[00:00:00:00] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: This is climate conversations by ClimateX. I'm your host Rajesh Kasturirangan. So we're going to try something fun. We're going to ask a question, which people normally address using financial or economic indicators. And you're going to put a carbon lens on it. And we're going to ask, what does that do?
[00:00:23:21] SPEAKER 2: I cannot wait.
[00:00:25:23] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: I'm game.
[00:00:27:05] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: So here's the question.
[00:00:29:19] SPEAKER 2: I want to have a little dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, da, da, da.
[00:00:32:27] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: All right. So here's the question for the week.
[00:00:35:17] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Or drum roll, right?
[00:00:36:16] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Your child is in high school. She's thinking of going to college. We're in the East Coast, so she's thinking of going to college in California.
[00:00:48:10] You've been thinking about tuitions. And you've been thinking about strengths and weaknesses of various universities. Now, let's put a climate hat on it.
[00:00:57:05] SPEAKER 2: Oh, man. It's already hard enough to pick a college, Rajesh.
[00:00:59:29] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: I know.
[00:01:01:07] SPEAKER 2: You're making this harder.
[00:01:01:22] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: There are so many different variables to take into account. Maybe we should just list them out.
[00:01:06:17] SPEAKER 2: I'm going to back out, because my kids are already-- they're done with their college choices. [LAUGHS]
[00:01:10:25] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: [LAUGHS] And so is Dave's.
[00:01:13:03] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Yeah, my kids are coming out of college.
[00:01:14:23] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: My hasn't.
[00:01:15:01] SPEAKER 2: All right, so we're helping you.
[00:01:16:15] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: OK. Variable number one-- I think the easiest one-- which is transportation-- flying back and forth several times a year, let's say.
[00:01:27:12] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Mm-hm. Versus other options.
[00:01:29:20] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Exactly.
[00:01:30:14] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Which might include rail, bus, or not going at all.
[00:01:35:14] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Exactly.
[00:01:36:03] SPEAKER 2: Or a purely online college, dun, dun, dun.
[00:01:39:11] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Indeed.
[00:01:39:24] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Yeah, there you go.
[00:01:41:04] SPEAKER 2: What do think, Dave?
[00:01:42:15] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Well--
[00:01:43:07] SPEAKER 2: --of those dimensions?
[00:01:43:27] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: Yeah, I think there's another dimension. And that is the climate neutrality, shall we say, about the particular college or university. So I know there are some, certainly in California, that have made an enormous effort to reduce their carbon footprint on their particular campus. And you got to take that into account.
[00:02:01:09] So there might be-- just hypothetically-- on the East Coast where we live, there might be a really good college that has given virtually no thought to how it can reduce its carbon footprint versus a place in the West Coast that's within three years of zero emissions on the whole campus.
[00:02:22:27] SPEAKER 2: What else complements that? I don't know. I'm thinking about just sort of general measures of lifestyle and consumption that-- the amount of food that we're getting from around the globe that's shipped in and stuff that we're ordering from Amazon that's shipped from elsewhere.
[00:02:41:06] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: So California being an agricultural state--
[00:02:44:28] SPEAKER 2: Yeah.
[00:02:46:08] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: --if your food is traveling a lot less coming to you, right?
[00:02:50:05] SPEAKER 2: Exactly.
[00:02:51:17] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Here's another-- heating. You're not consuming any-- or much less heating oil-- by being in California.
[00:03:01:01] SPEAKER 2: OK, so when your daughter goes to college, Rajesh, her room-- the radiator is going to be turned off and it's going to be icy cold, right?
[00:03:07:25] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Yes.
[00:03:08:06] SPEAKER 2: That's the deal.
[00:03:09:12] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Something that we have arguments about right now.
[00:03:13:08] SPEAKER 2: So that's a really interesting question. I can't wait to see what we come up with. People take a look at, think about it from their own perspective.
[00:03:20:03] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Yeah. What are your solutions? What do you think might affect a carbon-based decision on going to college?
[00:03:28:09] DAVE DAMM-LUHR: And we'd really love to hear from folks that have actually taken that into account when they made their decision.
[00:03:33:19] SPEAKER 2: All right, so have at it. And we look forward to hearing from you.
[00:03:36:25] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: All righty.
[00:03:38:05] SPEAKER 2: Bye-bye.
[00:03:39:01] RAJESH KASTURIRANGAN: Bye.
[00:03:40:16] [MUSIC PLAYING]
[00:03:43:16] Visit us at climatex.mit.edu and join the conversation.