Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Support for mandatory water cutbacks is growing

Posted February 26, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
watering-lawn

More than a third of Californians now believe the state should put into place mandatory water restrictions – instead of the voluntary cutbacks that are currently being urged.
The last time California had a major drought – back in the 1970s – just 51 percent of state voters described the situation as “extremely serious.” A new Field Poll says that nearly 70 percent of California …

Environment, Santa Barbara »

The fragile first days: Seal pups in California

Posted February 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
CmgeSeals_112309_0352rs_800x533

No one likes to see a sign reading “beach closed.” But from December through May, that’s exactly what you’ll see on a small stretch of shoreline between the Carpinteria State Beach and Rincon Point. That’s because it’s pupping season, and about 100 seal moms have chosen that spot to return to annually to give birth.

This is an exciting time for those who visit the trails along …

economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

State’s fracking wells have alarming levels of benzene

Posted February 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
fracking3

Waste liquid from fracking operations contains levels of benzene that can be far higher than state and federal agencies consider safe, according to a new analysis.
That liquid – known as flowback fluid – is often reinjected into groundwater. Benzene is a known carcinogen.
The state passed a fracking law two years ago that requires oil companies to test wells for a variety of toxins. The …

Environment, Issues, News »

Big winter blaze could be a glimpse of what’s to come

Posted February 10, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
california+fire3

A wind-whipped wildfire that tore through the eastern Sierra Nevada this week didn’t get the same attention that many other devastating fires in the state receive – perhaps because it’s not fire season, and few were expecting it.
But this one was bad, and it’s exactly the kind of fire that climate experts warn will become more common in California as increased heat and more …

economy, Environment, Power and Water »

Another big solar plant goes online in California desert

Posted February 9, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
DesertSunlight_3

One of the biggest solar energy projects in the country will get an official dedication ceremony today in the Riverside County desert.
The 3,800-acre Desert Sunlight Solar Farm is expected to generate electricty for more than 150,000 homes. Pasadena-based First Solar is building and operating the plant.
U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is expected to join state and local officials for the dedication today.
The biggest solar …

economy, Environment, Issues, News »

California’s plastic bag ban facing two-pronged attack

Posted February 4, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
plasticbag

An Orange County lawmaker is pushing to dump California’s plastic bag ban – even while the law is on hold because of a pending voter referendum.
Costa Mesa Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper introduced two bills yesterday. One would reverse the plastic bag ban. The other would get rid of the 10 cent fee for paper bags that is part of the law.
Harper says the charge …

Environment, Interviews, News, Santa Barbara »

UCSB Professor Oliver Chadwick on Rapa Nui’s Natives

Posted February 3, 2015 by | 2 Comments | ]
Oliver Chadwick2_ENH

An international team of researchers are exploring a new theory surrounding the mysterious demise of Rapa Nui’s natives, those who built larger than life “moai” statues on the small Polynesian island known as Easter Island. University of California, Santa Barbara geography professor Oliver Chadwick studies Polynesian cultures and co-wrote the recently published study. He sat down with KCRW’s Kathryn Barnes to discuss his findings …

Environment, Interviews, News, Santa Barbara »

‘The Penguin Counters’ Debuts at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Posted February 3, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Penguin counters 1

The documentary “The Penguin Counters” is being shown at the Santa Barbara international film festival. The film tells the story of adventurers who go to Antarctica to count penguins.
“Chief penguin counter” Ron Naveen stopped by our KCRW Santa Barbara studios to talk with our morning edition host Lisa Osborn. Lisa told him he should receive the award for traveling the furthest to get to …

Environment, News »

Elusive red fox makes a rare appearance in Yosemite

Posted January 29, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
redfox

An endangered Sierra Nevada red fox has been spotted in Yosemite for the first time in nearly 100 years.

