Environment

When Greta Thunberg Met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

December 29, 2020 by Source

When Greta Thunberg met Margaret Atwood… on Zoom

This is what happened when teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg and veteran author and environmentalist Margaret Atwood were brought together on a radio station.

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How Will the Ocean Fare Under a Biden Administration?

December 22, 2020 by Source

By David Helvarg

In 1890 the Census declared the frontier closed but in 1983 President Ronald Reagan established a new frontier, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) stretching 200 miles out from America’s shoreline. At 3.4 million square miles it’s an area larger than our continental landmass.

Unfortunately for almost four years President Trump has treated the nation’s ocean frontier as little more than a gas station and a garbage dump as he attempted to open up 90 percent of U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling despite bipartisan opposition from governors of coastal states. His administration also undermined environmental laws and regulations from clean water standards to mercury emissions in ways that continue to threaten U.S. coastal jobs, wildlife and seafood.

So, what can we expect from a Biden-Harris administration when it comes to our public seas and blue economy that’s worth an estimated $373 billion?

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With Just One Bid for Gas and Electricity, Advocates for Publicly-Owned Utility See Opening for San Diego

December 18, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

On Thursday, December 17, the San Diego City Council and Mayor Gloria opened the bids for the right to provide gas and electric services within the city limits and discovered that San Diego Gas & Electric was the only entity that placed a bid.

This does not mean that SDG&E will be able to continue with its century-long monopoly on the city’s power. Neither the Council nor the Mayor took any action.

Jessica Lawrence, Gloria’s director of policy, informed the Council the mayor’s staff would review the bids along with the City Attorney’s Office to determine whether the SDG&E bid has met all the requirements laid out by the city. His office will then consider what steps should be taken next. Lawrence said, “The mayor may reject (the bids), he may cancel the process entirely, he may make recommendations for award of any responsive bid.”

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Famosa Slough Part of Marshland Study

December 7, 2020 by Staff

Famosa Slough in Point Loma is part of a research study in how efficient salt marsh terrains are at storing carbon. Wetlands have the potential of being both a hedge against global warming and a buffer against rising sea levels

The local wetlands joins other areas like Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad, the Kendall Frost marsh in Mission Bay, the San Dieguito lagoon, and other coastal wetlands throughout the region in a study by the Scripps Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. This research will help increase understanding of the ecosystems and habitats that are in the nearshore area.

The conservation group, Wildcoast, has led efforts to understand the blue carbon habitats near the ocean which are particularly good at capturing and storing carbon.

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Earthquakes and Nukes

December 4, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

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 future.

Earthquakes & Nukes

When we think of earthquakes and nuclear plants in the US, it usually concerns shakers and nukes in California. In the 1980s, a mass antinuclear movement, The Abalone Alliance, waged a fierce battle against the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant on the central California coastline near San Luis Obispo.

Over a two week period in 1981, there were almost 2000 arrests of those committing civil disobedience in opposition to Diablo Canyon. One of the key issues in this struggle was concerns about building a nuke plant in an earthquake prone area.

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SurfRider San Diego Asks Public to Tell Water Authority to Reject Study at Board Meeting Thursday, Nov.19

November 18, 2020 by Source

From SurfRider San Diego

Action Alert: Stop the San Diego Water Pipeline – Again

The San Diego County Water Authority is considering a Regional Conveyance System (RCS) AGAIN as a way to bring San Diego more water. Such a system would cost more than $5 billion dollars, and would dig, tunnel, and pump water over 100 miles through San Diego state parks, a national forest, several active earthquake fault lines, and some of our region’s most prized wildlands. While only in the study phase, this pipe dream is the stuff of nightmares.

According to an independent analysis, such a system would increase regional energy demands by 40% over our current conveyance, significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions while bringing minimal long-term economic or community benefits to San Diego.

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Trump Rushes To Sell Oil Rights in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

November 17, 2020 by Source

By Tegan Hanlon/ NPR / November 16, 2020

Starting Tuesday, oil and gas companies can pick which parts of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge they’re interested in drilling. It’s the latest push by the Trump administration to auction off development rights in the pristine landscape before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

The official “call for nominations” launches a 30-day comment period. It will also allow the Bureau of Land Management to move forward with a lease sale, which it must announce 30 days in advance. The exact timing is not clear, but it raises the possibility that a lease sale might happen just days before Biden’s inauguration.

