朱棣文哈佛演讲稿(配翻译)(6000字)

发表于:2020.9.8来自:www.fanwen118.com字数:6000 手机看范文

(朱棣文演讲原音)朱棣文哈佛演讲

My students, post doctoral fellows, and the young researchers who worked with me at Bell Labs, Stanford, and Berkeley have been extraordinary. Over 30 former group members are now professors, many at the best research institutions in the world, including Harvard. I have learned much from them. Even now, in rare moments on weekends, the remaining members of my biophysics group meet with me in the ether world of cyberspace.

我教过的学生、带过的博士后、合作过的年轻同事,都非常优秀。他们中有30多人,现在已经是教授了。他们所在的研究机构有不少是全世界第一流的,其中就包括哈佛大学。我从他们身上学到了很多东西。即使现在,我偶尔还会周末上网,向现在还从事生物物理学研究的学生请教。

I began teaching with the idea of giving back; I received more than I gave. This brings me to the final movement of this speech. It begins with a story about an extraordinary scientific discovery and a new dilemma that it poses. It’s a call to arms and about making a difference.

我怀着回报社会的想法,开始了教学生涯。我的一生中,得到的多于我付出的,所以我要回报社会。这就引出了这次演讲的最后一个乐章。首先我要讲一个了不起的科学发现,以及由此带来的新挑战。它是一个战斗的号令,到了做出改变的时候了。

In the last several decades, our climate has been changing. Climate change is not new: the Earth went through six ice ages in the past 600,000 years. However, recent measurements show that the climate has begun to change rapidly. The size of the North Polar Ice Cap in the month of September is only half the size it was a mere 50 years ago. The sea level which been rising since direct measurements began in 1870 at a rate that is now five times faster than it was at the beginning of recorded measurements. Here’s the remarkable scientific discovery. For the first time in human history, science is now making predictions of how our actions will affect the world 50 and 100 years from now. These changes are due to an increase in carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The Earth has warmed up by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the Revolution. There is already

approximately a 1 degree rise built into the system, even if we stop all greenhouse gas emissions today. Why? It will take decades to warm up the deep oceans before the temperature reaches a new equilibrium.

过去几十年中,我们的气候一直在发生变化。气候变化并不是现在才有的,过去60万年中就发生了6次冰河期。但是,现在的测量表明气候变化加速了。北 极冰盖在9月份的大小,只相当于50年前的一半。1870年起,人们开始测量海平面上升的速度,现在的速度是那时的5倍。一个重大的科学发现就这样产生 了。科学第一次在人类历史上,预测出我们的行为对50~100年后的世界有何影响。这些变化的原因是,从工业革命开始,人类排放到大气中的二氧化碳增加 了。

这使得地球的平均气温上升了0.8摄氏度。即使我们立刻停止所有温室气体的排放,气温仍然将比过去上升大约1度。因为在气温达到均衡前,海水温度的上 升将持续几十年。

If the world continues on a business-as-usual path, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that there is a fifty-fifty chance the temperature will exceed 5 degrees by the end of this century. This increase may not sound like much, but let me remind you that during the last ice age, the world was only 6 degrees colder. During this time, most of Canada and the United States down to Ohio and Pennsylvania were covered year round by a glacier. A world 5 degrees warmer will be very different. The change will be so rapid that many species, including Humans, will have a hard time adapting. I’ve been told for example, that, in a much warmer world, insects were bigger. I wonder if this thing buzzing around is a precursor.)

如果全世界保持现在的经济模式不变,联合国政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)预测,本世纪末将有50%的可能,气温至少上升5度。这听起来好像 不多,但是让我来提醒你,上一次的冰河期,地球的气温也仅仅只下降了6度。那时,俄亥俄州和费城以下的大部分美国和加拿大的土地,都终年被冰川覆盖。气温 上升5度的地球,将是一个非常不同的地球。由于变化来得太快,包括人类在内的许多生物,都将很难适应。比如,有人告诉我,在更温暖的环境中,昆虫的个头将 变大。我不知道现在身旁嗡嗡叫的这只大苍蝇,是不是就是前兆。

