Biodiversity & Species

Finding Least-Conflict Lands For Solar PV In California’s San Joaquin Valley — And Beyond

A PATH FORWARD May 2016 COVER

New CLEE report identifies 470,000 acres of ideal land for solar PV, with 4pm webex briefing with state officials

To achieve California and the post-Paris world’s climate goals, we’re going to need a whole lot more renewable energy. Given current market trends, much of it will come from solar photovoltaic (PV), which has gotten incredibly cheap in the last few years. But deploying these solar panels at utility scale will mean major changes to […]

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The Case for Farmed Fish

fish-farms

Aquaculture could help save wild fisheries from devastation.

It’s time to take a second look at fish farms. Environmentalists, not to mention foodies, tend to turn up their noses at fish farms.  It’s true that badly managed fish farms can be a source of water pollution and other environmental problems.  But sustainable fish farming would have major environmental benefits. To begin with, fish […]

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The “Northern” Bias in Biodiversity Protection

Tropical rainforest2

We focus heavily on U.S. endangered species. But the real action is elsewhere.

American environmentalists are deeply invested in protecting endangered species in the U.S.  That’s natural, and U.S biodiversity is worthy of protection. But focusing on the U.S. gives a misguided sense of the relative importance of U.S. biodiversity. But in the grand scheme of things, biodiversity in the global South is far, far more important. A […]

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Legacy Goods and Environment Preservation

the future

The value of some goods like wilderness today depends on their futures.

Normally, economists imagine, equal experiences become less valuable as they recede further into the future.  But some types of goods don’t have that kind of relationship with future experiences.  They can become more valuable as they extend farther into to the future. Take this blog post, for example.  I’m really happy that you’re reading it […]

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That Takes the Prize!

national science medal

National Science & Technology Medals for Renewable Energy Research

The White House announced the names of the scientists and engineers who will be receiving National Medals next year.  I was very pleased to see that one of the winners of the National Medal of Science is Paul Alivisatos from Berkeley. Dr. Alivisatos is a chemistry professor who is also Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory […]

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TPP or not TPP? Understanding the Environmental Debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Leaders_of_TPP_member_states

The Obama administration recently notified Congress of its intent to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) and released the text to the public. The TPP has proven extraordinarily contentious, splintering political party lines, with likely more Republicans supporting the agreement than Democrats, and dividing environmental groups, as well, with the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and NRDC opposed […]

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Could FDA’s Approval of GMO Salmon Actually Be Good for the Environment?

AquaFresh salmon

Farmed GMO fish could help reduce pressures on wild stocks.

FDA has — after more than two decades of consideration — approved the marketing of genetically modified salmon in the U.S.  As the NY Times reports, this decision has had push-back from the quarters you might expect . Says one critic:  “This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members […]

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Attack of the Killer Blob

sealion2

A weird patch of warm weather is killing sea lions and poisoning crabs.

There’s a weird area of warm water, which has come to be known as the Blob, sitting offshore of the West Coast.  That doesn’t sound too significant, except perhaps in terms of making things more pleasant for swimmers.  But actually, it’s causing a whole cascade of impacts on wildlife and humans. As the Chronicle explains: “The […]

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Recreational marijuana legalization in California

Will a proposed ballot initiative on recreational marijuana legalization in California help the environment

In the wake of the enactment by the legislature of a regulatory structure for medical marijuana, it looks like voters in 2016 will probably be able to decide whether to legalize recreational use as well. Leading advocates for legalization of recreational marijuana have submitted a language for a ballot initiative to the California Secretary of […]

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California and Other Western States See Barriers to Protecting Streams

By National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A new report highlights twelve western states' efforts to restore stream flows using environmental water transfers

Unnaturally low flows in rivers and streams throughout the western United States have threatened fish and other aquatic species for decades. But restoring flows has proved a significant and complex challenge. A recent report prepared for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation by Stanford University’s Water in the West Program documents twelve western states’ efforts […]

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