On the environmental front, there is a confusing and contradictory mix of bad news along with progress to celebrate.
A swarm of earthquakes that have shaken homes and rattled nerves. Nearby, fracking operations are ongoing, continuously disturbing both the environment and people's peace of mind.
The park, which is home to a great variety of wildlife, 100 miles of hiking and horse trails, and skies where visitors can sometimes witness the Northern Lightsmay soon be marred by oil rigs.
The environment is no longer a niche topic backed by a passionate minority, Achim Steiner said, but is clearly linked to economic and societal issues.
President Obama used his executive authority on June 17 to create the world's largest marine sanctuary, banning commercial fishing, mining, and oil exploration in a major portion of the Pacific Ocean.
In a bold and positive move, Obama emphasized the urgency of the matter, and called on students to push the issue beyond the current partisan divide in Washington, D.C.
This is the first time the state has stepped into the issue over the species, which is losing protection and being killed in several states.
In what could become a defining moment in environmental history, President Obama unveiled a plan on June 2 to cut carbon emissions by nearly a third within 15 years.
A heat wave and tinder-dry brush have created a dynamic, dangerous situation with the most menacing brushfires in nearly two decades.
Although Cuba is a logical partner for the U.S. to collaborate with on medical research and development, the longstanding U.S. embargo severely limits trade, travel and exchanges .