Flanked by legislative leaders, Gov. Jerry Brown said new measures approved on Wednesday would be a milestone for the state’s climate change policies. “This is a real commitment backed up by real power,” he said during a Capitol news conference. Brown and top lawmakers spoke with reporters shortly after the Legislature gave their final stamp of approval to the two bills, a stark change in fortune after they appeared to lack the necessary support earlier this month. The governor has said he plans to sign the bills.
Archive for date: August 24th, 2016
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The 21st century may turn out to be the time in history when we hit the natural resource limits of the planet. Despite the technological innovations of the last century, natural resources – from fresh water to and forests, to healthy soils and fisheries-are becoming exhausted as we rely on them to meet the food, water and and energy needs of a global population that is expected to exceed 10 billing by 2050.
Climate change is dangerous, and it’s happening now. It threatens wildlife and the ecosystems they live in. It will make life harder for billions of people, with the greatest harm hitting the world’s poorest people. It may make some parts of the world uninhabitable for humans, and will almost certainly drive many species to extinction. But there are a half-dozen other environmental threats that are even worse. That’s according to a study published this month in Nature, generally considered the world’s most respected scientific journal.
The governor’s $68 billion California Delta twin water tunnels project cannot be economically justified, says a new report from the University of the Pacific. The tunnels scheme, promoted by Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. as one of his legacies to the people of California, would be the most costly water proposal in California history, the report says. But the new independent research, released Wednesday, shows that the tunnels’ costs are four times larger than its benefits, “and thus the project is not is not economically justified.”
Poseidon Water is adjusting its strategy for gaining permits for Huntington Beach desalination plant, as it moves to keep the project running to schedule. Instead of requesting a coastal development permit in September as planned, Poseidon will first renew its Regional Water Board operating permit, after new policies on seawater desalination came into effect in California in January.
A decade after California took a global lead by adopting its comprehensive policy to clear the air, transition to clean energy and reduce climate pollution, here’s what we know about what its effect has been: The economy has grown, in recent years outpacing the rest of the nation. Fueled by billions of dollars in private investment, a thriving clean-energy sector has blossomed, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. Greenhouse gas emissions have dropped, and are on pace to meet the target of rolling them back to 1990 levels by 2020.
As most of California recovers from this historic drought, one thing we can count on is that history will repeat itself. Californians can take full credit for willingly sacrificing landscape and adjusting habits to save water supply for another year. Toilets have been replaced, lawns have been converted to plastic, leaks have been fixed, prime agricultural land has been fallowed, and we have learned to be more efficient with our water supply. So, fast-forward to the next drought. What’s next?
When the Drought hit hard in 2014, Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD), a water and wastewater utility, learned that it would receive only 5 percent of its typical water allocation for the 2014 water year. This meant that outdoor irrigation had to be severely curtailed in DSRSD’s service area and customers would likely need to let their lawns die. DSRSD operations manager Dan Gallagher came home and said to his wife “we might not be able to water the yard.”
The Assembly and the Senate’s surprisingly quick action this week to pass both SB 32 and its companion piece, AB 197, was met with jubilation by the many people who are proud of California’s leadership combating the greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to global warming. It’s good that Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on these measures is imminent. Yet this picture isn’t as tidy as it appears. SB 32 would build on AB 32, the landmark 2006 law requiring the state to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020; both measures were authored by Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills.
The costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels vastly outweigh the benefits of building them, according to an analysis released Wednesday by University of the Pacific economist Jeff Michael.“I don’t think there’s a project that’s economically feasible here. And it’s not close,” said Michael, director of the university’s Center for Business and Policy Research. Michael has long been critical of the $15 billion tunnels. His latest review finds 23 cents of benefits for every dollar that would be spent — or, under a more optimistic scenario, 39 cents of benefits per dollar spent.