Dear President Reif and the Executive Committee,

We, the undersigned faculty of MIT, write in support of divesting MIT’s endowment from fossil fuel companies. The unique position of the Institute provides us with both the means and the obligation to take bold action against the harmful effects of climate change.

One of the clearest and most powerful ways to demonstrate our seriousness about tackling catastrophic climate change is to divest from fossil fuels, as part of a multi-faceted climate action plan.

We support divestment – as one of the Institute’s actions – for reasons including the following:

  • Divestment recognizes the scientific necessity of drastically and rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid global warming beyond the 2 degree Celsius limit agreed to by virtually every country on Earth. At least two-thirds of all existing global fossil fuel reserves must never be burned, yet every year the fossil fuel industry spends hundreds of billions of dollars looking for more.

  • Our integrity is at stake. Many fossil fuel companies have a proven record, past and present1,2,3,4,5, of actively working to obscure the scientific consensus around climate change. By continuing to invest in these companies, we knowingly endorse efforts to undermine MIT’s commitment to scientific analysis and practical action for the betterment of humankind.

  • Divestment is the moral course of action, and also the financially prudent one. Any solution to climate change will require an unprecedented reduction in the demand for fossil fuels. Many of the world’s foremost investment experts are warning that fossil fuels are overvalued in light of their dangers, risking trillions of dollars of stranded assets.

  • Divestment is not only right, it is powerful. Over the decades, divestment has proven effective at engendering the political will needed for bold leadership and legislation. MIT recognized this when it divested in 2007 in response to the human tragedy in Darfur. The impact of universities’ thought leadership on public perception is tremendous.

  • By divesting from fossil fuels, MIT can call out the contradictions between the fossil fuel industry’s business practices and the requirements for a safe and stable future. The social and political momentum created can help shift the efforts of both policymakers and industry toward development of sustainable resources. And as a component of a larger strategy, divestment inspires hope and galvanizes passion and action in both society and our students.

We do not call for divestment lightly, and the bounds of divestment must of course be carefully chosen. But in the end, we have a moral obligation to future generations – our children, our students, and beyond – to do everything we can to limit the most devastating consequences of human-driven climate change.

We stand alongside thousands of MIT students, staff, and alumni in urging you to divest the Institute’s endowment from fossil fuels as part of a comprehensive climate action plan.

Sincerely yours,

The undersigned faculty of MIT.

Scott Aaronson
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Frank Ackerman
Lecturer
Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Takako Aikawa
Senior Lecturer in Japanese
Global Studies & Languages

Sandy Alexandre
Associate Professor
Department of Literature

Eric Alm
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Engineering; Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Angelika Amon
Kathleen & Curtis Marble Professor of Cancer Research
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research; Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Deborah Ancona
Seley Distinguished Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management

Clark Barwick
Cecil & Ida Green Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics

Robert C. Berwick
Professor of Computational Linguistics and Engineering
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Jolyon Bloomfield
Lecturer
Department of Physics

Karen Boiko
Lecturer II
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Genie Brinkema
Associate Professor
Department of Literature; Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Louis Bucciarelli
Professor (Emeritus) of Engineering & Technology Studies
Department of Science, Technology & Society

John S. Carroll
Gordon Kaufman Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management

Noam Chomsky
Institute Professor (retired)
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Ian Condry
Professor of Japanese Culture & Media Studies
Head, Global Studies & Languages

Jane Abbott Connor
Lecturer II
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Bruno Coppi, O.M.R.I.
Professor of Physics (Emeritus)
Department of Physics

Sasha Costanza-Chock
Associate Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Jennifer Craig
Lecturer II
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Ellen W. Crocker
Senior Lecturer
Global Studies & Languages

Jared Curhan
Distinguished Associate Professor of Organization Studies
Sloan School of Management

Daniel Cziczo
Victor P. Starr Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry
Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences; Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Michel Degraff
Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Junot Díaz
Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Peter S. Donaldson
Ford International Professor of Humanities
Department of Literature

Paloma Duong
Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies
Global Studies & Languages

Robert G. Eccles
Visiting Lecturer
Sloan School of Management

Elfatih A. B. Eltahir
Professor
Associate Department Head
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Dara Entekhabi
Professor
Bacardi and Stockholm Water Foundations Chair
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Roberto Fernandez
William F. Pounds Professor in Management
Professor of Organization Studies
Sloan School of Management

Danny Fox
Anshen-Chomsky Professor in Language and Thought
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Stephanie Frampton
Associate Professor
Department of Literature

Robert M. Freund
Theresa Seley Professor in Management Science
Sloan School of Management

Elizabeth Garrels
Professor of Spanish & Latin American Studies (Emeritus)
Global Studies & Languages

Lynn Gelhar
Professor (Emeritus)
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Michel Goemans
Leighton Family Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics

Eric Goldberg
Associate Professor
Department of History

Renée Richardson Gosline
Zennon Zannetos (1955) Career Development Professor
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Sloan School of Management

Margarita Ribas Groeger
Senior Lecturer in Spanish
Global Studies & Languages

Marah Gubar
Associate Professor
Department of Literature

Larry Guth
Professor
Department of Mathematics

Timothy G. Gutowski
Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Leigh Hafrey
Senior Lecturer
Sloan School of Management

