Mississippi River Commission High-Water Inspection…

Greetings from snowy Cape Girardeau!

We are in the midst of a three-day snow break at Southeast Missouri State University…  Which is giving me time to finally catch up on lots and lots of things. And, many thanks to Logan Strother, who has kept things going here at the blog while I managed some other issues. If you haven’t been reading his posts on physical takings, you really should! He’s doing a great job.

For my readers along the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River Commission has scheduled its annual high-water inspection trip. For those of us in USACE’s Memphis District, there are two public meetings scheduled:

March 23 at 9 a.m. in New Madrid, MO (City Front)

March 24 at 9 a.m. in Memphis, TN (Beal Street Landing)

The meetings are open to the pubic. The agenda, as posted in the link above, is:

1.  Summary report by president of the Commission on national and regional issues affecting the US Army Corps of Engineers and commission programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

2. District commander’s overview for the commission on current project issues in the respective district area.

3.  Presentations to the commission by local organizations and members of the public giving views or comments on any issue affecting the programs or projects of the commission and the Corps of Engineers.

The Memphis District posted their announcement on March 3rd. Again, if you click the link above, it’ll take you to their post.

This is an opportunity to learn about the various projects going on in the area, as well as an opportunity to present your views if you have an interest in any of the programs or projects of the commission and USACE in the area.

Reading Around the Internet: December 8, 2014

This week, between grading and some other writing (on deadline, of course), I also took some time to catch up a little on climate change politics. Here’s some of the reading I did:

Philippines Hit By Typhoon

A storm named Hagupit (“Whip”, but also known as Typhoon Ruby) has struck the Philippines. At least 900,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes. You may remember that last year Typhoon Haiyan killed 6,300 people and caused $13 billion in damage.  This time, thanks to preparedness and evacuation strategies the nation was spared the extreme amount of devastation and high death toll of Haiyan. That said, Hagupit is responsible for the deaths of three people, has caused landslides and damage to homes and buildings across the country. One of the more detailed and interesting articles covering the storm is from The Irish Times.

Antartica’s Ice

You may have heard that the ice shelves in Antarctica have been melting, causing a lot of concern regarding global climate change. A recent article from Ars Technica  discusses some of the recent science investigating the causes of the melting ice. While you’re reading that, and bundling up to go outside, you might want to take a look at the possible effects of Arctic ice melting from another Ars Technica article (here).  While the relationship is correlative and not causal, it is noteworthy how strong the correlation is.

UN Climate Talks

The UN Climate Summit 2014 is well underway, where world leaders are meeting in an attempt to craft a global agreement that would curb global warming.  You can read statements from the Member States as well as watch videos at the website. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow discussion about the summit at #climate2014. For awhile, as the Wall Street Journal reported, it appeared that China and the US had jointly unveiled longterm plans to cut carbon-dioxide emissions.  However, it appears that the momentum for change that resulting from what some commentators saw as a historic U.S.-China pact has slowed as conflicts between rich and poor countries concerning the roles of various countries in these plans have increased.  In addition, China has been working to remove provisions in the draft agreements that would allow other countries as well as non-governmental agencies to submit questions concerning carbon-reduction plans. The idea behind the provisions is to shine light onto the individual country plans and provide for some accountability among the various signees of the agreement. The tensions have been rising, not unexpectedly, as some of the harder questions and more difficult issues become the focus. However, there are several more days to go before the talks end, and so China’s position may change.