Tags >> environment
Jun 02
2010

Saving Seeds

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Sebastopol , nonprofit orgs , Green , farms , environment , education , conservation , California , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

The key to sustaining agricultural biodiversity may be as close as the nearest backyard garden—even your own.

It’s easy to begin seed saving, explains Bill McDorman, but not all common garden plants readily lend themselves to the practice.

Seed saving begins in individual backyards, but the idea is tailor-made for scaling up to the community level, McDorman notes, and that’s just what is starting to happen.

Bill McDorman is the founder and  president of the Seeds Trust mail order business, offering "vegetable, herb, wildflower and wild grass seed for a sustainable future." He will be speaking at at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center annex building in Sebastopol,  425 Morris Street, on Sunday afternoon June 6th from 3-5 pm.

 

 

 

 

Jun 01
2010

"Searching for A Miracle"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , solar , resources , research , policy , nonprofit orgs , news , lifestyle , environment , economy , climate change , carbon , author , alternative energy

Bruce Robinson

What’s the ultimate solution for replacing fossil fuels with affordable alternatives? A detailed study by the  Post-Carbon Institute says the only good answer available now is reduced demand and intensive conservation.

The study tried to provide a comprehensive analysis, explains author Richard Heinberg, and surprisingly seems to have blazed a trail in doing so. [You can read or download the full report here.]

Energy sources are rarely located close to the areas of concentrated demand for energy, so in addition to shifting to a diverse array of renewable power generation methods, nations will also need to find ways of transporting electricity and other forms of energy to the places it is most needed. Heinberg predicts that will lead to hardships for the populations most reliant on energy imports.

Not only has the United States failed to conduct such a study of its own—something Heinberg suggests should be done ASAP, but he worries that the larger question of long-term energy policy planning is also getting scant attention, even as the oil continues to leak from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico.

Richard's reflections and analysis of the larger implications of the Deepwater Horizon disaster are the subject of his most recent "Museletter," which you can read here.

May 24
2010

Gray Whales

Posted by Bruce Robinson in water , Science , policy , ocean , nonprofit orgs , international , environment , education , current events , coast , climate change , California , animals , activism

Bruce Robinson

Once there were four types of Gray whales in the world’s oceans. Today, only the California Gray Whale survives in sustainable numbers, and its future is looking grim.

Gray whales are not just some of the largest creatures on the planet, says Sue Arnold, CEO of the Gray Whale Coalition, as a species they are also among the oldest.

Protecting the whales is not just an ecological and environmental issue, Arnold says, but there is an economic concern for California, too.

The whale hunting quota of 140 killed in each of the next ten years is now proposed in a “draft compromise” before the International Whaling Commission. But Arnold says the only current gray whale killing is happening in a remote area of Siberia.

Changing conditions in the arctic waters of the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia/

May 18
2010

Prop 16 Protest

Posted by Bruce Robinson in technology , Santa Rosa , rights , politics , nonprofit orgs , news , Green , government , environment , election , economy , current events , climate change , carbon , California , business , alternative energy , activism

Bruce Robinson

The opposition campaign to PG&E’s big-budget backing for Proposition 16 took to the streets—well, actually the sidewalks—of downtown Santa Rosa yesterday (above, with Lady Liberty joined by Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin and Healdsburg City Councilman Gary Plass), blasting the measure as “another bailout” for the utility.

The Yes on 16 campaign may have a much bigger budget, but the list of local governments and other groups who have lined up against it is impressive and growing. Ann Hancock, Executive Director of the Climate Protection Campaign, offered a sampling of that roster of opponents at the midday rally on Tuesday.

Healdsburg was among the founding members of the Northern California Power Agency (NCPA), a coalition of 17 cities that act as their own electric utility for their residents. ( Read their  statement opposing Prop 16 here.)  There are numerous other such operations elsewhere in the state. Expanding the service areas for any of them would be subject to the 2/3s vote requirement in Proposition 16, as would the creation of any additional local power purchasing entities, says Healdsburg City Council member Gary Plass. But while many cities oppose the measure, there is little they can do to directly combat it.

The lion’s share of the electricity used by the residents and businesses of municipal Healdsburg now comes from an array of renewable sources. Councilman Plass breaks it down for us.

Want to find our more about this measure? You can read an impartial analysis of Proposition 16  or to see the video ads against Prop 16 that won't be shown on television (due to no budget, not topical censorship), go here.

 

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