Fighting Against Fossil Fuel

Reflecting on Bill McKibben's "Do the Math" tour, which encourages grassroots activism against the influence of the fossil fuel industry, Eric Moll spells out some strategies:

Potential tactics for climate activists fall along a wide spectrum. On one end are safe and legal options: petitions, electoral campaigning, legal obstruction, boycotts, strikes. Then there are peaceful tactics that fall into legal gray areas or unabashedly break the law: sit-ins, blockades, physical obstruction. At the far end is property destruction, sabotage and violence.

McKibben’s tour began the discussion on the "safe and legal" side of the spectrum, with a campaign of divestment called "Fossil Free"—getting universities, pension funds and governments to stop investing in fossil fuel companies. In his video, Archbishop Tutu explained how such a campaign helped end apartheid in South Africa. In one example of the type of activism encouraged by [McKibben's], the Mayor of Seattle recently called for the city to "refrain from future investments in fossil fuel companies and begin the process of divesting our pension portfolio from these companies".

See our collection of "Ask McKibben Anything" videos here.