Dear students, colleagues, and friends of Geography,

I am writing to wish you all best of luck in finishing the semester successfully. I hope that you have met your goals and done well in school. On behalf of the department I also wish you all wonderful holidays and winter break.

I also thought I would share some links to recent articles in the Washington Post that discuss news about the climate, and about the politics of climate. Two articles discuss how 2016 will most likely turn out to be the warmest year on record for globally average temperatures, with temperatures in the Arctic rising twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The third article discusses the refusal of federal employees in the Department of Energy to comply with a recent request by the incoming administration to identify by name employees that participated in certain activities related to climate research. This request has been widely perceived as the beginning of a "witch hunt" to identify employees for possible future retribution. The fourth article describes how a number of scientists are frantically trying to back-up, on non-federal computers, as much as possible of the massive amounts of data (all publicly available) held by the federal government. This is being done due to fear that the new administration will try to delete all the data from federal records related to climate. Another scenario feared by climate researchers and other interested parties is that the new administration would cut funding for long-standing observational programs, making it impossible to continue track environmental changes. The links are below.

Allan Frei, Chair
Department of Geography, Hunter College
CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities