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Climate change content noted

I was happy to see a photograph in the winter issue of students and alumni at the Climate Change March in New York City. I was also interested in the article introducing Greg Brown, the new vice president for finance and administration at Swarthmore: “Sustainability, Access on Tap.”

Although I applaud Mr. Brown’s practical approach to improving the carbon footprint of the Swarthmore campus itself, I am more sure than he is that divestment can be an effective tool in slowing the juggernaut of accelerating climate change. The students’ movement, Swarthmore Mountain Justice, inspired me to clean up my own personal portfolio some more. The result was that I felt good, and the portfolio itself became even more successful with some new diverse investments.

All people, especially people in technologically advanced countries, need to make changes in beliefs, attitudes, behavior and expectations. For me, this means that I must conduct my personal life in a way that reduces my “carbon footprint” drastically (I no longer drive or use airplanes, eat meat, buy “stuff” or “busy myself” for example), that I change my financial base, that I am convincingly truthful with myself and others about climate change when I get an opportunity, that I am responsible in my community, and that I understand the spiritual significance of charity of heart.

As a Quaker-founded institution, Swarthmore itself has an opportunity to stand up for life-sustaining principles. In the long run, the survival of the institution, even in a practical sense, cannot withstand the consequences of climate change.

Thank you for increasing consciousness of this most important issue.

—Ann Erickson ’65
Monte Rio, Calif.