Harvard Launches Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, Entelligent–Green Fintech, Climate Champ–Vic Barrett, Listeners’ Call to Action!

by | Jun 28, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Harvard launches the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability, plus Entelligent–Green Fintech pioneers. Climate champion, Vic Barrett, and listeners’ call to action!



Last month, The Climate Daily reported on the launch of The Stanford (door) Doerr School of Sustainability, funded by a generous $1.1 billion dollar gift by billionaires John and Ann Doerr. Not to be outdone, last week, Harvard University announced the creation of the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability. It’s funded by a $200 million gift from Melanie and Jean Eric Salata.

Said the Salatas, in announcing their gift, “Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. It is a crisis whose impact will affect our children and many generations to come, and we have a responsibility to them to do everything we can to address it.”

The goal of the institute is to spur and support influential research on climate, sustainability, and the transition to low- and zero-carbon energy; equip Harvard students to become the next generation of leaders and change agents in the field; and recruit and support faculty who will bring their expertise to bear on the complex and daunting challenges brought about by climate change

Jim Stock, Harvard’s Vice Provost for Climate and Sustainability, and the man who will lead the Salata Institute, said, “With its current strengths, international convening power, and great potential, Harvard has a unique responsibility to lead in addressing these challenges…The challenges of the climate crisis are immense and urgent…The Salata Institute will empower Harvard to get on with this difficult but essential work.”

Why does the creation of the Salata Institute for Climate and Sustainability matter to the rest of us not ensconced in ivy towers? In the words of Harvard Provost, Alan Garber, “We cannot solve the climate crisis on our own, but we expect our educational and research efforts to produce deep and lasting contributions to the broader effort, in which universities will play leading roles. Harvard can do nothing less than set the example for effective leadership in addressing all aspects of climate change.”

DEEPER DIVE: Harvard Presser, The Climate Daily



In 2011, Thomas H. Stoner Jr., a seasoned energy entrepreneur, and Dr. David Schimel, a leading climate scientist, founded a research organization to advocate for the use of global capital markets as a critical solution to climate change. 

He then published his research and analysis in his book, Small Change, Big Gains: Reflections of an Energy Entrepreneur. At the heart of the book is the discovery that it may be possible to stabilize rising global temperatures and remain under global temperature targets set by the international community, if capital is deployed to limit large scale systemic risk typically associated with climate change.

That’s why Stoner and Nobel laureate and NASA scientist David Schimel, founded Entelligent.  Its mission: To align capital markets with the needs of the 21st century and in particular, the systemic risks of climate change. Entelligent is touted as a climate-data analytics firm with a unique approach to measuring climate risk. According to Stoner, “While most risk methodologies assess the impact a company’s operations are having on the planet, Entelligent measures the impact that climate change transition effects will have on companies.”

And according to a Businesswire press release, Entelligent was the first company to be granted a patent over the use of climate scenario analysis in climate-risk assessment for security selection and other financial products. Entelligent’s data analytics platform claims to allow capital markets to make a positive impact on climate change.

And why does allowing capital markets to have a positive impact on climate change matter to us? Like it or not, humans will not stymie climate change without massive inputs of capital—we’re talking trillions of dollars. The more accurately we can assess where and how climate change will affect capital markets, the more accurately we can aim those necessary cash flows.

DEEPER DIVE: BusinessWire, Entelligent



We like to call Vic Barrett a young OG of the climate movement. The Honduran American climate justice activist and democracy organizer was one of 21 plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States, who sued the U.S. government for environmental degradation and enabling the climate crisis, back in 2015. While that case wended its way through the U.S. legal system before being ultimately thrown out due to lack of standing, Barrett’s journey stayed the course, a course charted way back in high school.

Barret started out as a member of Global Kids, an organization that focuses on developing leadership skills for youth. Barrett then became a Fellow with the Alliance for Climate Education (now called “Action for the Climate Emergency) and spoke at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris in 2015, at only 15. He delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in support of sustainable development goals.

Barrett  has spoken at the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, the United Nations, Friends Seminary, Yale University, Boston College, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on the Generator Series w/ Ilana Glazer, as well as keynoting at the Wired25 and Planet Home conferences in San Francisco. He has also presented before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C.

Why does Vic Barrett’s climate activism matter to us? Barrett understands that his generation will be impacted by the policies and decisions of older generations refusing to combat climate change, and must make meaningful changes towards a sustainable environment.

Most recently Vic spoke at the NYC Climate Strike and told a crowd of at least 100,000 why climate justice needs to be highlighted, centering black, brown, and indigenous voices. Vic is currently a member of Earth Guardians, an organization that represents thousands of youth leaders, activists, and artists on the front lines, driving action and fueling a cultural shift towards a regenerative future. 

DEEPER DIVE:  OurClimateVoices , EarthGuardians, Insta,Twitter



Recently, one of our listeners shared her story of how listening to the climate daily helped her deal so well with her climate change overwhelm, that she got out and started working with the local community based group. Then she challenged us to ask you all to share any stories you might have of how listening to the climate daily might have inspired you into action, so we can share them with the world.

Remember, we’re all about sharing stories of people taking positive action to combat climate change. And that’s you listeners. You can hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at #wetheclimate or Jeffrey at The Climate dot org or Maude at The Climate dot org, also.