University of Denver students plan walk out for ‘climate justice’ on Monday

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DENVER — Students and faculty at the University of Denver walked out of classes on Monday to protest the Trump administration’s climate change denial, organizers said.

More than 100 students joined the protest outside the Driscoll Student Center starting at 11:30 Monday.

“The walkout was lead by the student organization Divest DU, which calls on Chancellor Chopp and the Board of Trustees to divest the university’s endowment from the fossil fuel industry in order to combat climate change and protect all of our futures,” organizers said in a statement Sunday.

“Denying climate change is a huge stop backwards and any progress that we’ve created around making sure that we fight climate change appropriately with the urgency that it requires,” student organizer Lori Scott told us on Monday.

“This action is part of the first and largest youth-led mobilization under the Trump administration, a national day of action where youth on campuses across the United States will walk out on the first Monday of Trump’s term in order to resist and reject climate denial.

“There is no room for neutrality when the president of the United States is actively threatening the very future of this planet. Our institutions must take moral leadership on climate justice and divest from the fossil fuel industry.”

“Nobody really knows” if climate change is real, Donald Trump said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” in December, when host Chris Wallace asked where he stands on the environment.

“I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows. Look, I’m somebody that gets it, and nobody really knows. It’s not something that’s so hard and fast.”

“We believe that our institution of DU has to take a moral stand against climate denial in the White House and divestment is one way to do this ,” said DU student Kengo Nagaoka who joined the protest.

Trump told Wallace he is studying whether the United States should withdraw from its commitment to limit environmental output made at the Paris summit last year.

Independent Petroleum Association representative Matt Dempsey told Fox 31’s Dave Young divesting in fossil fuels will only force DU to have to raise student fees down the road.

“Rather than demonize an industry or demonize the people here in Colorado we think we should be working collaboratively on energy and environmental policy,” Dempsey said.