Environment

‘The Planet Is On Fire and Trump Fans the Flames’ – Global Climate Walk-Out – Sept. 20

September 19, 2019 by Source

In support of Greta Thunberg and the youth of the world, the Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach posted this message Wednesday, Sept. 18, over …..

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As Trump Sucks Money From California Donors – He Tells the Rest of Californians to ‘Go Suck a Tailpipe’

September 18, 2019 by Doug Porter

The Trump administration has decided to revoke California’s power to set its own standards for vehicle emissions. There are three reasons why this is happening.

The obvious reasoning for this move by the “Environmental” Protection Agency is to encourage the consumption of dirty energy commodities. Fossil fuel producers and refiners, most of whom support Trump, have the opportunity for continued profits, even as their products shorten the time we have to stabilize the planet’s climate.

Weakening auto emissions standards nationwide dovetails with other administration actions, including rolling back rules governing coal-burning power plants and easing restrictions on energy companies governing leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Never mind that tailpipe pollution is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

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Global Climate Strike this Friday, September 20th

September 16, 2019 by Jim Miller

Find a San Diego Action to Support

By Jim Miller

It seems a day can’t go by without more dire news on the climate crisis. Last week as the President shamefully demonized climate refugees desperately fleeing the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian, the UN warned that the climate crisis represents not just a threat to our environment but also to human rights. As the Guardian reported, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet told the human rights council that, “The world has never seen a threat to human rights of this scope.”

Why? Because, as Bachelet explained, “The economies of all nations, the institutional, political, social and cultural fabric of every state, and the rights of all your people, and future generations, will be impacted.” Only two days after that, the Washington Post reported that “Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world” causing historically warm ocean temperatures that have prompted mass die-offs of marine life.

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The World We Want

September 13, 2019 by Source


The University of California Has Been Shaped by Market Value
By Niall Twohig

One thing I noticed in my decade studying and teaching at UCSD is that we—students, teachers, and our academic programs—rarely define the principles we want to live by in our university and society. By principles, I’m referring to what critic George Monbiot calls a “description of the world as we would like to see it.”

I see a risk in not defining our principles. If we do not describe the world we would like to see, we risk accepting the world we see as the only possible world. We risk accepting what is valued in that world as what is most valuable to us.

What is valued most in our current world is market value. This value is determined by how much profit one makes when one sells one’s product on the market. All that matters in the marketplace is whether

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Turning Greenhouse Gas into Pure Liquid Fuel

September 6, 2019 by Source

Lab’s ‘green’ invention reduces carbon dioxide into valuable fuels

Rice University / Science Daily / September 3, 2019

Summary:

An electrocatalysis reactor built at Rice University recycles carbon dioxide to produce pure liquid fuel solutions using electricity. The scientists behind the invention hope it will become an efficient and profitable way to reuse the greenhouse gas and keep it out of the atmosphere.

A common greenhouse gas could be repurposed in an efficient and environmentally friendly way with an electrolyzer that uses renewable electricity to produce pure liquid fuels.

The catalytic reactor developed by the Rice University lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang uses carbon dioxide as its feedstock and, in its latest prototype, produces highly purified and high concentrations of formic acid.

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We Had the Bronze Age, We Had the Iron Age – Now, We Have the Plastic Age, Say Scientists

September 5, 2019 by Source

The Guardian
Plastic pollution is being deposited into the fossil record, research has found, with contamination increasing exponentially since 1945.

Scientists suggest the plastic layers could be used to mark the start of the Anthropocene, the proposed geological epoch in which human activities have come to dominate the planet. They say after the bronze and iron ages, the current period may become known as the plastic age.

The study, the first detailed analysis of the rise in plastic pollution in sediments, examined annual layers off the coast of California back to 1834. They discovered the plastic in the layers mirrors precisely the exponential rise in plastic production over the past 70 years

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Public Watchdogs Call for Court to Halt Burial of Nuclear Waste at San Onofre

September 4, 2019 by Source

On August 28, Public Watchdogs, a nonprofit advocacy group, requested an immediate court-order to halt the transfer of deadly radioactive nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuke plant into “thin-walled” dry storage canisters.

