Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Green libraries, water woes, and hot laptops

A driver who hit a cyclist in downtown L.A. and fled the scene gets 90 days in jail. Reports LA Times: “The case has been closely watched by many in the city’s cycling community. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and the city attorney at first declined to press charges against Angelina Everett, the 37-year-old fashion designer who, witnesses said, struck Magos with her white Porsche SUV while making a left turn onto 2nd Street, just west of Figueroa.”


Can we get L.A. students walking to school? Jessica Meaney, California policy manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, says yes in an interview with The City Fix. “It’s also about mobility and independence–creating spaces we can enjoy walking and biking to with ease. Can kids in your neighborhood run around and have independence? Can they get to school safely? If not, why not? Answering these types of questions are a key priority for the health of our communities.”

LAist reports the County of Los Angeles Public Library system got its first green library — the Sorensen Library in Whittier. Other eco-friendly libraries, like the LEED-certified Santa Monica Main Public Library and Silver Lake Branch Library, already exist in L.A. County, but the Sorensen Library is the first green library that’s part of the County of Los Angeles Public Library system.

The future for water in the Southwest looks grim, reports KQED’s Climate watch. Among the worries: “California gets more than a trillion gallons of water from the Colorado River each year, directly from Lake Mead via the Colorado River Aqueduct …. The thing is, after 11 years of dry conditions in the region, Lake Mead dropped to its lowest level ever in October…. As of today, it’s at 38% of capacity.”

The U.S. EPA issued guidance rules for greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities. Reports NY Times’ Green: “Environmental advocates generally praised the new guidance because it allows companies and states flexibility in meeting the new greenhouse gas standards.” LA Times, Greenwire, NPR have more.

Climate disasters will really cost us if we don’t act now, warned the U.N. and World Bank. Reports NY Times: “Annual monetary losses for natural disasters are expected to rise to $185 billion worldwide by the end of the century, even without factoring in the anticipated negative impacts of climate change, a new joint U.N. and World Bank study concludes.”

Lastly and hotly: Men: Is Your Laptop Cooking Your Testicles? That’s the title of a Treehugger post about a study published in Fertility and Sterility. “Putting a laptop on your lap will crank up the temperature of the scrotum, which could affect fertility.”

Photo of boy on a bike at Los Angeles’ CicLAvia on 10/10/10 (Credit: Siel Ju)