For the fourth year, educator activists from the Educators Climate Alliance are putting forward motions to divest the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System from fossil fuels. Each year we have faced resistance, but we still believe that divestment is a crucial piece of the puzzle in helping push momentum for real climate action forward. The following is an open letter by ECA teacher activist Kevin Bowers supporting the motions, which are attached to this post.
Teaching is a fulfilling career because we get to be explicit about the best parts us. We teach young people to be kind, thoughtful, and honest because we know it is the best way to build a life. The Educators Climate Alliance knows that teachers take the privilege of mentoring young people seriously. We also know that we are invested in an energy system that science tells us will lead to 4-6 degrees of warming by the end of this century. That means that students entering our schools today will experience unfathomable hardships. Scientists predict unprecedented refugee crisis, floods, food shortages, and diseases.
Mentoring kindness, thoughtfulness and honesty is problematic when the pensions we earn in the pursuit of building better lives for our students is invested in a system that will bring deep and lasting hardship to our students.
Teachers don’t want to be hypocrites. We know that kindness and honesty require that we be thoughtful about our investments. We need to protect our students as we lead them towards a better, safer, and happier future.
Divesting the OTPP and OMERS is an important step we can take in the right direction. Please support this year’s motions at OSSTF’s AMPA to divest from fossil fuels.
-Kevin Bowers, Teacher, OSSTF District 27 (Limestone)
File Attachment: AMPA motions 2018 – Climate related