Environment

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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8 Years After, San Diego Federal Judge Throws Out Sailors’ Class Action for Injuries from Fukushima

April 3, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News March 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 who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is out March 2019 report.

Eight Years on, Fukushima disaster continues-and so does the coverup

Exactly one week before the 8th anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Courthouse News Service ran its story, “Judge Tosses Radiation Class Action”. The story reported,

“Hundreds of American sailors who filed two class actions…”

The sailors were on the then-San Diego home ported aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan

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Monsanto Ordered to Pay $80 Million After Its Roundup Caused Cancer in California Man

March 28, 2019 by Source

The jury found Monsanto guilty of negligence and failing to adequately warn consumers of Roundup weed killer’s cancer risks.

Andrew Emett / NationofChange / March 28, 2019

A federal jury unanimously ruled Wednesday that Monsanto was liable for causing a California man’s cancer and was ordered to pay more than $80 million in damages. The jury found Monsanto guilty of negligence and failing to adequately warn consumers of Roundup weed killer’s cancer risks.

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How the Spectrum of Light Can Be Used in Landscape Architecture

March 22, 2019 by Source

By David McCullough / San Diego UrbDezine / March 9, 2019

Originally published in the author’s own blog under the title of “Spectrum of Light.”

Light is not often the first thing that one thinks of when considering the built environment, but in fact, as to the photographer, light is a primary ingredient to the success of any site design.

In contrast to other professions that utilize light, the impact of light on the built environment is constantly in flux. In its complexity there are three types of light: continuous, absorptive and emissive. In the science of the light spectrum, the fact is that light behaves like a wave and is defined by its wavelength frequency. Simply put, light of different wavelengths is perceived as different colors.

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Plastic Straws and Socialism as 2020’s Straw Man

March 12, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds

California Congressman Devin Nunes (Ru-CA 22) took to Twitter on Saturday complaining about a waitress asking his table if they wanted straws for their beverages, ending his comment with “Welcome to Socialism in California!”

Nunes, who spent much of 2018 running interference for President Trump to minimize the scope and impact of investigations by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, was rehearsing the GOP’s main talking point in the 2020 elections, namely slinging the term “socialism” early and often.

His pitiful plea about having to request a straw stems from the Republican tenet holding dirty energy production as a benefit while ignoring the ongoing dangers of climate change. And, of course, the Congressman will get points from the Trumpanista camp for bashing California.

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From Super Bloom to Super Bust: The Water Crisis that Could Kill Borrego Springs

March 11, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

The formal beginning of spring is just around the corner, but an unusually wet winter already has visitors flooding into Borrego Springs in search of desert sunflowers, verbena, lupine, poppies, and primrose.

Thanks to a chain of storms, the desert is green and bursting with the promise of a rare “super bloom” that will likely carpet its floor with wildflowers in and around Anza-Borrego State Park. For local Borrego Springs businesses and hotels, this event is an economic boom that floods the town with a wave of commerce and full hotel rooms.

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Triage for Our Ocean

March 1, 2019 by Source

By David Helvarg / Blue Notes / Feb. 22, 2019

When I wrote Blue Frontier: Saving America’s Living Seas, at the beginning of this century, I was worried. Industrial overfishing for the global seafood market, oil, chemical, nutrient and plastic pollution, loss of coastal habitat needed for restoration, plus the emerging signs of climate change, were reaching critical mass. Still, I saw the challenges as ultimately solvable if we just mobilized the political will and professional expertise needed.

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Ice Shuts Down 1 New Jersey Reactor; Age to Shut Down 3 Chicago Nuke Plants

March 1, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News February 2019

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Deep Freeze Shuts Down New Jersey Reactor.

On January 31 the Atlantic City Press reported, “Below freezing temperatures shutdown Salem reactor.” The report continued, “Central room operators shut down the Salem 2 reactor at 3 a.m. after ice accumulated in screens used to filter out debris before water from the Delaware River is pumped into the plants,” a Nuclear Regulatory Commission official explained.

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A ‘Lost Colony’ of Monarch Butterflies Found in Mexico

February 22, 2019 by Source

Long-sought hidden monarchs’ colony was found in December

From Mexico News Daily/ February 18, 2019

Owners of communal land located near the Nevado de Toluca volcano in México state have discovered a monarch butterfly colony long searched for by park rangers and conservationists.

A small group of ejidatarios, or communal landowners, was carrying out a routine patrol of their forested land within the Nevado de Toluca National Park just before Christmas when they found the butterflies hanging in massive clumps from the branches of Oyamel fir trees on a steep mountainside.

