It's the 'biggest story in the world.' A direct appeal to one of the world's most generous givers.

He calls it the "biggest story in the world."

Newspaper editors aren't known for taking to the streets to campaign for things they're personally passionate about. But that's exactly what The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, is doing.

In 2015, Rusbridger launched Keep It in the Ground, a climate-change campaign aimed at minimizing the future extraction of fossil fuels.

But how?


Image by Marc St. Gil/EPA.

The campaign specifically targets the world's two largest philanthropic organizations: the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, asking them to move their money out of fossil fuel companies.

The goal? For the two mega-funders to divest their investments from the top 200 fossil fuel companies within five years and to immediately freeze any new investments in those companies.

The Wellcome Trust is one of the world's largest funders of medical research. And the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a doing-good list that's a mile long. It's dedicated to closing the health gap between rich and poorer countries, taking on issues like ridding the world of malaria and polio, and controlling the spread of tuberculosis and HIV.


GIF via Giphy.

These groups don't fall easily into a "bad guy" category. They actually do a world of good. So why target them?

Because between the two of them, these two foundations own some $1.4 billion in oil, coal, and gas stocks.

So far about 202,000 people have signed on to the campaign, including a number of very influential people:

“People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change" — Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus

What do the two heavy-weight charitable organizations think about the campaign?

The Wellcome Trust responded that the goal ought to be working with coal and oil companies, engaging them to develop alternative energy technologies. After all, aren't these companies the best positioned to invest in new forms of energy production?

To that Rusbridger says, nope. Oil and gas companies have had their chance, they're dragging their feet, and action just can't wait.

And what about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation? What have they said? *crickets* Nothing. They've actually been conspicuously quiet.

So the Keep It in the Ground campaign sent a message to Bill Gates personally. Here is what they said:

What do you think? Is the Guardian asking foundations to put their money where their mouth is, or are they on the wrong track? Check out more videos, campaign updates, a behind-the-scenes podcast series, and more at the Keep It in the Ground website. If you agree, here's the link to sign a petition to let these foundations know!

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

Keep Reading Show less

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

Keep Reading Show less