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David Sandalow, Acting Undersecretary of Energy and Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy, recently spoke at the Columbia University Energy Symposium about Hurricane Sandy, its impacts on our energy infrastructure, and what we can expect in a climate-changing world. Addressing climate change, he states: (more…)
A recent study published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate has found that the South Asian Summer Monsoon (or SASM) is changing quite dramatically. According to the abstract, the SASM shows: “a clear tendency for weakening SASM circulation and strengthening SASM precipitation during the twenty-first century. These tendencies are consistent, moreover, among multiple realizations for the same model where available.”
Given South Asia’s existing vulnerabilities, and growing U.S. interest in the region, this is a phenomenon to take seriously.
Libya Hurra. Free Libya. This was one of the main rallying cries for the Libyan opposition last year, which with NATO assistance, toppled the brutal 40-year reign of Muammar Gaddafi. But four and a half months after Gaddafi’s downfall, Libya under the leadership of the interim National Transitional Council (NTC) is facing the problem of reconciling the many different “free Libyas” envisioned by different publics, and addressing allegations of some “not-so-free” practices. The eastern region of Cyrenaica, with its capital at Benghazi (the heart of the anti-Gaddafi movement) has declared itself a semi-autonomous region, prompting major protests in both Benghazi and Tripoli. Despite recent successes by the central government, armed militias still roam the country, and the capacity of the government in Tripoli to keep them in check has been questioned. Indeed, the city of Misrata has been described as a virtual “armed city-state” in opposition to the central government. Furthermore, reports of human rights abuses committed against suspected Gaddafi sympathizers, including black African migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, abound.
But while the Libyan government currently seeks in earnest to address these conflicts, it may be less overtly political issues, such as climate change and water resource management, that hold the key to building unity. (more…)