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Report of the MIT Climate Change Conversation

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Author: gmoke

The Report of the MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee which has been meeting around the campus for the last few months is now available at http://web.mit.edu/vpr/climate/climatereport.html

This report is in preparation for a community-wide MIT climate change action plan which will be announced this Autumn by the Administration.

What MIT decides to do about climate change (and divestment), this Fall, before the Paris climate talks, could be significant.

I hope it’s a good enough plan they can make the announcement with the backing of Papa Frankie and the Dalai Lama, at MIT’s Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values (http://thecenter.mit.edu).

From what I’ve observed, MIT has held meetings in different venues at different times for different campus communities on climate change and divestment, raising questions about economics, technology, politics, and related issues. MIT’s campus, after all, is right by the river with a susceptibility to flooding (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0MCPqGXRnc) and the Institute is always in the midst of multi-decade if not century building plans.

Meanwhile, the city of Cambridge has adopted a “Getting to Net Zero Energy Framework” (http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/Projects/Climate/~/media/D74193AF8DAC4A57AC96E2A53946B96B.ashx) which will affect the development MIT wants to undertake. MIT and Harvard are working with the city of Cambridge on reducing greenhouse gases and sustainability planning too (http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/climateandenergy/climatechangeplanning/climateprotectionactioncommittee/communitycompactforasustainablefuture), another spur to do what’s necessary to confront climate change.

Across the river, Boston is long into preparation for sea level rise and the next Hurricane Sandy or Snowpocalypse (http://www.cityofboston.gov/climate/adaptation/) as are Cambridge and all the other surrounding communities, more or less.

President Reif and the administration of MIT are very much aware of all this.

What MIT will decide to do about climate change (and divestment), this fall, before the Paris climate talks, could be significant.

Especially if they did with a consortium of all the other major Institutes of Technology around the world, like the Alliance for Global Sustainability that MIT began with Switzerland’s ETH and Japan’s University of Tokyo back in 1995.

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