Southern California environment news and trends

Schwarzenegger swings against Prop 23 to defend legacy

In his weekly address, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger defended AB32 and California's climate policy on environmental and economic grounds. This is the week The Gub came out fighting. He denounced Proposition 23, and he told folks at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara:

Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of their black-oil hearts, are really spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs? It's not about jobs at all. It's about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.

Video of his weekly address below:

Read More...

UPDATE: Boxer, Baucus & EPW

Some interesting updates to a blog entry I made a few days ago about Boxer, Baucus and the comments about her EPW leadership.

During the debate, Carly Fiorina's people tweeted a link to comments made during a hearing in July. To me outside Washington, it looked like Baucus could have been dinging less conservative Dems generally rather than Boxer specifically. Worth noting that Republicans have spun that as utter repudiation of Boxer's chairmanship cloaked in Senatorial courtesy, even with Baucus releasing comments like this (after Wednesday's debate):

"Senator Boxer is a strong and effective Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and delivers for California time and again. I strongly support Senator Boxer and completely reject any claims to the contrary."

I don't know if that's true. I don't know if it's not. It does seem to me what matters most in terms of the environment is what Boxer accomplished in that EPW committee. Still curious about that.

Read More...

A riddle: Can a fish turn off water pumps in California's Delta?

Brandon Middleton, a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation, checked out my blog on Fiorina and water in the Central Valley, and like Fiorina did to me, offers corrections I may not need for an analysis of water policy in California he agrees "is not easy to understand."  But if you're so inclined, check out the concerns he raises about the Endangered Species Act generally - much of his post is pre-occupied with the arguments against ESA offered by groups like PLF in ongoing efforts to limit the ESA, undermine it, or eliminate it entirely - like Richard Pombo did for his whole career.

The Pacific Legal Foundation is in the process of challenging the regulation of Delta smelt on Constitutional grounds: making the argument that because the smelt's not sold in interstate commerce, Congress can't regulate it. [Updated 5:47 pm to correct missing words!]

Read More...

Reviewing The Big Uneasy, Revisiting Maria Garzino

I saw The Big Uneasy last weekend, Harry Shearer's film in which Maria Garzino tells her story again. Which is still unfinished. Note: I posted about The Big Easy a couple weeks ago, and who joined the debate but Harry Shearer himself!

Variety checked it out. The Economist checked it out, too and both had similar complaints that this was no Spike Lee joint. As Gary Moskowitz wrote:

Where films such as "Trouble the Water" and Spike Lee's two four-hour documentaries on the subject—the award-winning "When the Levees Broke" and "If God is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise"—are heavily emotional endeavours that tackle issues of race and class among New Orleans residents, Shearer's film spends more time considering the science and politics behind the mess.

I sort of think comparisons like these are patently unfair. Presenting race and class issues is inherently more emotional. I don't think that's what Shearer was after. If you always think of New Orleans as an emotional, artistic place, you're never going to pay attention to how specifically their engineering - which is our engineering, which is national - and their politics - which is our politics, which compromises our engineering - failed and killed people.

Read More...

Lewis McAdams springs a Piggyback Yard from his head

I'm really glad the New York Times noticed this crazy idea from a crazy band of dreamers about the LA River.

Here's a link to the story we did at KPCC a few months back.

Courtesy PBy Collective

McAdams acknowledged to the Times that his idea may not happen in his lifetime. To me, he mentioned that William Carlos Williams wrote, "A new world is only a new mind." The NYT story brought me to mind of the fuller quote:

Be patient that I address you in a poem,
                   there is no other
                                       fit medium.
The mind
                   lives there. It is uncertain,
                                       can trick us and leave us
agonized. But for resources
                   what can equal it?
                                       There is nothing. We
should be lost
                   without its wings to
                                       fly off upon.
The mind is the cause of our distresses
                  but of it we can build anew.
                                       Oh something more than

Read More...