Mr. Stocker and the rest of the Committee on the MIT Climate Change Conversation,
Please find the following response submitted on behalf of Alumni for Divestment at MIT (AD-MIT):
In response to the recent Report of the MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee, MIT and the Climate Challenge, the undersigned members of the Alumni for Divestment at MIT (AD-MIT) network hereby congratulate MIT and the Committee and thank them for their hard work. We welcome and endorse each and every action that has been recommended in the Report. Indeed, we urge the Institute to implement them all posthaste! However, we feel that the recommendations fall short of what is truly needed to protect the planet and thus we continue to call for additional and more aggressive steps towards halting climate change.
In particular, we are delighted by the recommendation, which was endorsed by a three-quarter majority of the committee, that MIT immediately divest from “companies whose operations are heavily focused on the exploration for and/or extraction of the fossil fuels that are least compatible with mitigating climate change, for example, coal and tar sands.” Immediate implementation of this and the other recommendations is a critical step in restoring MIT’s image as a true leader on climate change, and sets the Institute on a long-term course towards complete divestment from fossil fuels.
While we applaud the report and the inclusive process that produced it, implementing these recommendations alone is insufficient for our goal of halting anthropogenic climate change. As MIT alumni, we have the luxury of time and experience living and working in the broader world, and many of us have come to realize that our fossil-fuel driven civilization is headed for disaster. We believe MIT can, and in fact must, play a much bigger role in avoiding this fate. However, in order to do so, MIT will have to move beyond its role as leader in science and technology research, and take a much more ambitious role as a leader in the global society, sounding the clarion call for change driven by the very scientific knowledge that forms the DNA of MIT.
The Report is a testament to a growing awareness within the MIT community that climate change is a major crisis that is both here and now, and signals a willingness across the Institute to see beyond our walls and strive for this greater role as leader. As alumni, we recognize that we play a critical role in this transformation. We are prepared to do so and are actively organizing ourselves to become a more robust voice for change.
We are heartened by the C4 Report and we will continue to engage with all members of the MIT community to build momentum towards full divestment from fossil fuels, net zero emissions across the campus, and active engagement in the global effort to halt destructive climate change. We look forward to working with all who share our concerns and our vision.