Hexter Urges Climate Action by Trump and Congress

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Acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter

(From Press Release) – Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter and the leaders of the other nine UC campuses have added their names to an open letter urging President-elect Donald Trump and members of Congress to take action to fight climate change.

“The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities,” Hexter and more than 170 other college and university presidents and chancellors wrote.

The letter, released Monday (Dec. 19), urges Trump and Congress to support participation in the Paris Agreement on climate change, federal and academic research on climate and energy, and investments in the low-carbon economy.

“Your support for these three areas is a critical investment in the future of the millions of students we serve,” the university leaders said in the letter. “We will continue to prepare graduates for the workforce as well as lead in world-class research and innovation in order to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for all.”

The letter was organized by the Boston-based nonprofit Second Nature, and cites the leaders’ obligations to current and future generations to fight climate change, reduce pollution, support climate education and continue research of a changing planet.


Full Letter

This letter was collaboratively developed by a diverse group of Higher Education Institutions and Second Nature, and released on Dec. 19, 2016. Institutions can continue to participate until January 13, 2017, when we will send the final letter to the new Congressional delegation and incoming Presidential transition team.

Dear President-elect Trump and Members of the United States Congress,

We, the undersigned leaders of higher education institutions throughout the United States, recognize our academic and ethical responsibilities to current and future generations to take aggressive climate action; to reduce our sector’s carbon pollution, to support interdisciplinary climate education, and to continue research that expands our understanding of rapidly changing earth systems. We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.

We join our colleagues in the business and investment communities in supporting the science-based targets outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, many of our institutions have voluntarily set even more aggressive carbon reduction goals to lead our sector forward and to demonstrate what is possible for others.

Therefore, we ask that you support the following:

  1. Participation in the Paris Agreement, with the resulting national carbon reduction and clean energy targets, to protect the health of our current communities and our future generations.
  2. Research in our academic institutions and in federal agencies to ensure that our national climate, energy, and security policies are based on leading scientific and technical knowledge.
  3. Investments in the low carbon economy as part of a resilient infrastructure to ensure the country can adapt to changing climate hazards. These investments will also help grow American jobs and businesses.

The upcoming transition of federal leadership presents a unique opportunity to address head-on the challenges of climate change by accelerating the new energy economy and creating strong, resilient communities. This is particularly important for those in our communities most vulnerable to climate change. Your support for these three areas is a critical investment in the future of the millions of students we serve. We will continue to prepare graduates for the workforce as well as lead in world-class research and innovation in order to secure a healthier and more prosperous future for all.

We stand ready to assist your incoming Administration and congressional representatives to embrace this opportunity for the nation to meet these unprecedented global challenges.

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13 thoughts on “Hexter Urges Climate Action by Trump and Congress”

  1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

    Hexter should build more housing on UC Davis   campus than  students would be  using  bicycles instead of cars to go to classes . This letter is meaningless.

    1. David Greenwald

      The letter has multiple purposes. One is an ask. Another is to try to push the administration to stay the course on climate change research. A third is a statement of position.

      On the big issue, it doesn’t matter if UCD is building more housing and students are biking, because UCD isn’t going to change the trajectory of climate policies by itself.

      1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

        You have to tart somewhere to save  the Planet Earth . Not just to sign the letter. This is  is easy and worth nothing .

        “Another is to try to push the administration to stay the course on climate change research.”

        David , You are funny guy  .

        1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          I should say . You have good sense of humor.

          Anyway:

          In November 2013, President Janet Napolitano announced the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, which commits UC to emitting net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025, something no other major university system has done.

          http://www.ucop.edu/initiatives/carbon-neutrality-initiative.html

          Wouldn’t  be good if you would  interview Ralph  Hexter and ask him about his  commitment to  the Napolitano’s  initiative and about his steps he is taking to achieve the zero greenhouses emission in UC Davis and UC Davis Medical Center campuses .

           

    2. Topcat

      Hexter should build more housing on UC Davis campus than students would be using bicycles instead of cars to go to classes .

      Yes, and this would free up some of the single family houses in Davis that are being used as “mini-dorms” so that UCD faculty and staff would have less need to commute in to Davis from surrounding communities.

  2. Tia Will

    Jerry ( post of 7:49)

    I completely agree with your first sentence. And completely disagree with the second. It is entirely possible to both act at the local level while speaking out on the national level. Acting Chancellor Hexter should be doing both.

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

      Tia

      Ralph Hexter is not a national level guy . UC President Janet Napolitano  is the  national level politician  and the  President Elect Donald Trump knows who she is . She should write open  letter about climate change  to Trump and publish it.

      1. Howard P

        Good point, Jerry… the president-elect will probably have so many screeners, some one will probably send a “thank you for your communication, we’ll look into it” response.  Like Barbara Boxer does…

        Not meant as a criticism of either… just the way things really work…

  3. Tia Will

    Jerry

    Ralph Hexter is not a national level guy “

    No dispute there. However, this was not Acting Chancellor Hexter speaking alone, but rather as one of the nine Chancellor’s of the UC system. While this will doubtless not be a letter ever read by the president elect, it may carry more weight than that of a letter from an individual. It may also be added to the voices of many academics who agree on the issue of climate change and thus may have some effect on some minion who may advance the issue in a small way.

    I firmly believe that the only way that you can guarantee that your voice will not be heard is if you do not use it.

    1. Roberta Millstein

      Actually, the letter is broader than that.  It was signed by university presidents from across the country.

      We, the undersigned leaders of higher education institutions throughout the United States, recognize our academic and ethical responsibilities to current and future generations to take aggressive climate action; to reduce our sector’s carbon pollution, to support interdisciplinary climate education, and to continue research that expands our understanding of rapidly changing earth systems. We are committed to developing and deploying innovative climate solutions that provide a prosperous future for all Americans.

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