California Archive

  • The latest target of the unconventional oil craze is California hydraulic fracturing (fracking) the Monterey Shale in the central and southern parts of the state. With wildly optimistic predictions of an economic bonanza, the oil is carbon-intensive, requires massive amounts of fresh water, creates industrial pollution and seismic risk, and is impossible to regulate effectively because of significant scientific unknowns.

    Fracking California: Oil Boom Bonanza a Dirty Desert Mirage

    The latest target of the unconventional oil craze is California hydraulic fracturing (fracking) the Monterey Shale in the central and southern parts of the state. With wildly optimistic predictions of an economic bonanza, the oil is carbon-intensive, requires massive amounts of fresh water, creates industrial pollution and seismic risk, and is impossible to regulate effectively because of significant scientific unknowns.

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  • Caltrans plans to widen the 91 Freeway [again], spending $1.3 Billion to improve commute speeds 1.5 miles per hour, while further destroying the only wildlife connection between the Santa Ana Mountains and the Puente-Chino Hills. Commuter trains, anyone?

    Caltrans Driving Us to Freeway Insanity

    Caltrans plans to widen the 91 Freeway [again], spending $1.3 Billion to improve commute speeds 1.5 miles per hour, while further destroying the only wildlife connection between the Santa Ana Mountains and the Puente-Chino Hills. Commuter trains, anyone?

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  • When a pilot instructor and student emergency-landed a small plane in the perpetually-empty northbound lanes of the debt-ridden, failing-business-model 241 toll road in Orange County, California, he exclaimed: "What a waste of perfectly good asphalt."

    OC Toll Road: Empty, Failing, Better Used as Landing Strip

    When a pilot instructor and student emergency-landed a small plane in the perpetually-empty northbound lanes of the debt-ridden, failing-business-model 241 toll road in Orange County, California, he exclaimed: "What a waste of perfectly good asphalt."

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  • A documentary film, "Dogtown Redemption," delves inside the lives of West Oakland's poor and homeless recyclers. While California must deal with its urban poverty problem, and rogue recyclers steal from recycling funds, overall the state's Bottle Bill has significantly reduced waste.

    Dogtown Redemption: Urban Poor Survive By Recycling

    A documentary film, "Dogtown Redemption," delves inside the lives of West Oakland's poor and homeless recyclers. While California must deal with its urban poverty problem, and rogue recyclers steal from recycling funds, overall the state's Bottle Bill has significantly reduced waste.

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  • Valero Energy seeks permits for large-scale shipments of low-quality tar sands oil via rail into their Port of Los Angeles refinery, without any public comment or environmental review. As part of a larger move to transport climate-disrupting unconventional crude to ports for refining and export to the world, it presents dangers given recent rail accidents, the corrosive nature of tar sands bitumen, and the significant pollution that surrounding communities already live with.

    Valero Moves to Ship Tar Sands By Rail into LA Harbor

    Valero Energy seeks permits for large-scale shipments of low-quality tar sands oil via rail into their Port of Los Angeles refinery, without any public comment or environmental review. As part of a larger move to transport climate-disrupting unconventional crude to ports for refining and export to the world, it presents dangers given recent rail accidents, the corrosive nature of tar sands bitumen, and the significant pollution that surrounding communities already live with.

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  • The boom in North Dakota shale oil and the growth in Alberta tar sands, as well as the political costs of building pipelines has encouraged a move to ship more oil by rail. The move comes after high-profile disasters and the threat of massive climate disruption has caused heightened scrutiny of unconventional oil shipped by train to the global market.

    Big Oil Looks to Transport Tar Sands and Oil Shale By Rail

    The boom in North Dakota shale oil and the growth in Alberta tar sands, as well as the political costs of building pipelines has encouraged a move to ship more oil by rail. The move comes after high-profile disasters and the threat of massive climate disruption has caused heightened scrutiny of unconventional oil shipped by train to the global market.

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  • Lauren Steiner writes on California's insufficient move to regulate fracking with SB 4, sponsored by State Representative Fran Pavley: "Worse than having no regulations, weak regulations provide political cover to legislators who could otherwise be pressured to vote for a moratorium on the practice." Tell Fran Pavley to withdraw her bad regulatory bill and fight for a fracking ban instead!

    Regulating Fracking Will Not Protect California from Fracking

    Lauren Steiner writes on California's insufficient move to regulate fracking with SB 4, sponsored by State Representative Fran Pavley: "Worse than having no regulations, weak regulations provide political cover to legislators who could otherwise be pressured to vote for a moratorium on the practice." Tell Fran Pavley to withdraw her bad regulatory bill and fight for a fracking ban instead!

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  • Biodiesel, a cleaner renewable alternative to fossil diesel, can be made from any vegetable oil, but best using waste cooking oil. It's use is growing across the US in 5 to 20 percent blends.

    Yellow Grease Biodiesel: A Clean, Renewable Fuel Alternative

    Biodiesel, a cleaner renewable alternative to fossil diesel, can be made from any vegetable oil, but best using waste cooking oil. It's use is growing across the US in 5 to 20 percent blends.

