By Mark Hughes / San Diego 350
One of humorist Will Rogers’ signature lines was: “Well, all I know is what I read in the papers.” In subtext, he’s saying he trusted what he read, so it seems reasonable to believe that in those days newspapers lived and died by getting the story right. What a simpler time; if Will was reading papers and the Internet and watching TV today, depending on the sources he chose, some to much of what he learned would be either misleading or just plain false. The information portal guardians have been overrun by hordes bearing rocket-propelled innuendo, guided missile conspiracy theories, and bandoleers bristling with self-serving lies. But that was only the first wall to fall. In this country, those hordes are no longer raging outside governmental gates; soon they will be the government itself.
Welcome to the newest incarnation of the world. The rules, as they always do, have once again changed, and the eternal response is demanded: what do we do about it? How do we live now? [Read more…]
One of many things causing me angst about Trump is his belief that climate change is a hoax – never mind the scientific community’s consensus to the contrary.
So, rather than sit on my sofa and continue to wallow in post-election depression, I joined my daughter and attended two local climate action events this past week and came away feeling empowered to take action.
The first event was the Hillcrest Town Council monthly meeting – this one featured “sustainability” as its theme. Representatives of San Diego 350 (Lindsay Richardson) and Surfrider San Diego (Roger Kube) discussed their respective programs and focused on practical things we can each do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (the stuff that causes global warming and could lead to the destruction of the planet). [Read more…]
A decades-long battle over the proposed Gregory landfill has ended. On Nov. 17 , the Pala Band of Mission Indians announced the tribe has complete purchase of more than 700 acres of the property—including most of Gregory Canyon and Gregory Mountain, a sacred site known as Chokla.
Shasta Gaughen with the Pala Indians called the news “amazing,” adding in an e-mail, ”This means that a dump in Gregory Canyon will never happen. Chokla, Medicine Rock, and other spiritual and cultural sites on the property will now be protected forever. Critical wildlife habitat, endangered species, and the San Luis Rey River will be spared the threat posed by millions of tons of polluting garbage.” [Read more…]
Police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, late Sunday, Nov. 20. At least one person was arrested and dozens injured.
The confrontation began at 6pm, near the encampment were the protests against the $3.8 billion pipeline have been ongoing for months. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, 400 protesters attempted to cross Blackwater Bridge on state Highway 1806 after removing a burned-out truck. [Read more…]
A little less than two weeks before the election, the Guardian was one of the only media outlets to note the release of a devastating report by the Living Planet Index that outlines how, “The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.”
One might think that such stark news would have trickled into the Presidential race, but, given the debased nature of the contest and the pathetic state of the national corporate media, it was nowhere to be seen in the slime fest that was the 2016 election. [Read more…]
The fading roar of an ATV engine leaves silence in its wake. Birds, offended by the intrusion, refuse to sing. Grasshoppers stop their dance to consider their safety. Even the reliable mountain breeze hides. And, with the tidings of violence borne by the sounds of explosion in the engine’s combustion, I know I cannot blame them.
Only the September Utah sun is unbothered. The heat, originating so far away, is oblivious. The last rain fell weeks ago and the dust antagonizes the lump forming in my throat. My co-workers at the Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District Trails Maintenance Department have dropped me off with a water bottle, work gloves, and an ancient, wood-handled rake that leaves half-inch splinters in my hand when I’m not careful.
I’ll be paid $12 an hour today to rake gravel and leaves from a freshly cut trail in the Wasatch Mountains high above Park City, Utah. My co-workers won’t be back for 6 hours. This is the same job I did yesterday and the day before, and I know now, from experience, that each stroke only pulls more gravel into the space my rake passes over. I watch a boulder watching me and wonder if he recalls Sisyphus, too. I wonder if I could move that boulder and push him up the hill. I wonder if the effort might provide some distraction. [Read more…]
By Stephen Cooper
The interminable failure of government to marshal all available resources, brainpower, imagination, and resolution of spirit, to finally solve Flint, Michigan’s contaminated water problem, stands, in relief, as a giant scarlet letter branded on the breast of America. One only needs to supplant the shame-evoking, blood-curdling, familiar image of the red “A” for “adulteress” with an even uglier, ignoble, black “R,” for racist. (And, perhaps, to emphasize this continuing environmental nightmare’s classist features, add an accompanying money-green polo-shirt-emblem-sized “c”.)
