Wednesday, April 28, 2010

State of the Air 2010

Cities across the US are showing success in the fight for healthy air. But despite these gains, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2010 report concludes that healthy air remains elusive for most US cities.

The 11th annual report finds that 58 percent of Americans – more than 175 million – live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution. A decade of cleanup measures, including reductions in coal-fired powered plant emissions and the transition to cleaner diesel fuels and engines have paid off in cutting levels of deadly particle and ozone pollution. But some cities, mostly in California, had air that was more polluted than in the previous report.

Read more about the State of the Air report at the American Lung Association website. Also read the AP article about the findings here.

New California Geologic and Fault Maps

In honor of the agency's 150th anniversary, the California Geological Survey has issued new geologic and fault maps of the state.

The new maps are interactive and linked to Google Maps, enabling users to select faults and specific geologic areas of interest. The agency is preparing even more high-tech versions that will enable users to better zoom in to specific areas and specific faults. The new maps will be released online to the public soon.

Read an article about the new maps on SFGate.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day (or Week or Month) Events Near You

April 21 (Wednesday) - Earth Day Eve 2010: Creating a Healthy Future. Featuring John & Ocean Robbins, Mark Dubois, food, wine and live music. 7:00 pm Wed. $15 at the David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley.

April 22 (Thursday) - NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences, 6:00 - 10:00 pm. This NightLife is an extension of the Academy’s week-long Earth Day celebration. Among the activities included are a “green games” competition where you can test knowledge of environmental topics such as recycling and the carbon cycle to win some fabulous prizes, including tickets and signed baseballs from the SF Giants. Features music from DJ and Producer Michael Anthony and Drunken Monkey DJing downstairs in the Aquarium.

April 22 (Thursday) - The Oakland Public Library will give free reusable canvas tote bags. All library branches, Oakland. (510) 238-3134.

April 23 (Friday) - Bike-In Movie Night at Whole Foods, Oakland, 7:00 - 11:00 pm. A night of film and bikes benefiting the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. Featuring the films FOOD INC. at 8:00 pm and SILENT RUNNINGS at 10:00 pm.

May 1 and 2 (Saturday/Sunday) - Oakland Museum of California Re-Opening Celebration, Oakland, 2:00 - 6:00 pm. Continuous (31 hours!) round-the-clock free programs and events. Valet bike parking available.

May 2 (Sunday) - Urban Assault Ride, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. A truly unique cycling event, quickly becoming one of the biggest in country. You and your teammate will set out on a city-wide quest for 'checkpoints' on your favorite two-wheeled steeds. At each checkpoint, you'll drop your bikes and complete a funky/adventurous obstacle course, then remount your bikes and hit the streets for more. The goal is to complete all the checkpoints in the shortest amount of time. Starts at Martin Luther King JR Civic Center Park, 2151 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley, California.

May 13 (Thursday) - Bike to Work Day. Urban cycling workshops, raffles, energizer stations, bike convoys, free repairs, and a pancake breakfast at Frank Ogawa Plaza. From 5:30 - 8:30 pm there is also the Bike Away from Work party on Telegraph Avenue in front of the Fox Theater. Features the Crucible's Art Bike Program, Beyond Bikes Art Exhibit, Cyclecide Heavy Pedal Bike Rides & Show, music, raffle prizes, awards, food and beer from Trumer Pils Brewery in Berkeley.

ARB’s Updated AB32 Scoping Plan Economic Analysis

A revised version of the EAAC Economic Impacts Subcommittee Report on ARB’s Updated AB32 Scoping Plan Economic Analysis is now available.

A public meeting to update the Board on AB32 Economic Analyses will be held on April 21, 2010 as a continuation of the March Board Meeting Agenda Item 10-3-6.

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Time: 1:00-5:30 pm
Sierra Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, CalEPA Building
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

ARB staff, experts and stakeholders will discuss several economic analyses relating to AB32. This Board agenda item will include an overview of recent economic studies of the implementation of the AB32 Scoping Plan and an opportunity for public comment. The agenda for the Board meeting can be found here.

