Southern California environment news and trends

CIty of Los Angeles vows support for Clean Air Act

A lump of coal.

The Los Angeles City Council has passed a resolution affirming LA's commitment to the Clean Air Act.  

"Los Angeles supports the Clean Air Act, and we want to see this landmark environmental law used to tackle greenhouse gas pollution," said Councilman Paul Koretz. "Our city has been a leader in the fight against climate change, and we're proud to back federal efforts to reduce global warming hazards."

The vote stems from a campaign for Clean Air Cities, a project of the Center for Biological Diversity. Rose Braz directs the project. Municipalities that take a pledge to support the campaign each do so in their own way, says Braz. LA's resolution as proposed mentioned that "coal-fired power plants are the largest source of unregulated mercury pollution in the country, and mercury pollution threatens the health of between one in six and one in twelve women in Los Angeles." 


Cap-and-trade getting to nuts and bolts, but Sacramento still seeing climate skeptics, AB 32 opponents

Mercer 17083

Molly Peterson/KPCC

California Air Resources Board chief Mary Nichols, whose agency oversees state climate policy efforts under AB 32, outside a conference in Hollywood in 2011.

A discussion about how state lawmakers should dole out cap-and-trade auction proceeds under AB 32, the state's landmark greenhouse gas reduction law, is proceeding in Sacramento. What's interesting is that it's doing so with considerable and continuing opposition to the premise of capping or, for that matter, trading greenhouse gas emissions in the first place.

The bill is AB 1532. By its language at the moment, it provides that proceeds of an auction "shall be used to facilitate the achievement of feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in this state" that maximize economic, enviro, and public health benefits; boost jobs; complement other work to improve air quality; invest in disadvantaged communities; and/or provide opportunities for local agencies, schools, or other community institutions (this actually includes businesses).


Heat-related deaths expected to soar in U.S.

Mercer 20657

Image: Cimexus/Flickr

According to a new report from the National Resources Defense Council, climate change could lead to as many 150,000 more Americans dying from heat-related causes by the end of the century.

As reported by Think Progress, the study, entitled “Killer Summer Heat,” looks at the projected numbers across 40 American cities, and it’s not pretty. With Louisville, KY (19,000 deaths) and Detroit, MI (18,000 deaths) leading the pack, Los Angeles clocks in at 1,200 projected heat-related deaths by the year 2099.

"This is a wake-up call. Climate change has a number of real life-and-death consequences. One of which is that as carbon pollution continues to grow, climate change is only going to increase the number of dangerously hot days each summer, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of lives lost," said Dan Lashof, director of NRDC's climate and clean air program in a press release. "To prevent the health impacts of climate change from getting even worse, we need to establish a comprehensive program to reduce heat-trapping pollution from all sources, by building on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposals to limit carbon pollution from new power plants and cars."


California leads nation in climate change preparation

Mercer 5498


The Santa Ana winds in Southern California sweep down across the deserts and across the Los Angeles Basin.

With climate change continuing to create a myriad of new and uncertain weather and water-related issues, no state in America is better at getting ready for our environmental future than California.

As reported by the Hermosa Beach Patch, a recent study by the National Resources Defense Council found that California is one of only nine states (including Alaska and Wisconsin) that has created strategies to deal with the host of predicted situations like water shortages and droughts.

“Because of the significant risks to the state from increasing temperatures, changes in precipitation, sea level rise, and ocean acidification, California has been one of the leading states in the U.S. on climate change action,” states the report, titled “Ready or Not: An Evaluation of State Climate and Water Preparedness Planning.”


What Farmers Field's environmental goals really are, and what they really mean

Clinton Global Initiative Addresses Issues Of Worldwide Concern

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images for AEG

American businessman Steve Bing, President and CEO of AEG Timothy J. Leiweke, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Casey Wasserman pose for a photograph during the seventh Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

As of 4 o’clock, all the comments have been submitted concerning the draft environmental impact report for Farmers Field. It’ll be interesting to see how the city planning office responds to some of the criticisms leveled publicly, at meetings in recent weeks, and via letter.

Among them are complaints that AEG hasn’t explained how it will achieve the goals created by SB 292 for fewer car trips and carbon neutrality at the proposed downtown football stadium.

For what they’re worth, AEG made another set of promises too. While it was drumming up public and political support for Farmers Field plans, AEG announced it entered into a set of commitments with the Clinton Global Initiative. What does that mean? According to the Initiative itself:

Commitments help CGI members translate practical goals into meaningful and measurable results. CGI works with each member to develop an achievable plan, and members report back on the progress they make over time.

Since CGI was founded in 2005, our members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.