The biggest problem can be the smallest thing, and that's the case in the sewer world. More than 20 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into California waterways last year, according to the state Department of Water Resources Control Board. That's not counting the partially treated sewage that makes its way into our water from overflows and sewer system malfunctions.
This question comes up endlessly in the world of environmental education. How do you inspire a person to learn, care and then take action for the environment? As someone whose professional goal is to inspire earth stewardship, I often ask anyone who will answer this big question.
Even in these difficult economic times, California's population continues to grow, and those additional people are going to need a place to live. Recent legislation in California directs city planners to make environmentally responsible choices for new housing. One way to do that is to create transit villages.
Natural capital isn't something we hear about very often, and it certainly isn't a new idea. Aldo Leopold and other conservationists recognized the role that natural ecosystems play in our lives as early as the 1940's. But understanding and measuring that role hasn't been easy.
Dave Feliz calls it "the bird highway in the sky." Feliz works for California Department of Fish and Game, as area manager for the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, and he's talking about the Pacific Flyway. Millions of migratory birds travel the same route every year, called the Pacific Flyway, stretching from the north slope of […]
The Bush Administration has recently passed dozens of so-called "midnight regulations" – last-minute rules and amendments. Many of those new laws affect the environment, including a change to the Endangered Species Act that has California environmentalists deeply worried.
I got interested in this story after hearing Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla speak at a conference this fall in Sausalito. He explained how he decides where to invest in green tech and it was fascinating. He and other top venture capitalists think they can help stop global warming and make a ton of money at the same time.
The pilot project at UC Berkeley called Mobile Millennium uses cell phones as data points to show traffic patterns in real time. To become an early adopter of the technology, you must have an unlimited data plan on a mobile phone with a GPS system.
It's not just truckers that will have to spend a lot of money to retrofit their diesel engines. And quite a few trucks on California roads will actually be unaffected by a new California diesel regulation. The California Air Resources Board is expected to vote on a new diesel-emissions regulation when the board meets on December 11 and 12 in Sacramento.
The Eye in the Sea is one of the coolest, gee-whiz scientific projects you'll see. It's part of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's so-called MARS project (that stands for Monterey Accelerated Research System). MARS is an undersea laboratory, set up deep on the sea floor about 30 miles offshore from Monterey.
For these notes, I thought I'd focus on something that didn't make it into the sea lions radio broadcast: the necropsy.
Each year the Marine Mammal Center treats somewhere between 600-1000 animals, including California sea lions, Pacific harbor seals, Northern elephant seals, and steller sea lions. About half of them are treated successfully at the center and released into the Pacific. The other half either die naturally or have to be euthanized.
The devil's in the details, so the details aren't entirely in the proposition. There are still many open questions about Prop. 1A on the November ballot, the proposal to bring high speed rail to California – and that makes sense, since there are a billion details, many of them contentious, in any $9.95 billion initiative and $45 billion project.
A confession: When I first got the assignment to do a story about air conditioner efficiency, I didn't exactly leap from my seat in excitement. (Which is why extra kudos go to those who've made it as far as this web page!) But, really, I should have known better.
The scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are already well-known for uncovering some of the most extreme marine animals in the deep sea, like the incredible vampire squid. But recently, they're using their unique blend of biology and engineering to study one of the least-discussed impacts of climate change: ocean acidification.
When we started working on this project, we thought it would be easy to find people to interview: D.I.Y.ers with a passion for sustainable building who were testing out new technologies in their backyards. We found a handful of great subjects, but we never quite tapped into that centralized hub we'd envisioned. And that, it turned out, was the point. When you're a D.I.Y.er, you tend to D things Y.
MESSENGER is the space probe that NASA sent to Mercury to give the Solar System's innermost planet the first up-close look since 1975, when Mariner 10 flew by. The MESSENGER's main mission will begin in earnest when it returns to Mercury and finally settles into an orbit around the planet, on March 18th 2011.