Lisa Jackson, for my money, is a tough act to follow, but Gina McCarthy is going to be just great. She’s got absolutely everything you need in an EPA Administrator: She’s smart, tough, experienced and, most of important of all, she’s got the full faith and credit of the President. I love this account from the recent NY Times story on her: “’Why would you want me?’ Ms. McCarthy said she asked the president when he offered her the top job. The president told Ms. McCarthy that his environmental and presidential legacy would be incomplete without a serious effort to address climate change. ‘I’m so glad he said that, because if he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have wanted this job,’ she said. ‘It’s an issue I’ve worked on for so many years, and it just can’t wait.'” Continue reading
If you’re thinking ahead a couple of weeks and are going to be up near Greenwich, NY – no, that’s not Greenwich Village in Manhattan – we’re going to have a book talk, hosted by the very good folks at Gallery 668. The date is Saturday, August 10, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM. Come to see the truly fine collection of painting, sculpture, ceramics and photography on display, and stay to hear the talk.
I’m an old Sierra Club hand. Back in the 1980’s, I was the Conservation Chair of the NYC Group of the club, and I was very heavily involved in Clean Air Act issues, particularly acid rain. I’m happy to say that Sierra Club Radio had me on yesterday to talk about the book and about President Obama’s plans for his second administration to deal with climate change. Here is a link to yesterday’s broadcast. (You can find me from 15:33 at the link.) I thought it all came off nicely. It sure helped that Orli Cotel, the host of the show, was so easy to be with on air.
A new study, published in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change, and summarized here at Scientific American, predicts much higher mortality for New York City from heat waves as climate change progresses. What to do? Slow down the greenhouse gases we’re putting into the climate system and adapt: street trees, green roofs and facades, white roofs, cooling centers, and better communication, among other things. Heat waves kill.
The venerable World Resources Institute, a source for excellent policy insight and highly relevant and useful data and graphics, for over 30 years, has updated its invaluable Climate Analysis Indicators Tool to CAIT 2.0. Jennifer Morgan, the director of WRI’s Climate and Energy Program, noted that the original version “…was frequently cited in news articles, policy briefs, and government documents, and was regularly used to inform policy discussions within the UNFCCC and other forums.” I used it all the time and I missed it being offline. In fact, it came back on Wednesday and I had it going in my class on Thursday morning. Continue reading
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued a report, “2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes,” that underscores, if we needed it, how late in the day it has become.
“WMO’s report shows that global warming was significant from 1971 to 2010 and that the decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.” That statement, from WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud in the press release, couldn’t say it better. Continue reading