Now elite institutions, which always have their antennae attuned to the ebb and flow of the concerns of the world’s power elite, are acting out the consequences of decline. If you are a university president responsible for raising mega-donations by convincing the holders of wealth that they can achieve prestige and maybe a little immortality by funding your Good Works, then you have to be aware of their changing concerns.
Only a few years ago, global warming seemed like a sure winner to Yale’s then-president Richard C. Levin, when he announced in 2009 the establishment of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute and secured Rajendra K. Pachauri as its first head. Pachuari was the head of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the major force pushing global warming as a central battle to be fought to save humanity, and he was to serve both the U.N. and Yale at the same time, locking them together as leaders of the fight to rescue us all from doom.
That was then; this is now. The Yale Daily News announced three days ago:
After a University decision to cut all its funding, Yale’s Climate & Energy Institute will close by the end of June. The loss of the institute, which for the last eight years has conducted research related to issues of climate change, leaves a hole in climate and energy studies at Yale.