Thoughts from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i
I am writing this weekend from a sunny spot in the Pacific, from the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu. For the uninitiated, the IUCN—International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources—is a global union of governments and non-governmental organizations (including over 1300 member institutions, organizations, and countries worldwide) focused on the conservation of …CONTINUE READING
We need to protect city parks, not just rural wilderness.
“The few green havens that are public parks” is a phrase from the Supreme Court’s opinion in the Overton Park case. The case involved a plan to build a highway through the middle of a major park in Memphis. The Court put a heavy burden on the government to justify the project: “The few green havens …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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, …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING
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 …CONTINUE READING