Buried in the press cycle of post-election hype, hysteria and dashed-and-undashed hopes around the country, is the fact that, last Thursday, a judge in Michigan – that’s right, in Michigan, not in some underdeveloped country like Rwanda, Somalia, or Ethiopia – ordered the State of Michigan and the City of Flint to immediately start home delivery of four cases of bottled water per resident of Flint, every single week, for the foreseeable future. [Read more…]
Oil Corporation Tramps on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
Finally, there is an alliance of a major ethnic group – US Indians – and environmentalists who are taking a stand to prevent the furtherance of fossil fuel interests. Bill McKibben of 350.org says we must stop now insofar as building more fossil fuel infrastructure, which is what a pipeline represents, if we are to have a hope and a prayer of saving the planet from the effects of global warming. [Read more…]
It’s Worse than You Might Think…
By South OB Girl / OB Rag
There is a lot of discussion these days about climate change. Global warming. Carbon emissions. The Climate Action Plan. You no doubt have friends talking about going electric, or who are proud owners and drivers of electric vehicles. Or friends or family members who devoutly bike everywhere. You may know some folks too who use public transportation.
The majority of San Diegans are dissatisfied with public transpiration. San Diegans prefer cars — it’s our way of life. Not necessarily across the board — many satisfied bus riders in OB take the 923 bus downtown for work and are quite satisfied — doing work, reading, or playing games on their bus ride. [Read more…]
By Jim Miller
In weeks past, I have shared this space with colleagues from labor and the Climate Action Campaign, the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, the Sierra Club and SD 350, as well as the Environmental Health Coalition, all making the case against Measure A. This week, I am pleased to present the final guest column, this one from Mid-City CAN, yet another of the many labor, environmental, and community allies who are part of the Quality of Life Coalition opposing Measure A. [Read more…]
By Will Griffin / Common Dreams
I was in Iraq when President Bush announced the “surge” in January 2007. I was in Afghanistan when President Obama announced the “surge” in December 2009. But it wasn’t until I visited Standing Rock in October 2016 when I actually served the American people. This time, instead of fighting for corporate interests, I was fighting for the people.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), or Bakken Pipeline, is a 1,172-mile oil pipeline project that will transfer crude oil across four states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. From the Bakken fields of North Dakota, the pipeline will carry in excess of 450,000 barrels per day of crude oil to Patoka, Illinois, and possibly on to Texas and near the Gulf Coast areas for refinement or export. The project will cost $3.7 billion while creating 8,000-12,000 temporary construction jobs and only 40 permanent operating jobs. [Read more…]
By Chris Barroso/ SanDiego350.org
As a member of San Diego’s 350.org, I’d followed the story of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for some time, telepathically urging the protesters on. And then one day, my friend Paul Sasso called me. “Hey, let’s go up and join the protesters. We’ll take my Tesla.” Yeah, I replied. I could do that. The next week wasn’t too busy, or the week after that. When are you thinking? I asked. “I’ll pick you up in a couple hours,” he said. Whoa, I thought for a moment; but I hurriedly packed, and soon we were off to the North Country.
On the way we talked about this 30 inch diameter pipeline, the rivers (Big Sioux, Missouri, and Mississippi) and the tribal lands it would cross. Eminent domain, one of us said, shaking our head. Did it translate in Native American languages to “broken treaty”? [Read more…]
By Murtaza H. Baxamusa / UrbDeZine
Nearly a third of all counties in California are proposing a sales tax increase to fund transportation on this November’s ballot. But one stands out with organized opposition from an unprecedented coalition of labor, environmental and community groups. It is perhaps the only transportation measure where both political parties, and the main newspaper opposes it.
Why? In one word, SANDAG.
The San Diego Association of Governments (or SANDAG) is a unique super-governmental agency with unparalleled power over a single county with over three million residents. It spent almost $670 million of taxpayer funds last year.[i] It collects a tax of half-cents on every dollar of taxable sales in the entire county. And it remains an enigma to most San Diegans. [Read more…]
The campaign for Measure A was busy this week sending one mailer to Democrats greenwashing their flawed initiative by citing an Astroturf “environmental coalition” that popped up just in time for the election, while in another mailer to Republicans they signaled that conservatives should vote for A because environmentalists and labor oppose it. Welcome to dishonest, doublethink business as usual politics in San Diego brought to you by moneyed interests.
Of course the reality is, as anyone who has paid attention to this column knows, that progressive labor and nearly all of the serious organizations that care about climate and environmental justice oppose Measure A. A few weeks ago, I published a column I co-wrote with Nicole Capretz of the Climate Action Campaign and Nick Segura of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers outlining Measure A’s fatal flaws from a progressive perspective. This was followed in subsequent weeks by columns on Measures A’s deep inadequacies with regard to sustainability and climate by Jana Clark of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and Save Our Forest and Ranchlands, and David Harris of SD 350 and Ruben Arizmendhi of the Sierra Club San Diego.
This week, I am pleased to share this space with Diane Takvorian, the Executive Director of the Environmental Health Coalition who will make the environmental justice case against Measure A. [Read more…]
Joy Williams / Environmental Health Coalition
While Port District plans a massive expansion of its operations and diesel emissions from the Tenth Avenue Terminal, the neighboring community of Barrio Logan has been ranked even higher in the newest draft of California’s environmental justice screening model, CalEnviroScreen.
