fuel if it don't get burned.


22 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm

Read the whole article again.
SU needs to review their acceptance policies for new students. So many apply who are smart and accomplished. Those are the people that can graduate and go out into the work world and help build America. They need better skills at picking who is accepted - and who is allowed to continue and graduate.

Side note: Mr. Obama started his college life at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He organized protests against the university for investments in South Africa. He did not graduate from Occidental - he continued his college experience in New York. That seems like a good resolution for the problem - the students can continue their studies at some other college.
How thrilling for their parents who have paid for all of this.



29 people like this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 18, 2015 at 8:00 am

The SFC 11/18/15 - "Iran - Country looking to export twice as much crude oil" - World Section. Since we are now concerned about Iran's adventures in nuclear development used for war tactics then this is a good alternative. Iran is hosting the Gas Exporting Countries Forum this Saturday. That includes Russia, Qatar, Algeria, Mexico, and others. Note that these are oil companies owned by the government and are not listed on the US stock exchange in a manner that qualifies for divestment.

Divestment as a political tool originated in South Africa at a time when they were trying to break-up the British empire control. It was specific to a political situation in that time period. The universal application today has no relevance to the original application.


75 people like this
Posted by Hahaha
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:02 am

Talk about inflated grades!

My nephew was accepted to Stanford in 2012. He was also on the baseball team as a pitcher.

He to.d us he never had to attend class after 12:30 pm, because he was expected to practice in the afternoons. He also said he got one week off from classes to study for midterms, and two weeks off to study for finals.

He became really concerned because the only class he found challenging was economics, and feared what would happen when he got out in the real world.

My nephew had a baseball scholarship that was not transferable. However. He did some research and found if he went to a school out of state, he might qualify for another one.

The short of it was that he got another scholarship, but not a full ride, and ended up at the University of Michigan, where life is not so easy academically and he has far less free time, he has to deal with heavy snow and far less time for baseball practice.

But he feels certain he will be better prepared for the real world, and is looking forward to grad school.

BTW, there are two other kids in his dorm who felt cheated educationally by Stanford.

Maybe it IS possible as of late to be intellectually lazy at Stanford, and still graduate!


4 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 18, 2015 at 9:59 am

Resident 1, those are very good objections and I thank you for raising them.

Our goal is not to abolish oil, which is why we are focusing on US-traded companies. Our goal is also not to financially harm these companies. We absolutely do not believe that divestment will hurt these companies and make them less competitive globally.

The mechanism of divestment that we hope to see is a weakening of the oil and gas industry's lobbying power, especially as it relates to the international climate change negotiations that happen every year.

That brings us to the next point, that divestment will hurt these companies' ability to research and develop renewable resources. Again, because divestment will not hurt the companies financially, this is not true. It only hurts them politically. If companies expand R&D efforts and keep more reserves in the ground, we will not insist on divestment. (See my first post for details there.) Divestment remains a political, not a financial, tool.

There is an inherent coordination problem with divestment: it's only effective politically if many people do it. One of the areas of my research right now (outside my main focus of low-emission agriculture in east Asia, which is an area brimming with innovation right now) is whether or not this mechanism actually occurs if Stanford successfully divests.

That's why I'm curious about other people's views on better mechanisms for reducing fossil fuel consumption. I do not take for granted that this action will work, but I think it's worth having a successful divestment movement so that we can say for sure whether or not we should keep putting our efforts toward divestment in the future.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

I think you said in paragraph 4 that your group is using divestment as a research tool for your paper. So you are putting a spin on it for your own purposes.
Opinion - you are categorically wrong in your assumptions. And you are acting as judge and jury as to approaches and consequences.

Suggest that you go to work for an oil company and find out how it all actually works. That should be part of your research - work it from the inside-out - not the outside-in. Outside-in produces invalid results.


4 people like this
Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:53 am

I respect your opinion, thanks for sharing it.


