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Sustainability Behind The Curve

Although universities have long been envisaged as incubators of new ideas, in actuality they usually provide life support to concepts long-time passed. “The message could not be more clear,” Mark Tardif, Associate Director of College Communications, Unity College claims in a press release this month. “Every college or university that claims to be holding a ‘green’ commencement needs to have divested from investments in fossil fuels, or admit that they cannot truly make that claim.”

“As the first college in the United States to adopt sustainability science as its central focus, Unity College ascended to the leading-edge of higher education, training the next generation of environmental leaders to pursue trans-disciplinary solutions to the earth’s most pressing problems including global climate change.”

“With a unanimous vote by the Board of Trustees in November of 2012, Unity also became the first institution of higher learning to divest from investments in fossil fuels.”

“There are no halfway measures when it comes to environmental claims,” Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs at Unity College, stated. Tardif notes that Unity “with its own divestment in 2012 began a national movement of colleges and universities to divest.”

“To date, Sterling College in Vermont has also divested.  The College of the Atlantic in Maine and Hampshire College in Massachusetts are pursuing policies that while not divesting, are no longer investing in fossil fuels.  Other colleges including The University of Maine, University of New Hampshire and over 200 others have active student movements to encourage divestment.”

“Commencement exercises are among the most clear expressions of institutional values,” Khoury claimed.  “At this point the realities of what the burning of fossil fuels are doing to worsen the crisis of global climate change is undeniable.  Institutions of higher education cannot have it both ways, they cannot claim to be working for a sustainable earth and yet support the industry that is driving this planet to extinction.” Incidentally, much of the east coast is now expecting snow less than a week after spring began, and looking at another postponement of global warming.

Meanwhile, Townhall columnist Marita Noon reports:


Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
If you would like to comment on this article, e-mail mal.kline@academia.org.