How best to understand Calvin on the 500th anniversary of his birth? Start with this new biography by a professor at Yale Divinity School who offers a nuanced, flesh-and-blood portrait of a man shaped in complex ways by his relationships with colleagues and enemies, friends and rivals, as well as by political events beyond his control. It also contains an annotated, chapter-by-chapter bibliography that is extremely helpful.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).