We also face the specter of nonlinear “tipping points” that may cause much more severe changes. An example of a tipping point is the thawing of the permafrost. The permafrost contains immense amounts of frozen organic matter that have been accumulating for millennia. If the soil melts, microbes will spring to life and cause this debris to rot. The difference in biological activity below freezing and above freezing is something we are all familiar with. Frozen food remains edible for a very long time in the freezer, but once thawed, it spoils quickly. How much methane and carbon dioxide might be released from the rotting permafrost? If even a fraction of the carbon is released, it could be greater than all the greenhouse gases we have released to since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Once started, a runaway effect could occur. 我们还面临另一个幽灵,那就是非线性的“气候引爆点”,这会带来许多严重得多的变化。“气候引爆点”的一个例子就是永久冻土层的融化。永久冻土层经 过千万年的累积形成,其中包含了巨量的冻僵的有机物。如果冻土融化,微生物就将广泛繁殖,使得冻土层中的有机物快速腐烂。冷冻后的生物和冷冻前的生物,它 们在生物学特性上的差异,我们都很熟悉。在冷库中,冷冻食品在经过长时间保存后,依然可以食用。但是,一旦解冻,食品很快就腐烂了。一个腐烂的永久冻土 层,将释放出多少甲烷和二氧化碳?即使只有一部分的碳被释放出来,可能也比我们从工业革命开始释放出来的所有温室气体还要多。这种事情一旦发生,局势就失 控了。

The climate problem is the unintended consequence of our success. We

depend on fossil energy to keep our homes warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and lit at night; we use it to travel across town and across continents. Energy is a fundamental reason for the prosperity we enjoy, and we will not surrender this prosperity. The United States has 3 percent of the world population, and yet, we consume 25 percent of the energy. By contrast, there are 1.6 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of people still cook with twigs or dung. The life we enjoy may not be within the reach of the developing world, but it is within sight, and they want what we have.

气候问题是我们的经济发展在无意中带来的后果。我们太依赖化石能源,冬天取暖,夏天制冷,夜间照明,长途旅行,环球观光。能源是经济繁荣的基础,我 们不可能放弃经济繁荣。美国人口占全世界的3%,但是我们消耗全世界25%的能源。与此形成对照,全世界还有16亿人没有电,数亿人依靠燃烧树枝和动物粪 便来煮饭。发展中国家的人民享受不到我们的生活,但是他们都看在眼里,他们渴望拥有我们拥有的东西。

Here is the dilemma. How much are we willing to invest, as a world society, to mitigate the consequences of climate change that will not be realized for at least 100 years? Deeply rooted in all cultures, is the notion of generational responsibility. Parents work hard so that their children will have a better life. Climate change will affect the entire world, but our natural focus is on the welfare of our immediate families. Can we, as a world society, meet our responsibility to future generations? 这就是新的挑战。全世界作为一个整体,我们到底愿意付出多少,来缓和气候变化?这种变化在100年前,根本没人想到过。代际责任深深植根于所有文化 中。家长努力工作,为了让他们的孩子有更好的生活。气候变化将影响整个世界,但是我们的天性使得我们只关心个人家庭的福利。我们能不能把全世界看作一个整 体?能不能为未来的人们承担起责任?




