From: Geoffrey [log in to unmask]
Subject: MEDIA ADVISORY: MIT student vigil for historic climate change milestone on Day 33 of 24/7 sit-in outside president’s office [NEXTMONDAY,11/23]
MEDIA ADVISORY - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015
Contact: Geoffrey Supran, (+1) 617-899-8482,[log in to unmask]
MIT students hold vigil for historic climate change milestone
as round-the-clock sit-in outside president’s office enters second month
Cambridge, MA — Next Monday, MIT students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local community members will hold a vigil with music, poetry, and art to observe the anticipated final days that anyone alive will ever again experience atmospheric carbon dioxide levels less than 400 parts per million (ppm). 350 ppm of CO2 is regarded by many scientists as the safe upper limit to avoid dangerous climate change. The “Farewell 400” event will call on MIT administrators and world leaders to take bold climate action. It coincides with the start of Month 2 of a round-the-clock sit-in at the office doorstep of MIT’s president, which students began on October 22 in opposition to MIT’s decision to “not divest [its $13.5 billion endowment] from the fossil fuel industry”, including climate-denying corporations, and instead to “bring them closer”. It is the first time in a quarter century that MIT has seen such unrest. The vigil comes just days before world leaders gather in Paris for pivotal UN climate negotiations.
The sit-in, recently endorsed by 93 MIT faculty, calls on MIT to divest from coal and tar sands companies, to establish an ethics advisory councilto address investments in climate-denying corporations, and to commit tocampus carbon neutrality by 2040 at the latest. The Institute’s own climate change advisory committee itself recently backed targeted divestment by 9 votes to 3 and unanimously recommended the ethics council. Calls for divestment include 3,500 petition signatures from MIT community members and separate open letters from 29 MIT student groups, 122 faculty, alumni, and 33 prominent climate scientists and advocates, among them James Hansen, the President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Mark Ruffalo, and Noam Chomsky. Climate simulations conducted by researchers at Climate Interactive show that MIT’s current emissions reduction pledgeis incompatible with the globally-recognized 2 degree Celsius threshold for dangerous warming.
WHAT: MIT scientists, activists, and local community members will hold a campus vigil with music, poetry, and community art. The vigil will bid farewell to sub-400 ppm levels of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and mark the start of Month 2 of a round-the-clock sit-in outsidethe office of MIT’s president calling for bolder MIT climate action.
WHO: MIT students, staff, faculty, alumni, and local community members united in their call for bolder MIT climate action, including fossil fuel divestment, an ethical response to climate science disinformation, and more aggressive campus emissions reductions. Music from accomplished MIT musicians.
WHEN & WHERE: Monday November 23, 2015, 6-7PM in Lobby 10 (Memorial Lobby) on MIT campus. 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139 [map].
VISUALS: MIT community members gathered together in MIT’s Memorial Lobby with signs and banners, immediately beneath the sit-in outside the office of MIT’s president. Piano, singing, poetry, and the unveiling of community collaborative artwork.
Information updates and photos/videos will be posted atwww.MITsitin.org and on social media under the hashtag #ScientistsSitIn.