If you want to hear about the past, a good place to start would be by listening to Rex Tillerson, chairman of Exxon Mobil, which is doing its level best to make sure we stay in the 19th century. If you’re interested in what the future holds, then Richard Heinberg is one of the most engaging minds on the planet. Much as I like history, I know what I’d choose. –Bill McKibben of 350.org
WPI’s students are excited to go into the world, using their education to enlighten our national conversation and solve our toughest engineering problems. But they won’t get any lessons in either from ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whose company has repeatedly been caught spreading disinformation about climate change – one of our greatest science and engineering problems – and spending millions of dollars a year to stop our political leaders from doing anything about it. With profits nearing $1 billion a week, Mr. Tillerson and his company are certainly very rich – and in our society that often passes for wisdom. But I support WPI students who want to hear instead from business leaders using science honestly to create jobs, build prosperity and tackle the clean energy challenges of our time. –US Senate Candidate Bob Massie
As Worcester Polytechnical Institute offers Mr. Tillerson an honorary degree for concluding the education of the graduates of 2011, someone should probably also offer Tillerson an honorary degree in corporate carelessness. He has certainly earned it.
Check out the full story, as told by WPI students, on their Facebook page. They invite all to attend Richard Heinberg’s speech tomorrow. Greenpeace applauds the students of Worcester Polytechnical Institute for standing up to ExxonMobil’s polluting influence.
Neva Rockefeller Goodwin: A number of pension funds — and a number of big insurance companies, too — have started to realize how tightly the future health of business is bound up with the continuing health of the planet’s ecosystem. Business loves stability, and there’s nothing more chaotic than the planet under a warmer climate. The same sentiment is growing amongst ExxonMobil’s stockholders. My family is among the coalition of stockholders fighting the company’s head-in-the-sand take on global warming. The next step for the students at WPI will be to get the university to recognize its long-term interests, and use the endowment to create a better world for future students, and for the future of those who are students now. An essential first step is to take shareholder democracy seriously: vote your shares in a manner that is consistent with the long run viability of the companies in which you are invested, and the world in which your investments will thrive or fail.