The group filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the United States District Court, and is petitioning the courts to step in and protect the environment and the lives of more than 8 million people who live within the radiation plume zone identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The attorney for Public Watchdogs, Chuck La Bella, stated:

“My immediate concern is for the health and safety of the millions of people who could be impacted by a toxic cloud being released from SONGS. The consequences of a nuclear accident are catastrophic and would last for generations.”

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Plastic Utensils Now Among Top 5 Beach Polluters, Ocean Conservancy Says

September 3, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

We’re all familiar with “the usual suspects of ocean and beach pollution”; years ago it was the plastic six-pack rings; more recently, plastic bags and plastic straws became enemies of the environment with massive movements to ban them around the globe.

Now – however – “the Ocean Conservancy is urging the public to focus on another type of plastic waste that’s an increasingly a significant concern: plastic cutlery.”

The nonprofit environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy has just released the results of its 2018 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), and for the first time since being added as its own category in 2013, plastic cutlery ranked as one of the top ten most common items during the annual trash collection event. As a result, after encouraging people to “Skip the Straw” since 2014, the organization is adding a new initiative to its repertoire: “Quit the Cutlery.”

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Do Colder Waters Off West Coast Mean a Return to ‘Normal’?

August 28, 2019 by Source

By Deborah Sullivan Brennan/ San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 27, 2019

Record high Pacific Ocean temperatures recorded off the West Cost in recent years have receded to near normal, according to a report on the California Current.

That cool shift marks the end of “the blob,” the mass of warm water that dominated the West Coast, and of the El Nino event that followed. It’s unclear, however, what that means for fish and marine mammals, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated in the 2019 ecosystem status report for the California Current Ecosystem.

“The big thing is that a lot of the physical conditions of the ocean here off of our coast are beginning to return to normal,” said

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Who Remembers This? Last August Ocean Water Temperatures Set Record Highs

August 23, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Do you remember last August? So long ago, but last August 2018 saw the ocean water temperatures reach record highs.

On August 1, 2018, Scripps Pier recorded the highest ocean surface water temperature in its 102 history of taking measurements.

The water temperature was 78.6 degrees. Usually it’s around 68 that time of year.

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Is the Democratic Party Leadership Afraid to Have a Serious Debate on the Climate Crisis?

August 19, 2019 by Jim Miller

Will Dems Even Be Allowed Have a Debate on the Crisis in the Midst of the Sixth Extinction?

By Jim Miller

It’s no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention that the Trump administration’s environmental policy is an out-of-control death train roaring down the tracks toward ecocide. The latest bit of insanity hit last week when the administration announced that it was significantly weakening the Endangered Species Act in the wake of the UN report last May warning that up to one million plant and animal species were at risk of extinction.

As the New York Times Editorial Board wrote of this decision:

Now comes what amounts to a thumb in the eye from the Trump administration: The Interior Department announced a set of rules on Monday that, far from enlarging protections, will weaken how the nation’s most important conservation law,

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On the Precipice: Scripps Study Identifies California Cliffs at Risk of Collapse

August 15, 2019 by Source

Originally published Dec. 20, 2017

Scripps News

A California Sea Grant-funded study provides the largest analysis of cliff erosion throughout the state and provides a new hazard index for determining which areas are at most risk

Danger – Unstable Cliffs – Stay Back

The yellow warning signs that pepper coastal cliffs from northern California to the US-Mexico border may seem overly dramatic to the casual observer. But actively eroding cliffs make up the majority of the California coastline, and sudden landslides and collapses have caused injuries and several fatalities in recent years. In addition, eroding cliffs currently threaten highways, houses, businesses, military bases, parks, power plants, and other critical facilities—all in all billions of dollars of development.

Research suggests that erosion rates will increase as sea level rises, further exacerbating these problems.

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San Diego’s Ocean Bluffs – Clear and Present Danger?

August 15, 2019 by Source

By Ry Rivard / Voice of San Diego / August 5, 2019

In the decades since [Swami’s] temple slid off the cliff (in Encinitas), more houses have been built along the coast, altering the landscape and, perhaps, endangering those who live there and below.

