Wednesday, September 21, 2016

August 16th, 2070: Rising Waters Flood Harvard Cambridge Campus, Harvard Calls For More Study of Problem

A freak nor’easter hit the Boston area yesterday, causing a 15-foot storm surge that overtopped the already precarious walls near the Larz Anderson Bridge.  Along with minor ancillary effects such as the destruction of much of Back Bay, the Boston Financial District, and Cambridgeport, the rampaging flood destroyed the now mostly-unused eastern Harvard Business School and Medical School, as well as the eastern Eliot and Lowell Houses.  The indigent students now housed in Mather House can only reach the dorms in floors 5 and above, by boat, although according to Harvard President Mitt Romney III the weakened structural supports should last at least until the end of the next school year.
A petition was hastily assembled by student protest groups last night, and delivered to President Romney at the western Harvard campus at Mt. Wachusett around midnight, asking for immediate mobilization of school resources to fight climate change, full conversion to solar, and full divestment from fossil-fuel companies. President Romney, whose salary was recently raised to $20 million due to his success in increasing the Harvard endowment by 10% over the last two years, immediately issued a press release stating that he would gather “the best and brightest” among the faculty and administration to do an in-depth study and five-year plan for responding to these developments.  Speaking from the David Koch Memorial Administrative Center, he cautioned that human-caused climate change remained controversial, especially among alumni.  He was seconded by the head of the Medical School, speaking from the David Koch Center for the Study of Migrating Tropical Diseases, as well as the head of the Business School, speaking from the David Koch Free-Market Economics Center. 
President Romney also noted that too controversial a stance might alienate big donors such as the Koch heirs, which in turn allowed indigent students to afford the $100,000 yearly tuition and fees.  He pointed out that as a result of recent necessary tuition increases, and the decrease in the number of students able to afford them from China and India due to the global economic downturn, the endowment was likely to be under stress already, and that any further alienation by alumni might mean a further decrease in the number of non-paying students.  Finally, he noted the temporary difficulties caused by payment of a $50 million severance package for departing President Fiorina.
Asked for a comment early this morning, David Koch professor of environmental science Andrew Wanker said, “Reconfiguring the campus to use solar rather than oil shale is likely to be a slow process, and according to figures released by the Winifred Koch Company, which supplies our present heating and cooling systems, we have a minimal impact on overall CO2 emissions and conversion will be extremely expensive.”  David Koch professor of climate science Jennifer Clinton said, “It’s all too controversial to even try to tackle.  It’s such a relief to consider predictions of further sea rise, instead.  There, I am proud to say, we have clearly established that the rest of the eastern Harvard campus will be underwater sometime within the next 100 years.”
In an unrelated story, US President for Life Donald Trump III, asked to comment on the flooding of the Boston area, stated “Who really cares?  I mean, these universities are full of immigrant terrorists anyway, am I right?  We’ll just deport them, as soon as I bother to get out of bed.”

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