Posted on January 4, 2018 - 4:38pm
Feel it yet? That dire sense of déjà vu? It probably depends on your livelihood or interests. If you’re a Bay Area boulevardier or the type once described in singles ads as a lover of long walks on the beach, you’re no doubt delighted by the unceasing blue skies and unseasonably pleasant temperatures. But it’s another matter if you’re a farmer, salmon fisherman, water agency manager, skier or whitewater kayaker. Your income—or at least, your sense of well-being— is directly determined by what falls from the sky.
Posted on January 3, 2018 - 5:31pm
This week’s declaration by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service that the massive Delta tunnels proposed by the Jerry Brown administration would not cause the extinction of several imperiled fish species gave a significant boost to the behemoth project. Still, other impediments must be overcome before the digging starts and the concrete flows.
Posted on June 29, 2017 - 4:31pm
President Trump’s positions on immigration and trade are causing some queasiness among people who largely supported him during the campaign: farmers. The reasons are straightforward enough. Oft-repeated protectionist sentiments raise the possibility of a trade war that could throttle U.S. food exports, and Trump’s fixation on building a “beautiful wall” on the nation’s southern border threatens the agricultural labor force.
Posted on April 3, 2017 - 3:44pm
UC Berkeley plant scientists, working with colleagues from the University of Illinois, have successfully supercharged the photosynthesis cycle, allowing genetically altered tobacco plants to grow as much as 20 percent larger simply by using more sunlight.
The Bay-Delta, comprised of San Francisco Bay and the shared delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers, is the largest estuary on the west coast of the continental United States. It sustains valuable salmon and Dungeness crab fisheries, supports hundreds of family farmers who work the rich peat soils of its reclaimed islands, serves as a recreational relief valve for millions of Bay Area urbanites and the main source of drinking water for around 25 million Californians.
Posted on March 14, 2017 - 2:27pm
The drought gets a lot of undeserved blame for California’s water crisis. Naturally, four dry years have exacerbated the problem, but the real culprit is the state’s Gold Rush–era water law, which has allowed landowners to sink wells that suck ever deeper and drier— unfettered by any accountability to their neighbors, their region, or the state. Historically low groundwater levels have resulted, spawning all kinds of Wild West drama. The Central Valley is sinking! A thousand Tulare County wells go dry!
Posted on January 29, 2016 - 11:15am
Antibiotics were once a doctor’s best weapon against infections, but now some 2 million people a year become infected with bacteria that are resistant to them. On Tuesday, a panel of experts hosted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism largely blamed the crisis—23,000 people die a year from infections that can’t be cured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—on the livestock industry for overusing these life-saving drugs.
Posted on April 22, 2015 - 11:58am
With global warming, drought and the shrinkage of American farmland, will there be enough food to feed the world? It’s a question with which experts are consumed—and should be. “Millions of people are going to die from climate change,” says Kathryn De Master, a UC Berkeley assistant professor of agriculture, society and the environment.
And experts say some of those millions are going to starve.
Posted on October 13, 2014 - 5:17pm
At a laboratory on the side of Interstate 80 in Albany, Fatima Alleyne sits at a computer, trying to solve a major food dilemma.
It’s not enough that the drought is toasting our lawns to an unlovely shade of umber, turning our forests into tinder and threatening our salmon runs with extinction; now we have to worry about it causing earthquakes.
Posted on May 16, 2014 - 3:45pm