Richard Heinberg: Our Counterpoint Speaker

Portrait of Richard HeinbergIt is my pleasure to announce that Richard Heinberg, the Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Post Carbon Institute, will be speaking as an alternative speaker to the official speaker, Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil.

Many of the students graduating this year find that Exxon’s disinformation campaign and its efforts to undermine Americans’ trust in their scientific institutions are entirely incompatible with their values and their future careers. Many students have elected to sit-out from Rex Tillerson’s speech, and will be joining the rest of the commencement celebration afterwards. Instead, these students will be well-wished into their career by Richard Heinberg’s speech, that afternoon.

Update: The university has agreed to support the event. Richard Heinberg will be speaking on the WPI Quad stage (where the official ceremony is situated) at 3 PM. Parents, students, members of the community at large: all are welcome to come hear him speak.                                                                                                    When: Saturday, May 14 · 3:00pm – 4:30pm, on the Main Quad stage,      Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609.                                              Attend the facebook event                                                                                                 Spread the word:  Invitation Flier to Richard Heinberg’s Speech

Richard Heinberg’s work is a powerful symbol of our wishes for WPI: a university which, in line with its budding green image, chooses to honor someone with leadership and vision, rather than a baron of the past, a force of the status quo.

Richard’s address will be followed by celebratory music by the dynamic, folk-music duo Magpie known for their hard-hitting topical songs.

With the power of their delivery, Terry and Greg are internationally renowned for their musical work in the environmental movement, which has supported notable groups such as the National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, the National Wildlife Refuge System, the National Park Service, and Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.

“Magpie performs songs of and for the Earth.  The absolute perfection and clarity of their arrangements and harmonies is masterful and stunningly emotional.  They are among the finest songwriters and performers of our era.”  – Baltimore Folk Music Society

Q. How are you ensuring respect for the ceremony?

We discourage anyone attending commencement from disturbing the ceremony. Please read our statement of respect for seniors.


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3 Responses to Richard Heinberg: Our Counterpoint Speaker

  1. Pingback: Asher Miller: University Vows to Lock Out Students Opposed to ExxonMobil -

  2. Pingback: WPI okays commencement dissent | Worcester

  3. As a former WPI student who found my minor in social and political philosophy more important than my 27 year engineering career, I fully support the alternative commencement.
    Here is what my favorite WPI professor had to say:
    Faculty member and philosophy professor Roger Gottlieb is one of several professors opposed to the choice of Tillerson as official speaker. He explained his position to the Worcester Telegram: “Clearly, humanity is in a terrible situation with our dependence on fossil fuels. It’s about making a speedy, rational and moral transition. What Exxon has done is to try to slow down that transition.”

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