It was 6:30 am when my alarm rang for the third time. I finally remembered why I needed to get up. It was Saturday morning and we were letting our board of trustees know that there was only one (one!) company in our directly invested in the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies.
We had spent the several weeks collecting 1,000 cans on campus. We painted 999 of them blue and 1 of them red because the one fossil fuel company in our direct holding made up exactly 1/1000th of our investment, a number so small that our endowment would not be affected if Colby divested its direct holdings from fossil fuels.
We all stood there on the lawn in front of the buildings that trustees were going to enter in a few minutes. We had already put all the cans on the ground, so they looked like a sea or a forest of blue with one red dot - the 1/1000th. We hung a banner on a near-by science building. We made sure an information board with leaflets and contact information was inside the building.
Then the trustees started coming. Almost all of them stopped to look at our climate art. Three people from our divestment group, the Colby Alliance for Renewable Energy, stood near by the door in order to inform trustees about our group, divestment, and the dangers of climate change. We talked to almost all of them.
Later that Saturday, when we were taking down the art display, we learned that trustees talked about divestment from fossil fuels for half an hour out of their 2.5-hour-long meeting, and one of our leaders was invited to a follow up meeting with the administration.
No, Colby did not divest from fossil fuels during that meeting. But we are step closer then we were before. Now we know that for Colby, it is simple to take a stand against climate change and anchor its position as an environmental leader. Now we are a step closer to wining our divestment campaign.
Check out a video from our action: