Environment

Bees Absolutely Love Cannabis and It Could Help Restore Their Populations

January 22, 2020 by Source

By Elias Marat / TheMindUnleashed.com / Jan. 17, 2020

Bees are major fans of hemp and a recent study has found that the taller the hemp plants are the larger the number of bees that will flock to it.

The new research, spearheaded by researchers at Cornell University and published last month in Environmental Entomology, shows that humans aren’t the only fans of weed. The findings also reinforce a study published last year at Colorado State University that discovered the same thing.

The study shows how bees are highly attracted to cannabis due to the plant’s plentiful stores of pollen, and it could pave the way for scientists to figure out new ways to support their struggling population as well as floral populations.

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Surfrider’s Beach Cleanup Report for San Diego County 2019

January 15, 2020 by Source

From Surfrider / Coastkeeper Report

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County and San Diego Coastkeeper partner each year to host volunteer-powered beach cleanups across San Diego County in order to address the issue of trash on our beaches and in our oceans. In addition to hosting approximately six of these community events per month, both organizations host special cleanup events and empower individuals to host their own.

In 2019, our beach cleanups empowered 11,895 volunteers to remove 16,534 pounds of trash from our coastline. Additionally, they collected data on 237,452 separate pieces of trash.

This report, based on data from 196 separate cleanup events, provides a detailed picture of the waste we found on our beaches this year.

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Urge SeaWorld to Send Orcas to Sea Sanctuaries and End Its Use of Animals

January 7, 2020 by Source

From PETA:

It’s been years since the release of the documentary Blackfish—whose “star,” Tilikum, died after 33 years in a concrete tank — but orcas at SeaWorld are still swimming in endless circles and breaking their teeth by gnawing in frustration on the concrete corners and metal bars of their cramped tanks.

Other dolphins are still being impregnated, sometimes forcibly after being drugged, and 140 of them are packed into just seven tanks. Trainers use them as surfboards, riding on their backs and standing on their faces in cruel and demeaning circus-style shows. Facing mounting criticism, SeaWorld ended its sordid orca-breeding program — but this does nothing for the 20 orcas and hundreds of other dolphins, whales, and other animals who are suffering in the company’s tanks right now.

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Surfrider and Local Leaders Push for Plastic-Free California at Ocean Beach

January 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The Surfrider Foundation and local San Diego political leaders held a press conference in Ocean Beach on Saturday, Jan. 4, and pushed for a plastics-free California. A beach cleanup followed the presser.

Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez and Todd Gloria – who is running for mayor – and County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher joined San Diego’s Surfrider is this renewed battle against single-use plastics. And they pushed for support of a new law that, if passed, would require plastic manufacturers in California to drastically reduce production over the next decade. The new bill, Senate Bill 54

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Join Surfrider at Ocean Beach Rally, Press Conference and Clean-Up for a Zero Waste Calif. – Sat., Jan.4

January 3, 2020 by Source

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The State of the Amazon Puts Planet at ‘Tipping Point’

December 26, 2019 by Source

By Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis / Washington Post / Dec. 20, 2019

Deforestation and other fast-moving changes in the Amazon threaten to turn parts of the rainforest into savanna, devastate wildlife and release billions of tons carbon into the atmosphere, two renowned experts warned Friday.

“The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we,” Thomas Lovejoy of George Mason University and Carlos Nobre of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil,

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Responding to Greta in a Different Way

December 24, 2019 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish girl, travels across the Atlantic Ocean to Lower Manhattan, in a sailboat, to save our world from the deadly forces of climate change.

For such a risk-taking endeavor she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

And our president, instead of offering her a High-Five, gets up at five and tweets that this wonderful girl is ridiculous and angry and needs to go to a good old-fashioned movie with a friend and “Chill.”

Say what?

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California Waters Are Acidifying Twice as Fast as Global Oceans

December 17, 2019 by Source

By Rosanna Xia / LA Times / Dec. 16, 2019

Waters off the California coast are acidifying twice as fast as the global average, scientists found, threatening major fisheries and sounding the alarm that the ocean can absorb only so much more of the world’s carbon emissions.

A new study led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also made an unexpected connection between acidification and a climate cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation — the same shifting forces that other scientists say have a played a big role in the higher and faster rates of sea level rise hitting California in recent years.

El Niño and La Niña cycles, researchers found, also add stress to these extreme changes in the ocean’s chemistry.

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County Supervisor Abandons Effort to Make Developer-Friendly Updates to Official Description of Anti-Sprawl ‘SOS’ Ballot Measure

December 10, 2019 by Source

From SOS:

In a striking reversal, San Diego Supervisor Jim Desmond withdrew his last-minute proposal to change the ballot question for the Safeguard Our San Diego Countryside Initiative that will appear in the March 2020 election voter guide.

The decision to withdraw the proposed changes was announced at this morning’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Desmond’s proposed amendments closely reflected the misleading messaging of the “No on SOS” campaign, which is funded primarily by the Building Industry Association, an advocacy organization for the building industry.

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Nuke Plant Millstone and Me – 2020

December 4, 2019 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 working to create a nuclear free world.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

As a new decade approaches, I find myself reflecting on the 21st anniversary of my 1998 book, Millstone and Me: Sex, Lies and Radiation in Southeastern Connecticut.

Perhaps the story of this book began with my mother. Midge, as everyone called her, was a nurse, and long before feminism, cell phones and networking, spent significant amounts of time talking with her women friends on the phone.

In our home in the small town of Niantic in shoreline Southeastern Connecticut on Long Island Sound, there wasn’t a whole lot of privacy, and Midge’s conversations were broadcast around the house with little regard for who overheard her.

As time went on and my ears got larger and more curious, I couldn’t help but notice that the topic of cancer was becoming increasingly prominent.

