One of my favorite earworms, Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” has inspired a parody version—“Confounds the Science”. It’s from the geniuses (genii?) who call themselves The Parody Project. The team even takes pains to present the appearance of Simon & Garfunkel! It’s clever, and sadly, oh so true. )-: [Read more…]
I fancy myself an environmentalist. I recycle, backyard compost, have rooftop solar, rarely use AC or heat, drive a hybrid, don’t have a lawn and eat vegetarian.
Yet the truth is I am as responsible for climate change as the next guy. Here’s why. [Read more…]
Not a sequel to the 1999 movie: 10 things I Hate About You
By Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine
I’ve been driving my electric car (aka EV for electric vehicle) for a little shy of a year now. While I love it (I even bought a second one), I realize they’re not for everybody. Below are some reasons you might hate an EV: [Read more…]
Most coverage of the devastation along the southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana coastal areas focuses on the impact of the flooding on residential and urban areas. What is under-reported is the impact on industrial areas. The Galveston Bay area is responsible for about a third of the petroleum refinery capacity in the United States, and nearly half of the U.S. petrochemical manufacturing. It should not be surprising then, given the current Hurricane Harvey related flooding conditions, that the potential danger and damage to the area and the environment is extreme.
Amy Goodman and Renée Feltz of Democracy Now! hear from Bryan Parras, organizer with the Sierra Club’s “Beyond Dirty Fuels” campaign, and with TEJAS (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services) reporting from the heart of the Petro-Metro industrial zone. He tells us that there has already been a report of an incident in La Porte of the escape, which has since been contained, of anhydrous hydrogen chloride, a gas which when it mixes with the moisture in the air produces hydrochloric acid. Of greater concern is the potential for a devastating explosion at a peroxide manufacturing plant in Crawford triggered by the spontaneous combustion of chemicals which after the failure of the refrigeration units are no longer being kept cold enough to prevent the reaction. [Read more…]
What do we know about the relationship between climate change and the formation of tropical storms and hurricanes? Vox.com has produced a short overview and summary of recent research results. As you might expect, there is a relationship, and Vox.com does a great job of visually presenting the findings. [Read more…]
By Mark Hughes
You may have heard the news: San Diego leads the country in kilowatts of solar panels installed, beating out LA and Honolulu — and by a lot. What’s going on? It’s like cell phones all over again. At first, just a few wealthy cranks have them, but before you know it, everyone and their kid has one. Was there a memo?
Maybe this is you now: driving home from work, you can’t resist flicking a glance at the solar panel array on your neighbor’s roof and wonder yet again if they pay SDG&E anything. Or, you’re out for a walk and see that trim, shipshape house you’ve always admired now sports the increasingly fashionable blue/black panels. You put on a brave face, but it’s starting to eat at you: panel envy. The good news is that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and you’re far from alone. Pull up a seat, lie back, and let’s talk. [Read more…]
By Cara Wilson-Granat / OB Rag
Kasatka, the matriarch of SeaWorld’s orca family died on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. The news of this creature’s death appeared in the business pages of the U-T and was tagged as “tourism”. We think Kasatka deserved better in her life and better in her death. We are re-posting Wilson-Granat’s biography of Kasatka for our readers.
By Raymond Bender
July gave us another court case rebuking FAA secrecy and arbitrary decisions. In Flyers Rights Education Fund, Inc. v. FAA, the D.C. United States Courts of Appeals told the FAA to again review whether skinnier, narrower, claustrophobic aircraft seats created passenger safety hazards.
Flyers Rights argued that shoehorning passengers into cramped seats risked passenger health before and after crashes. Restricted blood flow caused by cramped seats, they said, might lead to deep leg thrombosis — a condition caused when blood settles in the circulatory system, as often occurs in the lower limbs during long flights and especially among the elderly. After a crash, restricted seats might slow escape from the aircraft as sardined and confused crash victims fight to escape darkened and possibly smoky aircraft aisles.
The court agreed that the FAA had presented enough information to reject the thrombosis claim but concluded that the FAA had failed to present evidence that smaller seats did not compromise passenger safety. [Read more…]
Community Choice Energy has been taking California by storm.
By Tyson Siegele, SanDiego350
The overwhelming support for and adoption of Community Choice Energy (CCE) only makes sense. All eight operational CCEs across the state charge lower electricity fees than their utility competitors while providing higher renewable energy content. Consumers save money while their children breathe less polluted air.
However, here in the city of San Diego, the mayor and some City Council members have been dragging their feet instead of racing ahead to get the same program up and running locally. [Read more…]
An agency incapable of change: the story of power, money, and deception in America’s Finest City
By Duncan McFetridge
California has aggressively pursued policies to address climate change. Beginning with Assembly Bill 32, enacted in 2006, the state set in motion a set of regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The most notable action is the cap-and-trade policy. Because automobiles create about 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, the legislature enacted Senate Bill 375 in 2008. This measure attacks greenhouse gas emissions by requiring regional planning agencies — such as the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) — to prepare long range regional transportation plans to reduce them.
The fundamental goal is to reduce motor vehicle miles traveled (VMT), making it essentially a transit first strategy. [Read more…]
Don’t let the title of today’s pick fool you. It may be a riff on the title of the holiday classic, but it’s one packed with sarcasm and irony. This group’s lemma is “Speaking Truth to Power with music” and they have a decidedly activist vision. Sometimes the vision can be dark, but it can also be motivating. It’s vital to have a vision of what kind of world we are trying to bring about, but it’s equally important not to lose sight of the alternative scenario that we are desperately trying to avoid. And they do it with vivid images and a catchy beat … [Read more…]
Concessions to Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Endanger Low-Income Communities
By David Harris / SanDiego350
Governor Jerry Brown wants to renew California’s Cap and Trade program for another ten years, which on the face of it sounds like a great idea for the climate. Cap and Trade is designed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through a market mechanism that places a reasonable price on carbon.
The new bill introduced just this week to extend the program (AB 398) is being expedited through both the Assembly and Senate. A vote is scheduled for this Monday, July 17th, which is an unusually fast process.
One major hurdle is that the new Cap and Trade program will require a ⅔ majority vote in both the Assembly and Senate, in order to avoid any legal challenge. It appears that the bill negotiated by Governor Brown has enough carrots for both Democrats and Republicans to support it.