environment

Angela Johnston

Up in the Silicon Valley foothills, there’s something that many Bay Area residents don’t even know exists. It’s deep and it’s full of dirt.

“It’s a very large hole in the ground,” says Kari Saragusa, CEO of the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company, just outside Cupertino.

Laura Flynn

On the October 29th edition of Your Call, we’re discussing how California can end fossil fuel extraction and embrace 100% wind and solar. Is that possible in the country’s third-largest oil-producing state? 

Under CC license from Flickr user Eric Goldberg

 

San Francisco voters will see two competing clean-energy propositions on their ballots in November: Propositions G and H. But, what they won’t see is that the electrical union workers union that wrote Prop G is now actually supporting H.

When construction workers break into the earth’s surface, it’s not unusual for them to discover ancient worlds. For example, on a 2013 dig, crews in San Francisco unearthed the remains of three mammoths and one giant bison. While working at the Caldecott Tunnel, fossil hunters discovered the remains of camels that once roamed the East Bay. There are actually provisions in California’s environmental laws that require anyone doing major digging projects to call fossil experts first, just in case. So when work began near Fremont to rebuild the Calaveras Dam, paleontologist Jim Walker was called to the scene to hunt for fossils. He expected to find a few, but the count surpassed 600.

Climate change--one view is doom and gloom and destruction. The other is that things could be far more beautiful and regenerative and sustainable and socially just than we can imagine. Is climate change an inevitability or an opportunity? Our guests are Shana Rappaport and Amanda Ravenhill of Project Drawdown, and Julia Prochnik, consultant to the National Resource Defense Council.

Women negotiating climate change. That's our inflection point.  

99% Invisible: Palm Reading

Apr 22, 2015

 

On a Friday evening in the summer of 2011, Los Angeles resident Brent Green was driving home from work and took a route he doesn’t usually take to get to his neighborhood. As he neared his home, he saw a work crew of about 25 guys in orange uniforms doing landscaping in a freeway berm.

He thought it all seemed a little odd.

For starters, it was 7pm on a Friday—late in the day for a city work crew. It was also piece of land that never got much attention; most of it was scrubby overgrowth. To Brent, this meant one thing.

They were stealing trees!

Philosophy Talk asks: What is Wilderness?

Apr 5, 2015

Nowadays we think of wilderness as a fully natural environment that contrasts sharply with the designed and constructed environments in which we normally move. But does that vision of wilderness really exist anymore? What is natural and what is artificial about wilderness? Should humans be understood as a part of nature or distinct from it? And how should we approach conservation efforts so that we balance the needs of a growing world population with the need to preserve some aspect of the wild in our lives?

The LA Times recently published an editorial that reported that California’s reservoirs are currently storing only about a year’s worth of water supply. Significant storms could still add to that supply, but it’s daunting data, coming at the tail end of the traditional wet season.


The number of chronically hungry people in the world is over 800 million, yet developed countries are facing health challenges from rising rates of obesity. The growing problems of food security and water scarcity seem an issue of distribution rather than availability. But other factors also influence the status of food and water security worldwide. So where does the problem with food and water security lie? Do developed countries – or any other entities or individuals – have any moral obligations to ensure a global network of water and food security?

Wikimedia commons user Gazebo

 

The Searsville Dam is causing big trouble on the peninsula. The 122-year-old, 65-foot-tall dam is closed to the public, hidden away on 1,200 acres owned by Stanford University.

Digging up ancient worlds

When construction workers break into the earth’s surface, it’s not unusual for them to discover ancient worlds. Last year, crews unearthed the remains of three mammoths and one giant bison in San Francisco. While working at the Caldecott Tunnel, fossil hunters discovered the remains of camels that once roamed the East Bay. There are actually provisions in California’s environmental laws that require anyone doing major digging projects to call fossil experts first, just in case. So when work began near Fremont to rebuild the Calaveras Dam, paleontologist Jim Walker was called to the scene to hunt for fossils. He expected to find a few, but the count surpassed 600.

Your Call: What are the hidden costs of carbon?

Nov 26, 2014

On the November 26th edition of Your Call, we’ll have conversation with investigative journalist and author Mark Schapiro about his new book, Carbon Shock: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy. He says the economic costs of carbon are often hidden, but we need to understand them in order to act. How are these costs effecting economies and changing our response to climate change? Join us on the next Your Call, with Rose Aguilar.

