Amherst Magazine

Verbatim

Overheard on campus

“I don’t believe we’re going to stop climate change. I believe that the climate and the Earth have been changing forever, and it’s man’s arrogance that can say we can stop it. But we can and must slow it down.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, head of the EPA under George W. Bush, speaking on Feb. 4 in Johnson Chapel as part of the Amherst College Colloquium Series.

“We are akin to the person who goes to the doctor and the doctor says, ‘Sir, your cholesterol is too high.... You’re going to have the heart attack or stroke.’ We are beginning to have the heart attacks and the strokes.” 

Environmentalist and writer Bill McKibben at the same Feb. 4 discussion, titled “Containing Carbon: Markets, Morals and Mobilization.”

“There really are only two big decisions in life: what will I do and who will I marry? I can’t help you with the marriage one, but I would like to make the case that research and biology is one of the most satisfying and civic-minded careers.”

Gerald R. Fink ’62 on Feb. 21 in Cole Assembly Room, speaking at the first annual Bioscience Symposium. Named in Fink’s honor and funded by alumni, the symposium featured four alumni speakers and drew more than 100 students interested in careers in medicine and science.

“Go down to Lower Manhattan and stare into the hole there. That is a relic of the Cold War. That was created by the bastard offspring of American Cold War policies.”

Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and director of the Middle East Institute, on al-Qaida and the Taliban as products of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Khalidi spoke on Feb. 26 in the Keefe Campus Center.

“After work, I would drive my car to Washington, D.C., at night and solicit secrets from strangers on the streets. Yeah, it was as weird as it sounds.”

Frank Warren, speaking about his wildly popular PostSecret project, in which people confess their secrets on postcards that they mail to him anonymously.