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Ocean Divers Can Be Ambassadors for a Healthy Blue World

November 12, 2019 by Source

Diving into an Ocean Climate Action Plan

By David Helvarg

Fifteen years ago I was in Fiji on assignment for the book Feeling the Heat, a collection of dispatches from 10 journalists who traveled the world to report on the already visible effects of climate change. In the Somosomo Strait south of Vanua Levu, I saw my first bleached coral. Millions of heat-stressed coral polyps had expelled their symbiotic algae, turning about a third of the reef wedding-cake white.

“Did you see the bleached coral?” I asked one of the other divers after climbing back onto our boat. “Really? I thought they were supposed to be white like that,” she replied before excitedly pointing to a fruit bat flying overhead. I’ve more recently witnessed bleached and dead coral in the overly warm waters of Australia, Hawaii, Florida and Cuba, including during the massive global bleaching event of 2014-2017 documented in the film Chasing Coral.

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Last Summer’s ‘Mysterious’ Nuclear Explosion in Russia

November 1, 2019 by Michael Steinberg

Nuclear Shutdown News October 2019

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.

Last Summer’s “Mysterious” Nuclear Explosion

As this year winds down a nuclear weapons explosion last summer still begs for our attention. What does this incident, half way around the world in another country, have to do with the nuclear power plants in this country?

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Labor, Community and Environmental Activists Need to Find Common Ground for a Green New Deal

October 14, 2019 by Jim Miller

Labor and the Environment Panel – Wednesday, October 16th

By Jim Miller

In Naomi Klein’s new book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, she outlines precisely how challenging it will be to respond to the climate crisis in the urgent fashion called for in the last UN IPCC report:

Pulling off this high-speed pollution phaseout, the report establishes, is not possible with singular technocratic approaches like carbon taxes, though those tools must be a part. Rather it requires deliberately and immediately changing how our societies produce energy, how we grow our food, how we move ourselves around, and how our buildings are constructed.

What is needed, the report’s summary states in its first sentence, is “rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”.

In the face of this daunting task, the answer to the question “What can I do as an individual?” is, Klein tells us, “nothing.”

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San Clemente Greens Urge San Diegans to Attend Coastal Commission Meeting on San Onofre at Chula Vista, October 17

October 10, 2019 by Source

Locals Encouraged to Oppose Edison’s Application

The folks in the anti-nuke watchdog group just to our north, the San Clemente Greens, are urging San Diegans to attend the upcoming California Coastal Commission hearing being held in Chula Vista later this month about what’s going down at San Onofre nuke plant.

The utility and majority-owner of San Onofre, Southern California Edison has applied for a permit to destroy its spent fuel pool as part of the onshore portion of decommissioning of Units 2 and 3.

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This House Design Is Completely Free to Download and Has a Net-Zero Footprint

October 4, 2019 by Source

Anyone can download the plans for this elegant three-bedroom home, which won Phoenix, Arizona’s competition aimed at jumpstarting energy-efficient construction.

By Evan Nicole Brown / Fast Company

A few years ago, city officials in Phoenix, Arizona, were looking for a way to address the need for more sustainable architecture in their hot, arid environment. Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the United States — and as a result, has a significant environmental footprint. But in 2016, officials debuted a road map designed to transform it into a completely carbon-neutral, zero-waste city.

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North County Climate Action Plans: A Tale of Two Cities With San Marcos and Carlsbad

October 2, 2019 by Source

By Richard Riehl / The Riehl World / October 1, 2019

A funeral was held last month at the site of Iceland’s Okjökull glacier. A century ago it covered nearly six square miles, measuring 164 ft. deep. Today, it’s less than one square mile, 49 feet thick. The shrinking sheet of ice can no longer be called a glacier. A tombstone plaque was placed at the site:

A Letter to the Future

This monument is to acknowledge that we know
what is happening and what needs to be done.
Only you know if we did it.
August 19, 2019

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Paddle for Clean Water – OB Pier – Sunday, Oct.6

October 1, 2019 by Source

Why We Paddle

Our signature awareness event, the Paddle for Clean Water, is the largest non-competitive surf event in California.

Each year, hundreds of participants paddle their surfboards, SUPs, kayaks and other paddle craft around the 1,971 ft. pier – the longest concrete pier on the West Coast – to raise awareness and funds to protect clean water and healthy beaches in San Diego County.

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The Ocean’s Plastic Problem Is Closer to Home than Scientists First Thought

September 25, 2019 by Source

By Ted Henry / The Conversation / Sept. 23, 2019

You’re probably used to hearing that the ocean is full of plastic, but scientists are puzzled by a rather different problem—there actually appears to be a lot less of it than there should be. Most large plastic debris floats, but observations of it on the sea surface offshore are far lower than what would be expected, considering that 8m metric tonnes of plastic is estimated to empty into the ocean from land each year.

Scientists assumed that the missing plastic has simply broken down into tiny microplastics and sunk to the sea floor.

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Student Voices from the San Diego Climate Walkout

September 23, 2019 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

Last Friday – Sept.20 – , students in San Diego joined millions of people across the world and participated in the youth-led Global Climate Strike. In the face of condescending calls from many adult “leaders” for gradualist political “realism” to address the threat of mass extinction, young people are standing up to demand solutions commensurate with the problem we face.

What stands out to me about the message these young people are delivering is how clearly they see what far too many of their elders fail to recognize: that the responsibility for the climate crisis does not just fall on “all of us” equally but is disproportionately being driven by the global elite. Along with that, young people see that what we need is “systemic change” not incrementalism. Their clear-eyed analysis and urgency should inspire us all to wake up and stop failing future generations with yet more political cowardice.

Inside are two local voices

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‘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.

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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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