Posted on September 13, 2018 - 1:16am
The 20 th century was the century of the megaproject, and as usual, California pointed the way for the nation. Southern California’s freeway system and the State Water Project, both largely completed by the 1970s, were mighty testaments to the conceit that we could build our way out of any problem. That view, of course, has since been tempered by inconvenient realities.
Posted on May 7, 2018 - 4:51pm
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decreed a roll-back of fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles, benefitting automakers and oil companies while predictably enraging environmentalists. In making the announcement, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt declared the CAFE (for Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards set by the Obama administration were too high and “didn’t comport with reality.”
Posted on April 5, 2018 - 1:53pm
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent lawsuit against the State of California over immigration isn’t just about immigration, of course. More fundamentally, it’s about the limits of states’ rights. The move could be a harbinger of other attempts by the Trump administration to muscle obstreperous states that don’t conform to its agenda. And that begs the question: in what other areas could the feds trump, so to speak, California policies?
Posted on March 13, 2018 - 5:12pm
Good Robot, Bad Robot
MIT Technology Review says 2017 was the year robots backflipped into our hearts, with exhibit A being Atlas, Boston Dynamics’ incredibly gymnastic bot, which (resisting the urge to say ‘who’) not only sticks the landing on an honest-to-god backflip, but raises its arms afterward as if in celebration.
Posted on January 12, 2018 - 3:22pm
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
In 2025, California parking lots will be the new gas stations. Or so goes the vision of Ethan Elkind, director of the climate program at the Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at Berkeley.
Labor Day might seem like a vestige of days when collars were bluer, but a coterie of researchers and educators at UC Berkeley’s Labor Center are using their skills to aid the labor movement as it fights to regain relevance.
Posted on September 4, 2017 - 10:57am
Daniel Kammen, UC Berkeley professor of Energy and Director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab, has publicly resigned his role as State Department science envoy. The U.S. Science Envoy Program, an outreach initiative started by the Obama administration, sends top scientists abroad to promote the country’s commitment to science and technology as tools for diplomacy; envoys typically serve for one year.
Posted on August 23, 2017 - 3:49pm
Like many before him, California Governor Jerry Brown has vowed to “fix” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, that vast and beleaguered wetland east of San Francisco Bay that is a source for much of Southern California’s water, an agricultural powerhouse, and a nursery for valuable fisheries.
Posted on August 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Like everyone else, Robert Bea was appalled when almost 200,000 Californians living below Oroville Dam were ordered to flee for their lives on February 12. The evacuation was necessitated by severe erosion of the dam’s primary and emergency spillways caused by massive releases of water following torrential winter rains. But unlike most citizens, Bea knew the incident wasn’t engendered strictly by the vagaries of nature or an act of God. Human error was at play.
Posted on July 27, 2017 - 1:07pm
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
Donald Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement was predictable given his unrelenting attacks on the “hoax” of climate change, and the response was predictably negative, save from his fiercely partisan base.
Posted on June 12, 2017 - 4:23pm
Posted on May 17, 2017 - 11:43am