As luck would have it, I was in New York City today with many of my colleagues, and our allies from TIAA Divest!, Ekō and others. We were protesting TIAA’s continued harmful investments in fossil fuels and farmland outside the Bloomberg Invest conference where multiple TIAA executives were speechifying.
We were lucky; it was relatively clear in the morning, but by the afternoon, it seemed like the apocalypse had arrived. The skies turned orange and hazy; the smoke permeated everything (N95 masks notwithstanding); my kids’ and my friends’ kids’ schools as far south as DC were canceling all outdoor activities due to air quality concerns. This was the view from the train heading out of New York:
There is a straight line that leads from investments in fossil fuels by asset managers like TIAA, ongoing fossil fuel production, the accelerating climate crisis, more widespread wildfires, and shocking air quality events like what’s happening in much of the U.S. and Canada today (and with which, for what it’s worth, our friends in the Western U.S. are already depressingly familiar).
It was a good day to protest TIAA’s climate-destroying investments. It would be an even better day for TIAA to do something about it.