第二篇:朱棣文哈佛演讲 21100字

感谢你们,让我有机会同你们一起分享这个美妙的日子。 我不太肯定,自己够得上哈佛大学毕业典礼演讲人这样的殊荣。去年登上这个讲台的是,英国亿万身家的小说家J.K. Rowling女士,她最早是一个古典文学的学生。前年站在这里的是比尔·盖茨先生,他是一个超级富翁、一个慈善家和电脑天才。今年很遗憾,你们的演讲人是我,虽然我不是很有钱,但是至少我是一个书呆子。 我很感激哈佛大学给我荣誉学位,这对我很重要,也许比你们会想到的还要重要。要知道,在学术上,我是我们家的异类。我的哥哥在麻省理工学院得到医学 博士,在哈佛大学得到哲学博士;我的弟弟在哈佛大学得到一个法律学位。我本人得到诺贝尔奖的时候,我想我的妈妈会高兴。但是,我错了。消息公布的那天早 上,我给她打电话,她听了只说:“这是好消息,不过我想知道,你下次什么时候来看我?”如今在我们兄弟当中,我最终也拿到了哈佛学位,我想这一次,她会感 到满意。在哈佛大学毕业典礼上发表演说,还有一个难处,那就是你们中有些人可能有意见,不喜欢我重复前人演讲中说过的话。我要求你们谅解我,因为两个理由。首先,为了产生影响力,很重要的方法就是重复传递同样的信息。在科学中,第一个发现者是重要的,但是在得到公认前,最后一个做出这个发现的人也许更 重要。其次,一个借鉴他人的作者,正走在一条前人开辟的最佳道路上。哈佛大学毕业生、诗人爱默生曾经写下:“我最好的一些思想,都是从古人那里偷来的。” 画家毕加索宣称“优秀的艺术家借鉴,伟大的艺术家偷窃。”那么为什么毕业典礼的演说者,就不适用同样的标准呢?我还要指出一点,向哈佛毕业生发表演说,对我来说是有讽刺意味的,因为如果当年我斗胆向哈佛大学递交入学申请,一定会被拒绝。我的妻子Jean当过 斯坦福大学的招生主任,她向我保证,如果当年我申请斯坦福大学,她会拒绝我。我把这篇演讲的草稿给她过目,她强烈反对我使用“拒绝”这个词,她从来不拒绝 任何申请者。在拒绝信中,她总是写:“我们无法提供你入学机会。”我分不清两者到底有何差别。不过,那些大热门学校的招生主任总是很现实的,堪称“拒绝他 人的主任”。很显然,我需要好好学学怎么来推销自己。毕业典礼演讲都遵循古典奏鸣曲的结构,我的演讲也不例外。刚才是第一乐章——轻快的闲谈。接下来的第二乐章是送上门的忠告。这样的忠告很少有价值, 几乎注定被忘记,永远不会被实践。但是,就像王尔德说的:“对于忠告,你所

能做的,就是把它送给别人,因为它对你没有任何用处。”所以,下面就是我的忠 告。第一,取得成就的时候,不要忘记前人。要感谢你的父母和支持你的朋友,要感谢那些启发过你的教授,尤其要感谢那些上不好课的教授,因为他们迫使你自 学。从整体看,自学能力是优秀的文科教育中必不可少的,将成为你成功的关键。你还要去拥抱你的同学,感谢他们同你进行过的许多次彻夜长谈,这为你的教育带 来了无法衡量的价值。当然,你还要感谢哈佛大学。不过即使你忘了这一点,校友会也会来提醒你。第二,在你们未来的人生中,做一个慷慨大方的人。在任何谈判 中,都把最后一点点利益留给对方。不要把桌上的钱都拿走。在合作中,不要把荣誉留给自己。成功合作的任何一方,都应获得全部荣誉的90%。电影《Harvey》中,Jimmy Stewart扮演的角色Elwood P. Dowd,就完全理解这一点。他说:“多年前,母亲曾经对我说,‘Elwood,活在这个世界上,你要么做一个聪明人,要么做一个好人。’”我做聪明人, 已经做了好多年了。……但是,我推荐你们做好人。你们可以引用我这句话。我的第三个忠告是,当你开始生活的新阶段时,请跟随你的爱好。如果你没有爱好,就去找,找不到就不罢休。生命太短暂,所以不能空手走过,你必须对某 样东西倾注你的深情。我在你们这个年龄,是超级的一根筋,我的目标就是非成为物理学家不可。本科毕业后,我在加州大学伯克利分校又待了8年,读完了研究 生,做完了博士后,然后去贝尔实验室待了9年。在这些年中,我关注的中心和职业上的全部乐趣,都来自物理学。我还有最后一个忠告,就是说兴趣爱好固然重要,但是你不应该只考虑兴趣爱好。当你白发苍苍、垂垂老矣、回首人生时,你需要为自己做过的事感到自豪。 物质生活和你实现的占有欲,都不会产生自豪。只有那些受你影响、被你改变过的人和事,才会让你产生自豪。在贝尔实验室待了9年后,我决定离开这个温暖舒适的象牙塔,走进我眼中的“真实世界”——大学。我对贝尔实验室的看法,可以引用Mary Poppins的话,“实际上十全十美”。但是,我想离开那种仅仅是科学论文的生活。我要去教书,培育我自己在科学上的后代。我在斯坦福大学有一个好友兼杰出同事Ted Geballe。他也是从伯克利分校去了贝尔实验室,几年前又离开贝尔实验室去了斯坦福大学。他对我们的动机做出了最佳描述:“在大学工作,最大的优点就是学生。他们生机勃勃,充满热情,思想自由,还没被生活的重压改变。虽然他们自己没有意识到,但是他

