Phoebe G. Barr
Investing in its surrounding community is a step toward real justice — environmental and otherwise. As PILOT renegotiation approaches, I urge Harvard to take it.
Harvard needs top environmental talent in its classrooms as it works to train the next generation of climate leaders. The oil industry cannot be allowed to divert that talent for its own gain, taking energy away from the education that is the school’s central mission.
As long as the fossil fuel industry has its hands in our research, dragging us backward as they’ve been doing to the world since the 1970s, Harvard will not be a leader. It’s time for Harvard to take the next step since divestment. It’s time for fossil free research.
Where is the acknowledgment that we’re in an emergency? The solution isn’t as simple as installing more air conditioning units or more solar panels. Addressing the climate crisis long-term will require transforming our buildings, our consumption, and our approach to energy.
Here at Harvard, the call for Rubenstein is this: recuse or resign. Legal ethics 101 says he should have removed himself from votes within the Harvard Corporation that relate to the University’s response to the climate crisis years ago. If he can’t take this basic step now, he should immediately resign from the Harvard Corporation. It’s time for Harvard to do what it has promised: put people and the planet over profit.