Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Bicycles, birds, and parking in L.A.

epalabel Remember UCLA professor Donald Shoup, who took the Cato Institute to task for its non-free-market-based parking policies? The “prophet of parking” gets a feature in the LA Times today: “According to Shoup, free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.”

You may spend less to park at LAX soon: A train to connect the Crenshaw district to LAX will be built within the next six years, thanks to a $546 million federal loan, reports KPCC. The loan is the first funding L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30/10 initiative, which seeks federal loans to speed up a dozen Metro projects.

Bike parking’s also usually free — but electric bicycles aren’t flying off the shelves in Southern California, though they do seem to be slowly pedaling on, reports the LA Times.

Missed the Roots of Change Network Summit, organized earlier this month to address food and agriculture in California? Experience LA has a summary of the proceedings.

Santa Cruz Island’s island scrub jays are getting vaccinated against the West Nile virus,” reports LA Times.

In national news: Take a look at the new proposed vehicle fuel economy labels for 2012 model year. LA Times reports the new designs are controversial — especially the one with “a prominent letter grade ranging from A-plus to D that takes up nearly half the label and reflects the vehicle’s fuel economy and tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions” (right). Send in your two cents on the designs to the EPA.

An EPA regulator wants to block mountaintop removal mining projects in West Virginia citing potentially disastrous environmental consequences. “In 2007, the Bush administration approved the project, which would involve dynamiting the tops off mountains over 2,278 acres to get at the coal beneath while dumping the resulting rubble, known as spoil, into nearby valleys and streams,” reports NY Times.

Lastly and hotly: Don’t let the cold rains fool you. “2010 is on pace to tie 1998 as the warmest year in the historical record” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, reports NY Times’ Green.