Of course, erosion has happened long before humans started building houses along the ocean. It’s caused primarily by wind and water. Some water is natural — waves and runoff, for instance. Other water is unnatural, like leaking water systems that weaken the ground, or the rising seas caused by human-made climate change. On Friday [August 9], the catastrophic consequences of cliff collapses again became clear when a bluff near Encinitas collapsed and killed three people.

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We’re Drowning in Plastic – the California Legislature Aims to Do Something About It

August 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / August 13, 2019

Three bills being considered by the California Legislature in coming weeks seek to change the economics of recycling, which–if you haven’t heard already–is in big trouble. It’s time to watch Sacramento closely, as corporate interests seek to protect their short range profits as damage to our health and the environment escalates.

The California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, a set of identical bills that started in the Senate as SB 54 (Ben Allen) and the Assembly as AB 1080 (Lorena Gonzalez) would require manufacturers to reduce waste from packaging and certain plastic products.

AB 792 (Assm. Phil Ting) requires manufacturers use sharply escalating percentages of recycled plastic in beverage bottles over the next decade.

Earlier this month rePlanet, a major collector of beverage bottles and cans, shut its 284 collection centers in California.

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California Has Its Faults – Big Quakes Shake Up All Things Nuclear Too

July 31, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News July 2019

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

San Francisco – October 17, 1989. It was my birthday. I was four stories up in Frisco, in my brother’s place, visiting while he was in New York. Looking south, I could see the Goodyear Blimp hovering over Candlestick Park, where the Bay Bridge World Series game – Giants vs. Oakland Athletics – was about to start as Friday rush hour approached.

Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, a humungus concussion jolted everything,

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Some of Southern California’s Most Iconic and Popular Beaches Have Lost Nearly All of Their Biodiversity

July 31, 2019 by Source

by Sonia Fernandez, University of California – Santa Barbara / Phys-Org / July 31, 2019

To most people, a beach is a beach. You could likely take an image of almost any urban beach in Southern California—the flat, mostly featureless expanse of sand against blue-green water and blue skies—swap it with one of nearly any other urban beach in Southern California, and chances are that only a trained eye would notice the difference. Some of these differences lie just beneath the surface, however, and are actually quite important ecologically.

Dig just few inches into the sand on many beaches in Southern California—home to some of the most biologically diverse sandy beaches in the world—and you’ll find it teeming with life such as sand crabs, clams and beach hoppers. But for about a third of the sandy beaches extending from Santa Barbara to San Diego

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Summer Chronicles #6: Mourning the Passing of Animals from Our Lives

July 29, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Anyone who has ever cared for small children knows how central the role of animals is for fostering imagination and compassion in young people.

In my family’s case, our son’s childhood was awash in stuffed animals—beavers, raccoons, skunks, elephants, badgers, bears, rabbits, and a plethora of other creatures — every one of whom had a name, relatives, and a full-blown set of connections with other animals as well as with our family and friends.

His little pals would come over and learn the stories of our animal friends as would our grown-up pals. All of these animals had different voices and personalities and origin stories. It was our own domestic mythology for an imaginary chain of being.

Of course, everything was heavily anthropomorphized,

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Fireworks – Cheap Thrills with Toxic Consequences

July 18, 2019 by Source

Pollution from Fireworks is an Unnecessary Risk to Our Personal and Environmental Health

From Back Country Attitude

Why celebrate those special occasions by polluting? Is poisoning the air and water a patriotic way to recognize the 4th of July?? Is unnecessary air pollution a good way to ring in the New Year??

Do you consider yourself environmentally conscious and responsible? You might not know that all those colorful explosives used to celebrate special occasions…. (your firecrackers, skyrockets, Roman candles and yes even those so-called “harmless” sparklers)… pose a serious environmental and health danger from heavy metals and other toxic firework fallout.

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Americans Are Pressuring EPA to Ban Round-Up While City of San Diego Still Uses It on Beaches, Playgrounds and Parks

July 11, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Pressure is building on the Environmental Protection Agency to ban Monsanto and Bayer’s RoundUp, which is linked to cancer, with its glyphosate. For the last couple of months groups and companies have been petitioning the EPA to get rid of the dangerous herbicide.

