Big oil on campus: how US universities are ‘colonized’ by the fossil-fuel industry
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Posted: April 2nd, 2023
Even as elite American universes such as Harvard have bowed to pressure to divest their multibillion-dollar endowments from fossil fuels, and student activists take recalcitrant holdouts to court, oil and gas companies continue to exert a grip upon campus life, through funded research and the physical presence of oil and gas industry employees in lectures and meetings with faculty. Fossil-fuel firms have purposely sought to “colonize” academia with industry-friendly science, rather than seed overt climate denial, according to Ben Franta, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford who has studied industry’s influence over universities. Their research dollars, he said, had effectively discouraged academic endeavors that challenge the core business model of burning oil and gas, instead shifting the focus to favored topics such as capturing carbon emissions from polluting facilities, a still niche technology that would allow industry to continue business as usual. The reach of fossil fuels into academia “never ceases to amaze me”, said Robert Brulle, an environmental sociologist at Brown University. “You can barely study climate change at elite universities and not be funded by fossil-fuel companies,” he added. “They drive all this study into carbon capture, so that influences policy and becomes a part of the Biden administration’s agenda. The influence is profound, and the students are right to be wondering what kind of education they are getting here.”
Note: Read more on how fossil companies donated $700 million to US universities over 10 years. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.