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Madeleine Lombard: Urges support for divesting from fossil fuel companies

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To the editor:

I am a 12-year-old student at Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in Haydenville, and I am greatly concerned about climate change and its effects.

I am asking readers to contact their state legislators to support Senate Bill 1225, which calls upon the state of Massachusetts to divest public funds from fossil fuel companies. Climate change is the most looming issue facing humanity, threatening us with typhoons, droughts, fires, floods, ocean acidification and the melting of polar icecaps. Though some people may deny global warming, according to NASA, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that it is real and caused by humans burning fossil fuels.

The fossil fuel industry has poured so much carbon dioxide (CO2) waste into the atmosphere that the earth has warmed by one degree Celsius, causing dramatic weather disruption already. Scientists and nearly all world leaders agree that, to be safe for human habitation, the earth must not warm above two degrees Celsius and that no more than 565 more gigatons of CO2 can be safely emitted into the atmosphere. Yet, according to 350.org, the fossil fuel industry has enough known reserves of fossil fuels — 2,795 gigatons of CO2 — to reach five times that amount of warming. They are driven by profit to pump out and burn those reserves. We should not profit from an industry that is wrecking our world. I propose that the state of Massachusetts divest from all fossil fuel companies and reinvest in clean energy such as wind, solar energy and hydro power. Please support Senate Bill 1225 so that we can do our part to slow climate change and save us from catastrophe.

Madeleine Lombard

Northampton

Legacy Comments14

Your policies would lead to billions of people remaining in abject poverty by eliminating cheap energy from developing countries, and of course you probably wouldn't wind up sacrificing very much. Thats my point Andrea. Have you given up all fossil based energy and products made from fossil fuels (that means no car, no oil or gas to heat your home and water, no plastics in your house like your PC or cell phone, no modern medicines or hospitals, think of all the plastics in your life - those all have to go, no plane travel, no electicity, no food that you don't grow yourself). As for my fracking stock, i'm trying to point out that there are litterally millions and millions of people in the global investor class who will snap up any energy stock the left blackmails institutions to divest from. The world has an insatiable thirst for cheap energy. Get over it. Most of us don't want to live like we are in the preindustrial 19th century.

Gary, I don't think that people are arguing against your "logic," since we know it's futile to convince someone who is either hopelessly deluded or just desperate for negative attention. In essence, we all know that you are an irrelevant individual who will engage in this pathetic behavior until you are too impaired to type. Usually, if anyone responds to you at all, it is for our own amusement, because you're considered a a harmless, if thoroughly obnoxious, kook. The issue this time is that you have taken to inflicting this on minors who write letters over the last few weeks. Please, stop doing that. Limit your trolling to grown-ups.

Your the one who can't recognize logic. "United Nations, July 21 (IANS) India will continue to use coal to meet its energy demands, says Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Can you imagine 400 million people who do not have a light bulb in their homes,” Pachauri told reporters here Monday. “You cannot, in a democracy, ignore some of these realities and as it happens with the resources of coal that India has we really don’t have any choice but to use coal in the immediate short term,” he said. Since 2002, Pachauri has been the chairman of IPCC, the premier organisation that deals with the science of climate change."

Gary, by definition, people who pick on and humiliate weaker individuals for fun are bullies. And I don't want to be a bully anymore. I don't like responding to your sad little tantrums anymore, and I realize that the desire to reduce the satisfaction that you get from those tantrums comes from a mean place that I shouldn't be indulging. But really, stop being a jerk to kids who post stuff, OK? You can say all you want about your stocks, and enjoy the sense of importance you get from of seeing your words posted publicly on the internet. But why don't you stop make disingenuous posts that will discourage young people from expressing their opinions in public?

But why should our government (using our tax dollars) subsidize them?

Oil companies don't receive subsidies.

Yes, creepy indeed. And if one simply googles the screen names here, you will see that "gary2066" is a well-known Gazettenet troll who likes to talk about his stock purchases and tries to stir things up. Still, I would have hoped that children were off-limits, even for him. But Madeleine, your article here is a success -- Not only did I learn more about CO2 waste and global warming, but you've brought Senate Bill 1225 to my attention, and for that, I thank you.

gary2066-- I'd like to point out a fundamental flaw in the jab of your previous post (see, "They are tired... poverty."). While you and your personified 3rd world may perceive hypocrisy in the appeal made in this article (a perception, may I add, born of your own preconceived notions and generalizations), it is an illogical self-validation to conclude that you are therefore exempt from considering the moral consequences of the presented ideas. Are you suggesting that your "rich little white kids in Massachusetts," should simply resolve themselves to complacency with the world's environmental crisis on the basis that they do not lead a petroleum free existence? If this was the necessary qualification for being an advocate against carbon emissions than our pool of environmentalists would shrink into obscurity. Thankfully this is not the case. Madeleine Lombard, your eloquence is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your passion.

Ignore Gary. He's a bitter little man who clearly poses no intellectual challenge to any twelve year old. With his amazing fracking stock windfall you would think that he could finally afford to buy a life, but instead he has taken to trolling the virtual schoolyard. Yikes! How creepy is that?

People: There are enough bullies in the world. She's a child, and she's trying to make a difference . No matter what your feelings are on the topic, the fact that she cares for the world she lives in is to be applauded. If you feel the need to, you can *respectfully* disagree, but making assumptions about the writer -- a child -- and criticizing her, even indirectly, for being a "rich little white kid" getting on planes and driving in an SUV to soccer practice is mean-spirited bullying behavior. Let me say this again: She's a child. When I was Madeleine's age, I wrote my first Letter to the Editor of my hometown newspaper. I can't imagine if I had written that letter in the age of the Internet, when every insecure and vindictive adult could lash out anonymously.

Please spare us the meaningless insults. When someone writes of any age writes a letter to the editor they open themselves to criticism. We are trying to open her mind and rid her of the brainwashing she gets from her family and school teachers.

Wow Lily, get the indoctrination in early. Interesting how you sent your child out of the Northampton school system.

Madeleine, Your letter is so coherent and persuasive. Well done and keep up the work to protect our planet and our future. My concern with Gary's letter is its short-sightedness. It puts short term profits ahead of the health of the Earth. Our hope is fossil fuel divestments will accelerate, gain momentum, until there is a cascade of divesting institutions: faith groups, universities, municipalities and states. When this happens, the political climate will be more supportive for effective climate legislation in our statehouses and in Washington. I hope you find a group of likeminded youth in your community, so can do climate work with others. It's more effective than working alone and, importantly, it's more fun.

I'm still buying AMLP which makes money solely from oil and natural gas infrastucture companies. So far, I bought it at $17.30 at the end of September. The closing price today is 17.56. I received my big quarterly dividend in mid November of 27 cents per share. So far my return is 26 cents in capital gains and 27 cents in dividends. Thats 53 cents on a 17.30 investment or 3% in only 2 and 1/2 months. Annualized that would be over 15%. I love these stocks. I want to buy more and more and more. Millions of investors will buy these stocks if the state worker pension funds divest (and of course you will make up the lost returns in higher income taxes - but so what sucker). The Chinese government will buy any available shares you want to sell. The world is starving for all the cheap energy it can get its hands on. Especially in the 3rd and 2nd world. They are tired of looking at rich little white kids in Massachusetts saying how bad it is to consume energy as they get on a plane to fly and see granma or get in the SUV to drive to soccer practice while they live in massive poverty.

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