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Climate Change Heats Up

3.25.15


The University will sponsor a panel discussion on climate change on April 13, President Drew Faust announced in an e-mail to the community yesterday. Given the roster of participants, the event appears to have been assembled over a considerable period of time—but it is scheduled to take place during Harvard Heat Week, April 12-17, an alumni-organized event highlighting demands that the University divest its endowment investments in companies that produce fossil fuels. Faust and the Corporation have repeatedly expressed their opposition to divestment, and instead have focused on academic institutions’ role in supporting research and education—themes the president spelled out in the greatest detail during her recent trip to China. Further amplifying focus on the issues, the University’s center for the environment is sponsoring a series of “Climate Week” events April 6-10.

The April 13 event—to be held in Sanders Theatre, with ticketed admission—involves the following expert panelists (links are provided to past Harvard Magazine coverage of their work):

Oreskes is among the professors who have signed Harvard Faculty for Divestment’s letter advocating that action. Henderson, whose research has focused on carbon pricing and other policy changes, appeared on a Business School panel that touched on divestment, among many other issues, last November, the Harvard Gazette reported.

President Faust will introduce the April 13 event; according to the announcement, the panel is to be moderated by Charlie Rose, who has been a past interlocutor of Faust—her website lists this program, for instance—and other leaders such as HBS dean Nitin Nohria. Rose has also moderated campus events, including a panel at HBS’s 2008 centennial celebration.

Note: At the time this dispatch was published, it could not be determined whether the panelists would receive questions from the audience, and if so, in what form. If further information becomes available (in response to queries about this point), it will be posted in an update here. 

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