The good news first. One of the planet's hardest working 350 campaigners, Jinty McTavish, was elected to the city council in Dunedin, New Zealand last year, and in one of her first council sessions last night she persuaded her fellow board members to speed up implementation of the city's global warming action plan. 


Not speeding up the work, in the face of new climate science, "would be doing an injustice to the future generations I'm here to try and represent," Jinty said, carrying the day. One more good reason to pay a visit to Dunedin if you're in the area–it's among the loveliest places on earth, and only a few miles from a bluff where you can stand and watch albatrosses soar on the steady winds, and a beach where some of the planet's few "forest penguins" can be seen waddling between waves and woods. A great place, and a real leader.

Meanwhile, in Australia, we're watching with bated breath as extremely dangerous Tropical Cyclone Yasi bears down on already soaked Queensland.


The surrounding ocean waters are the warmest ever-recorded, which means the storm will be powerful, and carrying lots of rain; the only ironic blessing, say meteorologists, is that it may be moving fast enough that the rains won't linger for too long over the region's most flooded areas. But we are thinking hard of our colleagues and friends Down Under–they've worked so hard in recent years because, between record drought and record flood, they recognize just how high the states are for their spectacularly beautiful country. 

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