The rare and elusive animal was captured twice on motion-sensitive cameras that were placed in the national park’s remote high-country by the Yosemite Conservancy– once this month and once last month.
Park officials say that only about 50 Sierra Nevada red foxes survive in the wild. The …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Goodbye Tom Steyer: We hardly knew ye

Posted January 23, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Investor, philanthropist and environmentalist Tom Steyer speaks at the Center for American Progress' 2014 Making Progress Policy Conference in Washington

Hedge fund billionaire and environmental activist Tom Steyer says he won’t run for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat in 2016. That could make things a little easier for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, the one Democrat so far to commit to the race.
Steyer – a Bay Area businessman and climate change activist – says he seriously considered making a run for the Senate. But Steyer …

Environment, Health Care, Interviews »

Emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas, higher than expected in LA Basin

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
LASMOG

A sensor atop Mount Wilson has found that methane emissions in the greater L.A. area are up to 61 percent higher than what the government says.
In a study published this week in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, researchers say the largest concentrations of methane were found at ground sites in Pasadena and across eastern portions of L.A. County.
The research, however, did not find out …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

Pass the oak trees and the camellias and you’ll find art

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo by Robert Wedemeyer

A contemporary art gallery in the woods? That’s what you’ll find if you take a walk on one of the glorious paths at the Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge. The latest art show in this unique space fits it perfectly. It’s a colorful, playful group exhibition titled Elemental: Seeing the Light.
The history of the space is just as intriguing as the new show and …

economy, Environment, News »

The bullet train is finally coming. Who are the winners and losers?

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
SONY DSC

Spend anytime at all in Fresno and you’ll likely see and hear trains. That’s because the tracks of one of California’s busiest freight train lines cuts right through the center of Fresno.
But the railroad everyone is talking about doesn’t exist yet. However, construction of the $68 billion dollar system to run California’s high speed passenger rail, has finally started after years of discussion and planning.
Many in Fresno …

economy, Environment, Issues, News »

More Mexican trucks rolling onto California roads

Posted January 14, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
bordercrossing

The United States, Mexico and Canada negotiated the groundbreaking hemispheric trade agreement known as NAFTA 20 years ago. Now, a controversial and long-delayed part of that pact looks like it’s finally ready to be enacted – and it will have an impact on California drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation – will soon make a …

Environment, News »

Love birds: Secret tryst yields bouncing baby buzzard

Posted January 9, 2015 by | 1 Comment | ]
CONDORBIGSUR

Endangered California condors are some of the most closely monitored creatures in the history of the animal kingdom.
Tens of millions of dollars and monumental human effort has gone into bringing the giant vultures back from the brink of extinction.
So it came as a huge surprise when biologists discovered that a pair of condors in the Big Sur flock sneaked off and mated – producing …

Environment, News, Sports »

Up against the wall: El Capitan climbers grip a dream

Posted January 8, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
tommycaldwell

Have you been keeping tabs on those two climbers trying to make it to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park?
Well, things are going pretty well for one of the men – but not so hot for the other.
Kevin Jorgeson, a 30-year-old from Santa Rosa, California, and Tommy Caldwell, a 36-year-old from Colorado, started their ascent nearly two weeks ago. They’re trying …

economy, Education, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

How to keep John Muir’s legacy alive

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
John Muir Trail, Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx. Photo by Kristine Paulus/ CC/ Flickr.

The pioneering environmentalist John Muir was no great fan of cities. In 1868, he hightailed it out of San Francisco as fast as he could for the Sierra Nevada. He later referred to Los Angeles as “that handsome conceited little town” and similarly skedaddled away pronto to the San Gabriel Mountains. Yet it was in Los Angeles, on Christmas Eve 100 years ago, that …

Environment, Issues, News »

Year ends with new lawsuit for Vernon recycling plant

Posted December 23, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
exide

Managers and directors of a controversial Vernon battery recycling plant are the target of a new lawsuit that says they they’re directly responsible for sickening children who live nearby.
The suit was filed by three law firms against Exide Technologies officials on behalf of more than 60 children. Another suit is expected to be filed on behalf of adults who live near the plant.
The suit …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, Issues, News »

Design solutions for climate change

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
04_ASPBaanWatervilla2

There may be passionate debate about it in political circles as to whether it’s happening, or what’s causing it, but scientists almost completely agree: climate change is real, and will lead to rising sea levels and more extreme storms.
So how do we, as people, adapt?
Obviously, logic would tell us to try to stem the initial damage somehow.
But we, as people, also have to create things to …

Environment, News »

Photos show Griffith Park puma is back in the pink

Posted December 5, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
mountainlion

Things are looking up for a lone mountain lion that has made its home in Griffith Park.
Park officials say new photos show that the cougar – known as P-22 – has rebounded well from a serious bout of mange that was apparently caused by exposure to rat poison. The big cat was captured in March and treated with skin medications and injections of Vitamin …

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