们是这个社会中你能 找到的最佳受众。如果生命中只有一段时间是思想自由和充满创造力,那么那段时间就是你在读大学。进校时,学生们对课本上的一字一句毫不怀疑,渐渐地,他们 发现课本和教授并不是无所不知的,于是他们开始独立思考。从那时起,就是我开始向他们学习了。”我教过的学生、带过的博士后、合作过的年轻同事,都非常优秀。他们中有30多人,现在已经是教授了。他们所在的研究机构有不少是全世界第一流的,其 中就包括哈佛大学。我从他们身上学到了很多东西。即使现在,我偶尔还会周末上网,向现在还从事生物物理学研究的学生请教。我怀着回报社会的想法,开始了教学生涯。我的一生中,得到的多于我付出的,所以我要回报社会。这就引出了这次演讲的最后一个乐章。首先我要讲一个了 不起的科学发现,以及由此带来的新挑战。它是一个战斗的号令,到了做出改变的时候了。过去几十年中,我们的气候一直在发生变化。气候变化并不是现在才有的,过去60万年中就发生了6次冰河期。但是,现在的测量表明气候变化加速了。北 极冰盖在9月份的大小,只相当于50年前的一半。1870年起,人们开始测量海平面上升的速度,现在的速度是那时的5倍。一个重大的科学发现就这样产生 了。科学第一次在人类历史上,预测出我们的行为对50~100年后的世界有何影响。这些变化的原因是,从工业革命开始,人类排放到大气中的二氧化碳增加 了。这使得地球的平均气温上升了0.8摄氏度。即使我们立刻停止所有温室气体的排放,气温仍然将比过去上升大约1度。因为在气温达到均衡前,海水温度的上 升将持续几十年。如果全世界保持现在的经济模式不变,联合国政府间气候变化专门委员会(IPCC)预测,本世纪末将有50%的可能,气温至少上升5度。这听起来好像 不多,但是让我来提醒你,上一次的冰河期,地球的气温也仅仅只下降了6度。那时,俄亥俄州和费城以下的大部分美国和加拿大的土地,都终年被冰川覆盖。气温 上升5度的地球,将是一个非常不同的地球。由于变化来得太快,包括人类在内的许多生物,都将很难适应。比如,有人告诉我,在更温暖的环境中,昆虫的个头将 变大。我不知道现在身旁嗡嗡叫的这只大苍蝇,是不是就是前兆。我们还面临另一个幽灵,那就是非线性的“气候引爆点”,这会带来许多严重得多的变化。“气候引爆点”的一个例子就是永久冻土层的融化。永久冻土层经 过千万年的累积形成,其中包含了巨量的冻僵的有机物。如果冻土融化,微生物就将广泛繁殖,使得冻土层中

