Ms. Kenney described the blog’s strengths. “When there was an overriding issue or event, the blog was a locus and a magnet, attracting tens of thousands of readers” to a particular post, she said, “with the Deepwater Horizon spill as a great example.”

She added, “I’d be the first to admit that the blog was uneven because of a shortage of resources.” It needed a dedicated editor, she said; as deputy environment editor, she was able to give it only a few hours a day, given her other duties.

Here’s my take: I’m not convinced that The Times’s environmental coverage will be as strong without the team and the blog. Something real has been lost on a topic of huge and growing importance. Especially given The Times’s declared interest in attracting international readers and younger readers, I hope that Times editors — very soon — will look for new ways to show readers that environmental news hasn’t been abandoned, but in fact is of utmost importance. So far, in 2013, they are not sending that message.