The climate issue seems to generate a high level of ideologically based politics, emotional rhetoric and political symbolism. It is time to move past symbols to pragmatism and political reality.
We finished our work at the river transect. Now we had one more sample to collect. Alamgir had arranged for drillers at this new site, but they were delayed because of a knife fight between two villages over some property.
The success of the tube wells for drilling and obtaining samples was a great boon to our field program. We drilled three additional tube wells to complete a five-well transect across the abandoned river valley. When we date the samples, we will find out if the river switched position suddenly, possibly from an earthquake.
The Earth Institute and Emerald Brand recently co-hosted “Your Choices Matter,” a sustainability awareness event at Columbia University’s Alfred Lerner Hall.
The resistivity testing was hampered by bad roads and flooded fields. The augering was proving similarly difficult in the thick muds of the abandoned channel. It was time to change to our alternative plan: drilling with tube wells. That worked better and we had turned a corner.
Heading out to our field area, we discovered that the abandoned river valley we planned to study was completely flooded. There was pani—the Bangla word for water—everywhere.
Returning to Bangladesh for additional fieldwork, I stopped off in India for several meetings, but we found time for some sightseeing, too. We were able to see the Qutub Minar complex in Delhi as well as the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in Agra. Plus all the meetings in Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka were very successful.
New York State has taken a progressive stand on climate change, pushing for renewable energy development and promising to curb greenhouse gas emissions. On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, joined by Vice President Al Gore at Columbia University, announced several new actions to increase New York State’s commitment to fighting climate change.
A new professional certificate program at Columbia University will address the linkages between environment and security, aimed at practitioners with responsibility for providing assessments and warnings regarding environment-security risks or for designing programs to manage such risks.
The Sustainable Development program at the Earth Institute is helping to sponsor a start-up competition for students at Dhaka University in Bangladesh.