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Some Harvard Business School Professors Oppose Divesting From Oil and Natural Gas Companies

November 26, 2019

Several professors at Harvard Business School have expressed opposition to trying to cajole the university that employs them to sell off stock in companies that produce oil and natural gas.

The student newspaper at Harvard College, The Harvard Crimson, interviewed the professors in the wake of a midfield pro-divestment protest at halftime of at the Harvard-Yale football game Saturday, November 23.

The professors did not express opposition to transitioning away from oil and natural gas but said that it’s unreasonable to ignore companies that produce them since they are necessary to the way people live.

“As long as I take a car or a bus or an airplane, it’s disingenuous to imagine a world in which I wouldn’t hold fossil fuels as part of a diversified portfolio,” said Shawn A. Cole, a professor at Harvard Business School, according to The Harvard Crimson.

A retired professor at Harvard Business School, Joseph L. Bower, pointed out that the same students who protested Harvard’s investments benefit from the companies that they were protesting against.

 “When you go into your dorm room and you turn on the light, you expect there to be electricity, and for a long time, unfortunately, we’re going to be using fossil fuel energy,” Bower said, according to The Harvard Crimson.

 

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