Dear President Obama,
I am the President of Unity College, the first college in the United States to adopt sustainability science – the leading-edge of 21st century transdisciplinary (collaborative) environmental problem solving – as its focus for teaching and learning. As an institution of higher learning, we are committed to principles of equality, social justice, and rigorous scholarship. Our students graduate to lead lives in service to the natural world, and work to ensure the long-term sustainability of our planet.
All of the ideals that are so important to the Unity College community are threatened by catastrophic climate change. Our participation in the American College and university Presidents’ Climate commitment underscores our pledge to exercise leadership in our communities by modeling ways to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and educating graduates who will develop social, economic, and technological solutions to help create a thriving and sustainable society.
In Maine we have begun to experience firsthand the impacts of climate change in both subtle and profound ways. Faculty and students have studied climate change from a variety of standpoints. The threat of climate change is undeniable and urgent.
As an institution of higher learning, we feel that we have a moral and social responsibility to rise to the challenge of global climate disruption, which threatens the very viability of our society. I am writing on behalf of our students, faculty, and alumni to support your efforts to ensure a livable future for our students and future generations through regulations on carbon emissions from power plants.
Carbon pollution and other greenhouse gasses fuel climate change that raises global temperatures and drives extreme weather. Changes in global temperatures cause serious harm, cost billions of dollars in disaster recovery every year, and are experienced firsthand on our campus. Climate change is also an issue of intergenerational justice, and presents a unique challenge for institutions of higher education.
Addressing the climate crisis through reducing carbon pollution from power plants fits squarely into our strong environmental mission. We commend your efforts and encourage you to do even more to address this growing threat. Limiting industrial carbon pollution is a critical step towards protecting our college, state, and region from the worst impacts of climate change.
Mr. President, we sincerely thank and support you in exercising your authority and leadership in addressing the climate crisis through carbon emissions regulations, and we strongly support your leadership on this issue.
Stephen Mulkey, Ph.D., President, Unity College
Monday, June 02, 2014