Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: From clean diesel to flying Humvees


For the third time, California was told by a judge to consider giving endangered species protection to the pika. LA Times reports that the tiny mountain-dwelling mammal “is the first animal in the lower 48 states to be considered for endangered listing solely because of climate change.”

The campaign to pass Prop 21 launched its first TV spots yesterday. Prop 21 would add an $18 fee to annual car registrations, then use that extra money to fund state parks, allowing free admission to the public. If you haven’t seen the ads already, watch them at LAist.

In national news: Newer “clean diesel” trucks produce a lot less pollution than trucks of years past, say both trucking companies and the EPA. NY Times reports the announcements come as the Obama administration prepares to debut new proposed efficiency standards for trucks.

Hummer-hating environmentalists won’t be happy to hear that the Pentagon wants a flying Humvee — and gave $1 million to Pratt & Whitney’s Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park to design one. Reports LA Times: “With the proliferation of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, on the ground, a hovering Humvee would be an ideal way to keep soldiers out of harm’s way, Pentagon officials said in announcing the award.”

Vinyl flooring is twice as likely to contain lead, cadmium and chlorine than non-vinyl flooring, found a report by the Ecology Center. NY Times reports the study’s being used by environmental groups to continue to press the federal government for tougher regulation on chemicals in household products.

Lastly and musically: The environmental movement is bursting out in song! Enjoy an organic dairy rap video, a No to GMO rap video, and a No on 23 rap song.

Photo: Mahalie Stackpole/Flickr