Anybody over the age of fifty has a crystal clear idea of how the Rockefeller family made it’s fortune – Oil. That’s what makes today’s announcement that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund along with 49 other foundations divesting from 200 gas and oil companies an unprecedented game changer in my view.
As co-founders of the Standard Oil Company in 1870, brothers John D. Rockefeller and William Rockefeller created the largest multinational Oil refining company in the world. Today, after 140 years of continuously streamlining fossil fuel production we can all see the writing on the wall – we’ve got to leave it in the ground or doom our grandkids to a bleaker future than we can even imagine.
While many scoff at the idea that the divestment initiative that 350.org has been encouraging will have any financial impact on the oil companies, it’s an incremental strategy much like the way the tide was turned on Big Tobacco and Apartheid in South Africa.
The timing of this announcement – just a day before the 2014 UN Climate Change Summit begins in New York City is obviously no coincidence. Adding the Rockefeller name to the growing list of organizations divesting from oil and coal is a big step towards action on climate change. Let’s see if our political leaders have an interest anyone’s future but their own.
Image: Wikimedia Commons