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Prominent activists call on MIT to sell fossil fuel stocks in open letter

Activists from Fossil Free MIT have acquired signatures from various personalities, including actor Mark Ruffalo and professors Noam Chomsky and Junot Díaz, on an open letter addressed to President L. Rafael Reif calling on MIT to divest.

The open letter, released last week, was also signed by Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental activist group 350, Columbia University climatologist James Hansen, and MIT graduate and Zipcar founder Robin Chase SM ’86.

“MIT has a unique obligation to stand up for science by also divesting from those who undermine the principles of scientific inquiry and thereby threaten MIT’s own integrity,” the letter says.

In June, a climate change committee appointed by Reif delivered its report. Three-quarters of the committee supported divesting from coal and tar sands, among several other recommendations. The report was open for comment during the summer, and MIT is due to announce its plans to address climate change sometime this semester.

—Anshuman Pandey