Up until July 5, the EPA was collecting public comments for glyphosate’s proposed interim registration review, which could allow glyphosate to be used in the U.S. for another 15 years.

In late June environmental and consumer groups delivered more than 149,000 public comments to the EPA advocating for a ban on RoundUp. In early June, more than 100,000 Americans and 20 companies called on the EPA to significantly restrict the use of Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate ….

Meanwhile, pressure locally in Ocean Beach and Point Loma is growing as demands to the City of San Diego increase to halt its use of Roundup on parks, playgrounds and beaches.

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‘Another One Bites the Dust’ – Nuke Plant on Cape Cod Goes Down

July 3, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News June 2019

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Massachusetts Nuke Plant Goes Down and Out

At the end of May the 46 year old Pilgrim nuclear plant on Cape Cod in Massachusetts joined the growing list of outdated financial losers whose time has passed across the nation.

Located in Plymouth on Cape Cod Bay, only 50 miles from Boston, Pilgrim’s boiling water reactor has the same design as the three Fukushima reactors that melted down in Japan in 2011.

It’s original owner, Boston Edison, took three years to build this plant at a cost of $231 million. It began operating in 1972.

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City Council’s Campland Vote Ignores Will of San Diego Voters

June 26, 2019 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / June 25, 2019

Who are these people on our City Council?

Did they just move here? Do they know nothing of the history of Mission Bay Park?

Don’t they realize that in 1987, 79% of the voters supported Proposition D to preserve Mission Bay Park from increased development, commercialization and loss of open space?

Here is the actual language of that three-decades-old charter amendment:

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Composting Toilets: A Step Towards a Greener World

June 25, 2019 by Source

by Carla Lewis / TopReviewedTen

Global warming is one of the biggest concerns we have been fighting for the last couple of decades. One of the biggest reasons for the increase in temperature is waste. Whether this is human waste of other waste, it is an important aspect that you need to consider if you are looking to live life to the fullest and protect the earth.

The composting toilet has been designed to help convert natural human waste into compost. This compost can be reused for your garden and to fertilize plants that are around your home. However, most people are a little hesitant when it comes to the composting toilet itself. In this article, we will explore this toilet and see if it is really worth it.

Why Composting Toilet Over Regular Toilet

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Coalition ReWild Mission Bay NOT Down With 5 Year Lease by Campland at De Anza Cove

June 14, 2019 by Source

ReWild Mission Bay Statement Regarding Land Use and Housing Committee Recommendations for Lease Approvals

Members of the ReWild Mission Bay coalition continue to note their disappointment with the City of San Diego’s Land Use and Housing Committee recommendation to extend the lease of the current Campland site in the northeast corner of Mission Bay by five years, thereby precluding the initiation of wetland restoration efforts west of Rose Creek and east of Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve.

The 1994 Mission Bay Park Master Plan called for the relocation of the current Campland site in order to facilitate wetland restoration at the mouth of Rose Creek. The plan was upheld in 2002. Similarly, ReWild Mission Bay coalition members are concerned about the granting of an all-new lease to Campland to manage the Mission Bay RV Park on De Anza Point for five years,

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Why Restoring Wetlands on Mission Bay Is More Important Than Ever

June 5, 2019 by Source

By Jim Peugh / The Times of San Diego / June 4, 2019

The last several years have seen a deluge of news about infrastructure in San Diego. Whether it’s the future of the stadium site in Mission Valley, the extension of the Blue Line trolley to UCSD, or the push among urbanists to revolutionize housing in our city, refining our development footprint has taken up a sizable volume of bandwidth in our civic conversation.

As plans move forward to reshape San Diego’s built environment, it’s easy to overlook how these changes can negatively affect our quality of life and the sustainability of our communities. In the rush to redevelop, we often miss out on opportunities to incorporate green infrastructure

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‘No Nukes’ News from May 2019: Three Mile Island Nuke Plant Shutting Down – Finally!