The new draft version three of CalEnviroScreen, released September 6, confirms the pollution hazards and social vulnerabilities in the Barrio Logan/Logan Heights area.
Barrio Logan was already at the very top of the state in version two of CalEnviroScreen – the highest five percent of all 8,000-plus census tracts in the state. The newly released draft version shows diesel hazards a full 15 percentile points higher than previously estimated for this area. [Read more…]
Measure J seemed like another non-controversial proposal at first.
It extended the lifetime of an earlier ballot measure dedicating a portion of revenues from leases on properties at Mission Bay Park and shuffled the formula for allocating funds to include other regional parks.
The idea was for these revenues to pay for bonds to be used in capital improvement projects for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including Balboa Park.
Needless to say, Balboa Park groups existing amidst crumbling buildings and other infrastructure shortcomings were thrilled. [Read more…]
Eds Note: Portions of this article appeared in Voice of San Diego By Michael Beck It’s high stakes campaign time and you’re inundated with conflicting ballot arguments. Measure A is no exception. Following are the progressive, environmental, verifiable facts about Measure A. Climate change: Measure A would fund the most progressive transportation plan in the […]
Last week I ceded my column space to Jana Clark, a board member of both the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and Save Our Forest and Ranchlands who explained why environmentally-minded San Diegans should vote no on Measures A and B for a sustainable future for our region.
This followed a piece I co-authored with Nicole Capretz of the Climate Action Campaign and Nick Segura of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 explaining why progressives from labor, community, and environmental groups should say No Way to Measure A.
This week, I am pleased to share my usual spot with David Harris from SD 350 and Ruben Arizmendi, Chair of the San Diego Sierra Club, who will explain how Measure A is a manifestation of a “planning as usual” mindset that gave our region a transportation plan that “flagrantly disregards the State’s GHG [greenhouse gas] reduction mandates.” [Read more…]
The bastard sons of the dirty energy industry are trying to pull a fast one on California voters with Props 65 and 67.
In a perfect world, the people who put together Proposition 65, along with forcing us to vote to uphold a legislatively passed ban (Prop 67) on the crappy plastic bags handed out by retail stores, would be tried for crimes against the planet. If found guilty they would be sentenced to picking up cigarette butts on beaches in Libya for a term of no less than two years, wearing tee shirts emblazoned with We Love Imperialism on the back.
What Proposition 65 is all about is revenge. The plastic bag industry and the oil companies who sell them raw materials want to have it both ways. If they’re gonna lose the vote to ban plastic bags, then maybe they can fool voters with a measure promising to do something good for the environment. [Read more…]
Keep It In the Ground
Bill McKibben of 350.org said recently, “If our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero.”
The goal of keeping earth’s temperature rise below 2 degrees C is already in danger even with the coal mines, oil wells and pipelines currently in operation and assuming there will be no new ones. That means that we shouldn’t be doing any more digging or drilling. It all has to stop – now – if the earth is to survive. [Read more…]
Much of the reporting on the early campaign surrounding Measure A is falling victim to the proponents’ attempts to greenwash their deeply flawed measure by representing a few astroturf “environmental” organizations in league with big money from corporate interests and a handful of unions doing the bidding of downtown insiders as a “split” in progressive circles. This is unfortunate as the fact of the matter is that the opposition to Measure A by the Quality of Life Coalition represents a historically significant new alliance between progressive labor and nearly all of the local environmental organizations doing serious work around climate.
Two weeks ago in this space I was pleased to co-sign a column as Chair of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Environmental Caucus along with Nicole Capretz, the Executive Director of the Climate Action Campaign, and Nick Segura, Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569, explaining why progressives should say No Way to Measure A. In that same spirit, this week I am happy to cede my usual spot to Jana Clark, a board member of both the Cleveland National Forest Foundation and Save Our Forest and Ranchlands to explain why both Measures A and B are bad for San Diego. [Read more…]
Imagine a city where developers are able to choose from among 57 different business enterprises for a downtown site, either for a single use or any combination thereof.
Welcome to Vista, California, where the purpose of its Mixed Use Zone is “…to allow for a mix of residential and commercial, or just residential, or just commercial (standalone) land uses.”
It’s a developer’s wet dream.
8 Restoration Options for Mission Bay Evaluated by More than 100 Community Members
Based on News Release from ReWild via OBRag
On September 27th, ReWild Mission Bay – a project of San Diego Audubon and its partners – unveiled eight possible options to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the North East corner of Mission Bay.
Based on community suggestions from two public workshops earlier this year, the draft plans were presented to more than 135 community members to collect input. To view the potential alternatives, click through to the full article. [Read more…]