Southern California environment news and trends

Green investment growing power?

Comes news today that shareholders' groups aren't happy with all that investment oil companies have done in Proposition 23. A Ceres press release says shareholder resolutions are en route at corporations that are major contributors to Proposition 23.

At Valero:

“As a religious organization, the Unitarian Universalist Association calls on all companies in which it invests to support - not undermine - public policies that reduce climate change,” said Tim Brennan, treasurer at UUA, which filed the shareholder resolution with Valero. “Our values compel us to protect the planet and to stand with marginalized people, who are disproportionately harmed by the impacts of global warming. Valero’s extraordinary support for Proposition 23 delays the country from tackling an urgent human, environmental and economic concern and puts our shareholder value at risk.”


Morning greens: Subway, sand, and solar news

Alternate2 Equal Ex

What will the Subway to the Sea look like? Well, it doesn’t go to the sea in Metro’s recommendation for the Westside Subway Extension (PDF). The recommended route would extend the Purple Line down Wilshire to the VA. Metro’s The Source blog has a summary of the recommendation’s decisions along with their rationales.

Metro also revealed its recommendation for the Regional Connector (PDF), which would hook up the various transit lines in downtown Los Angeles. That recommendation calls for three stations — eliminating a fourth station considered at 5th/Flower. Again, Metro’s The Source has an overview of the highlights.

In response to Metro’s recommendations, Streetsblog LA points out the Metro’s recommendations were made before the public commenting period on the projects ended. Metro’s still officially taking comments for both projects until Oct. 18.


Green picks: Network, reconstruct, rally, and rock

Where to go, what to do, how to green. Our event picks for the coming week:

Tonight: Green Business Networking will bring together eco-entrepreneurs and desperate job seekers alike over organic food and drinks at Berkeley Mills, 1330 4th St., Santa Monica from 6-9 pm. Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Thu, 10/14: Catch an eco-fashion show featuring EM Reconstruct, a line made with upcycled materials. The collection will be showcased at UP NEXT: L.A. DESIGNERS at EM & Co, 7940 W. 3rd St. Los Angeles from 7 pm to 11 pm. RSVP to

Fri, 10/15: Hear State Senator Fran Pavley at a No on Prop 23 Rally at UCLA. Organized by UCLA eco student group E3, the rally will happen at Meyerhoff Park in front of Kerckhoff Hall at UCLA (campus map, PDF) from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

Fri, 10/15 to Sun, 10/17: The Conscious Life Expo's not just about UFOs and psychics -- though fans of both will certainly be at the event. Focus on the exhibitors, many of whom will feature eco-friendly fashions, food, and products -- alongside "vibrational therapy" and "aura photography." It all happens at  LAX Hilton Hotel, 5711 Century Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.


Is adoption a green option? Talk to Scott Simon.

NPR's Scott Simon is a former colleague (going back a decade now, yeesh) and I've been touched to hear the emotion in his voice as he talks about the emotional choice of adopting children that he and his wife have taken. But Lisa Hymas of Grist has actually read Scott's book (I haven't had a chance yet), and the following passage stood out to her:

Adopting a child to prove something is not a healthy motivation. I would seriously consider alerting the authorities if I heard a prospective parent say, "We want to adopt because it's the most environmentally responsible thing to do.  Don't want to increase our carbon footprint, after all!"

Heck, it would stand out to me too. I don't know if anyone on earth has ever said those words. But the discussion she had with Scott Simon about his book - which you can read in full on - touches on a larger converation I've heard brewing about population growth and the burden it places on the planet - an intersection of health, environment, political issues and economic ones that is one of those fundamental, hiding-in-plain-sight kind of questions - like campaign finance reform, in a way.


Santa Monica students to ditch cars for Bike it! Walk it! Day tomorrow

Until last month, I lived in Santa Monica and ran down California Ave. in the mornings for exercise. During the school year, I had to wake up earlier for my run to hit the road long before first bell — because the exhaust from the cars driving students to St. Monica’s High School was too much for my lungs!

2010 June Bike It 45 Bike it

While I could avoid the air pollution by waking up at the crack of dawn, all the students at that school were, of course, breathing the exhaust I avoided every morning. Which is why I was really glad to hear about an event happening tomorrow, Wed., Oct. 13: Santa Monica Bike it! and Walk it! Day.

As you may have guessed, the goal of Bike it! and Walk it! Day is simple: To get students to bike or walk to work, at least for a day. But the simple goal’s gone big this time around, growing from a Santa Monica High School event (video below of the March Bike it! event in Santa Monica) to a city-wide endeavor that’s signed up all the public schools — elementary, junior high, and high school — in Santa Monica.