18 people like this
Posted by Steve Raney
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:56 am

Anita, kudos for your well-informed, polite responses! You are an inspiration! I have called out your brave responses to 350 Silicon Valley and Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action (PICA). This Town Square is a really cruddy forum with lots of uncivil and/or anonymous (craven) name-calling. The Weekly generates tons of advertising revenue from it, so they have no financial incentive to evolve it into a civil, non-anonymous interchange of ideas like you would expect from a college town that is the world's high tech center.

Note that PICA presented 153 signed letters to PA Council and then Council unanimously adopted a divestment resolution.


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

>Ah, so the hundreds of articles from around the world that support the occurrence of man-made climate change are all part of a government conspiracy. Damn, I had no idea the world gov. was that well organized and efficient. I'll remember that next time at the DMV.

@OPar: There are many peer-reviewed published studies by climate warming skeptics. I have provided a link to Prof. Richard Linzen's (MIT professor of climate science...and a true world expert)papers, as just one example. There are so many more. The common theme, among these papers is that they were not awarded significant grants by the federal government in this country. It is a simple fact that the overwhelming federal monies go to the climate alarmists. Political science is almost always bad science, but that is what we have.

How ironic that Margaret Thatcher is the modern creator of the global warming hysteria (she wanted nuclear power to counter the coal miners' union, so she ginned up the argument against coal...and it took off from there, once government money was provided to support it).

There are so may holes in the global warming alarmism...but it is a very long (and tiresome) discussion.

Web Link


1 person likes this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 11:43 am

>I have called out your brave responses to 350 Silicon Valley and Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action (PICA).

@Steve Raney: Your cheerleading to the faith community of your choosing means what, exactly? It is hardly a scientific argument. BTW, as I recall, I think you were a big supporter of the high speed rail fiasco...or am I misremembering? That turkey was partially sold as a global warming alarmist meme.


1 person likes this
Posted by @Craig Laughton
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2015 at 1:05 pm

[Post removed.]


9 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

Craig,

If peer-reviewed papers are your standard, why are you ignoring the fact that the vast majority of papers published in peer-reviewed journals support anthropogenic climate change?

You're trying to have it both ways. Won't work. (We could also get into the number of anti-climate-change research scientists who are funded by the petroleum industry, which, of course, has a vested interest in denying climate change.)


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 1:49 pm

>Craig was actually pretty polite about disagreeing. I wish I had availability to engage with him. I just know from experience that it will be counterproductive for work I want to do later.

Anita, I wanted to mull this one over for a while...it's a bit confusing to me. Am I correct that, should you decide to present some skeptical views, your career would be in jeopardy? When I was at Stanford, that's the way it was (intellectual fascism)...however I don't know about today. Given the highly politicized nature of global warming alarmism, I could well believe this is the case. However, you can correct me, if I have it wrong, from your perspective.

Regards,

Craig


2 people like this
Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

>If peer-reviewed papers are your standard, why are you ignoring the fact that the vast majority of papers published in peer-reviewed journals support anthropogenic climate change?

@Opar: That is an obvious one...the vast majority of climate alarmist papers are funded from labs/researchers that get their money from government granting agencies. And those agencies are pushing an agenda of climate alarmism. One often hears that "97% of scientists support global warming as a real threat". That is nonsense, and I think you know it...just turn the funding formula around, and allocate 97% of federal grants to skeptics only. [Portion removed.]


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Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 18, 2015 at 3:43 pm

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I just meant personally. I can't imagine being barred from a job for engaging with these ideas. It's just costly for me because I had a hard time changing my mind about them.

I had to make an account to comment on this which I find very depressing so I'm going to delete it now and leave this conversation.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Craig Laughton is a registered user.

> I can't imagine being barred from a job for engaging with these ideas. It's just costly for me because I had a hard time changing my mind about them.

