Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Presidents and the Environment Hot Topic Since 1960s

President Obama stressed the importance of making proactive efforts to change the effects of climate change in his recent inaugural address. According to E Magazine, Obama has made very direct references to climate change and its effects on the environment since his previous election in 2008, promising to tackle climate change.

At his inauguration this past month, he said, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”

The article in E Magazine goes on to report on how human-induced climate change is having major impacts on the environment—as well as increased storms, sea level rise, Arctic ice melt, and wildfires. It also points out that a healthy environment is highly correlated to a healthy economy.

Texas A&M University Press authors Byron W. Daynes and Glen Sussman focus on this issue in their recent book
White House Politics and the Environment. They examine how Presidents and their administrations since the 1960s have become increasingly active in environmental politics, despite their touted lack of expertise and their apparent frequent discomfort with the issue. Check out more on their new book here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Repealing the 22nd Amendment?

New York Democratic Representative Jose Serrano reintroduced a bill in Congress that would repeal the 22nd Amendment. The 22nd Amendment places term limits on the U.S. presidency. This amendment to the Constitution would remove the limitation on the number of terms any U.S. president could serve.

Originally, Serrano introduced the bill as H. J. Res. 17 to Congress in January 2011. It did not make it to a floor vote.

The last and only president to serve more than two terms before the passing of the 22nd amendment was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He served well into his fourth term before passing away in 1945, right before the end of World War II. The 22nd Amendment was passed by Congress in 1947 and ratified in 1951.

What do you think? Do you think the U.S. Presidency benefits from having two term limits, or should the amendment be repealed and the president have the ability to be re-elected without limits?

TAMU Press author Michael J. Korzi has explored this controversial topic in his book, Presidential Term Limits in American History: Power, Principles, and Politics (TAMU Press, 2011). Korzi explores both the benefits and drawbacks of presidential term limits by comparing it to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s break in tradition. He also delves into a study of the 22nd Amendment—and America’s distrust of executive power that has existed since the colonial days.

To read more about Serrano’s proposal, click here.

--Madeline Loving

Friday, January 18, 2013

Everyday Music

Texas A&M University Press author Alan Govenar and his book, Everyday Music (TAMU Press, 2012) is featured in a Youtube clip. Learn more about the author and what inspired him, as he signs his books at the Hamilton Public Library in the video. A fiddler and guitarist who were both featured in the book play a wonderful, knee-slapping, foot-tapping gig as well! Click here to watch the video.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Galveston, Underwater?

According to a $4.2 million study on sea-level rise threats to the Gulf Coast conducted by Entergy, the island of Galveston could shrink by one-third within 30 years. The rising sea-levels primarily on the west end of Galveston are rising faster than previously expected.
In 2007, the city of Galveston had reported that the rising sea-levels would cover the coastal highway within 60 years—this prediction is apparently very optimistic.
The Galveston City Council is proactively trying to plan ahead for the inevitable sea-level change.
Other cities along the Gulf Coast, such as Corpus Christi, are taking the rising sea-level changes into consideration as well. The posing problem for the city of Galveston is that it is also sinking faster than most other areas in the United States—a condition known as subsidence.
Texas A&M University Press author Richard A. Davis Jr. writes on the various causes and effects of the rapidly rising sea-levels in his book, Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico (TAMU Press, 2011). Davis reviews the current situation, especially regarding beach erosion and loss of wetlands, and offers a preview of the future, when the Gulf Coast will change markedly as the twenty-first century progresses. Including maps, color images, and a straightforward writing style, Sea-Level Change in the Gulf of Mexico offers great insight into an environmental issue that can affect generations for years to come.
To read the full article on the rapidly rising sea-levels in Galveston, check out The Houston Chronicle here.
--Madeline Loving


Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year Marks Important Anniversaries for TAMU

2013 will be a big year for Texas A&M University. On the heels of entering the SEC and ranking as the "best value" university in Texas, the university is also set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of two major milestones -- the first-time enrollment of women in 1963 and the 58th Texas Legislature's decision to change the university's name from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas to Texas A&M. The name change also clarified that “A” and “M” would no longer stand for agricultural and mechanical.
Both of these milestones are well-documented in Thomas Hatfield’s book Rudder: From Leader to Legend. For more on these historical moments as well as other nuggets on A&M history, visit TAMU Press. To read more on our successful inaugural season in the SEC, check out our Athletic Department. Check out the article by TAMUTimes on A&M's homepage to learn more on our number one ranking.