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Tracking the Parrots of Ocean Beach and San Diego County

February 19, 2019 by Source

By dan weisman / Escondido Grapevine / February 18, 2019

Seen a wild pandemonium of parrots lately? Report it immediately. That’s the question and request posed by University of San Diego Biology Instructor Dr. Janel Ortiz and her San Diego Parrot Project, along with “parrot sighting submission form” and a hardy SDPP thank you.

Ortiz takes the academic show on the road Wednesday. That’s when she and her flock of students plan to take flight with a plan to begin a survey of the wild parrots of San Diego County. She is asking fellow county residents if they see something parrot, say something parrot to university parrot watchers.

The parrots shouldn’t be hard to miss. This is parrot time, to be sure, as wild parrots go looking for mates in mid-February,

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It’s Not Those Pushing the Green New Deal Who are Naïve About Our Current Crisis

February 18, 2019 by Jim Miller

The Moderate Threat to Climate Action

By Jim Miller

As heartening as the emergence of the Green New Deal as a political rallying cry and litmus test of sorts for the early field of Democratic presidential candidates is, the predictably negative response in other quarters is equally dismaying.

Of course, the most obvious naysaying comes from the Republicans and the rightwing media following the lead of a president who suggests that snowstorms and cold weather are evidence that climate change isn’t happening.

But that’s not the real problem.

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5 Ways to Make Grocery Shopping More Zero-Waste

February 14, 2019 by Source

By Mukta Patil / Sierra Club Magazine / Feb 4 2019

Shopping for groceries can be overwhelming. Once you get past the sheer volume of products staring down from the aisles, you’ve got to reckon with their ingredients, prices, and the way the food is packed. For environmentally conscious shoppers, the latter—excessive packaging and the resulting pollution—is especially irksome. Enter the zero-waste grocery store.

These small-but-budding enterprises are increasingly popping up, and they’re promising plastic-free, packaging-free products ranging from grains and produce to detergent and shampoo.

The original zero-waste grocery story was the late in.gredients in Austin, Texas, which unfortunately shut down last April after five years of selling exclusively (un)packaged and locally sourced food.

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A Green New Deal Builds Local Support as the Right Goes Bonkers

February 13, 2019 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / Words & Deeds / February 12, 2019

Socialism, Flintstone cars, and cow farts. Oh. my! *

The introduction of HR 109, Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal supporting the vision of a more just and sustainable path for the country has shifted the conversation about climate change simply by pointing out the need for a comprehensive approach.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR 7) urging Congress to pass a Green New Deal. If passed by the California State Legislature, this will put California officially on the record in support of the recently introduced federal legislation.

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council was first in the nation among its type of local coalitions to pass a resolution supporting a “Green New Deal with strong labor provisions in concert with our environmental and community partners.”

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Labor Council in San Diego On Board With the Green New Deal

February 4, 2019 by Jim Miller

The San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Passes Resolution in Support of a Green New Deal

Sometimes the unexpected happens. Last year, during one of her first visits to the Capitol as a newly elected member of the House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines by joining a group of young activists from the Sunrise Movement protesting outside Nancy Pelosi’s office and calling for a Green New Deal. Since that time, Pelosi has formed a committee to address the idea, but, even more importantly, a Green New Deal has emerged as one of the key progressive talking points in the early days of the Democratic presidential race, forcing even some reluctant candidates to at least give it a nod.

Not surprisingly, probable candidate Bernie Sanders is at the front of the line, but he has been joined by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and even some less likely suspects who despite their “centrism” seemed to feel it necessary to voice qualified if grudging support to some form of a Green New Deal.

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Target to Pay $7.4 Million for Improperly Disposing Hazardous Waste in Calif. Landfills – Again

February 1, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Good ol’ Target. As the giant mega-company was readying the former antique mall for its new Ocean Beach store, over on the environmental side, it was “disposing of batteries, light bulbs, medical waste and other environmentally hazardous materials improperly in landfills across the state” of California.

And it got busted – and now it has agreed to pay a $7.4 million settlement to California. It appears the Minnesota-based company violated a $22.5 million stipulated judgment from 2011 over similar allegations of improper disposal of hazardous retail waste.

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What Happens When the Owner of a Nuclear Plant Goes Bankrupt?

January 31, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News January 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 who are working for a nuclear free world.

