By Kevin Stark : sfpublicpress – excerpt
Understanding the sociology and politics around word ‘retreat’
San Francisco is partway through a years-long process of proposing elaborate — and incredibly expensive — engineering fixes to the looming prospect of sea level rise. But the current sketches of a future city buttressed by dikes, levees and seawalls, which could cost tens of billions of dollars over coming decades, overshadow an increasingly accepted alternative: moving away from the waterfront.
Some experts in climatology, urban planning and demographics argue that physical barriers offer only the illusion of protection and that cities should accept that some neighborhoods will need to be abandoned.
Karen O’Neill, a Rutgers University sociologist who studies “climate migration” worldwide, argued that city planners should entice people to move away from vulnerable areas where flooding could be exacerbated by climate change.
The “protect your way out of the whole thing” approach is folly, she recently told an energy reporter at Bloomberg View… (more)
By Lauren Sommer : KQED –
California Gov. Jerry Brown is vowing to lead the nation on climate change, as the Trump administration pulls back. But the Trump administration could get in California’s way.
In his annual State of the State speech, California Gov. Jerry Brown had one key message about climate change: perseverance.
California has rules limiting carbon pollution from cars, but it can’t have those rules without permission from the federal EPA.
“We cannot fall back and give in to the climate deniers,” Brown said. “The science is clear. The danger is real.”
And just as President Trump took the oath of office on Friday, California acted, releasing its latest plan for tackling climate change. This includes renewable energy and putting millions of electric cars on the road.
It’s a challenge Brown first made in December, when climate scientists from around the world met up in San Francisco.
The mood at the conference had been dismal. Scientists were worried about losing federal funding for research and even the NASA satellites that collect basic climate data… (more)
by Paul Mann : MadRiverUnion – excerpt
EUREKA – Audubon California and EarthJustice, the San Francisco-based environmental law advocate, charge in a joint statement that the lawful certification of the Coast Seafoods Company’s expanded oyster farming project must be ruled out.
The reason: the Final Environmental Impact Report has not received “an adequate review” under the 1970 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
In a nine-page letter submitted Jan. 18 to Jack Crider, executive director of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District, the two organizations acknowledged the series of modifications made to the 471-page environmental impact report in response to voluminous public comment.
But the two groups argued that “both the project and its impacts remain enormous and have yet to be fully analyzed and disclosed as required by the CEQA.”… (more)
It is our policy to track the media on these subjects. Please post comments on the source. Not sure this is a positive way to approach food production when there is a need to feed human beings and the interior department closed down a farm recently in California. People do need to eat and oysters clean the water, so this argument does not win me over, especially when the administration is threatening to cut imports of other foods by increasing import tax. We should perhaps increase local food production.
By Sott Smith : yahoo – excerpt
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from the chemical giant that it poses no risk to people, a judge tentatively ruled Friday.
California would be the first state to order such labeling if it carries out the proposal.
Monsanto had sued the nation’s leading agricultural state, saying California officials illegally based their decision for carrying the warnings on an international health organization based in France.
Monsanto attorney Trenton Norris argued in court Friday that the labels would have immediate financial consequences for the company. He said many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup.
“It will absolutely be used in ways that will harm Monsanto,” he said.
After the hearing, the firm said in a statement that it will challenge the tentative ruling… (more)
by Marc Joffe, California Policy Center, 1/24/17
According to the high speed rail authority’s website, the bullet train is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by just over one million metric tons annually by 2040. This reduction is supposed to be achieved by replacing almost 10 million miles of motor vehicle travel each day, and eliminating between 93 and 171 daily flights. But these HSR projections have two fatal flaws: they are based on unrealistically high ridership estimates and they fail to take into account the transition to hybrid and plug-in electric cars. If HSR’s numbers are adjusted to take these factors into account, the project’s emission savings turn out to be much less. Further, they won’t have a meaningful impact on climate change.
HSR’s Environmental Impact Report used EMFAC2007 to estimate emission savings. EMFAC2007 is an emission model published by the California Air Resources Board ten years ago. It has since been superseded by new versions released in 2011 and 2014. The EMFAC web page specifically states: “Do not use EMFAC 2007 for new studies.”…
Even in the extremely unlike event that HSR’s one million metric ton annual emission savings estimate were to be realized, it wouldn’t have a significant impact on global warming. According to EPA figures, global CO2 emissions total 9449 metric tons in 2011. Assuming this level remains constant and that HSR’s estimates are correct, the project would only reduce global emissions by about 0.01%. And, based on the evidence provided above, it is safe to assume that the real savings will be a small fraction of this figure…
A fair rejoinder is that even though nothing California does by itself will significantly move the dial on global emissions, the example we set for the result of the world is more important. If an affluent economy like ours’ can’t get emissions under control, how can we expect others to do so. But if we want to set an example, shouldn’t we do so in a cost-effective manner? Spending $64 billion to achieve minimal emission savings does not set a good example. Undoubtedly, there are ways to make steeper reductions in emissions at lower cost… (more)
Marc Joffe is the director of policy research for the California Policy Center.
Always looking for scientific analysis and opinions on these matters.
By Matier & Ross : sfchronicle – excerpt
News that the California Supreme Court had rejected a last-ditch effort to halt the Warriors’ Mission Bay arena got big cheers at the team’s groundbreaking the other day — and it turns out the opponents themselves may have been responsible for the timing…
Not only did the court deny the injunction just hours before the groundbreaking, it also declined to take up the entire case — putting a swift end to any more legal challenges that might have hung over the project…
Baer and the Giants, of course, made no secret of their unhappiness with the first spot the Warriors picked for their arena, right up the waterfront from AT&T Park. And courtside appearances aside, the Giants remain apprehensive about having to compete with the Warriors in Mission Bay for city resources and parking spaces… (more)
By Lamar Anderson : modernluxury – excerpt – including This Golden State, a podcast from Randy Shandobil
California will drown bigotry the best way it knows how: with endless CEQA appeals.
Preservationists in LA fight back with a ballot initiative to stop development:
For a list of many other cities do a search for images for “save our neighborhood”