“It’s been quite a lot of work to get to this point,” said Kevin Pendergast, deputy state director for resources with the bureau in Alaska. In a separate statement, the agency said the lease sale will be a historic move “advancing this administration’s policy of energy independence.” In a dramatic shift after nearly four decades of protections, a Republican-led Congress in 2017 approved legislation that opened up part of the refuge to oil development.

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Battle Over Famosa Open Space Continues

November 16, 2020 by Source

By “Just a Bike Mom”

Ah, Friday the 13th. As we all sat down to work that morning, so did the San Diego Housing Commission (aka SDHC) to discuss the “exclusive” agreement for Bridge to develop Famosa Open Space.

Short story: They voted to proceed with their exclusive agreement. The exclusive agreement to develop the last plot of natural, urban, open space on the Point.

We last heard from the SDHC in spring/summer of 2019 at the Peninsula Community Planning Board meetings. They had no plans to develop the land at that time they said. Yet, their PCPB presentation included a set of “visionary” plans.

Our community spoke out. Apparently they did listen to some points,

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Florida’s Crystal River Nuke Plant Shows Folly of Nuclear Power

November 9, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News

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.

We’ll use the case of the Crystal River nuke plant in Florida to illustrate the increasing folly of nuclear power.

The US introduced nuclear power to the US public as “too cheap to meter,” with the Atoms For Peace program in the 1950s, after the horrors of atomic weapons the US used to decimate the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was exposed. The federal government employed heavy subsidies and post WWII patriotic zeal to encourage reluctant electric utilities to begin building nuclear plants.

The Crystal River nuke plant began construction in the 1960s and its reactor began generating electricity in the 1970s.

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November 2020 Events from the Ocean Beach Green Center

November 5, 2020 by Source

November Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting.

Mondays and Saturdays 9:30 pm – 12:30 pm Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm

Help support the TKF – Tariq Khamisa Foundation as they celebrate 25 years

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Santee Citizens Halt Fanita Ranch — Public Vote Expected

October 31, 2020 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

A few weeks ago, despite the fact that many Santee citizens and citizens throughout San Diego County cried out in opposition to development in Santee’s pristine Fanita Hills, four Santee City Council members voted to approve an obscenely large testament to urban sprawl, a development called Fanita Ranch.

Those city council members, whose elections have been heavily funded by developer HomeFed, used a series of deceptive maneuvers in order to preclude citizens from having a say in whether Fanita Ranch would be built. Only Santee City Councilman Stephen Houlahan voted against Fanita Ranch, and he is the only council member who never accepts developer dollars.

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‘I’ve Reported On Climate Disasters For 38 Years. Here’s What We Need To Do ASAP.’

October 28, 2020 by Source

“You no longer have to travel far to report on a climate disaster, as one will soon come to a neighborhood near you.”

By David Helvarg / HuffingtonPost / October27, 2020

Climate change is now election campaign news as we’re forced to focus on massive wildfires in the West, unprecedented numbers of Atlantic hurricanes, record-high temperatures, plus the impact of a global pandemic and a historic election in which President Donald Trump assures us the climate will soon cool and Joe Biden responds that Trump is a climate arsonist.

I’ve been reporting on the seemingly apocalyptic becoming the new abnormal for some time now.

It was during an interview with Roger Revelle for a San Diego magazine profile in 1982 that he acquainted me with the greenhouse effect caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

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Regional Water Board Vote Forces City to Consider ReWild Wetland Restoration Plan for Northeast Mission Bay

October 23, 2020 by Source

Unanimous Vote by Regional Water Quality Control Board in Support of Proposal for “Wildest” Plan from ReWild Coalition; No Guarantee City Will Choose It

In a unanimous vote following two hours of public testimony, the state Regional Water Quality Control Board for the San Diego region voted 6-0 October 14 in support of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) that will enable the ReWild Mission Bay “Wildest” plan for wetland restoration in northeast Mission Bay to be considered at the same level as the city’s own plan.

