Unfortunately, some environmentalist kooks are now trying to emulate our success by campaigning for universities to divest from fossil-fuel companies, on the theory that said companies are destroying the planet. More unfortunately, the campaign has hit my institution, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. And even more unfortunately, some of my less rational colleagues are apparently supporting it.
One of the most inconvenient truths of modern climate policy (for environmentalists, that is) is this. The US has dramatically reduced its CO2 output since 2006. This was done not by taxing carbon or by creating a corrupt malfunctioning carbon credit market. Subsidizing renewable energy and encouraging efficiency had relatively minor contributions. The major reason is fracking. It was done, not by the government, but by fossil fuel companies. Fracking releases natural gas, which is higher in hydrogen and lower in carbon than petroleum or coal. It's been so successful that natural gas is incredibly cheap, and companies that build natural gas engines for heavy trucks are prospering. Meanwhile countriies that have invested in renewables, and have restricted fracking, are increasing their CO2 output.
UNL has virtually no equities holdings anyway; the UNL Foundation, a private charity, holds most stocks associated with UNL. And I encourage the Foundation board to ignore the loonies and continue to hold -- maybe even increase -- our holdings in fossil fuel companies.
More on fracking; how the EPA used phony data and hilariously bad methodology in a 'draft report' condemning fracking, and then stealthily withdrew the report.