Before the end of this century, world temperatures will increase an average of three or four degrees centigrade, flooding coastal cities and putting global agriculture in disarray. We will manage. But it won’t stop there. During the succeeding century, multiple positive feedback loops will continue to accelerate our race toward an incalculable future. Chicken Little was right: The sky is falling.
An effort to slow down this process should not be considered “politically partial.” Carbon atoms do not come in blue and red. It has been proposed that the Resources Committee support divesting endowment holdings from fossil-fuel companies. President Eisgruber states that a decision to divest would take place only “when the University community as a whole determines that the activities or practices of a company or companies are seriously inconsistent with a core University value” (On the Campus, July 8). Pouring carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere today is surely such an activity.
President Eisgruber writes that “it would be a profound mistake to create an investment policy that took political stands regarding the business activities of energy companies.” A stand regarding this particular kind of business activity would be a matter of wisdom, not politics.