Today’s decision marks the culmination of a two-year effort by the ReWild Coalition since the ReWild Mission Bay Wetlands Restoration Feasibility Study was released to the public in Sept. 2018.

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Environmental Groups Sue to Block Fanita Ranch Project in Santee

October 23, 2020 by Source

From Times of San Diego / October 22, 2020

Four conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against Santee and its city council for approving a 2,600-acre housing development in an area the groups say is prone to wildfires and home to several threatened and endangered species.

The council approved the Fanita Ranch project late last month with a 4-1 vote. The project would include 2,949 homes, more than 1,600 acres of open space, a 30-acre organic farm, and a town center with restaurants, shopping, offices, an elementary school and fire station, according to HomeFed Fanita Rancho LLC, the development group behind the project. According to the lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity, Preserve Wild Santee, Endangered Habitats League and California Chaparral Institute,

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Ocean Plastic Converted to Oil

October 20, 2020 by Source

by SWR Staff/ Waste&Recycling Magazine / October 19, 2020

A non-profit in Hawaii has collected over 1.2 million plastic caps and lids and shipped them to Texas for conversion into oil.

Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii (B.E.A.C.H.) co-founders Suzanne Frazer and Dean Otsuki spearheaded a campaign to educate people about the harmful impacts of plastic caps to Hawaii’s sea birds, which mistake small, colorful plastic litter as food sources. The community helped them collect more than 1.2 million plastic caps that were transported from Hawaii to California aboard a 40-foot intermodal container that shipping line Matson moved for free.

The plastic caps were delivered to New Hope Energy in Tyler, Texas, where they were first shredded into smaller pieces and then converted into oil using new technology. B.E.A.C.H. had two volunteers who live in Texas observe the process as B.E.A.C.H. co-founders Suzanne Frazer and Dean Otsuki were unable to travel to Texas from Hawaii as planned due to Covid-19.

Conversion to oil

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Are We Ready for a Biodegradable Water Bottle?

October 19, 2020 by Source

By Ronald D. White / Los Angeles Times / Oct 6, 2020

Does the world really need another brand of bottled water?

Alex Totterman believes it does, if the packaging is completely odegradable.

And his Culver City, Calif., start-up has the backing of some environmentally woke celebrities and business leaders, including Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff and former News Corp. executive James Murdoch, who has invested a tiny but undisclosed portion of the approximately $2 billion he netted when his family sold most of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Co.

Cove’s new water bottle, which is scheduled to get a small pilot launch in December and hit store shelves more broadly in January, is the first to be made entirely from biodegradable materials, the company contends, including the bottle cap, label and adhesive.

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Dead Trees Walking

October 6, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The community is about to lose a whole bunch of trees again, and the landscape will be very obviously altered after it happens.

I’ve walked my dogs for several years along the top of the slope, on the east side of Bill Cleator Park, between the park and Correia Middle School. There is a tall chain link fence at the top that separates the school grounds from the slope and the park at the bottom. We walk along a narrow path at the top from Famosa north to the YMCA where we descend to the park by the indoor soccer field.

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Shutting Down Nuke Plants Saves Lives

October 2, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown New October 2020

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

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

Shutting Down Nuke Plants Saves Lives – A Case in Point

As reported in last month’s Nuclear Shutdown News, a violent storm damaged the Duane Arnold nuclear plant in Iowa, and hastened its already scheduled permanent shutdown.

In the September 8 Des Moines Journal, Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project (radiation.org) made the case that closing the plant will mean there will be less radioactivity caused diseases in surrounding areas.

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October 2020 Events From the Ocean Beach Green Center

October 2, 2020 by Source

From the Ocean Beach Green Center,
4862 Voltaire Street,
Ocean Beach 92107
oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail.com
619-613 5616

Events – All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. October 3rd, 10th,17th 24th and 31st.

Mondays 9:30 pm – 12:30 pm Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm

COME INSIDE FOR ALL DETAILS

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New Super-Enzyme Eats Plastic Bottles 6 Times Faster than Regular Enzyme

September 29, 2020 by Source

By Damian Carrington / The Guardian / Sept. 28, 2020

A super-enzyme that degrades plastic bottles six times faster than before has been created by scientists and could be used for recycling within a year or two.

