I went to the Thirty Meter Telescope construction site near the summit of Mauna Kea for the first time, today. Four-wheel drive is recommended for the road that twists steeply with hairpin turns up the Mountain, so ten of us piled into a Kanaka uncle’s (older native Hawaiian man’s) pick-up truck to go see the summit. Leaving from the visitor center parking lot at 9,200 feet the road ascends over 5,000 feet to an elevation close to 14,000. While my ears popped, my sense of wonder grew. Conversations around the truck bed stopped as the Mountain’s power over our senses intensified. [Read more…]
Looking up at the still, lingering morning stars from the best stargazing location in the world early on the third day since my arrival at the occupation on Mauna Kea, my personal velocities catch up with me and I listen. I stand at 9,200 feet above sea level. North and above me, Mauna Kea’s shoulders broaden as they rise into the heavens. Down and to the east, a thick cover of clouds hides the valley below and deadens the rattle of rifle fire coming from the US military training center on the Mountain. Wind scatters the volcanic dust at my feet.
I have never been to a place like this, never looked down on the clouds from any where other than a plane seat, never marveled at the feel of lava pebbles in my palm and I wonder what it all means. Dawn’s thin air only offers my own reflections back to me. [Read more…]
State of Emergency declared as oil-soaked pelicans die on shore
By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams
As an investigation into an oil spill along the California coast continued on Thursday, environmentalists described a “nightmare” scenario in the area and new details emerged about the pipeline operator’s long history of generating similar disasters. [Read more…]
While clean up crews in protective suits are removing oil from a nine mile stretch of coastline in Santa Barbara County, investigators are assessing the impact and causes of a ruptured pipeline owned by Plains Pipeline. The company failed to shut down the flow of oil for more than three hours after local beach-goers reported the leak, according to a spokesperson with the National Resources Defense Council.
Current estimates say 105,000 gallons may have leaked out, with 21,000 gallons reaching the sea. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Santa Barbara County. Federal, state and local officials are looking at both civil liabilities and criminal infractions. [Read more…]
Little green men from Mars could have seized city hall yesterday and I doubt anybody would have noticed.
The Mayor’s stadium advisory group presented its vision for building a facility worthy of consideration by the National Football League and its San Diego Chargers franchise. And that was the talk of the town.
However, there was other news… …and I’ll get to that first. [Read more…]
The press conference staged by Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG) hadn’t even happened yet when one well-connected reporter took to the twitter, saying the National Football League wasn’t going to be receptive to their ideas.
Early Monday morning news accounts were all about how the group had arrived at a plan for a new football stadium in San Diego with no tax increase required.
Interestingly enough, the announcement did not include any elected officials. Former Mayor Jerry Sanders was the highest profile person listed on the press release. [Read more…]
Trigger warning: This piece contains graphic descriptions of sexual and colonial violence.
Hatred is one of the most misunderstood processes at work in the world today. Cops are killing young people of color while simultaneously maintaining they’re not racists and do not hate the people they’re killing. A growing number of men watch pornography claiming they do not hate women. Millions of tourists visit Hawai’i annually – despite pleas from native Hawaiians to stop – and feel they are so far from hating Hawai’i, it’s their favorite place to visit. [Read more…]
By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press
Oyster Creek – oldest US nuke keeps shutting itself down
On April 28 patch.com ran “NRC Oyster Creek Nuclear Has Substantial Safety Problems.” Located in New Jersey, the Oyster Creek nuclear plant is the nation’s oldest (sometimes) operating nuke. It started up in late 1969, and is now 45 years old. US nuclear plants were designed to last only 40 years. [Read more…]
By Jill Richardson
I recently checked out an upscale yoga studio here in Madison, Wisconsin and discovered a new and disturbing trend: boxed water.
OK, I’ve heard of boxed wine — and maybe even drunk a little. But water?
As I recently wrote about, Balboa Park is a city treasure, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It is also home to many high-speed roads which greatly diminish the quality of the park, use large amounts of high-value land, and pose health dangers immediate (being crushed by a car) and long-term (developing asthma and other disease due to very poor air quality in San Diego). It is time to eliminate the most superfluous high-speed road in Balboa Park – Florida Drive. [Read more…]
By Bill McKibben / Daily Kos
California’s the center of the new energy revolution—if there was ever any doubt about that, Elon Musk’s announcement of his new home battery from Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne settled the question. Pushed by the goad of the state’s progressive energy policies, and pulled by the chance to lead in the planet’s greatest energy transition, Silicon Valley is seeing a clean-power goldrush.
And California’s also the center of the climate crisis—one center, anyway. When the state decided not even to carry out the regular May 1 measurement of the snowpack in the Sierras because there was no snowpack to measure, it told the story of the ever-deepening drought in dramatic form.
So now’s the moment for the state of California to become the center of the divestment movement… [Read more…]
Then Why Haven’t You Put Any Restrictions on Big Oil and Big Ag?
Governor Jerry Brown is leading the nation and perhaps even the world in his efforts to do something about climate change and global warming which is causing epic drought conditions in California.
He has mandated that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 40 percent below 1990 levels over the next 15 years. Brown called this the most aggressive benchmark enacted by a government in North America. All well and good.
But the Governor, formerly known as Governor Moonbeam, has done little to refrain Big Oil and Big Ag from using most of the water in the state. [Read more…]