Foreign Policy Blogs

Some Bad News and Some Good News

First of all, I have to apologize for being off the airwaves for so long.  We closed on a new apartment on Friday and that's got all sorts of busy work associated with it , and I've been decompressing a little since.  Plus, I had a print article on sustainability at airports that I was wrapping up, and getting all the artwork in order.  Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Bad News:  According to Britain's Hadley Center (of their Met Office), which has had a very high profile indeed on climate science:  "At least half of the years after 2009 are predicted to exceed the warmest year currently on record."  Here's their release from last Friday.  Reuters used this language:  "Global warming is forecast to set in with a vengeance after 2009"  See their story.   "Science" has the full article.  You can see the abstract here, and then decide if you want the whole story.

Actually, there's some good news in this:  better modeling.  Bill Connolley's terrific climate science blog, "Stoat," has some input, including a link to a story by "Nature" focusing on one critical part of the Hadley Center's report:  that they've come up with a much-improved climate model "that is capable of including natural variability in the climate system ‚ such as that arising from anomalies in ocean circulation or ocean heat content ‚ into modeling carried out by a global climate model."  "Nature" quotes a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology:  "We now have a convincing concept for combining observations and models."  "Nature" also has a great blog, "Climate Feedback," that covered this as well, with links to scores of news stories.  Go here for the blog post and to check out this really worthwhile source.

Good News:  Do you remember the roller coaster ride I was writing about here regarding New York City's congestion pricing scheme?  (Congestion Pricing in New York from July 17 and Mike Bloomberg's Earth Day from April.)  Well, as you might recall, the powers that be in New York City and State, managed to set aside politics and ego long enough to come up with a compromise that will further the congestion pricing scheme by having a commission draft something, then having it approved by all the relevant bodies.  (Am I cynical about New York politics?  A bit, I'll admit.  If you haven't experienced it first hand as I have for 25 years, inside government and campaigns, and from the outside too, as an environmental activist and professional, as a writer and bemused observer, you can always try Robert Caro's truly extraordinary The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York.)

The good news is that the US Department of Transportation has pledged $354 to help underwrite the costs for this and to improve mass transit as an adjunct to the program if the local and state government get their act together.  See this from "Crain's NY Business" plus the release from Mayor Bloomberg's office.

"Make it so, Number One."



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change