Letter regarding the launch of Idea Bank for the MIT Climate Change Conversation

Press Contact

Kimberly Allen
Email: allenkc@mit.edu
Phone: 617-253-2702
MIT News Office

The following email was sent today to the MIT community by Maria T. Zuber, vice president for research.

To the members of the MIT community:

Today – with the launch of an Idea Bank – we officially open the MIT Climate Change Conversation to the community, and I strongly encourage you to be part of it.

Since September, when I wrote to announce the Committee on the MIT Climate Change Conversation, its members have developed a set of tools and events for sharing perspectives and for gathering ideas from across the community on the actions MIT can take to help lead the US and the world to effectively address global climate change.

  • The Idea Bank is the first of these tools – an entirely open-ended mechanism designed to allow any member of our community to propose active steps for MIT to help confront climate change.
  • Before Thanksgiving, you will receive an email invitation to participate in a survey; the results will give us a broad sense of the community’s awareness of, interest in and engagement with the problem of climate change. The results will help us frame a series of public forums in the spring.

Given the gravity, urgency and complexity of climate change, universities have an obligation to be part of the solution; given the scientific, technical, economic and policy dimensions of the problem and its likely solutions, I believe that duty falls with special significance to us at MIT.

I urge you to contribute your ideas, take part in the survey and join us throughout the public debate as we determine our best paths of action.


Maria T. Zuber

Topics: MIT Climate Change Conversation, MIT Administration, Environment, Climate change


Save taxpayer's money AND defund climate change and environmental destruction by ending the enormous subsidies and tax breaks for animal agriculture!

With 60+ BILLION food animals on the planet our best chance to mitigate climate change is to severely reduce consumption of animal foods. More than 1/3 of human induced warming is attributable to animal agriculture. Methane is 24 times more potent than CO2 but takes only 7 years to cycle out of the atmosphere. CO2 takes around 100 years to come out. Human pursuit of animal protein is the leading cause of methane release and a primary cause of CO2 concentrating in the atmosphere. Check the facts and act!

"As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease." Worldwatch Institute, "Is Meat Sustainable?"

“If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains... the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund

"A 1% reduction in world-wide meat intake has the same benefit as a three trillion-dollar investment in solar energy." ~ Chris Mentzel, CEO of Clean Energy

There is one single industry destroying the planet more than any other. But no one wants to talk about it... http://cowspiracy.com

- An immediate ban on standby mode on all new appliances

- Legislation to ban leaving lights on in empty shops overnight

- Make climate change part of the World Trade Organization's remit

You'd get more (and different) ideas if you also ask people not already in MIT.

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