Anita, I think you might be a tad naïve. As you pursue you career in global warming alarmism in academia, skepticism will punish you, because you will not get grants. I am well aware of the academic grantsmanship environment (highly political). Please consider your own reality that is in front of you. You seem to be a very fair person, but I worry about you. I have been around the block, but you have not. Just try bringing up a simple skeptical view of global warming alarmism, to your fellow campers over there in the Quad...I doubt that you will like the response. It could be a good growth experience, though!. I wish you well.


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Posted by Anita
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:02 pm

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(But to clarify better, I just meant when I engage with this it tires me out and I'm less productive on the work I want to do that day. So I am prioritizing my own work, which I consider important. I'm not worried someone will find this thread and not hire me.)


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Posted by otter
a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm

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There are good arguments to be made on both sides about divestment from fossil fuels, many of which are made well here. However, the idea that these are not good Stanford students, or that they are going to have trouble finding jobs because of this sit in, is ridiculous. From everything that I have read here they seem to be working hard to develop knowledge and insight about an important issue, trying to make changes in the world that they believe are right based on what they've learned, and maintaining a respectful and intellectually curious attitude while they do it. No one is going to look back on a thoughtful protest during which students held classes and intellectual brainstorms as a lazy thing to do in college - by contrast, I remember spending entire days in undergrad drinking beer. So, by all means, argue that they are wrong about climate or the correct approach towards coal, oil, and gas if you think their wrong, but let's drop the "oh, and I though people worked hard at Stanford" grumbling.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

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[Post removed.]


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

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"How ironic that Margaret Thatcher is the modern creator of the global warming hysteria"

Not so much when you consider her archconservative fellow travelers Ronnie, W, and Newt. It's tough to keep the ol' gang together anymore.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

There are a number of different topics being argued here. Climate Change as an abstract, historical phenomena, divestment of fossil fuels, and the approach of the students as provided and described in the article - the camping out, the aggressive approach on the administration insisting that they are accountable to the students.

The camping out and aggression on the administration harkens back to the events previously on the San Mateo Bridge on Martin Luther Holiday. That is a concern.

When a person enters the work place there is a hierarchy of management. Most companies do not have the time to spend hiring employees who portend to be a problem to management - not part of the team. Possibly those are the type of people who never get a real job in a company where they can excel with positive management and leadership qualities.
Each is a discussion in its own right


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 18, 2015 at 8:52 pm

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Otter - yes! I know many former Stanford protesters who are gainfully employed.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 19, 2015 at 9:14 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Note the focus of the article is the students protesting. The end result of the protest is divestment.

Good article on that topic in the WSJ 11/19/15 - "Forcing Green Politics on Pension Funds". It notes that the Labor Department issued a Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01 regarding this topic. So it is being dealt with and requires no help from the protestors.

CALPERS is the one of the biggest pension funds that is suffering from a reduction in value. In order to meet it's obligations it will require higher, more costly participation by the agencies/ people that participate in it. Palo Alto is one of those agencies that will have to increase the cost of their participation.

Meanwhile - churches have their own pension funds and may vote as a group on a policy - but the actual fund may not comply and divest. We are talking about how it works at the top level - not at the individual church level. So do you think the Vatican is divesting?

And it is noted that the hedge funds mangers will pick up the divested funds at bargain prices - so Wall Street wins again. Maybe all of the protestors participate in hedge funds and are waiting for their payout.

The article points to an individual who is leading this protest - that person has somehow left Anita to hold down the fort. Very Clever.


Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace

on Nov 19, 2015 at 9:25 am

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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 19, 2015 at 11:50 am

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I highly, highly recommend this website Web Link to climate activists. It systematically debunks the denialist bunco, one myth at a time.

Many thanks to Craig Laughton for pointing us at it.


Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace

on Nov 19, 2015 at 12:53 pm

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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 19, 2015 at 4:40 pm

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"@Curmudgeon: Thanks. I have followed this argument for years, and I thought those alarmists who disagree had, too. Maybe not.... "

You're welcome.


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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 20, 2015 at 10:31 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Just to pass on to Steve Rainey and Inter-Faith Council discussion that is continuing on a different track for SU - check out that discussion.

