Letters to Editor, Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In response to DFP’s Feb. 17 story regarding BU fossil fuel divestment

Thank you for your interesting report. Millions of us in America profoundly disagree. In fact, as opposed to divestment, we’d love to give a big hug and some medals to the great men and women around our country that bring us one of nature or God’s greatest gifts, namely fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have brought more dignified lives and wealth to more humans in all of our history here on this beautiful planet. We who disagree with your values and prescriptions do not deny climate. We live and breathe it every day. We have no interest in being smothered with pollution or swarming seas. What we see in this “climate change” business is part and parcel of America in a cultural war between that of American versus Leftist values.

Leftism is, at its core rejects, American values of liberty. Its essence is control. It is an attack on the great moral and productive economic system of free market capitalism. Leftism is here to have tens of thousand of enlightened ones in Washington run our lives and bring us utopia. And utopia is particularly centered on destroying capitalism and equalizing material wealth across the masses. And this equalization will all be done by our enlightened ones in Washington, who know that, after a certain point, Americans have made enough money and the rest belongs to them. Yesterday, control was for our bodies and our healthcare; last week it’s taking over the internet, today it’s our energy use. This value system, just like our President said (paraphrased), is here to overthrow Americanism, transform this dark place called America. It’s why there are now millions of government workers armed with millions of pages of laws and massive amounts of our coerced private property to control every part of our lives.

Take a look at this from a moral perspective; leftism rarely does. Look all around you. With millions of fellow human Muslims, Jews, Christians and non-believers meeting death, rape, torture, enslavement and oppression throughout the world due to Islamo-fascism and the remnants of Communism and despotism in places like China, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq. And you are worried about carbon emissions, plant food. You are worried about climate a century from now based on highly debatable UN computer models. Not one human on earth has been bruised, let alone crucified, beheaded, impoverished or imprisoned by global warming, now perplexingly turned to “climate change.” But here is where you put your energies, concern and efforts? It’s shameful to hear this from Americans.

It’s a downright moral scandal this value system of leftism at our Universities. As a conservative, I can understand if on your to-do list, somewhere fairly way down, is advocacy for more research into the hundreds of parameters and incredibly complex interactions that affect climate. But to argue for taking away massive amounts of our liberties and to destroy capitalism for a computer model and your leftist windmill- covered utopia, please, spare us all from your nightmare. It’s cruel particularly to our most vulnerable here and across the seas. Your highly overpaid tenured Leftist professors and Deans and our enlightened in Hollywood and Manhattan won’t suffer for your foolishness.

Those of us with American values understand and deeply respect science. We also understand that tens of thousands of scientists all over the world agree that climate is one of the most complex, and still little understood, parts of science. We understand how utterly foolish your desire to want to charge ahead passionately with your strident radical policy prescriptions and divestments in this vital area of life.

And in this regard, if indeed you so decry fossil fuels, one of the greatest things God or nature has given mankind, then be strong American men and women and act accordingly. Get out of your cushy fossil fuel built warm dorms, and 3,500-foot square homes in the tiny suburbs of Boston, and cars. Put up a tent on some sustainable land on campus or your backyard. Stay out of Mom and Dad’s provided meal plan, cafeterias and our great Whole Foods, with every crumb there brought to you by fossil foods. Decline to take an antibiotic from student health or reject going to the hospital if you need surgery because every grain of that pill and every inch of that surgical suite come from fossil fuels. Throw away those cute iPhones and laptops made via very large carbon footprints. And bike home to Moma and Papa to avoid the fossil-fuel-built jet plane. Show us the way. Most of us won’t follow because we have American values that call on us to be wise, moral, conservative, in love with freedom and very careful about radical change that may especially harm the disadvantaged. Your values call on us to submit to soft tyranny and the foolish dreams of childlike utopianism. That is what we should divest ourselves of, leftism.

Take care: Maybe consider listening to a few of the great 5 minute Prager University “courses” on the web and encounter some American values. It’s free and exponentially more worthwhile than the $60,000 a year at the Leftist indoctrination seminary called the university.

Avrum Hirsh


  1. Nothing like The Freep letting lobbyist post. This guy posts to different schools bashing “leftism” all he can. I doubt this guy has ever stepped foot on BU’s campus let alone has the thoughts of BU students in mind, just his own pockets.