The super-enzyme, derived from bacteria that naturally evolved the ability to eat plastic, enables the full recycling of the bottles. Scientists believe combining it with enzymes that break down cotton could also allow mixed-fabric clothing to be recycled. Today, millions of tonnes of such clothing is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.

Plastic pollution has contaminated the whole planet, from the Arctic to the deepest oceans, and people are now known to consume and breathe microplastic particles. It is currently very difficult to break down plastic bottles into their chemical constituents in order to make new ones from old, meaning more new plastic is being created from oil each year.

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Fish Farm Proposed Off Ocean Beach

September 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A fish farm is being proposed off Ocean Beach. Okay, it’s not directly off OB but 4 miles out (see map). The research institute connected with SeaWorld, Hubbs, and a corporation from Long Beach have proposed the first open-ocean fish farm in federal waters off the southern California coast.

Hubbs Research Institute and Pacific6 Enterprise want to build the Pacific Ocean AquaFarm and earlier in September, they submitted a federal permit application for the project.

The proposed farm would be about 4 miles offshore and west of San Diego’s beaches. Hubbs and Pacific6 claim it would generate 5,000 metric tons of sushi-grade yellowfish annually and create about 75 jobs.

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The Case for a Corner of Mission Bay to Be ‘Wild’

September 22, 2020 by Source

By John Riedel

For centuries, Mission Bay was utilized by the bird populations of Southern California and along the Pacific Flyway as habitat, and by our region’s indigenous Kumeyaay communities for survival. But a great deal has changed in the bay since the arrival of Europeans, particularly in the last several decades.

The post-war 1940s and 1950s brought dredging and a wholesale, man-made redesign and reimagination of Mission Bay as a water park for the region’s swelling population. At the time it was considered progressive, popular policy to provide a manicured place for residents to play and recreate along the bayfront.

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Santee City Council’s Tangled Plot To Build Fanita Ranch

September 21, 2020 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

Over the past few decades, natural open spaces within 20 miles of the San Diego County coast have been largely devoured by development. The city of Santee’s majestic northern Fanita Hills, a 2,600-acre region, has remained intact, although it has been under a land-use siege throughout this period. Santee’s city council seats, which hold the authority to control the destiny of Fanita Hills, have been magnets for building industry contributions, and the windfall of political dollars has created sharp division between Santee residents and their elected officials on the question of whether to develop or conserve the region.

While Santee City Council members might have enabled citizens to weigh in on potential building projects, most of them deviously plotted to squash citizens’ participation. Their goal, in particular, has been to prevent citizens from attaining the power to oppose Fanita Ranch, a massive 3,000-unit housing development slated to be built in the Fanita Hills.

The development will encompass an area a quarter of the size of existent Santee. Only Councilman Stephen Houlahan has not worked to quell citizens’ voices. In fact, he sponsored an initiative that would grant them a say in Santee’s development processes.

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The Great Dumpster Fire Of 2020: What Will Be Left Amidst the Ashes?

September 14, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

It’s that time again. The world is burning. The sky is hazy from smoke in the Southland, Bladerunner-orange over San Francisco, and a tenth of the state of Oregon is under evacuation.

I’ll try not to write the same column that I did last year during fire season.

Or the year before that.

Or the several years before that.

With the media screaming about these fires it finally seems that the “unprecedented” angle is having its last gasp. Gavin Newsom is sick of climate deniers, and the connection between the extreme heat and the fires seems to finally be unquestioned.

As I write this on a Friday afternoon, my friends and family in the Bay Area can’t leave their homes for fear of toxic air. Family in Portland are watching a megafire come their way.

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Nukes, Storms and Hurricanes

September 4, 2020 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News September 2020

By Michael Steinberg

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.

Midwest ‘Derecho’ Storm Forces Shutdown of Iowa Nuke Plant

On August 8, Nagasaki Day, a violent storm with hurricane force winds knocked out power at the Duane Arnold nuclear plant, 11 miles from Cedar Rapids, IA. The Star Tribune reported that the plant “lost connection with the electrical grid and declared an Unusual Event, the lowest of four kinds of nuke plant emergencies.”

