Without debating the merits of divesting Northeastern’s investment portfolio of ExxonMobil or generally eschewing investment in fossil fuels, I would like to point out the hypocrisy of DivestNU using many of the following items during their occupation of Centennial Common:

Nylon tents
Plastic-composite Adirondack chairs
Plastic water bottles
Patagonia synthetic fleece clothing
iPhones
Styrofoam food containers

All of these items are manufactured from petroleum. Without a fossil fuel industry, none of these products would exist.

I am sure I am not the only one at Northeastern University to wonder if the individuals manning the DivestNU protest were using these product in ignorance or indifference to their chemical origin.

Whatever moral justification DivestNU may think it has for its protest is greatly weakened.

– William A. Matthews is an adjunct professor at Northeastern University.

Photo by Scotty Schenck