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Erika Rosenthal's blog

Damselfish swim in Palau's inner lagoon.

This is a guest blog by Megan McCrea, Assistant Travel Editor for Sunset magazine. She grew up in Colorado, graduated from Duke University and spent two years living and working on Kosrae and Palau as a Peace Corps volunteer. Her writing has appeared in print in Sunset, VIA and Diablo magazines and online on, Poetry Flash, VIA's Road Journals and Sunset's Westphoria.

melting glacier

When the United States assumes the chair of the Arctic Council this Friday, April 24th, it will have an extraordinary opportunity to lead on an issue that is high on President Obama’s climate agenda—reducing emissions of the climate pollutants black carbon and methane to slow the rapid warming and ice melt in the Arctic.  When foreign ministers of the council gather in Iqaluit this week, they will for the first time collectively tackle climate change in the region by adopting the landmark Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions.

The UN climate talks in Lima, Peru.

After a long slog in overtime, the gavel came down at the UN climate talks in Lima in the wee hours last Sunday. Reviews are wildly mixed, with some heralding a major step toward a new global regime and others despairing that governments, beholden to fossil fuel interests, are committing us to a calamitous future. 

Children in Haiti hold up signs urging the international community to take action on climate change.

Formally released today at the United Nations Climate Summit, Tackling the Challenge of Climate Change: A Near-Term Actionable Mitigation Agenda was commissioned by the Republic of Nauru, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and written by 30 leading climate and energy experts from around the world.

The news out of the Rio+20 Earth Summit has been bleak. World leaders, yet again caught in the headlights of financial crises and electoral cycles, fundamentally failed us and the planet. However, there is a bright spot—and it is blue. Both the formal Rio text and the voluntary, on-the-ground and on the water commitments nations made, are a reason for hope.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, announced a program, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, today to reduce methane, soot and other pollutants. The United States is jumpstarting the program by contributing $12 million over the next two years.

"By focusing on these pollutants, how to reduce them and, where possible, to use them for energy, people will see results," Clinton said at a news conference today in Washington D.C.


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