On November 16th, a sizable group of deans and presidents of Catholic and Jesuit colleges from across the country penned a letter to President Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress to play a more active role in the global fight against climate change, which the current administration has ridiculously deemed as unconfirmable science that should not be made a priority for the United States.
Despite overwhelming, irrefutable evidence that climate change is in fact real and is perhaps the biggest threat facing humankind today, our government is more interested in allowing corporations’ exploitation of the environment for profits, rather than preserving our global survival and future. It is because of these unfortunate circumstances that the representatives from Catholic and Jesuit universities sent the letter to Congress and the Trump administration, making the argument that it is well within Catholic values to aid in protecting our planet, conserving its resources, and ensuring the survival of mankind.
In their letter, they ask for the United States to contribute funding to and participate in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also, to honor the U.S. commitment to the Green Climate Fund, which aids developing countries in their fights against climate change, as they are lack the resources to do their own.
Unfortunately for Boston College, Father Leahy’s name was one of few from Jesuit and Catholic colleges not present on the list, and was perhaps the most notable absence as well, taking into account Boston College’s position among elite American universities. The likely reason for this is that BC still has millions of dollars of its endowment invested in the fossil fuel industry, an industry that actively contributes to the progression of climate change with the burning of non-renewable forms of energy.
The absence of Leahy’s signature on this letter is an embarrassment for the Boston College community, as well as a blatant demonstration of ignorance regarding the Jesuit, Catholic values that BC is supposed to uphold. Climate change is an issue that will affect us all and one that will effectively destroy us if we refuse to act immediately. Father Leahy should release a public statement condemning the lack of action by Congress and President Trump regarding climate change. He should also direct the board of trustees to divest from the fossil fuel industry, because if we truly want to uphold our values as a Jesuit institution, we as Eagles should not be funding the advancement and continuation of climate change.