的有机物快速腐烂。冷冻后的生物和冷冻前的生物,它 们在生物学特性上的差异,我们都很熟悉。在冷库中,冷冻食品在经过长时间保存后,依然可以食用。但是,一旦解冻,食品很快就腐烂了。一个腐烂的永久冻土 层,将释放出多少甲烷和二氧化碳?即使只有一部分的碳被释放出来,可能也比我们从工业革命开始释放出来的所有温室气体还要多。这种事情一旦发生,局势就失 控了。气候问题是我们的经济发展在无意中带来的后果。我们太依赖化石能源,冬天取暖,夏天制冷,夜间照明,长途旅行,环球观光。能源是经济繁荣的基础,我 们不可能放弃经济繁荣。美国人口占全世界的3%,但是我们消耗全世界25%的能源。与此形成对照,全世界还有16亿人没有电,数亿人依靠燃烧树枝和动物粪 便来煮饭。发展中国家的人民享受不到我们的生活,但是他们都看在眼里,他们渴望拥有我们拥有的东西。这就是新的挑战。全世界作为一个整体,我们到底愿意付出多少,来缓和气候变化?这种变化在100年前,根本没人想到过。代际责任深深植根于所有文化 中。家长努力工作,为了让他们的孩子有更好的生活。气候变化将影响整个世界,但是我们的天性使得我们只关心个人家庭的福利。我们能不能把全世界看作一个整 体?能不能为未来的人们承担起责任?虽然我忧心忡忡,但是还是对未来抱乐观态度,这个问题将会得到解决。我同意出任劳伦斯·伯克利国家实验室主任,部分原因是我想招募一些世界上最好的 科学家,来研究气候变化的对策。我在那里干了4年半,是这个实验室78年的历史中,任期最短的主任,但是当我离任时,在伯克利实验室和伯克利分校,一些非 常激动人心的能源研究机构已经建立起来了。能够成为奥巴马施政团队的一员,我感到极其荣幸。如果有一个时机,可以引导美国和全世界走上可持续能源的道路,那么这个时机就是现在。总统已经发出 信息,未来并非在劫难逃,而是乐观的,我们依然有机会。我也抱有这种乐观主义。我们面前的任务令人生畏,但是我们能够并且将会成功。我们已经有了一些答案,可以立竿见影地节约能源和提高能源使用效率。它们不是挂在枝头的水果,而是已经成熟掉在地上了,就看我们愿不愿意捡起来。比 如,我们有办法将楼宇的耗电减少80%,增加的投资在15年内就可以收回来。楼宇的耗电占我们能源消费的40%,节能楼宇的推广将使我们二氧化碳的释放减 少三分之一。我们正在加速美国这座巨大的创新机器,这将是下一次美国大繁荣的基础。我们将大量投资有效利用太阳能

、风能、核能的新方法,大量投资能够捕获和隔离 电厂废气中的二氧化碳的方法。先进的生物燃料和电力汽车将使得我们不再那么依赖外国的石油。在未来的几十年中,我们几乎肯定会面对更高的油价和更严厉的二氧化碳排放政策。这是一场新的工业革命,美国有机会充当领导者。伟大的冰球选手 Wayne Gretzky被问到,他如何在冰上跑位,回答说:“我滑向球下一步的位置,而不是它现在的位置。”美国也应该这样做。奥巴马政府正在为美国的繁荣和可持续能源,打下新的基础。但是我们还有很多不知道的地方。这就需要你们的参与。在本次演讲中,我请求在座各位哈佛毕 业生加入我们。你们是我们未来的智力领袖,请花时间加深理解目前的危险局势,然后采取相应的行动。你们是未来的科学家和工程师,我要求你们给我们更好的技 术方案。你们是未来的经济学家和政治学家,我要求你们创造更好的政策选择。你们是未来的企业家,我要求你们将可持续发展作为你们业务中不可分割的一部分。最后,你们是人道主义者,我要求你们为了人道主义说话。气候变化带来的最残酷的讽刺之一,就是最受伤害的人,恰恰就是最无辜的人——那些世界上最穷 的人们和那些还没有出生的人。这个最后乐章的完结部是引用两个人道主义者的话。第一段引语来自马丁·路德·金。这是19xx年他对越南战争结束的评论,但是看上去非常适合用来评论今天的气候危机。“我呼吁全世界的人们团结一心,抛弃种族、肤色、阶级、国籍的隔阂;我呼吁包罗一切、无条件的对全人类的爱。你会因此遭受误解和误读,信奉尼采哲学 的世人会认定你是一个软弱和胆怯的懦夫。但是,这是人类存在下去的绝对必需。……我的朋友,眼前的事实就是,明天就是今天。此刻,我们面临最紧急的情况。 在变幻莫测的生活和历史之中,有一样东西叫做悔之晚矣。”第二段引语来自威廉·福克纳。19xx年12月10月,他在诺贝尔奖获奖晚宴上发表演说,谈到了世界在核战争的阴影之下,人道主义者应该扮演什么样 的角色。“我相信人类不会仅仅存在,他还将胜利。人类是不朽的,这不是因为万物当中仅仅他拥有发言权,而是因为他有一个灵魂,一种有同情心、牺牲精神和忍耐 力的精神。诗人、作家的责任就是书写这种精神。他们有权力升华人类的心灵,使人类回忆起过去曾经使他无比光荣的东西——勇气、荣誉、希望、自尊、同情、怜 悯和牺牲。”各位同学,你们在我们的未来中扮演举足轻重的角色。当你们追求个人的志向时,我希望你们也会发扬奉献精

