At President Eisgruber ’83’s annual address to alumni in Alexander Hall during Reunions, I asked if I might “have hope that the administration and trustees will begin to exhibit a greater sense of urgency” in addressing climate change. Over the summer as temperatures have risen, wildfires raged, water supplies dried up, and glaciers melted, I wondered repeatedly why my direct question did not elicit a direct answer, reflective of the catastrophe building around us. President Eisgruber pivoted to rehearsed talking points in the manner so common with politicians and corporate leaders today.
What I realized three months later is that when the president lauded Princeton’s unnecessarily time-consuming process he had addressed my question tangentially: Urgency? Forget it. The urgency remains even if he and Princeton refuse to act decisively.