Guest speaker Ernest Moniz (right), with Robert Armstrong, director of the MIT Energy Initiative at the annual MIT Energy Conference in 2016.
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

Events Calendar

Find information here on climate-related events across campus. If you’d like to list your event, please email events details to climate.action@mit.edu

Upcoming

  • Apr 4, 2017

    Can technology unlock ‘unburnable carbon’?

    Sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative's Low-Carbon Energy Center for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage | Featuring Sara Budinis, Research Associate, Sustainable Gas Institute, Imperial College London | Tuesday, April 4, 2017 | 5:00pm to 6:00pm | Building 66, Room 110 (Landau Building) 

    To stay within the 2°C carbon budget, a very significant reduction in fossil fuel consumption is required. If we are to meet our carbon budget, the majority of global fossil fuel reserves cannot be combusted. The role of technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) may be critical in enabling a greater quantity of fossil fuel to be combusted within a low-carbon framework; however, a number of studies are currently reaching different conclusions. During this talk, Dr. Budinis will assess the current state of knowledge regarding the ‘unburnable carbon’ issue and attempt to provide clarity by quantitatively defining the potential role of CCS in unlocking the unburnable carbon over the next 85 years.

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • Apr 5, 2017

    The energy/comfort nexus: Making buildings work for people and the planet

    Hosted by the MIT Energy Initiative | Featuring Prof. Gail Brager, Building Science Program, Dept. of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley | Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | 5:00pm to 6:00pm | Building 66, Room 110 (Landau Building) 

    Today, too many buildings harm the planet without properly serving their occupants. Buildings contribute roughly 40% of the total US greenhouse gas emissions, and 80% of their energy use is for heating, cooling, ventilating, and lighting. Yet research shows there are still high levels of occupant dissatisfaction with indoor environmental quality, and this can have profound impacts on people’s health, comfort, performance, and overall well-being. Using a range of research examples, Professor Gail Brager’s presentation will describe new ways of studying, designing, and operating buildings to improve both energy and comfort performance, which must be simultaneous goals of a high-performance building.

    For more information and to register, click here.

  • Apr 18, 2017

    Climate Data: Mysteries, Wonders, and Reality

    16th Annual Kendall Lecture | Featuring Thomas R. Karl | Tuesday, April 18, 2017 | 5:00pm to 6:30pm | 32-123

    Considerable scientific discourse is often necessary to develop and interpret data sets and models that help us understand the state and changing state of the climate system.  A few examples of how this has evolved will be presented.  This will include the data and methods used to deduce changes and variations in the Earth’s temperature and precipitation during the Anthropocene.

    For more information, click here.

  • Apr 20, 2017

    Tipping the Scales on Climate Change: Covering and Communicating an Unthinkably Big Problem

    Part of the Cambridge Science Festival | Thursday, April 20, 2017 | The Broad Institute, 415 Main St., Cambridge 

    In its physical, political, and ethical dimensions, the climate change problem is mind-boggling — and perhaps more complex than any other humanity has ever faced.

    Join the Knight Science Journalism Program and Undark Magazine for a short film and panel discussion aimed at bringing the problem down to size.

    Panelists include Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney; Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication; climate activist Nicole Hernandez Hammer; and former Obama climate policy adviser Bina Venkataraman. Moderated by climate journalist Andrew C. Revkin.

    For more information, click here.

  • May 9, 2017

    Why You Don’t Know Your Carbon Footprint

    Part of the xTalks: Digital Discourses series | Hosted by the Office of Digital Learning | Featuring Ory Zik | Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 3:00pm to 4:00pm | 4-231

    The oxygen of markets is metrics and the climate metric is carbon footprint. So why is it that we are so ‘carbon illiterate’? Why is it that nearly no one knows the carbon footprint of anything? And what can we do to fix this situation?

    For more information, click here.

Selected Past Events

  • Jan 9, 2017

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at MIT

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Samberg Conference Center, 7th Floor | Monday, January 9, 2017, 10:30am

    In an address at MIT, John F. Kerry, the 68th Secretary of State of the United States, said that the effort to limit climate change was a dire “race against time,” but one that could be successful due to the economic promise of renewable energy.

    Read the MIT News story about Secretary Kerry's speech here.

    Watch the archived webcast of Secretary Kerry's speech here.

  • Nov 17, 2016

    Climate Change: Ethics in Action

    Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Radius | MIT 50-140 (Morss Hall, Walker Memorial), 142 Memorial Drive, Cambridge

    From record temperatures to extreme weather events, the impacts of climate change are evident around the globe. Yet while the climate threat becomes increasingly clear, the collective nature of its causes and the seeming remoteness of its impacts challenge many of our ethical intuitions. What is our ethical responsibility to take action against climate change? Join other members of the MIT community in a conversation about the ethical implications of climate change and our collective responsibility for action.

    To visit the page for this event, click here.

  • Sep 14, 2016
    to
    Sep 16, 2016

    World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities

    Samberg Conference Center | MIT Chang Building (E52) | 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA

    MIT hosted a community of the world’s foremost universities for the third annual “World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities”.

    The symposium, with the theme “Designing Tomorrow’s Campus: Resiliency, Vulnerability, and Adaptation", brought together leading academics from around the globe to collectively advance scalable solutions that have the power to transform communities into more livable and sustainable places, given the urgent challenges of a changing climate. MIT served as the backdrop for three days of interactive sessions and workshops.

    Click here for more information.

  • Jan 27, 2016

    MIT on Climate = Science + Action

    Hosted at the Kirsch Auditorium, MIT Stata Center | Wednesday January 27th, 2016 | 8:30am - 5:00pm

    A symposium presented by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences and co-sponsored by the Lorenz Center and the Houghton Fund, featuring guest keynotes from Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief, Science, and Justin Gillis of The New York Times.

    • Watch the video here.
    • See photos from the event here.
    • Read the MIT News story about the event.
  • Apr 9, 2015
    4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

    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

  • Mar 31, 2015
    4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

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

    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, MIT
    Thomas 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 climatechange@mit.edu
    Download the event poster