Friday, November 7, 2008

Pondering Climate Change

Today, it hit 72 degrees in the District of Columbia, several degrees higher than average. It was a welcome surprise - a group of us ran out at lunch to Dupont Circle eating our sandwiches while we enjoyed the warm sun and pontificated about the new administration. Some of my colleagues joked about enjoying global warming. Of course, who knows if it's really climate change that gave us such beautiful weather today or just an anomaly. But it prepared me for my afternoon of pondering how to measure the actual impact of climate change on our historic sites so that I can speak in more scientific manners and not so anecdotally. ICOMOS is developing a Climate Change tool kit to do just that, and the National Trust in the UK is about a decade ahead of us in measuring this as well. (Note the flooding at Farnsworth House above this September, one of the historic sites in my purview, which had a second one hundred year flood in as many years.)

I was reading Nicholas Kristof's blog today presenting his ideas for Obama's Cabinet choices. There is a lot of debating in the comments, with some really innovative ideas I never would have thought of. But I did notice three common themes - people have specific thoughts on Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury and a new Climate Change Cabinet position. Certainly those are the three topics I think about most - improving our world engagement and involvement, saving the world economy from armageddon and just plain saving the planet. It's been so heartening to see the world response to our election. It made me cry to hear of people pouring into the streets in Paris in jubilation. I feel like we're coming out of this dark abyss of 8 years and we've shown the rest of the world that we can take control of our actions and our politicians. Now maybe we'll remind everyone that we can play nice in the world sandbox.

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