As you all recall the Inter-Faith Council was working off the Desmond Tutu Foundation model for divestment. The Desmond Tutu Foundation is partially funded by the Clinton Global Initiative.

If you go to the web sites for South Africa you will note that SA is using natural gas to supplement their weak electricity capacity and have a goal of increasing their gas capacity to 20 gigawatts of gas-tiered-base-load power generation capacity by 2030. The gas is expected to be provided by imports and local shale-gas resources. The increase of gas is their number 3 goal in support of future development.

So while we are expected to divest from what is the top 20 stock companies with some of the highest dividend yields other countries are increasing their gas dependency.

Now that is what I would expect from the Clinton Global initiative - there is always a back door which leads to increase of foundation wealth.


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 20, 2015 at 11:23 am

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

Since the quality of a Stanford education is apparently not high, two things:

FIRST- Stanford students, please watch this video debunking global warming: Web Link

SECOND - In light of events in Paris last weekend, I'll add the following logic, which hopefully Stanford's empathetic students can appreciate:

1. For some reason, the U.S. still feels itself in a Cold War with Russia.
2. Syria is Russia's most strategic ally in the Middle East.
3. Assad's continued presence prevents establishment of natural gas pipelines from Qatar to Europe, maintaining Russia's energy grip over Europe.
4. To hurt Russia and help Europe, the U.S. has funded Salafist & Sunni opposition to Assad, knowing something like ISIS could well happen.
5. ISIS has happened.
6. Many people are now dead in France.
7. Europe's still dependent on Russian energy.

That's what I understand the situation to be, but please pipe up if you disagree, 'cause my Middle Eastern geopolitics ain't polished.

Here's what I'm thinkin', though:

1. Every green energy evangelisin', nuclear-hating, global warming preachin', Prius or Tesla-driving, TGV or metro-taking humanoid should henceforth clam up about allllllll that CO2 drivel, can that righteous fossil fuel escape path tom-foolery and instead dedicate with equal fervor themselves to developing Europe's *OWN* energy resources, so peace can come.

2. We here in the U.S. need to realize the only reason the U.S. and Russia are ACTING like foes is because we're letting Democrat and Republican politicians alike maintain the Cold War, for no good reason. If we feel like Russia's no longer an enemy, we gotta make that peace happen.

3. Every minute we're NOT talking about this is being spent talking about what, again?


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"We here in the U.S. need to realize the only reason the U.S. and Russia are ACTING like foes is because we're letting Democrat and Republican politicians alike maintain the Cold War, for no good reason."

There's a very good reason: politicians know nothing lathers up The Base like a really evil enemy, actual or imputed. Thinking people like you and me see right through their scheme, but enough fall for it to make it worthwhile.

Maybe somebody with time on their hands could make a map showing the districts that voted those politicians in. I bet it would coincide nicely with a map of climate change deniers.

Again, I highly recommend Craig Laughton's web link: Web Link


Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace

on Nov 20, 2015 at 12:47 pm

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Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Please note that Russia's control over eastern Europe is due to their gas and oil dominance. Russia is trying to increase their dominance in that field. Is Putin divesting Russia from oil and gas?

Do we have any protestors from eastern block countries that would be willing to acknowledge that Putin is trying to grow his control of oil and gas?

It does not make sense for the US companies to degrade their control of oil and gas when China and Russia are trying to increase their control of oil and gas. Since these are suppose to e bright people maybe they can think up an answer for that.


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Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

"... Lindzen brilliantly explains how the alarmist propaganda effort works. I know this is a bit snarky on my part, but you walked into the trap on your own."

Ain't no trap hanging on MY ankle, Mr. Laughlin. You really should read the websites you link to. But you have done everyone a service in any case.

Lindzen also provides a valuable service to the cause. In science, somebody should always be trying hard to falsify results and theories, as they continue to do with Einstein's relativity, for example. Thanks for the link to Lindzen's compendium. Ironic it should be hosted on an "alarmist" site, tho.


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