Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

Morning greens: Costlier community gardens, solar-powered trash bins, and snow-poor Tahoe

plasticbagintree Morning greens:In case you missed the news yesterday, L.A. County passed a plastic bag ban! NPR, LA Times, and SM Mirror have more. But environmental group Heal the Bay’s president Mark Gold warns: “Despite the county’s caution, count on the plastic polluters to sue.”

L.A. may raise community garden fees 500 percent, from $25 to $120 annually per plot. Can’t afford $120 — or feel $120 better reflects the value of the plots? LAist has details on how you can weigh in on the issue.

Pasadena’s got 40 new solar-powered trash bins. Curbed LA explains how they work.

Schwarzenegger launched a new climate-change group “with leaders from regional governments in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and the United States,” reports LA Times. KQED’s Climate Watch notes “R20, or ‘Regions of Climate Action’ is the culmination of Governor Schwarzenegger’s efforts to spur ‘subnational’ action to address climate change.”

Prepare for a less snowy Tahoe Basin. According to UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, “The average snowpack in the Tahoe Basin could decline 40 to 60% by 2100 and some years could see all rain and no snow,” reports KQED’s Climate Watch.

The EPA advised coastal states to start measuring ocean acidification. The request comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, according to Ecotrope.

A Republican-controlled House means very bad news for the environment, opines Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker. “Not content merely to ignore the science, [House Republicans] have decided to go after the scientists.”

Lastly and funnily: Why create high-speed bullet trains when we can create low-cost high-speed buses? The Onion “reports” that “President Obama’s proposed high-speed train system will be replaced with a fleet of buses that will rocket along highways at speeds up to 165 mph.” (via Streetsblog LA)

Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan


Photo by Kate Ter Harr/Flickr