Southern California environment news and trends

Weather is personal. Climate is not. Maybe after Sandy it will be?


Warm milk: Climate change is hard on cows

Kathleen Masterson

A dairy cow peeks out of its stall at Case van Steyn's dairy in Galt, Calif.

With America in the grips of a sweltering heat wave that’s vying to make this season the hottest summer on record, a new study by scientists at the University of Washington reveals that soaring temperatures are just as hard on our bovine friends as humans.

According to the University press release, increasing climate change and higher temperatures has the potential of reducing milk production across America, particularly in Southeastern states like Florida.

Lead researcher Yoram Bauman and his team analyzed climate data in comparison to dairy industry data down to the county level. They mapped out the results through the year 2080 to get their findings.

"Using U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, if you look at milk production in the Southeast versus the Northwest, it's very different," said researcher Guillaume Mauger in a statement. "It's reasonable to assume that some of that is due to the inhospitable environment for cows in the Southeast."


Generation X: Too cool to care about climate change?

Steven Cuevas/KPCC

In the early ‘90s, the burgeoning youth culture that came to be known as “Generation X” (due in large part to Douglas Copeland’s popular book of the same name) was typified as disenfranchised yet more open-minded and politically active than aging Baby Boomers, with a penchant for flannel shirts and grunge bands like Nirvana. But a new study from the University of Michigan reveals that members of Gen X—people born between the early 1960s and early 1980s—are “surprisingly unconcerned” about climate change issues, even as American swelters under a record-breaking heat wave this summeer.

As reported by, “The Generation X Report” surveyed about 4000 people between the ages of 32 and 52 and found that only 5 percent are “alarmed” and 18 percent are “concerned” about climate change issues.


Hot topic: Air, water pollution top America's environmental worries

A view of downtown Los Angeles,Californi


As most of the country is gripped in a brutal heat wave, a recent Washington Post-Stanford University poll finds that climate change is no longer the primary environmental concern of Americans.

According to the poll, air and water pollution is now the number one ecological situation Americans worry about at 27 percent, compared to just 18 percent who cited climate change. A similar poll taken back in 2007 had climate change in the top spot with 33 percent.

AFP points out that the survey of 800 people occurred between June 13 and 21, before the current record-breaking temperatures overtook a large part of the nation. Still almost three quarters of those polled believe the world is heating up and will continue to rise unless something is done to stop it. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents said global warming will be a serious problem if left alone, and 55 percent replied that the U.S. government should do "a great deal.”


Radiohead and Jude Law unite in pro-Arctic Greenpeace video

Greenpeace continues to turn up the heat on their “Save The Arctic” campaign, this time with a melancholy new video featuring the music of Radiohead (fan favorite “Everything In Its Right Place”), a voiceover from Jude Law and one very sad polar bear, lost on the streets of London.

“As the Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears are being forced to go far beyond their normal habitat to find food and look after their young. This film is a powerful expression of how our fates are intertwined, because climate change is affecting all of us no matter where we live,” said Jude Law in a Greenpeace statement. “Right now a handful of oil companies are trying to carve up the Arctic for the sake of their next quarterly results but a global movement is growing to stop them. I stand with hundreds of thousands of others who think the area should be made into a sanctuary, protected from corporate greed for good.”