Research & Teaching

"The study of nature provides a cultural model or a metaphor. It’s not simply ensuring that buildings will emit less carbon or use less energy, it’s the idea that the natural world provides this complex self-regulating and responsive model. And increasingly, there is a cohort within architecture that imagines that architecture can be responsive in the way that natural environments are responsive." – Charles Waldheim, Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture (GSD)

“It behooves us to look searchingly at the most searching works of environmental reflection…for in these we may expect to find disclosed (not always with full self-consciousness, of course) both the pathologies that bedevil society at large and some of the alternative paths that it might consider.” – Lawrence Buell, Cabot Research Professor of American Literature, Emeritus (Dept. of English)

Business, Law and Policy

"We have good reason to believe that global environmental change is most pressing problem of our time, with potentially catastrophic consequence worldwide. We also have reason to believe our nation is disproportionately responsible for creating this very real threat. Yet this country has still not enacted any comprehensive national legislation to address the problem. None. That’s a crisis. And the challenge we face as a nation is to prevent that crisis from becoming a full fledged tragedy." – Richard Lazarus, Aibel Professor of Law (HLS)


"We’re returning the planet to a state it hasn’t been in for tens of millions of years. And every living thing on Earth will be affected." – Daniel Schrag, Hooper Professor of Geology (Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences); Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering (SEAS); Director, HUCE

Ecology and Biodiversity

"The earth is our home. Unless we preserve the rest of life, as a sacred duty, we will be endangering ourselves by destroying the home in which we evolved, and on which we completely depend." – Edward O. Wilson, Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus (Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology)


"I think we can make a difference on a timescale of 20 years…but we have to make that commitment if we’re going to get there. If we’re serious about it, we can have a different kind of energy system by 2030: a lot less coal, a lot more non-carbon sources…nuclear, wind, and solar." – Michael McElroy, Butler Professor of Environmental Studies (SEAS)

Food, Agriculture and Nutrition

"We need a revolution in how we meet our needs for food. In agriculture, this means preserving our best land for crops, not subdivisions; reducing wasteful use of biocides, fertilizers, and water; and getting much more serious about health and safety all along the food chain." – William Clark, Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development (HKS)

Human Health

"Through our consumption practices in the wealthy world, we are putting hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in harm’s way. We shouldn’t be doing a global experiment on the world’s food sources." – Samuel Myers, Instructor in Medicine (HMS); Research Scientist (HSPH); Staff Physician, Mount Auburn Hospital

Social Sciences

“Social scientists today face the task of understanding energy choices and public opinion in a more systematic way because of the twin challenges of economic development and global warming…What and how the public thinks about energy choices will be critical in making legislative and other policy decisions about energy use.” – Stephen Ansolabehere, Professor of Government (Dept. of Government)

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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