An Open Letter to Maryland's Leaders About Climate Change

Maryland faces a dire threat from climate change; urgent action is needed.

The MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland is a non-partisan group of concerned alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - scientists, academics, doctors, business people, and engineers. We are alarmed by the threat climate change poses to our beloved state and, indeed, the entire planet. Our objective is to provide state leadership with an understanding of the actions we must take to avoid future catastrophe.

Maryland's state motto is fatti maschii - parole femine. We applaud Maryland's efforts to date, and its parole femine - gentle words. But we also must honor fatti maschii - strong deeds. We call on every state and local elected official and every candidate to commit to make Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation. Now is the time to act to limit the damage from climate change.

Maryland Faces a Dire Threat

A warming Earth poses dangerous changes to Maryland. Our 3,100 scenic miles of coastline, our marshes, our river floodplains, and some of our largest cities are all at risk from a changing climate. The fossil fuel we burn to generate electricity, power our cars, and heat our homes is increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, trapping heat and changing weather patterns. If we continue to use fossil fuel at the current rate, predictions are that by the end of the century we would see:

Clearly, the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action!

But There's Hope - Maryland can be Carbon-Neutral in a Generation

By quickly developing our renewable wind and solar energy capability and eliminating fossil fuel use for power generation, heating and transportation, the state of Maryland can drastically reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions within a generation.

California is expected to generate 50% of its electricity from wind, solar, and other renewables by 2020. Texas and Iowa get much of their electricity from wind. California and Hawaii are modernizing their grids to accommodate distributed, renewable energy. If Maryland acts with these and other states as well as the signatories to the 2015 Paris Agreement, warming by the end of the 21st century can be limited to less than 3.6° F (2° C).

Investing in a clean energy economy creates jobs and economic growth. We are already installing more and more solar power systems and Maryland is starting to develop its plentiful offshore wind resources. We need to accelerate these efforts through your actions.

We urge all elected officials to enact policies that will accomplish the following:

Take these actions now to make Maryland carbon-neutral within a generation. This investment in a clean energy powered future will create local employment opportunities and economic growth in the state.

A generation from now, what will we tell our grandchildren when they ask about climate change? Will we tell them we didn't know what would happen? That fixing it would have cost too much? It was too inconvenient? Let's be able to tell them we rose to the challenge and built a better future for Maryland and the world.

Submitted respectfully to all elected officials and candidates for office in the State of Maryland,