The January 16 San Francisco Chronicle headlined, “PG&E bankruptcy coming this month.” A followup story on January 18 described Pacific Gas & Electric as “the state’s largest investor-owned utility.”

The Jan 16 lead article reported that the company was facing “$30 billion in potential wildfire liability,” had “$4.4 billion market value” as of 1-14, had lost $25 billion since last year’s Camp fire destroyed almost 19,000 structures and took 80-some lives in the Northern California town of Paradise, and had $1.5 billion in cash as of Jan. 11.”

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2018 Was the Hottest Year Ever Recorded for the Planet’s Oceans

January 30, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Do you remember how hot the ocean got this past August at the beach? During the first week of that month, Scripps Pier recorded 3 days of warm water that set records. On Wednesday, August 1, Scripps Pier recorded the highest ocean surface water temperature in its 102 history of taking measurements.

The water temperature was 78.6 degrees. According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the “normal” August average water surface temperature at the pier is 68 degrees.

Then, that Friday – and for the second time in the week – the ocean temperature reached an all-time high at Scripps Pier in La Jolla, hitting 78.8 degrees. On Sunday, the sea surface temperature hit 79.4 degrees.

Scientists at Scripps have been taking daily measurements at the pier since 1916.

And now we find out 2018 was the hottest year for the planet’s oceans. It was no surprise to those keeping track of such things. See this report from EcoWatch:

The year 2018 was the hottest year for the planet’s oceans ever since record-keeping began in 1958, according to a worrisome new study from international scientists.

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50 Years after the Santa Barbara Oil Spill

January 24, 2019 by Source

By David Helvarg / San Francisco Chronicle / Jan. 23, 2019

Fifty years after a California oil spill launched the modern environmental movement, we may finally be moving beyond the age of oil, and none too soon.

In October, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, warned global carbon emissions would have to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 if there’s any hope of keeping planetary warming at a dangerous but less than catastrophic level.

Luckily, job-generating renewable energy now has become competitive with or cheaper than most forms of fossil fuel. Progressive democrats are also calling for a Green New Deal that aims to transition the U.S. economy to clean energy, addressing both climate change and inequality.

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‘It’s Time to Call in the Marines’ and the Rest of the U.S. Military to Deal With Natural Disasters

January 3, 2019 by Source

By David Helvarg / San Francisco Chronicle / Jan. 2, 2019

It’s time to call in the Marines, and also the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard to respond to the growing number of climate-linked natural disasters.

When it comes to national security, no threat compares to our changing climate and its intensification of hurricanes, wildfires, heat waves and other natural disasters. If the rise of Nazi Germany and the nuclear balance of terror with the Soviet Union were the major strategic threats to overcome in the last century, climate change is the major challenge of this one.

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Nuclear Shutdown News December 2018: 99 Nuke Plants to Go

December 28, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

99 To Go

Two nuclear power plants closed permanently in 2018. Fort Calhoun in Nebraska closed for good in in October, after clanking on for 43 years. And previously, the nation’s oldest nuke plant, New Jersey’s Oyster Creek ceased running after 49 years in September.

US commercial nuclear plants were designed to operate for 40 years. These two nuke plant closures brought the remaining number of the nation’s nuclear plants still (sometimes) running to 99.

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Microplastics Are Everywhere – In Us Too

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Sarah “Steve” Mosko

What do beer, oysters, table salt, air & tap water have in common? They’re all ways humans are ingesting microplastics, tiny bits of plastic waste ubiquitous in oceans, lakes and rivers and even soil and air.

Wildlife as diverse as whales, seabirds, fish and zooplankton are polluted by ingesting plastic debris. It’s naïve to assume that humans, sharing the same global environment and eating at the top of the food chain, are magically spared contamination from plastics.

Though no one has yet measured how much plastic pollution humans actually carry around, there’s plenty of evidence we’re taking the stuff in, by eating, drinking and just breathing.

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The Climate Crisis and the Ocean

December 14, 2018 by Source

By David Helvarg / Blue Frontier Campaign / December 10, 2018

Between the devastation of Mexico Beach, Florida and Paradise California plus the 4th National Climate Assessment Report, the year 2018 may become known as the point of no denial, an acknowledgement of what Governor Jerry Brown calls, “the new abnormal.” At this point climate deniers are being recognized as little more than the willing tools of the fossil fuel industry such as the coal lobbyist now running the EPA.

The best available science reflected in the federal report prepared by 13 government agencies including NASA, NOAA and the National Science Foundation, suggests the worst possible scenarios if we continue on our present course (which we appear to be with 16 of the 17 hottest years on record occurring since 2001).