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  • While the Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow, a paper by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute shows that trash is accumulating in the deep sea, particularly in Monterey Canyon, off the coast of California. This causes dire impacts to the marine ecosystem and humans who thrive from it.

    Plastic Ocean: Deep Sea Garbage Endangers Marine Ecosystem

    While the Great Pacific Garbage Patch continues to grow, a paper by researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute shows that trash is accumulating in the deep sea, particularly in Monterey Canyon, off the coast of California. This causes dire impacts to the marine ecosystem and humans who thrive from it.

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  • Part of 350.org's Summer Heat campaign, "Separation of Oil & State: Follow the Money" is a July 11th march on the capitol in Sacramento that exposes the connections between government and oil lobbyists. Organizers from 350 Sacramento and Stop Fooling CA will create a human oil slick to raise awareness about the impact of the oil lobby on government.

    Sacramento March: Separation of Oil and State – July 11

    Part of 350.org's Summer Heat campaign, "Separation of Oil & State: Follow the Money" is a July 11th march on the capitol in Sacramento that exposes the connections between government and oil lobbyists. Organizers from 350 Sacramento and Stop Fooling CA will create a human oil slick to raise awareness about the impact of the oil lobby on government.

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  • No matter where they're stuck in OC's sprawling road network: on I-5, the 405, Crown Valley Parkway, or in their own driveway -- a magical toll road miles from their moribund vehicular situation will time-travel them up, to that heavenly place of commuter-bliss, where slowdowns never occur.

    Toll Roads, Please Take Me Away!

    No matter where they're stuck in OC's sprawling road network: on I-5, the 405, Crown Valley Parkway, or in their own driveway -- a magical toll road miles from their moribund vehicular situation will time-travel them up, to that heavenly place of commuter-bliss, where slowdowns never occur.

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  • Orange County's Toll Road Agency is pushing the first segment of a previously rejected road extension that will have significant and irreversible environmental and economic impacts. According to the Save San Onofre Coalition and the State Attorney General, the project had failed to undertake sufficient environmental studies. As a result, the Regional Water Board in San Diego decided to deny the project a waste discharge permit.

    Orange County Toll Road to Nowhere Denied Permits

    Orange County's Toll Road Agency is pushing the first segment of a previously rejected road extension that will have significant and irreversible environmental and economic impacts. According to the Save San Onofre Coalition and the State Attorney General, the project had failed to undertake sufficient environmental studies. As a result, the Regional Water Board in San Diego decided to deny the project a waste discharge permit.

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  • "San Fran has Coit Tower. Paris its Eiffel Tower. DC the Washington Monument. New York City, the Statue of liberty, and us, we got some downtown parking."

    What Every SoCal Beach Town Suffers: Parking

    "San Fran has Coit Tower. Paris its Eiffel Tower. DC the Washington Monument. New York City, the Statue of liberty, and us, we got some downtown parking."

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  • The LA River, an over-engineered concrete "water-freeway," is undergoing a long-term greening and revitalization. A 32-mile greenbelt, developed through numerous projects, promises to improve the health of the ecosystem and the value of the river as a regional public amenity, while managing flows and protecting properties.

    Los Angeles River Revitalization: A City Rediscovers its Flow

    The LA River, an over-engineered concrete "water-freeway," is undergoing a long-term greening and revitalization. A 32-mile greenbelt, developed through numerous projects, promises to improve the health of the ecosystem and the value of the river as a regional public amenity, while managing flows and protecting properties.

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  • Despite what you've heard about natural gas being clean, fracking also contributes to climate change. Although the burning of the gas is clean, the process of fracking releases so much methane into the air, that if all the shale in California is fracked, it will delay the implementation of AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act, by 80 years.

    Lauren Steiner: Fracking Threatens California and How to Stop it

    Despite what you've heard about natural gas being clean, fracking also contributes to climate change. Although the burning of the gas is clean, the process of fracking releases so much methane into the air, that if all the shale in California is fracked, it will delay the implementation of AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act, by 80 years.

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  • A movement to pave over San Onofre State Beach and Trestles with a toll-road-to-nowhere-for-nobody-but-developers was rejected by the California Coastal Commission and Federal Commerce Department in 2008. Yet, here again the State Water Boards will decide in May whether to grant a permit for the "Stupid Toll Road" to dump contaminated runoff into creeks and the ocean while keeping the dream alive of paving over Trestles.

    Stupid Toll Road (STR-241) to Nowhere, Still Nowhere Fast

    A movement to pave over San Onofre State Beach and Trestles with a toll-road-to-nowhere-for-nobody-but-developers was rejected by the California Coastal Commission and Federal Commerce Department in 2008. Yet, here again the State Water Boards will decide in May whether to grant a permit for the "Stupid Toll Road" to dump contaminated runoff into creeks and the ocean while keeping the dream alive of paving over Trestles.

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  • World-renowned San Onofre and Trestles have been synonymous with California surfing since the 1930s. A movement to pave over the park and beach with a toll road was rejected by in 2008. We now have the opportunity to have it recognized for its historical contributions by being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and stop that toll road project for good.

