College and university presidents sign on to climate pledge

Aiming to give greenhouse-gas reduction the old college try, 280 institutions have signed on to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. Modeled after a pact signed by mayors across the country, the agreement commits schools to promoting research on global warming, keeping track of emissions, and aiming for carbon neutrality. The effort is being led by President Michael Crow of Arizona State University, which plans to turn down the AC, increase solar power, and provide free bus passes to students, faculty, and staff. Some non-signers are lukewarm to the pact: University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III said signing would lead to spending taxpayer money “without appropriate planning or cost justification,” and an administrator at Johns Hopkins University asked, “If a student goes on spring break to Daytona Beach, are we responsible for that, too?” Naysayers aside, Crow hopes 1,000 college presidents will sign on by the end of next year. Top that, mayors!