Fossil fuel divestment is a step Illinois pension funds must take

By Chicago 3 Min Read

Friday, Sept. 15 marks the two-year anniversary of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), a landmark climate bill that put Illinois on track to achieve 100% clean energy production by 2045 through investment in a just transition away from fossil fuels. 

CEJA’s second anniversary came after a Chicago summer filled with wildfire smoke, record-breaking temperatures and extreme flooding, all of which are affecting low-income communities and communities of color disproportionately. 

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Climate change is already affecting the very air we breathe and the people and places that we love. That’s why it is time for the State of Illinois to take further action to combat the climate crisis. House Bill 3037, or the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, would require Illinois pension funds to transparently eliminate investments in fossil fuel companies. The fossil fuel industry has long known the dire, climate-changing impacts of its business, yet this multibillion-dollar industry has continued to profit from planet-warming fossil fuel combustion. 

Our state legislators must pass the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, divesting public funds from, and thereby stigmatizing, an industry that has time and again put its bottom line ahead of a livable future and present.

Maddie Young, Evanston 

Thanks for educating this gentile about a Jewish holiday

I’d like to give a sincere thank you to staff reporter Allison Novelo and to the editors of the Sun-Times for the beautiful full-page piece on Rosh Hashanah that appeared in the newspaper recently.

As a Christian, I was aware that Rosh Hashanah was a high holy day for Jewish people, but I never knew the details. Now I am informed.

Jewish people should be honored for the many gifts that they have given our country.

Emma Lazarus gave us a poem for the Statue of Liberty; Joe Rosenthal snapped that incredible Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph; Irving Berlin gave us a truckload of songs to sing in the 1930s and ‘40s, songs we still sing today; and Levi Strauss gave us our jeans.

Every year, the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe at some future date, people of all faiths can gather together to cast breadcrumbs into the river. Jewish people will seek spiritual cleansing while the rest of us will cast away indifference.

Until that day comes, I will put Novelo’s article in a safe place so that this coming year I can reread it and wish my Jewish neighbors “Shanah Tovah.”

William Dodd Brown, Lincoln Square

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