June 4, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Blackrain Press

On May 8 the New York Times reported, “Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant Is Shutting Down.”The story explained that Chicago-based Exelon, the plant’s owner, would be permanently closing the plant at the end of this September because it had been losing money, and a plan for the state of Pennsylvania to bail it out had failed.

There are two nuclear reactor’s at the plant. Reactor #1 started up in 1974, so it will be 45 years old when it shuts down in four month. The plant is located on the Susquehanna River, south of Harrisburg, the state capital.

Exelon is closing down reactor #1 even though it is licensed to operate it until 2034. The utility said that decommissioning the plant, taking down the structure and dealing with leftover high level nuclear waste, will cost $1.2 billion, but won’t even start until 2074.

What Is a “Partial” Meltdown?

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $2 Billion to California Victims for Cancer Caused by Roundup

May 22, 2019 by Source

Editordude: On May 13, 2019, a California jury awarded plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod a verdict of $55 million in non-economic and economic damages in addition to $1 billion each in punitive damages against Monsanto, for cancer ( lymphoma) caused by ingredients in their product Roundup.

The plaintiffs – through their experts – proved Monsanto made glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup – fifty times more toxic in its formula, making it easier for glyphosate to penetrate the skin leading to quick dispersion to the bones, where lymphoma originates.

Roundup – the herbicide the City of San Diego uses in our parks, beaches and playgrounds – is a topic for discussion at the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council meeting on Wednesday, May 22.

By Carey Gillam / U.S. Right to Know

After less than two full days of deliberations, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay just over $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to a married couple who both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma they say was caused by their many years of using Roundup products.

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Why Are Gray Whales Washing Up Dead Along San Francisco Coast?

May 14, 2019 by Source

By Peter Fimrite / San Francisco Chronicle / May 11, 2019 Updated: May 13, 2019

Exhausted, emaciated gray whales are going belly up along the coast of San Francisco this year at a rate seen only once — during a two-year period 20 years ago — since whaling was banned and the leviathans were pulled from the brink of extinction.

The death toll, part of a disturbing mass die-off from Mexico to Alaska, is happening largely because there is too little food in the ecosystem to sustain the behemoths on one of the world’s longest migrations, experts say.

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San Onofre Nuke Plant Still in the News

May 13, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News April 2019

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the declines and fall of the nuclear power industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free future.

Last year’s Radwaste ‘near misses’ continue to plague San Onofre Nuke Plant – Southern California’s nuke plant shut down in 2013 after gross mismanagement and release of radiation into the environment by major owner Southern California Edison. San Diego Gas & Electric is a secondary owner.

The plant is, in retrospect, at an insane location.

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The Earth is Dying – Is Anyone Up to Facing this Historic Crisis?

May 13, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The headlines screamed across front-pages last week. “One Million Species Face Extinction, U.N. report says. And Humans will Suffer as a Result,” blared the Washington Post . “Humans are Speeding Extinction and Altering the Natural World at an ‘Unprecedented’ Pace,” the New York Times echoed. “Human Society Under Urgent Threat from Loss of Earth’s Natural Life,” warned the Guardian).

Suffice to say, this is a big deal. As the Post piece noted, the UN Report outlines “alarming implications for humanity” in that:

The landmark report by seven lead co-authors from universities across the world goes further than previous studies by directly linking the loss of species to human activity. It also shows how those losses are undermining food and water security, as well as human health.

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Makeup: Wreaking Havoc on the Earth

April 5, 2019 by Source

by Abby Williams/ LomaBeat.com / April 4, 2019

Foundation, blush, mascara, eye shadow and lipstick are all products under the umbrella of makeup that is used by people of all colors, shapes and sizes. The purpose of makeup? To make people feel more beautiful. But what if the one thing that is making people’s exterior feel more beautiful is making the world an uglier place? Literally.

Oxybenzone, Parabens and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) are among numerous ingredients found in cosmetic products. While they help cover up imperfections, they are known to make the natural world a more imperfect place, according to Ben Johnson, the founder and formulator of Osmosis Skincare, in an interview with The Point.

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