Environmentalists rally in Boston in February 2014 to demand state legislators support a bill requiring divestment from the state’s fossil fuel holdings Photograph: Paul Weiskel/Paul Weiskel/Demotix/Corbis
The speed at which the fossil fuel divestment campaign is growing seems to have rattled its opponents in the coal and oil lobbies
Wed 11 Feb 2015 13.18 EST
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,” said Mahatma Gandhi. The climate change campaign to divest from fossil fuels seems to be moving through those stages at express speed, with a sudden barrage of attacks from the coal and oil lobbies ahead of its global divestment day on Valentine’s day.
The speed is appropriate given that the campaign, which argues the fossil fuel industry is a danger to both the climate and investors’ capital, is the fastest growing divestment campaign yet seen, moving quicker than those against tobacco and apartheid. It’s moving fast in the financial world too, with one finance executive calling it “one of the fastest-moving debates I think I’ve seen in my 30 years in markets”.
Let’s take the “laugh at you first”. This unintentionally hilarious cartoon, from a front group for a well-known anti-environmental PR firm, suggests that divestment will kill your “love affair” with fossil fuels, basically leaving you living in a dark cave.