Green Living

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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Solving The Energy Efficiency Puzzle

Powering the Savings MARCH 2016 Cover

New report recommends ways that California can encourage more private financing of energy efficiency retrofits

Much of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions involves fairly complicated and advanced technologies.  Whether it’s solar panels, batteries, flywheels, or fuel cells, these technologies have typically required public support to bring them to scale at a reasonable price, along with significant regulatory or legal reforms to accommodate these new ways of doing old things, […]

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You Have the Right to Generate Your Own Electricity

Rooftop Solar

Preserving an implicit right in the face of electric utility resistance

Do people have the right to generate electricity for their own use and still remain connected to the grid? Of course they do. You see it every day. Without prior registration or a background check, anyone can go into a hardware store and buy a diesel generator. Homeowners and businesses can install rooftop solar photovoltaics […]

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New Report: Grading California’s Rail Transit Station Areas

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Next 10 releases Berkeley Law study on transit-oriented development

If we build it, they will come. For many years, that was the mantra of rail transit planners. Just build the rail line, and development will happen around the stations. And then more people will ride, and the system will be a good investment. But in California, too often that hasn’t been the case. Much […]

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U.C. Campuses Top Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” Rankings

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U.C. Irvine, U.C. Davis Rank 1 & 2 as Nation's Greenest University Campuses

The Sierra Club has released its latest rankings of the “greenest” colleges and universities in the United States, titled “Cool Schools 2015.”  The University of California fares extremely well in that survey, with four of its campuses placing in the top 10 of the Sierra Club poll.  U.C. Irvine nabbed the top spot in the […]

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Flame Retardants, Furniture, and Polar Bears

couch on fire

One woman’s search for a toxics-free couch in California

A year and a half ago, I found myself in a position that has caused so many people to rethink the world around them: impending parenthood. One of the many changes I decided to make in advance of welcoming our little bundle of joy was to procure a couch without flame retardants. Flame retardants have […]

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Immanuel Kant and the California Water Crisis

Immanuel Kant: How Categorical!

How Should Individuals Decide How Much Water to Use?

Last week’s rain in southern California will hardly make a dent in the state’s devastating drought, and it raises an important question for individual consumers: exactly how should we decide how much water to use? There are obvious things: don’t hose down your driveway, take shorter showers, do full loads in the washer. But there […]

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Los Angeles Releases First-Ever Urban Sustainability “pLAn”

pLAn

Envisioning greener energy, cleaner air, and reduced consumption in LA by 2035

Perhaps no metropolis is better positioned than Los Angeles to pioneer ground-breaking environmental initiatives. As the second-largest U.S. city, and with the country’s largest municipally owned utility, a world-class research university–UCLA, and the blessings of abundant sunshine and a temperate Mediterranean climate, Los Angeles could serve as a global model for urban sustainability. Today, the […]

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Referendum Politics: California’s Pioneering Plastic Bag Ban on Hold

Plastic bag ban

Out-of-State Bag Manufacturers Succeed in Qualifying Referendum Measure for 2016 Ballot

California’s recently-legislated ban on disposable plastic bans–the first in the nation–will not take effect on July 1, 2015 as the new law mandates.  That’s because industry opponents of the legislation have  qualified for the November 2016 election a referendum measure that seeks to repeal the new law. Last fall I wrote on this site about […]

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The Climate-Nutrition Nexus

healthy diet

The  advisory panel on nutrition ruffled some congressional feathers by taking environmental impacts into account.  The panel’s report concludes that “a dietary pattern that is higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is […]

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