Climate Conversation Events

Listening Tour

Spring Event Series

One Man's Journey to Climate Activism: A Talk with Dr. Larry Linden

KickOff Event

One Man's Journey to Climate Activism: A Talk with Dr. Larry Linden
Held at the MIT Kirsch Auditorium, Wednesday January 21st 2015 | 3:30pm-5:00pm

Join the MIT Climate Conversation with a talk by Dr. Larry Linden, MIT alum and former General Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs.  From growing up in smog-filled Los Angeles, to MIT, the White House, and then a career on Wall Street, Dr. Linden describes the experiences and transformation that brought him to launch an effort to move the politics of climate change in the United States.  The Linden Trust for Conservation is seeking to advance a national conversation on the use of a revenue-neutral carbon tax to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, a centrist concept with the potential to draw bipartisan support. Describing lessons learned on the role of science in regulation, government technology policy, and financial risk management, his insights are both personal and global as they apply to our individual and collective ability to make a difference in one of the 21st century’s most pressing challenges. 

About Dr. Linden
Dr. Larry Linden leads the Linden Trust for Conservation, founded in 2006 to bring state-of-the art skills in finance and markets to the environmental community. The Trust is currently focused on the establishment of market-based solutions for the control of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.    Larry is a former General Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, where he launched the firm's first environmental policy, and has also served as Partner at McKinsey & Co. and on the White House Staff in the Carter Administration coordinating technology policy development for the transportation, energy sectors and environmental protection.  He has served as Board Chair for the World Wildlife Fund and Resources for the Future and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of TIAA and advisor to the Redstone Strategy Group and New World Capital Group. Dr. Linden holds a PhD from MIT and a BSE from Princeton.  

The MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee's Listening Tour

MIT Climate Change Conversation listening tour posterStarting April 13, the MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee will be holding a Listening Tour to personally hear from students, facutly and staff about what actions MIT should take to confront climate change.  Show up to one or more events, stay for the full hour or just for 5 minutes!  The listening tour is an opportunity for you to share your ideas for how MIT should address climate change in an open, welcoming environment. 

Come with ideas about your department, workgroup, building, or how you personally could contribute to climate change efforts on campus, or how you’d like to see the campus address climate change through education, research, buildings & operations, financing, policy, or other innovative ways.  This is your chance to share your voice & ideas – join us at one of the following times and locations that works best for your schedule.  Dinner or Lunch is provided at all events. 

Monday, April 13, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
Building 4 – Room 237

12:00p–1:00p. Webcast
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
Stratton Student Center (W20-306)

7:00p–8:00p. Webcast
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Monday, April 27, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
Lincoln Laboratory

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
Whitaker College (E25-111)

12:00p–1:00p. Webcast
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
MIT Sloan School of Management (E62-450)

12:00p–1:00p. Webcast.
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Thursday, May 07, 2015
MIT Climate Change Conversation Listening Tour
Ray & Maria Stata Center (32-155)

5:00p–6:00p. Webcast
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Should MIT Divest? A Debate on Fossil Fuel Investment
Hosted at the MIT Kresge Auditorium, Thursday April 9th, 2015 | 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Join this event of the MIT Climate Change Conversation to learn about different facets of divestment from fossil fuel companies and explore whether MIT should divest its endowment as part of its response to climate change. Six prominent voices in the dialogue on climate change and energy will be staged as two teams that present PRO-divestment and AGAINST-divestment arguments in a classic debate format. The discussion will provide a nuanced view of the relevant issues being widely contested on university campuses, and in particular at MIT.  This is an unprecedented opportunity for the MIT community to hear a diversity of expert perspectives, to have questions answered, and to deepen our understanding of the opportunities, drawbacks, and alternatives to fossil fuel divestment and of how universities can address global warming.

Moderator: Tony Cortese, Intentional Endowments Network

Debating for fossil fuel divestment:
Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science at Harvard University
Don Gould, Trustee Pitzer College & CIO Gould Asset Management
John Sterman, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management

Debating against fossil fuel divestment:
Brad Hager, Professor, Director of the MIT Earth Resources Laboratory
Frank Wolak, Professor of Economics, Stanford University
Timothy Smith, Director of ESG Engagement, Walden Asset Management

Getting Through on Global Warming: How to Rewire Climate Change Communication 

Tuesday March 31st, 2015 | 4:00pm - 5:30pm

MIT Building 51-115 (Wong Auditorium, Tang Center) 
Why do most of us recognize that climate change is real, yet few take action? Why do some not recognize it as real? By exploring the roadblocks to effective climate change communication, this diverse panel of faculty and media experts will unpack why our brains are wired to ignore a monumental threat to society. And they will ask, can we recast the problem? What is the role of science in the communication challenge? How and why has this particular issue changed the public's perception of scientists? Drawing on the MIT community’s input to the Climate Conversation Idea Bank and through live Q&A, the panel will identify and examine communication strategies that MIT and others can employ to shift the global climate debate and to inspire action. 

John Durant, Director, MIT Museum, Moderator
Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT
Susan Hassol, Director, Climate Communication (a non-profit science & outreach project)
Judith Layzer, Professor of Environmental Policy, MITThomas Levenson, Professor of Science Writing, MIT 
Chris Mooney, Environment Writer, Washington Post
Drazen Prelec, Professor of Management and Neuroscience, MIT

Read detailed panelists' biographies here
Missed the event? You can still watch the video here .
Send questions for the panelists in advance or input for the discussion to

Creating the Roadmap: Envisioning/Reducing MIT's Carbon Footprint

Thursday March 12th, 2015 

Join a conversation on potential strategies for measuring, managing, and creating a plan to reduce MIT’s operational contribution to climate change. As we plan for a sustainable future campus, we consider: Where are we now? What information do we need? Where do we want to go?  This innovative event invites all members of the campus community to envision and shape our roadmap towards a lower-carbon institute.  Get ready for an interactive brainstorming event.  Please bring your phone or mobile device to this event, and download the Poll Everywhere App (Android) (iOs), or prepare to answer questions at

Come prepared with your ideas: ask questions, share your thoughts, and engage with new topics and potential paths as they unfold. Confirmed participants include members of the Office of Sustainability, including Director Julie Newman, Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer, and members of the MIT Climate Change Conversation Committee.