神,积极发声,在大大小小各个方面帮助改进这 个世界。这会给你们带来最大的满足感。最后,请接受我最热烈的祝贺。希望你们成功,也希望你们保护和拯救我们这个星球,为了你们的孩子,以及未来所有的孩子。U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu's address at Harvard’s Afternoon ExercisesMadam President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, faculty, family, friends, and, most importantly, today’s graduates, thank you for letting me share this wonderful day with you. I am not sure I can live up to the high standards of Harvard Commencement speakers. Last year, J.K. Rowling, the billionaire novelist, who started as a classics student, graced this podium. The year before, Bill Gates, the mega-billionaire philanthropist and computer nerd stood here. Today, sadly, you have me. I am not wealthy, but at least I am a nerd. I am grateful to receive an honorary degree from Harvard, an honor that means more to me than you might care to imagine. You see, I was the academic black sheep of my family. My older brother has an M.D./Ph.D. from MIT and Harvard while my younger brother has a law degree from Harvard. When I was awarded a Nobel Prize, I thought my mother would be pleased. Not so. When I called her on the morning of the announcement, she replied, “That’s nice, but when are you going to visit me next.” Now, as the last brother with a degree from Harvard, maybe, at last, she will be satisfied. Another difficulty with giving a Harvard commencement address is that some of you may disapprove of the fact that I have borrowed material from previous speeches. I ask that you forgive me for two reasons. First, in order to have impact, it is important to deliver the same message more than once. In science, it is important to be the first person to make a discovery, but it is even more important to be the last person to make that discovery. Second, authors who borrow from others are following in the footsteps of the best. Ralph Waldo Emerson, who graduated from Harvard at the age of 18, noted “All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.” Picasso declared “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” Why should commencement speakers be held to a higher standard? I also want to point out the irony of speaking to graduates of an institution that would have rejected me, had I the chutzpah to apply. I am married to “Dean Jean,” the former dean of admissions at Stanford. She assures me that she would have rejected me, if given the chance. When I showed her a draft of this speech, she objected strongly to my use of the word “rejected.” She never rejected applicants; her letters stated that “we are unable to offer you admission.” I have difficulty understanding the difference. After all, deans of admissions of highly selective schools are in reality, “deans of rejection.” Clearly, I have a lot to le

