Peter B. de Menocal '92GSAS
My commitment: Discovering how climate impacts life’s essentials
Climate change goes back millions, even billions of years—and there’s no shortage of evidence that organisms large and small, from bacteria to mammoths, respond to climate. What is different today is that climate change is happening very quickly, and human populations rely on basic resources that are threatened as our climate shifts.
At the Center for Climate and Life, my colleagues and I are mobilized. We want to understand how climate impacts the things that really matter to people—our access to food, water, shelter—and to come up with sustainable energy solutions.
Columbia is in a unique position to lead this effort because the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is home to the world’s largest and most distinguished community of Earth Science researchers. Through the Earth Institute, we partner with cross-campus leaders in law, policy, health, and business to lead change. Being in New York City connects us to global business and investment partners, so we can turn knowledge to action.
The world faces urgent challenges in climate, human health, and technology innovation, and large research universities should lead the charge to provide answers. My goal is to help lead this charge for Columbia, to see us tackle such big global problems with resources, discipline, and purpose.