TEBBUTT | Decline and Fall: How to Enjoy One Despite the Other

Something unusual happened this weekend, right here in New York: On Saturday, September 23rd, after a summer that will be remembered for its fiery red skies, creeping heatwaves and sudden deluges, the autumnal equinox drifted in without incident.

Ithaca’s skies were draped in seasonable gray; the temperature hovered at 54.8°F (12.6°C), well within the 30-year average. A light rain dappled the earth as students wistfully remembered sunny mornings past.

That’s not to say there wasn’t any fanfare; autumn’s liveries are the richest of any season. The red maples (Acer rubrum) in Baker Court swapped green guises for their true vermilion. Up on North Campus, something moved in the canopy of Palmer Woods. With black-and-white body and head of glorious yellow Technicolor, a Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens) foraged for bugs and berries among the leaves. Every fall, this little traveler rides the north-westerly winds from Canada to Mexico to wait out the snow. Watching all of this unfold like clockwork, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all is right with the world; that the system works.

SCHECHTER | The Bottom Tier

Last week, I sweated through my bedsheets for five nights in a row. Upstate New York was suffering through record heat and, like most of you, my dorm room has no air conditioning. A decision that probably made sense at the time when it rarely ever got hot enough to need it. Until, that is, the era of climate change.

My sleepless nights, coupled with what I’m learning in GOVT 2294: Politics of Climate Change led me to think not about my own discomfort, but about how hard an anthropogenically warmed world will be for people in underdeveloped regions, poverty-stricken areas, my children, their children and the generation after them who won’t be able to survive in Earth’s natural climate.

LETTER TO EDITOR | Re: “Climate Scientists Debate Emissions Reduction in a Free Speech Event”

To the editor:

We would like to thank the Cornell community for welcoming our debate on climate science and

greenhouse gas emissions this past week. We appreciate the coverage by Sun reporters Sofia Rubinson and Eric Reilly but would like to clarify a few points made in their article.

The pre- and post-debate audience poll results were displayed on a large screen on stage in Call Auditorium during the event but did not yet include the number of polling participants. The final poll results, including number of polling participants, may be viewed at steamboatinstitute.org.