Phi Beta Cons

Cavalier

This is surprising, interesting, and daring: The University of Virginia has refused to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The document already has 146 signers, including the presidents of Penn, UNC-Chapel Hill, Florida, Cornell, Colorado, and NYU. But Virginia objects:

We have decided that while signing the pledge at this time would please many here in our community and activists elsewhere, and indeed would satisfy many of us who share the proposers’ concerns about global warming and environmental sustainability generally, doing so is not consistent with the University’s legal and other capacities. … The document in fact contains stipulations that would require us to commit future institutional (which, under Virginia law, means state-taxpayers’) resources without appropriate planning or cost justification, without scientifically verifiable means of proving that the predicted results have occurred, and (perhaps most oddly in a document that presents itself as a commitment to improving the environment) without a clear definition of the meaning of the commitment’s benchmark term, “climate neutrality.” 

Some common sense on climate change? On campus? Egad! (Hat tip: IHE.)

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.