Click here for further information on the EAAC.
Click here for additional information on ARB’s Updated AB32 Scoping Plan Economic Analysis.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Green Chamber Sponsors An Evening with Bill McKibben

The Green Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an evening with author Bill McKibben on Thursday, April 22, 2010.

Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different.

Bill McKibben is the author of The End of Nature, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, and Deep Economy. A former staff writer for the New Yorker, he writes regularly for Harper's, the Atlantic, and the New York Review of Books, among other publications.

The event will be held at Dominican University of California, San Rafael. There is a special reception at 5:30 pm at Creekside. Doors to Angelico Hall open at 6:00 pm and the lecture begins at 7:00 pm. The lecture and book signing are free. There is no RSVP, and seating is limited.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Report on AB32's Health and Economic Benefits

Minding The Climate Gap: What's at Stake if California's Climate Law isn't Done Right and Right Away
Manuel Pastor, Rachel Morello-Frosch, James Sadd, and Justin Scoggins, April 2010

Minding the Climate Gap: What's at Stake if California's Climate Law isn't Done Right and Right Away details how incentivizing the reduction of greenhouse gases—which cause climate change—from facilities operating in the most polluted neighborhoods could generate major public health benefits. The study also details how revenues generated from charging polluters could be used to improve air quality and create jobs in the neighborhoods that suffer from the dirtiest air.

The report is published by PERE, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Environmental Economics

Paul Krugman has written an article for the New York Times Magazine on the economics of environmental protection and mitigating climate change.

An excerpt:
Like the debate over climate change itself, the debate over climate economics looks very different from the inside than it often does in popular media. The casual reader might have the impression that there are real doubts about whether emissions can be reduced without inflicting severe damage on the economy. In fact, once you filter out the noise generated by special-interest groups, you discover that there is widespread agreement among environmental economists that a market-based program to deal with the threat of climate change — one that limits carbon emissions by putting a price on them — can achieve large results at modest, though not trivial, cost. There is, however, much less agreement on how fast we should move, whether major conservation efforts should start almost immediately or be gradually increased over the course of many decades. 
Read the complete article here.

Visit the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) Links page for links to additional information and reports on environmental economics, life-cycle assessment, sustainable and green remediation policy, and more.

California State Parks Foundation Newsletter

Monday, April 12, 2010


Wednesday, April 14th, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Frank Ogawa Plaza, 14th & Broadway, in front of Oakland City Hall

Free lunchtime event bringing together local green businesses, environmental groups, artists, and agencies.

Sponsored by the City of Oakland Public Works Agency.
For a complete list of participating groups:

EXPO Community Art Photo Event commemorating Earth Day 2010!
Assembly @ 11:30 (Plaza lawn), photo at NOON.

Oakland's Earth Day Timeline - Add your memories and hopes to this interactive exhibit charting environmental milestones and goals from 1970 to 2050!

Recycling opportunities:
  • Mercury Thermometer Exchange at the EBMUD booth. Bring your old thermometer in a zipper bag to prevent spills.
  • Recycle used household batteries at the Oakland Recycles booth next to the City Pavilion.
  • Recycle old cell phones at either the Universal Waste Management table.

Business Leaders needed for the reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act

As a part of its efforts with the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), the Green Chamber of Commerce urges you to support the creation of legislation that fundamentally reforms the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The main federal law that is supposed to ensure the safety of chemicals has not changed in 34 years. According to ASBC, more than 80,000 different chemicals have been produced and used in the US. The EPA has required testing on just 200 of these. Only 5 chemicals have been restricted.

Designing new chemicals to be inherently safer from the outset reduces the costs of regulation, hazardous waste storage and disposal, worker protection, and future liabilities.

Click here to learn more: The Business Case for Comprehensive TSCA Reform

For more information and to get more involved contact David Levine of the ASBC.