ON-Lion Letter

As United Nations delegates gathered to negotiate new Sustainable Development Goals, the National Association of Scholars (NAS) in New York City released the first major critical report detailing how the campus sustainability movement harms higher education.

Sustainability:  Higher Education's New Fundamentalism shows that the sustainability movement distorts college curricula and cuts off free inquiry on important questions.  The 260-page report also shows that, at a time when tuition and student debt are soaring, colleges are spending lavishly on sustainability programs.

The NAS study shows how the sustainability movement has shut down reasoned debate on campuses by foreclosing open inquiry about climate change.  (The report takes no position on global warming itself.)  It criticizes the 685 institutions that have signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment for demanding of students and faculty members "blind obedience" in the place of critical examination of the facts.

In the report, NAS offers 10 recommendations under three general categories:  1.) respect intellectual freedom; 2.) uphold institutional integrity; and, 3.) be even-handed.

"The sustainability movement has become a major force in American life that has largely escaped serious critical scrutiny," it says.  "The goal of this report is to change that by examining for the first time the movement's ideological, economic, and practical effects on institutions of higher education."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports NAS.

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