arn about marketing. Unsolicited advice My address will follow the classical sonata form of commencement addresses. The first movement, just presented, were light-hearted remarks. This next movement consists of unsolicited advice, which is rarely valued, seldom remembered, never followed. As Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.” So, here comes the advice. First, every time you celebrate an achievement, be thankful to those who made it possible. Thank your parents and friends who supported you, thank your professors who were inspirational, and especially thank the other professors whose less-than-brilliant lectures forced you to teach yourself. Going forward, the ability to teach yourself is the hallmark of a great liberal arts education and will be the key to your success. To your fellow students who have added immeasurably to your education during those late night discussions, hug them. Also, of course, thank Harvard. Should you forget, there’s an alumni association to remind you. Second, in your future life, cultivate a generous spirit. In all negotiations, don’t bargain for the last, little advantage. Leave the change on the table. In your collaborations, always remember that “credit” is not a conserved quantity. In a successful collaboration, everybody gets 90 percent of the credit. Jimmy Stewart, as Elwood P. Dowd in the movie “Harvey” got it exactly right. He said: “Years ago my mother used to say to me, ‘In this world, Elwood, you must be … she always used to call me Elwood … in this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’” Well, for years I was smart. ... I recommend pleasant. You may quote me on that. My third piece of advice is as follows: As you begin this new stage of your lives, follow your passion. If you don’t have a passion, don’t be satisfied until you find one. Life is too short to go through it without caring deeply about something. When I was your age, I was incredibly single-minded in my goal to be a physicist. After college, I spent eight years as a graduate student and postdoc at Berkeley, and then nine years at Bell Labs. During that my time, my central focus and professional joy was physics. Here is my final piece of advice. Pursuing a personal passion is important, but it should not be your only goal. When you are old and gray, and look back on your life, you will want to be proud of what you have done. The source of that pride won’t be the things you have acquired or the recognition you have received. It will be the lives you have touched and the difference you have made. After nine years at Bell labs, I decided to leave that warm, cozy ivory tower for what I considered to be the “real world,” a university. Bell Labs, to quote what was said about Mary Poppins, was “practically perfect in every way,” but I wanted to leave behind something more than scientific articles

. I wanted to teach and give birth to my own set of scientific children. Ted Geballe, a friend and distinguished colleague of mine at Stanford, who also went from Berkeley to Bell Labs to Stanford years earlier, described our motives best: “The best part of working at a university is the students. They come in fresh, enthusiastic, open to ideas, unscarred by the battles of life. They don't realize it, but they're the recipients of the best our society can offer. If a mind is ever free to be creative, that's the time. They come in believing textbooks are authoritative, but eventually they figure out that textbooks and professors don't know everything, and then they start to think on their own. Then, I begin learning from them.” My students, post doctoral fellows, and the young researchers who worked with me at Bell Labs, Stanford, and Berkeley have been extraordinary. Over 30 former group members are now professors, many at the best research institutions in the world, including Harvard. I have learned much from them. Even now, in rare moments on weekends, the remaining members of my biophysics group meet with me in the ether world of cyberspace. A scientific discovery and a new dilemma I began teaching with the idea of giving back; I received more than I gave. This brings me to the final movement of this speech. It begins with a story about an extraordinary scientific discovery and a new dilemma that it poses. It’s a call to arms and about making a difference. In the last several decades, our climate has been changing. Climate change is not new: the Earth went through six ice ages in the past 600,000 years. However, recent measurements show that the climate has begun to change rapidly. The size of the North Polar Ice Cap in the month of September is only half the size it was a mere 50 years ago. The sea level which been rising since direct measurements began in 1870 at a rate that is now five times faster than it was at the beginning of recorded measurements. Here’s the remarkable scientific discovery. For the first time in human history, science is now making predictions of how our actions will affect the world 50 and 100 years from now. These changes are due to an increase in carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The Earth has warmed up by roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius since the beginning of the Revolution. There is already approximately a 1 degree rise built into the system, even if we stop all greenhouse gas emissions today. Why? It will take decades to warm up the deep oceans before the temperature reaches a new equilibrium. If the world continues on a business-as-usual path, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that there is a fifty-fifty chance the temperature will exceed 5 degrees by the end of this century. This increase may not sound like much, but let me remind you that during the last ice age, the world was only 6 degrees colder. During

