Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t James Delingpole; Yale University has announced the closure of its Climate Change Institute. All funding will be cut by the end of June.
After a University decision to cut all its funding, Yale’s Climate & Energy Institute will close by the end of June.
The loss of the institute, which for the last eight years has conducted research related to issues of climate change, leaves a hole in climate and energy studies at Yale. Although the Energy Studies academic program will continue within Yale College, students in the YCEI said they were outraged by the budget cuts and subsequent closure of an institute that is one of the only research-focused climate change programs for undergraduates on campus. The announcement came in a Monday afternoon email to the YCEI community from institute co-directors and geology and geophysics professors David Bercovici and Jay Ague, and follows years of cuts to the institute’s funding, according to students involved in the organization.
“While not all good things have to come to an end, sometimes they just do,” Bercovici and Ague wrote. “The YCEI will stop activities and close up shop as of June 30, 2016.”
The announced closure left students in the institute with unanswered questions about why the formerly thriving group had its funding cut. University Provost Benjamin Polak — who is currently engaged in annual budget talks with every area of campus — did not respond Monday to questions about the reasons for the YCEI’s funding cuts. Salovey was also unavailable for comment Monday evening.
One possible explanation for the end of the YCEI is that the institute did not generate many alumni donations, Goldklang said. James Barile ’18, who is involved with the YCEI through a solar energy initiative, said the University appeared to be shifting away from undergraduate climate change research, which he said is not very public, toward climate change initiatives that are “more showy.”
Perhaps it is difficult to solicit alumni donations, from people who know that the end of their own gravy train is uncomfortably imminent.