Dear Brandeis Hoot editors,
First, I would like to acknowledge Mary Fischer, the Associate Director of Sustainability Programs in the Brandeis Office of Sustainability. She has been working incredibly hard for many years on sustainability initiatives on campus, including leading the effort to organize the Year of Climate Action. Her actions are having an important impact on campus. For instance, Brandeis received the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in 2021. She is doing an amazing job!
Second, I disagree with the statement in your article, “…the true path to a greener Brandeis: divestment from fossil fuels.” It’s great that Brandeis students—and students across the country—have asked universities to divest from fossil fuels. However, this alone is not going to solve climate change. The biggest thing that Brandeis can do to help mitigate climate change is to reduce its carbon footprint. This is a huge part of Brandeis’ Year of Climate Action. In fact, “The Brandeis Decarbonization Action Plan” is the first item on the Year of Climate Action website (https://www.brandeis.edu/sustainability/year-of-climate-action/index.html). Once the expert assessment report is finalized in early 2023, there will be ample opportunities for Brandeis students to urge the university to adopt these green initiatives, which will reduce—and ideally eliminate—the greenhouse gas emissions from the campus’ heating, cooling, and electricity usage. This will make a meaningful difference in the fight to mitigate climate change!
Assistant Professor of Climate Science