this time, most of Canada and the United States down to Ohio and Pennsylvania were covered year round by a glacier. A world 5 degrees warmer will be very different. The change will be so rapid that many species, including Humans, will have a hard time adapting. I’ve been told for example, that, in a much warmer world, insects were bigger. I wonder if this thing buzzing around is a precursor. We also face the specter of nonlinear “tipping points” that may cause much more severe changes. An example of a tipping point is the thawing of the permafrost. The permafrost contains immense amounts of frozen organic matter that have been accumulating for millennia. If the soil melts, microbes will spring to life and cause this debris to rot. The difference in biological activity below freezing and above freezing is something we are all familiar with. Frozen food remains edible for a very long time in the freezer, but once thawed, it spoils quickly. How much methane and carbon dioxide might be released from the rotting permafrost? If even a fraction of the carbon is released, it could be greater than all the greenhouse gases we have released to since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Once started, a runaway effect could occur. The climate problem is the unintended consequence of our success. We depend on fossil energy to keep our homes warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and lit at night; we use it to travel across town and across continents. Energy is a fundamental reason for the prosperity we enjoy, and we will not surrender this prosperity. The United States has 3 percent of the world population, and yet, we consume 25 percent of the energy. By contrast, there are 1.6 billion people who don’t have access to electricity. Hundreds of millions of people still cook with twigs or dung. The life we enjoy may not be within the reach of the developing world, but it is within sight, and they want what we have. Here is the dilemma. How much are we willing to invest, as a world society, to mitigate the consequences of climate change that will not be realized for at least 100 years? Deeply rooted in all cultures, is the notion of generational responsibility. Parents work hard so that their children will have a better life. Climate change will affect the entire world, but our natural focus is on the welfare of our immediate families. Can we, as a world society, meet our responsibility to future generations? While I am worried, I am hopeful we will solve this problem. I became the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in part because I wanted to enlist some of the best scientific minds to help battle against climate change. I was there only four and a half years, the shortest serving director in the 78-year history of the Lab, but when I left, a number of very exciting energy institutes at the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley had been established. I am extremely privileged to be part of the Obama administration. I

f there ever was a time to help steer America and the world towards a path of sustainable energy, now is the time. The message the President is delivering is not one of doom and gloom, but of optimism and opportunity. I share this optimism. The task ahead is daunting, but we can and will succeed. We know some of the answers already. There are immediate and significant savings in energy efficiency and conservation. Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit lying on the ground. For example, we have the potential to make buildings 80 percent more efficient with investments that will pay for themselves in less than 15 years. Buildings consume 40 percent of the energy we use, and a transition to energy efficient buildings will cut our carbon emissions by one-third. We are revving up the remarkable American innovation machine that will be the basis of a new American prosperity. We will invent much improved methods to harness the sun, the wind, nuclear power, and capture and sequester the carbon dioxide emitted from our power plants. Advanced bio-fuels and the electrification of personal vehicles make us less dependent on foreign oil. In the coming decades, we will almost certainly face higher oil prices and be in a carbon-constrained economy. We have the opportunity to lead in development of a new, industrial revolution. The great hockey player, Wayne Gretzky, when asked, how he positions himself on the ice, he replied,“ I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been.” America should do the same. The Obama administration is laying a new foundation for a prosperous and sustainable energy future, but we don’t have all of the answers. That’s where you come in. In this address, I am asking you, the Harvard graduates, to join us. As our future intellectual leaders, take the time to learn more about what’s at stake, and then act on that knowledge. As future scientists and engineers, I ask you to give us better technology solutions. As future economists and political scientists, I ask you to create better policy options. As future business leaders, I ask that you make sustainability an integral part of your business. Finally, as humanists, I ask that you speak to our common humanity. One of the cruelest ironies about climate change is that the ones who will be hurt the most are the most innocent: the worlds poorest and those yet to be born. The coda to this last movement is borrowed from two humanists. The first quote is from Martin Luther King. He spoke on ending the war in Vietnam in 1967, but his message seems so fitting for today’s climate crisis: “This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all mankind. This oft misunderstood, this oft misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force,

has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man … We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late.” The final message is from William Faulkner. On December 10th, 1950, his Nobel Prize banquet speech was about the role of humanists in a world facing potential nuclear holocaust. “I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.” Graduates, you have an extraordinary role to play in our future. As you pursue your private passions, I hope you will also develop a passion and a voice to help the world in ways both large and small. Nothing will give you greater satisfaction. Please accept my warmest congratulations. May you prosper, may you help preserve and save our planet for your children, and all future children of the world. Harvard News OfficePhoto ReprintsPrevious IssuesContact Us

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