“The loss of power triggered an automatic shutdown” of the plant’s reactor, the Star Tribune reported. “It also “damaged the plant’s cooling towers, which are used to cool steam after it emits from the plant’s turbine.”

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Citizens’ Report Shows Developers Buying Santee City Council Votes

September 4, 2020 by Source

versus

Citizen Report Shines Light on Corruption

From Preserve Wild Santee

A new report, “A Money Laundering Web: Who is Buying Santee City Council Votes” traces the flow of funds from the development industry through intermediaries with the intent of purchasing favorable decisions.

The report documents substantial flows of money from Fanita Ranch and Carlton Oaks Golf Course Development interests flowing directly to Santee elected officials campaign and allied PACs.

The report reveals hundreds of thousands of dollars in “unitemized receipts” in need of explanation.

“City Council votes should not be for sale,” stated Van Collinsworth, PWS Director.

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Ocean Beach’s Dog Beach — It’s Not for the Birds!

September 3, 2020 by Staff

By Budd Titlow

I get it.

I love all dogs and I know they need a special place to romp and splash. Dog Beach in Ocean Beach — at the western end of the San Diego River Channel—is just such a place. Created in 1972, it has a long history of providing the perfect playground for pooches— with no leashes restricting their activities.

But I’m also a serious birdwatcher and photographer. Since moving to the San Diego area 2 1/2 years ago, I’ve found that the San Diego River Channel — centering around Smiley Lagoon — offers the best birding opportunities of any place I’ve ever lived.

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‘ReWild Mission Bay’ Releases Statement on Kumeyaay History of Mission Bay

September 1, 2020 by Source

The group that has been trying for years to enhance and restore wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay, ReWild Mission Bay, has just released an equity statement on the history of the Kumeyaay in the Mission Bay region. We repost it below, followed by their press release. . ReWild Mission Bay is a project of the San Diego Audubon Society.

Equity

The northeast corner of Mission Bay is land that was historically occupied and used by Indigenous communities, Kumeyaay (‘Iipay and Tipai), and represents just one example of our unjust and racially-motivated public lands history in San Diego.

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September 2020 Event Calendar From the Ocean Beach Green Center

September 1, 2020 by Source

Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. September 5th,12th,19th and 26th
September 1st Tuesday 6 pm – 7pm Project Community Care Hosted by Sunrise Movement San Diego
September 1st Tuesday 7 pm – 9 pm SD Veterans For Peace General Monthly Meeting via ZOOM Hosted by San Diego Veterans For Peace
September 2nd Wednesday – 5th Saturday 10 am – 12 pm Screening and Panel Discussion of the Film “Public Trust – The Fight for America’s Public Lands” Hosted by North County Climate Change Alliance
September 2nd Wednesday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm No Justice, No Games Petco Park 9th and J Street Vigil (please bring a candle) Let’s join our voices to ask the San Diego Padres to walk off the field in protest for the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more due to the color of their skin.
September 3rd Thursday 6 pm – 7 pm Rooting Out White Supremacy in the US Military: A KPBS News Online Event
September 4th Friday 6 pm – 7:30 pm Intersectionality & Justice Panel Hosted by Andréa N. Agosto and Diversionary Theatre
September 5th Saturday 9 am – 4 pm Black Panthers Fundraiser Yard Sale
September 6th Sunday Rot On Sundays! Hosted by Food2Soil Composting Collective
September 7th Monday 11 am – 1 pm Protest Sea World San Diego – Labor Day

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California Fires: Want to Control Blazes? Start More, Experts Say

August 27, 2020 by Source

Why one of the most feasible solutions for worsening wildfires is doing more prescribed burns.

By Jill Cowan / New York Times / Aug. 26, 2020

As Californians brace for more bad news about what is already shaping up to be one of the state’s most intense fire seasons ever, and as we watch as firefighting capacity is stretched thin, I keep coming back to one question: What is California supposed to do?

This question isn’t new, and neither are many of the answers experts and policymakers routinely offer.

For one, they say, too many people are moving into the wildland-urban interface, the transitional zones between denser areas of human development and vegetation, which makes them more vulnerable to damage in the event of a wildfire.

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