    Trestles Beach: National Treasure or Toll Road Off-Ramp?

    World-renowned San Onofre and Trestles have been synonymous with California surfing since the 1930s. A movement to pave over the park and beach with a toll road was rejected by in 2008. We now have the opportunity to have it recognized for its historical contributions by being listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and stop that toll road project for good.

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  • While the public demands protections for air, land, and water, the California oil industry uses front groups and spends millions on lobbying the legislature, gaining disproportionate influence in subverting pollution and fuel standards. Keeping the economy addicted to climate-fouling fossil fuels and reaping billions in profits, Big Oil claims to be a "victim" of excessive regulation. Stop Fooling California!

    California: Big Oil AstroTurf Subverts Clean Air and Fuel Standards

    While the public demands protections for air, land, and water, the California oil industry uses front groups and spends millions on lobbying the legislature, gaining disproportionate influence in subverting pollution and fuel standards. Keeping the economy addicted to climate-fouling fossil fuels and reaping billions in profits, Big Oil claims to be a "victim" of excessive regulation. Stop Fooling California!

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  • The California Condor Recovery Program has defied the odds to rescue from oblivion the last of the prehistorics and icon of Native Californian cosmology. Threats such as lead ammunition, microtrash, and sprawling land development threaten these impressive gains of an endangered species. The film "The Condor's Shadow" documents this struggle.

    California Condor: Overcoming Extinction, A Symbol of Renewal

    The California Condor Recovery Program has defied the odds to rescue from oblivion the last of the prehistorics and icon of Native Californian cosmology. Threats such as lead ammunition, microtrash, and sprawling land development threaten these impressive gains of an endangered species. The film "The Condor's Shadow" documents this struggle.

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  • Taking action on the proven science of climate change requires overcoming obfuscation from the fossil fuel polluters lobby in order to implement a policy of increased efficiency and conservation, coupled with a clean, renewable energy plan. A CO2 fee and dividend system could help level the relative cost of renewables, creating the political will to kick the fossil fuel habit.

    Morey Wolfson: Addressing Climate Change in a World of Denialism

    Taking action on the proven science of climate change requires overcoming obfuscation from the fossil fuel polluters lobby in order to implement a policy of increased efficiency and conservation, coupled with a clean, renewable energy plan. A CO2 fee and dividend system could help level the relative cost of renewables, creating the political will to kick the fossil fuel habit.

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  • The U.S. EPA recognized seven communities with its 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Specific initiatives include improving transportation choices, developing green, energy-efficient buildings and communities, and providing community members with access to job training, health and wellness education, and other services.

    US EPA: Awards for Smart Growth Sustainability-Minded Projects

    The U.S. EPA recognized seven communities with its 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement. Specific initiatives include improving transportation choices, developing green, energy-efficient buildings and communities, and providing community members with access to job training, health and wellness education, and other services.

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  • I am on the trail of John Muir, intending to walk into the wild high country, his "range of light," inspired by the vision of Ansel Adams who once said: “Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.”

    Wilderness of Minarets: On the Coyote Trail of Muir and Adams

    I am on the trail of John Muir, intending to walk into the wild high country, his "range of light," inspired by the vision of Ansel Adams who once said: “Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum.”

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  • Oscar-entry documentary chronicles the unsolved mystery of the car bombing of Old-Growth Forests Activists and their later arrest by the FBI for their own injuries. The film also illustrates the Redwood Summer movement to save the Headwaters Forest of Northern California and Judi Bari's victorious 1st Amendment lawsuit.

    Who Bombed Earth First! Organizer Judi Bari?

    Oscar-entry documentary chronicles the unsolved mystery of the car bombing of Old-Growth Forests Activists and their later arrest by the FBI for their own injuries. The film also illustrates the Redwood Summer movement to save the Headwaters Forest of Northern California and Judi Bari's victorious 1st Amendment lawsuit.

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  • The Rail~Volution Conference rolled into Los Angeles to illustrate how transit projects energize neighborhoods, meeting a significant demand for multi-density housing walkable to restaurants, offices, and shops. They can transform the landscape and mindset, in this case, of auto-addicted Southern California. One stop at a time.

    A Los Angeles Rail~Volution: A City in Sustainable Transition

    The Rail~Volution Conference rolled into Los Angeles to illustrate how transit projects energize neighborhoods, meeting a significant demand for multi-density housing walkable to restaurants, offices, and shops. They can transform the landscape and mindset, in this case, of auto-addicted Southern California. One stop at a time.

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  • Groups of Kumeyaay People live in the isolated canyons of the Tijuana River watershed, high in the Baja California peninsula. They harvest acorns and pine nuts, hunt rattlesnake and small animals, collect grasses to weave baskets. They allow a glimpse of what life in Southern California before the Spanish arrived was like.

    Kumeyaay People: Traditions Survive in Baja California

    Groups of Kumeyaay People live in the isolated canyons of the Tijuana River watershed, high in the Baja California peninsula. They harvest acorns and pine nuts, hunt rattlesnake and small animals, collect grasses to weave baskets. They allow a glimpse of what life in Southern California before the Spanish arrived was like.

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