Aram Harrow
Assistant Professor
Department of Physics

Charles F. Harvey
Singapore Professor of Environmental Science
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Sally Haslanger
Ford Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy; Department of Women’s & Gender Studies

Colette L. Heald
Associate Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Stefan Helmreich
Elting E. Morison Professor of Anthropology
Head, Anthropology Program

Heather Hendershot
Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Diana Henderson
Professor
Department of Literature

Arne Hessenbruch
Lecturer
Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Jean Jackson
Professor of Anthropology Emeritus
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Anthropology Program

Noel Jackson
Associate Professor
Department of Literature

Erica Caple James
Associate Professor
Director, Global Health & Medical Humanities Initiative
Anthropology Program

Pablo Jarillo-Herrero
Associate Professor
Department of Physics

Jason Jay
Senior Lecturer
Director of Sustainability Initiative
Sloan School of Management

David Jerison
Professor, Class of 1960 Fellow
Department of Mathematics

Steven G. Johnson
Professor
Department of Mathematics

David Keith
Assistant Professor
Sloan School of Management

Wyn Kelley
Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature

Christine Kelly
Senior Lecturer
Sloan School of Management

Michael Kenstowicz
Professor
Department of Linguistics

Jonathan Alan King
Professor of Molecular Biology
Department of Biology

Daniel Kleppner
Lester Wolfe Professor (Emeritus)
Department of Physics

Judith A. Layzer
Professor of Environmental Policy
Department of Urban Studies & Planning

Helen Elaine Lee
Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Sabine Levet
Senior Lecturer in French
Global Studies & Languages

Jennifer Light
Professor
Program in Science, Technology, and Society

George Lusztig
Professor
Department of Mathematics

Davesh Maulik
Professor
Department of Mathematics

Ceasar McDowell
Professor of the Practice of Community Development
Department of Urban Studies & Planning

David McGee
Assistant Professor
Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences

Vann McGee
Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Dennis McLaughlin
H.M. King Bhumibol Professor of Water Resource Management
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Haynes Miller
Professor
Philip Solondz (1948)-MacVicar Fellow
Department of Mathematics

Seth Mnookin
Associate Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Nick Montfort
Associate Professor of Digital Media
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Emmy Murphy
Assistant Professor
Department of Mathematics

Robert Nachtrieb
Senior Lecturer in System Dynamics
Sloan School of Management

Leslie Norford
George Macomber (1948) Professor in Construction Management
Department of Architecture

James B. Orlin
The Edward Pennell Brooks Professor of Operations Research
Sloan School of Management

Ozalp Ozer
Visiting Professor of Operations Management
Sloan School of Management

James Paradis
Robert M. Metcalfe Professor of Writing
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Heather Paxson
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Anthropology
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Anthropology Program

Lee David Perlman
Senior Lecturer
Concourse Program

Ruth Perry
Ann Fetter Friedlaender Professor of Humanities
Literature; School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

David Pesetsky
Ferrari P. Ward Professor of Modern Languages & Linguistics
Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Head, Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Yury Polyanskiy
Associate Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Martin Polz
Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bjorn Poonen
Claude Shannon Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics

Hazhir Rahmandad
Assistant Professor
Sloan School of Management

Shankar Raman
Professor
Department of Literature

Jeffrey S. Ravel
Professor of History
Professor of Global Studies & Languages
Department of History; Global Studies & Languages

Agustín Rayo
Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Margery Resnick
Associate Professor
Department of Literature

Norvin Richards
Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Susan Ruff
Lecturer II
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Frederick P. Salvucci
Senior Lecturer
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Leona D. Samson
Uncas and Helen Whitaker Professor
American Cancer Society Research Professor
Department of Biological Engineering; Department of Biology

Hilke Schlichting
Assistant Professor
Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences

Andreas Schramm
Visiting Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Michael S. Scott Morton
Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management (Emeritus)
Sloan School of Management

Kieran Setiya
Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Peter W. Shor
Henry Adams Morss and Henry Adams Morss, Jr. Professor of Applied Math
Department of Mathematics

Susan S. Silbey
Leon and Anne Goldberg Professor of Humanities, Sociology and Anthropology
Anthropology Program; Behavioral and Policy Sciences, Sloan School of Management

Brad Skow
Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Gigliola  Staffilani
Professor
Department of Mathematics

Robert Stalnaker
Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Lucas Stanczyk
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science

Donca Steriade
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

John Sterman
Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management

Stephen Tapscott
Professor
Department of Literature

T. L. Taylor
Professor
Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Judith Jarvis Thomson
Professor (Emeritus)
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Jessika Trancik
Atlantic Richfield Career Development Assistant Professor in Energy Studies
Institute for Data, Systems, and Society

John Van Maanen
Erwin Schell Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management

David Vogan
Norbert Wiener Professor of Mathematics
Department of Mathematics

Kai von Fintel
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Jing Wang
Professor of Chinese Media & Cultural Studies
S. C. Fang Professor of Chinese Language & Culture
Director, New Media Action Lab
Executive Director, NGO2.0
Global Studies & Languages

Roger White
Associate Professor
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

David Gordon Wilson
Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Emeritus)
Department of Mechanical Engineering

Stephen Yablo
David S. Skinner Professor of Linguistics & Philosophy
Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

JoAnne Yates
Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management

signatories (as of 11/30/15)

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