New UNFCCC climate chief no worse than the old

Christina Figueres

On 17 May, 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Mrs Christina Figueres as the new Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn, Germany. The appointment was endorsed by the Bureau of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She replaced Yvo de Boer, who resigned in February, 2010, declaring himself “appalled” by the failure of the international community to reach agreement at Copenhagen on “fighting climate change”.

Yvo De Boer

The AP quotes Mrs Figueres as saying today in Beijing, China:

“Countries have felt a renewed urgency to address global warming given this year’s series of frequent and catastrophic disasters, including massive flooding in Pakistan, drought and fires in Russia, and mudslides and floods in China.”

Have they, indeed? First, how does she know this, or is she merely stating what she would like to hear? Continue Reading →

Gluckman: knows nothing about climate

Michele Hewitson

That incomparable writer, Miss Michele Hewitson, of the NZ Herald, has interviewed our Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, and the report appears in today’s edition.

Now, Michele often specialises in the human side of your famous person, not perhaps delving too far into the deeds and sayings for which he might be famous, but humorously describing the ebb and flow of the interview or the sometimes awkward situations that develop as our intrepid prober of public persons boldly goes where few reporters dare.

Michele can be genuinely funny and wondrously insightful by turns. That is how today’s example has turned out, as Miss Hewitson gets her subject to converse on everybody’s favourite topic — themselves. Which she accomplishes by various superficial means, such as asking why he has a beard.

Of all the fascinating and significant aspects of Gluckman’s life and intelligent toil, his beard must be the least important. Continue Reading →