50 Environmentalists Join “Climate Activists for Mark Dunlea for Comptroller”
They, too, Want State Pension Fund Divested from Fossil Fuels
Fifty climate activists from throughout New York State are the initial members of “Climate Activists for Mark Dunlea for State Comptroller,” a new activist division of the Dunlea campaign. (Organization affiliations are listed for id purposes only).
“While I appreciate the support of every activist, as well as every voter, across a multitude of issues, this campaign is about—more than anything else—the need for New York to take immediate action on climate change. When the NY Times Magazine devotes its entire edition to saying that we have delayed action too long and humanity is doomed, you know it is time for new political leadership. We need an emergency mobilization comparable to what we saw during World War II to try to avoid the worst impacts of extreme weather, which is already accelerating faster than expected. Divestment is the easy step,” said Dunlea.
Dunlea is focusing on his campaign on divesting the state pension fund from fossil fuels, an issue he has been helping to coordinate for 350.org and DivestNY for the last five years. Dunlea helped draft divestment legislation that is sponsored by 50 New York lawmakers; Governor Cuomo last December called for divestment. Dunlea said he would claim victory if DiNapoli agreed to divest.
More than 900 institutions worldwide with assets of more than $6.2 billion have agreed to divest since they feel it is immoral to invest in companies that are destroying the planet. Many are also concerned about the increasing financial risk of investing in fossil fuels after almost all of the world’s countries have agreed to halt their use and move to clean renewable energy. New York City, Ithaca and Cooperstown have agreed to divest, along with a number of New York State colleges, foundations and faith groups.
“Comptroller DiNapoli singlehandedly has the power to protect our future by divesting from fossil fuels. Yet, while scientists issue dire warnings that we are on the precipice of rapid, irreversible, man-made climate change, DiNapoli continues to choose to invest billions in climate destroying coal, oil, and gas. Mark Dunlea’s candidacy for Comptroller gratefully challenges the status quo on fossil fuels at this critical time in our history and calls on us all to act with more urgency for the climate. Dunlea is the voice of reason and foresight sorely needed in the face of the crisis at hand,” said Lyna Hinkel of NYC and one of the founders of 350NYC.
“When history looks back on the 2018 New York Comptroller’s race, Mark Dunlea’s stance on divestment will be what stands out. Just as we wonder today about politicians who supported slavery and then segregation, our children will wonder, ‘What were the other candidates thinking? What were the forces that blinded them on this crucial issue?’” said Bill Nowak of Western NY.
“Fossil fuels are creating havoc with our climate and New York’s pension has $6 billion invested in this climate destruction. Hurricane Sandy was only the beginning. I support Mark Dunlea for Comptroller, because he is committed to Divest NY from fossil fuels,” said Ruth Foster, a climate activist from the Capital District.
In addition to his support for divesting from fossil fuels, Dunlea has helped write legislation to require the state to halt the use of fossil fuels and move to 100% clean energy by 2030, and to enact a state carbon tax to hold corporate polluters responsible for the climate damage they are causing. Dunlea also supports a Green New Deal, a proposal popularized by Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for Governor, which is increasingly being promoted by other progressive candidates, including Democrats such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“At this point in history, there can be no further delay, no more half measures. New York State must divest itself as quickly as possible of any and all investments in corporations whose business model involves cooking the planet and its inhabitants,” remarked Steve Breyman, Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.
“We have seen that climate change is already upon us in the destructive fires in California, the heat records of the past four years and the people who have died from such intense heat around the world. One important signal to the fossil fuel companies that they must change practices would be divestment from their stock in organization portfolios. The Riverside Church in NYC decided to divest in 2016 at the urging of our environmental group and the wishes of the congregation. If we can do it, so can New York State with its vastly larger portfolio. We urge Comptroller Di Napoli to get serious about the destructive changes happening to our planet and to agree to divest New York State from fossil fuels!” said The Rev. Dr. Alan Bentz-Letts (retired), Beloved Earth Community of The Riverside Church.
“For what is a person profited, if they shall gain a big pension and lose their children’s future?” asked Wendy Low of Rochester Mothers Out Front.
“It only takes one look at the flooding, tornadoes, fires and droughts gripping the country and the world to see the devastating effects of fossil fuel burning. To call for divesting from coal in one year and all fossil fuels by 2020 is certainly not unreasonable but rather a very necessary step to protecting lives and any semblance of ‘normal’ weather,” added Victoria Furio, Convener of Climate Justice.
“The least we can do, as a state who has built its wealth on fossil fuels, is to set an example to the global community, that our Empire State is going fossil free. We will divest our portfolios and set about reducing energy consumption and replacing energy infrastructure with our growing renewable energy industry. It may be a pain, but the alternative is a 6th extinction that will wipe out all species, certainly vulnerable hairless apes who cannot control their greed. Support Mark Dunlea for Comptroller — a human who is living in the new reality, defending our state and our earth from the ravages of fossil fuel emissions. We need him, we support him, we will vote for him,” said Grace Nichols with Save the Pine Bush.
Name Organization (for ID only) City
|Pat Almonrode||350NYC||New York|
|Deirdre Aherne||350NYC||New York|
|Anthony Del Plato||Village of Interlaken Trustee & Water Commissioner (for id purposes only)||Interlaken|
|Jeanne Bergman||People’s Climate Movement NY||New York City|
|Tony Del Plato||Solar Seneca||Interlaken|
|Barbara C Spink||Albany|
|Chris Bystroff||Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy|
|Alice Slater||World Beyond War||new york|
|Marie Venner||CatholicNetwork.US and Rapid Shift||Lakewood|
|Daniella Liebling||Green Party||Brooklyn|
|Frank J Regan||Rochester|
|Grace Nichols||Save the Pine Bush; Earth First!||Albany|
|Jeffrey D Corbin||Niskayuana|
|Susan Hughes-Smith||Rochester People’s Climate Coalition||Rochester|
|Amy Harlib||YOGA FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HARMONY WITH THE PLANET!||New York.|
|Wendy Low||Rochester, New York|
|Rachel Treichler||Steuben County Green Party||Hammondsport|
|Andrew Wilders Lynn||TROY|
|Rev. Dr. Alan Bentz-Letts||Beloved Earth Community of The Riverside Church||New York|
|Meghan A Marohn||Troy|
|Gary J Lessard||Schenectady|
|Nancy Berrs||Painted Post|
|Sara Schultz||Sierra Club Niagara Group||Williamsville, NY 14221|
|Grace Nichols||Save the Pine Bush||Albany|
|alice slater||World Beyond War||new york|
|Chris Archer||Green Party of New York County||New York|
|Margaret Perkins||350NYC.org||New York|
|Ieva Zadina||350 Brooklyn||Brooklyn|
|Vicki Sando||New York|
|Eleanor Batchelder||Jackson Heights|
|Hali Breindel||New York|
|Jill McManus||NYC Grassroots Alliance||NY|
|Helen Brackett||New York|
|Howie Hawkins||Green Party||Syracuse|
|Peter LaVenia||Green Party||Albany|