- MIT Alumni for Climate Solutions in Maryland, October 1, 2018

Adam RiessProfessor of Physics and Astronomy,
Member of the National Academy of Sciences,
Nobel Laureate in Physics 2011
Michael L. AgroninEngineer & Lecturer
Shiladitya DasSarma, PhDProfessor of Marine and Environmental Technology
Eric GreeneNaval Architect
Troy BundySoftware/Systems in Federal marketplace - Owner
Stanley Martin, Jr
Sarah SimonEnvironmental Compliance Manager
Dr. William L. RidgwayAtmospheric Science Researcher
Theodore R. GullAstrophysicist Emeritus
Eugenia Kalnay, PhDDistinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
H.Frederick Dylla, PhDExecutive Director Emeritus, American Institute of Physics
Ashley EC Fulton-HowardSystems Engineer
Dr. David M. MarcovitzAssociate Professor of Educational Technology
John Compton
Lucy A CardwellAttorney
Henry Gabelnick
Margaret Shork Chatterton Nuclear Engineer Retired
David W. Cooke, MDPhysician
Sara K. CookeLab manager
Geraldo Gonzalez
Dr. Suzanne EpsteinImmunologist
Scott I. Berkenblit, MD, PhDOrthopaedic Surgeon
Kathleen Menne Livas
Wilder John LeavittAttorney
Paul LaPorte
Robert J. RandallRandall Engineering
Per LindellConsultant
Heidi Baumgartner Komkov
James NormanSenior Chemist
Dr. Steven FreedmanEngineer
Jerry L PrinceProfessor
Mohammad ModarresProfessor
Vin GrabillProfessor
Dr. Larry L. OrrCollege Professor
Dr. Barry Margulies, PhDAssociate Professor of Biological Sciences
Nancy Riess
Danielle ChouEngineer
Susan LeibenhautPhysician
Susanna M. ThonAssistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Louis Bernstein, PECivil Engineer
Bruce MorgensternEngineer
Robert C. Utz
Howard E. Katz
Marilynn K. DukerCEO, Brightview Senior Living
Kemp WillsSelf employed
James B. Conklin, Jr., ScD
Dr. Joshua GoldbergSystems software engineer
Dr. Lawrence P. SanfordProfessor of Environmental Science
Charles L. Bennett, PhDProfessor of Physics and Astronomy
Nicole SchultheisWriter
Richard A AndersonConsultant
Judi ArbuckleVP of Product
Marc PostmanAstronomer
Jared MarkowitzEngineer
Gina M. Angiola, MDPhysician
Gary M. Heiligman
Steven Rappaport, MDPhysician
Brooke Jarrett, MSPH
Dyung Le
Edward Richard Johnson, PhD
Aaron M. UckoSoftware developer
David H. Freeman, PhDProf. Emeritus, Univ. Of Md
Ron SmithScientist
Boris Zinshteyn, PhD
Brandon LevyScience communications editor
Dr. Irwin Lebow, PhD
David H. Greenberg, PhDProfessor Emeritus, Economist
Dr. Frederic I. DavisRetired Professor and Dean
Henry C. Lucas, Jr., PhDProfessor
Jean Tilly
Jack Kinstlinger, PEChairman Emeritus KCI Technologies
Stephen E. BickelEnergy Efficiency Consultant
Mark Powers
Dr Henry Gabelnick
Sheila KoneckeBusiness owner
Michelle Bryden, PhD
Kyle HurstProject Manager
Richard MushotzkyProfessor
Neha Bhooshan MD, PhD
Michael F Melgar, MDPhysician
Prof. William D. PhillipsUniversity Professor
Talbott Huey, PhD
Jay S Fridkis
Tamara Litwin, PhDCancer research
Ryan FriedrichData Analyst
Marcelo Jacobs-LorenaProfessor
Dr. Robert E. TerryPhysicist
Lynn FitzpatrickConsultant
Patricia M. Takahara, PhDProfessor of Chemistry
Flora Amwayi
Gilberto Chona, MCPUrban Economist
Dr. William C. SandbergPhysicist
William H. RyderModeling and Simulation
Frederick D. Baker
Dr. James P. Lavine Retired physicist
Jim SchmickerYacht Designer
Richard S. LivingstonResidential Construction / Remodeling Contractor
Britton WardNaval Architect
Ryan ShofnosOperations & Project Management
Allison KunzSoftware Developer, Entrepreneur
Dr. Jeffrey Marqusee
Donald ChuEngineer
Thomas SchneiderTheoretical Biologist
William Buckner
Candice Buckner
Carlos RenjifoEngineer
Michael J Borowitz MD, PhDProfessor
Stephen C. Ehrmann, PhDResearcher, author, consultant

Maryland Climate Leaders

The following elected leaders have provided supporting statements:


Ben Cardin, US Senator, State of Maryland

Chris Van Hollen, US Senator, State of Maryland

C. A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger, US Congressman, Maryland's 2nd Congressional District

John P. Sarbanes, US Congressman, Maryland's 3rd Congressional District

Elijah E. Cummings, US Congressman, Maryland's 7th Congressional District

Jamie Raskin, US Congressman, Maryland's 8th Congressional District


Ronald Young, Maryland State Senator, District 3

Karen Lewis Young, Maryland State Delegate, District 3A

Katie Fry Hester, Maryland State Senator, District 9

Courtney Watson, Maryland State Delegate, District 9B

Shelly Hettleman, Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Dan Morhaim, M.D., Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Dana Stein, Maryland State Delegate, District 11

Eric D. Ebersole, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

Jessica Feldmark, Maryland State Delegate, District 12

Clarence Lam, M.D., Maryland State Senator, District 12

Brian J. Feldman, Maryland State Senator, District 15

Marc Korman, Maryland State Delegate, District 16

Julie Palakovich Carr, Maryland State Delegate, District 17

Jeff Waldstreicher, Maryland State Senator, District 18

Vaughn Stewart, Maryland State Delegate, District 19

Lorig Charkoudian, Maryland State Delegate, District 20

Alice Cain, Maryland State Delegate, District 30A


Gavin Buckley, Mayor, City of Annapolis, Maryland

To Other Elected Leaders:

Email your statement of commitment to make Maryland carbon neutral within a generation to 

For more information, see our Website. Click for Baltimore Sun OpEd, Contact us, Find your representatives or Run for office.