    • Why shouldn’t I do my part as a citizen to “bash” leftism when I think its values system is abhorrent and our young people at our schools are mired in it?
      Maybe let the community understand how your values comport with the values of our founders. Are you a passionate advocate for liberty, small government, free market capitalism? Or as I suspect, you are enamored of the State with thousands of politicians , thousands of bureaucrats taking huge amounts of or money and lording over us? Are those your values?
      And please don’t do the foolish stuff about people like me lining my pockets. I work for a living . I don’t line my pockets trying to express what I believe are American values. What I really fear and abhor is all these politicians lining their coffers with our money and the power that is attached to such money and the vast power attached to their million pages of federal law. Thats what you as an American should fear and abhor as well. Take care. Respectfully AH

  2. Edward L. Loechler

    I begin by agreeing with Mr. Hirsh that indeed the higher standard of living enjoyed by modern society would not have been possible without the historical growth of fossil fuel usage, which was indeed highly desirable. But what was good in the past is not necessarily de facto good for the future.

    Turning to how I disagree. The vast majority of climate scientists (97%) believe that climate change is real, caused by humans burning fossil fuels and must be curtailed to keep from destroying life as we know it. This is “settled science;” there is no scientific controversy (e.g., see: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010) 107:12107, which describes a study involving 1372 climate scientists).

    Thus, the call to curtail fossil fuel usage is not some kind of left vs. right ideological issue. Furthermore, climate scientists are NOT calling for the elimination of the fossil fuel industry. Rather, they are saying that fossil fuel usage must be reduced by a modest 50% over the next 35 years or so. In fact, the climate scientists I know are hoping that enterprising freedom-loving entrepreneurs will help rescue the planet by addressing the research, development and production needed to provide the alternative renewable sources that will be necessary for our collective future energy needs.

    Mr. Hirsh implies that climate scientists have only been relying on modeling data to come to their conclusions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here is a summary of key non-modeling findings that inform climate scientists about the cause of the recent planetary warming trend. (1) The earth’s lower atmosphere (troposphere) is warming, while the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) is cooling, which is evidence that the recent planetary warming trend is due to an increase in some heat-trapping substance in the lower atmosphere. (2) Satellites have recorded energy spectra from space to determine the wavelength of the energy being trapped; the spectra reveals that the heat-trapping agent is carbon dioxide (CO2). (3) Many facts tell us that this increase in heat-trapping CO2 comes from the burning of fossil fuels, including mass balance (we know how much oil, coal and natural gas is being consumed by the planet per year), and the recent increase in the C13/C12 ratio of the planet’s atmospheric CO2 (the significance of which I will not belabor). (4) Alternative hypotheses are inconsistent as explanations for recent planetary heating trends (e.g., solar activity trends have been decreasing).

    Furthermore, climate change is already serious. For example, the number of so-called “billion-dollar weather events” (hurricanes, severe floods, droughts, etc.) has increased dramatically in the U.S. In the 1980s, there were about 2.0 billion-dollar weather events per year, while in the last ten years the average has been about 7.5 per year. Contrary to what Mr. Hirsh implies, real people have really been harmed by these weather catastrophes. Furthermore, there is every reason to expect this trend to continue; as the earth continues to warm, the atmosphere contains more energy, which leads to more violent weather patterns.

    As to Mr. Hirsh’s challenge to “get out of your cushy fossil fuel built warm dorms” etc., this is not a serious solution. We don’t have to give up anything. All that is needed is a modest decrease in fossil fuel usage over the next few decades, along with a concomitant increase in energy coming from renewable sources. Unfortunately, most of us are not in a position to build our own wind turbines or propose and pass legislation to help facilitate this transition. Thus, many of us – who are concerned about the climate crisis – are trying to find ways to call upon responsible leaders in industry and in government to take this challenge seriously. The future of life as we know it on the planet is at stake.

    Finally, I believe that fossil fuel divestment is the single most important action that Boston University could take to signal to leaders in industry and government that we think more serious action on the climate crisis is an imperative. However, I also appreciate that fossil fuel divestment is a serious issue, and that the leaders of Boston University have a serious fiduciary responsibility. I, for one, respect and am grateful for the process that Boston University is following in its deliberations on this weighty matter.

  3. Thanks for your civil and thorough response. We will agree to profoundly disagree. I think people with American values would argue that indeed AL may be right. So then let AL take his money and invest in all the Solynras and windmills and organic farms he likes. Let him go door to door with a collection cup asking people to invest in green energy. But don’t have AL order and demand and command the rest of us to do so. Its not American. It boarders on immorality such liberty destruction. The rest of us happen to love fossil fuels and Exxon Mobil and Chevron and Shell oil and nuclear power. Who are you to tell us otherwise? Let the free market determine if alternative energy is great. So far the free market has said No.

    We also understand this business about 97% of scientists is a great distortion of truth. Thousands of scientists understand the “science” of defining climate a century hence is still in its infancy. take care: keep thinking and expressing; but don’t tell me how to live my life and what lightbulbs to screw in my sockets; Thats called tyranny AH