Why are College Presidents in Love with "Sustainability"?

Ashley Thorne

Peter Wood's article, "Never Waste a Good Cliché," ponders the reasons college presidents sign their institutions up for the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in their eagerness to jump on the sustainability bandwagon. He imagines 4 possibilities:

A. They aren’t very deep thinkers. They just like the sound of “sustainability,” and enjoy being in front of a popular cause. B. They are cynics. They see where the movement is headed but calculate that it is to their advantage to play along. C. They are true believers. They know sustainability aims at radical, even utopian transformation of human society and they are all for it. D. They are gamblers. They understand the sustainability movement has an extremist element, but they see themselves as capable of drawing what is good from it without getting trapped in its craziness.

Peter cites a letter by the president of Hamilton College, whose rhetoric is so blandly superficial, she seems to go in category A.

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