Maine college is first to pledge carbon neutrality

College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, has pledged to become the first college in the U.S. to go carbon neutral. New president David Hales announced in his inauguration speech Sunday that the tiny college will avoid, reduce, or offset all greenhouse-gas emissions generated by campus activities and student travel to and from campus. COA’s 300 or so undergraduates hail from 51 nations and 47 states; all of them major in the one program the college offers, Human Ecology. “We will attack despair with questions and the power of our creativity,” said Hales, who previously worked at the Worldwatch Institute, directed environmental policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development under President Clinton, and served as deputy interior secretary under President Carter. “We are the first generation of humans to have the realistic possibility to build a world that is sustainable and just. We must choose to do so.”