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The Highway to Climate Hell vs the Green New Deal

December 7, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The path away from planetary hell got a little steeper with release of a trio of scientific papers produced by 76 scientists from 57 research institutions in 15 countries associated with the Global Carbon Project on the eve of the opening of the 24th annual U.N. climate conference in Poland.

Emissions are heading in the opposite direction from the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change. After a few years of hopeful plateauing, CO2 emissions will rise by 2.7% in 2018.

Earlier this year, a different scientific panel said nations have barely a decade to take “unprecedented” actions and cut their emissions in half by 2030 to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

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America Is an Oligarchy : Billionaires Are Undermining Our Democracy and Killing the Planet

November 26, 2018 by Jim Miller

We live under oligarchy. Yes, we have elections, but the interests of a tiny opulent minority are far better represented in our government than the concerns of the vast majority of Americans.

That conclusion was the central takeaway of a Benjamin Page and Martin Giles study published a few years ago that grimly observed, “economic elites and organized interest groups play a substantial part in affecting public policy, but the general public has little or no independent influence.”

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Was The Election Good for the Fish?

November 16, 2018 by Source

By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier Campaign/ Blue Notes

Was this election good for the fish?

Mostly the answer is yes, also for democracy and government checks and balances.

Still, it’s hard to argue that the ocean and climate played a significant role in most campaigns, even if these are issues of survival impacting our food security, jobs, health, where we live and the quality of our lives.

The policy and PAC group Ocean Champions claimed that early results showed 52 of 58 candidates they endorsed had won their House and Senate races,

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Nuclear Shutdown News October 2018: Millstone and Oyster Creek Nukes

November 13, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

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 who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our October 2018 report.

Twenty Years On

This month marks the 20th year since my book Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation first appeared in the 10th month of 1998.

This work was inspired by Dr. Ernest Sternglass, whose groundbreaking early 1980s book Secret Fallout: From Hiroshima to Three Mile Island exposed the dangers of so-called “low level” radiation to human health.

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Was There a Near-Fukushima Event on the Atlantic During Hurricane Florence?

October 10, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News for September 2018

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 for a nuclear free future. Here is our September 2018 report.

A Near-Fukushima on the Atlantic?

On September 17 the Raleigh News & Observer reported, “Floods limit access to Duke’s Brunswick nuclear plant: crews us partopotties, cots.”

Did the Atlantic coast have a near-Fukushima event when during September Hurricane Florence made landfall?

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UN Climate Report Warns of Grim Consequences, Shrinking Time Frame for Action

October 9, 2018 by Source

Global Warming

By Meteor Blades / Daily Kos

A decade, maybe a little more, is all the time we have left for acting to keep global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over the pre-industrial era, U.N. scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced Monday. That’s 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the dawn of the industrial age, global warming has boosted temperatures 1.0-1.2 degrees Celsius.

The good news from the scientists is that the 1.5-degree goal may still be attainable. That’s unlike what most scientists thought when the 2015 Paris climate agreement included 1.5 degrees as an “aspirational” goal.

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The San Francisco Climate Action Summit: Is It ‘Better Late than Never’?

September 19, 2018 by Source

After the Climate Action Summit, Commitments Emerge Amidst Growing Disaster

Corporate execs, career politicians, and environmental activists converged on San Francisco for the Climate Action Summit.

by David Helvarg / The Progressive / September 17, 2018

The Global Climate Action Summit held in San Francisco September 12 through 14 felt both urgent (as Hurricane Florence began to soak the Carolinas and Typhoon Mangkhut battered the Philippines), and hopeful. More than 500 commitments were made to speed up the transition to carbon neutrality and to remediate the growing impacts of climate change.

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China Doesn’t Want Our Trash Anymore and Now We Have a California Recycling Crisis

September 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

It’s a sad fact of our Californian recycling world – China no longer wants our trash.

China used to be California’s — and the world’s — largest overseas market for recyclables, but in January, China began not accepting “contaminated” material it once brought to its shores. For China, now, if the recycled material is one-half of 1% contaminated, it’s too impure for recycling.

An official for Recology, a curbside hauler that does San Francisco Bay Area trash for recycling, stated:

“There’s no market for a lot of stuff in the blue bin. What we can’t recycle we take to a landfill.”

Back in 2017, Recology was getting $100 a ton for newsprint. Now they are averaging about $5 a ton.

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