Environmental Sustainability

Scientist Provides Hope in Fight for Climate Change

Kevin Rennert, a former Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Policy at the Environmental Protection Agency, and currently a fellow at the Resources for the Future think tank in Washington D.C., attended Community Meeting to present the political complexities of climate change policy and detail why he is hopeful in the fight to save the planet.

Kevin acknowledged that climate change is a long and difficult problem, but told the students they are in a unique position to make a difference. "You are all growing up as a generation that knows we as species have the power to change the climate. That awareness is a big power."

Kevin's background enables him to present a unique perspective on the climate change battle taking place in Washington D.C. He has a PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Washington. He worked on the staffs of Senators Jeff Binaman (New Mexico) and Ron Wyden (Oregon), who both chaired the Senate Energy Committee.

Kevin expressed that he remains hopeful that society is still moving in the right direction because of multiple reasons. He offered examples such as the level of focus multiple states and large cities are placing on enacting climate change policies, and the level of support behind the science during the national March for Science on April 22, 2017.

After Community Meeting, Kevin spent time with a class of Upper School students, where he answered questions about how his career path transpired. He also gave explanations for some of the denser topics of climate change.

The added time allowed students to ask follow-up questions and glean more insight into the technical aspects of the climate change discussion. Scarlett D. asked how best to inform climate skeptics of the current climate change science, and Dylan C. asked for an explanation on what a carbon tax is and why it is such a politically volatile subject.

Kevin encouraged the juniors to follow their passions as they embark on their collegiate careers and beyond. "What I found most useful as I decided what I wanted to do in life was to ask the questions: what kind of doors will this open? Are they interesting? Most importantly, are they in line with my values?"