‘Summers: The Musical’ Debuts

Halle said “Mortgaging the Earth” has played to audiences of between 150 and 200 people in New Haven and New York. It will premiere in San Francisco in December.

But Summers, who from time to time takes in student plays and concerts, said this musical engagement won’t make his busy Saturday night schedule.

“I’ll probably give it a miss,” Summers said.

If he changes his mind, however, he can always pick up the CD, which Halle said he hopes will be commercially available later this year.

Like Summers, Harvard environmentalists have no plans to take in the concert.


Stephen J. Quinlan ’04, the co-chair of Harvard’s Environmental Action Committee, said no one from the group was going to the premiere and that he was unaware of the piece’s existence.

As for the memo itself, Quinlan took Summers’ side.

“It’s taken out of context—Summers is pointing towards dangerous policy that could be ‘reasonable’ under some World Bank policies,” he wrote in an e-mail. “He is not positing it as his own philosophy, but rather something to watch out for because somebody at the World Bank could.”

The concert—which sandwiches Summers between Brahms and Haydn— will be held at 8 p.m. at the Follen Community Church in Lexington. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for students.

From Summers’ Memo:

“...The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I’ve always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste....”

—Staff writer Elisabeth S. Theodore can be reached at