Guests:

On the November 12th, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’re discussing the current state of the drought. A dozen communities across the state are at risk of running out of water, and at least 700 households already lack access to running water. Farmers have left nearly a half-million acres of land unplanted. How will new groundwater regulations and Proposition 1 impact water usage? What do you want to know about the drought? Is it affecting your area? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

Under CC license from Flickr user Scott2342

When you go to vote next Tuesday, the first thing you’ll see in the list of state measures is Proposition 1. It’s also being called “the water bond”. And let’s get one thing straight right now – this bond won’t resolve the current drought. We can’t vote to make it rain.

But, Proposition 1 can make it rain in the form of $7.5 billion worth of funding for water projects around the state. These could include projects that recycle, conserve, and store more of the water we already have.

Fremont high school student Lynnea Shuck is being honored as one of the nation's top environmentalists. She and five others will receive the Brower Youth Award from the Earth Island Institute. The award is named after David Brower, an environmentalist who helped create the Point Reyes National Seashore and other nature preserves around the state and country.

Audrey DIlling

Bay Area homes, businesses, and factories send about 550 million gallons of wastewater to treatment plants every day. That’s enough water to fill 750 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Just six percent of this water gets re-used for agricultural, industrial, and other non-potable purposes – meaning nobody drinks it. The rest gets discharged back into the Bay.

Picnpull

It’s early morning and my car is rattling loudly in the parking lot of the Pick-n-Pull auto dismantler in the industrial neighborhood of East Oakland near the Oakland Coliseum.

I’m here at Pick-n-Pull to sell my beat-up 1998 Subaru Outback Legacy to the State of California under the Consumer Assistance Program, or CAP. The program buys cars that don’t pass smog for $1000, or $1500 if the owner is low income. The state wants polluting cars off the road for good and the money is a big incentive for owners to participate in the program. It’s definitely why I’m here today ready to collect my check.

 

  

On the September 25th, 2014 edition of Your Call, Naomi Klein talks about her new book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate”.  Klein says our current economic system can’t cut greenhouse emissions fast enough to prevent permanent warming.  As world leaders converge for the UN Climate Summit, is there still time to make the shift to sustainability?  And what would sustainability mean for the way we live?  Naomi Klein – on the next Your Call, with Hana Baba, and you.    

Guest:

 


Your Call: What dangers do whales face today?

Aug 21, 2014

  

On the August 21st, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with Joshua Horwitz, author of “War of the Whales.” Horwitz looks at the US Navy’s submarine surveillance system that floods the ocean with high-intensity sound. In 2008, the Supreme Court backed the Navy’s use of sonar, in spite of its deadly and effects on whales. And the Obama Administration recently OK’d the use of sonar for oil exploration off the East Coast. What impact does sonar have on whales? And what can be done to protect them? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Laura Flynn

The east side story

I’m on the east side of Alameda Island, standing in mud in front of a storm drain that empties out into San Leandro Bay. There’s a stretch of homes right on the shoreline looking out at estuaries, the Oakland Airport, and Coliseum. The waterline isn’t quite at my feet right now, but in less than a century I’d likely be standing in water up to my shoulders.

Fracking California: Can Jerry Brown be a climate leader if he does not oppose fracking?

Jun 17, 2014
Lisa Morehouse


When Jerry Brown stepped up to the microphone at the California Democratic Party’s convention in March, it looked like it might be an environmental love-fest. He was kicking off his campaign for a fourth term as governor of the state that is perhaps the world’s leading environmental trend-setter.

Laura Klivans

Betsy. Buttercup. Bambi. Those are not Disney characters but three of the eight female bison that live at the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park. Sarah King, the primary bison keeper, introduces me to them one afternoon. She works with fellow hoofstock fan, Jim Nappi, Curator of Hoofstock and Marsupials at the San Francisco Zoo. Nappi says he and King share a love for bison. 

Today on Your Call: Media Coverage of Climate Change

Jan 2, 2014


KALW's Maya de Paula Hanika

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Last summer, the people of Richmond were in shock from the explosion and following fire that broke out at the Chevron oil refinery in their city. Black plumes of smoke hovered over the Bay, and people filled local emergency rooms with respiratory complaints. Chevron blamed the explosion on a ruptured pipeline.

Under CC license from Flickr user Matt McGee

When we talk about climate change, it’s easy to get stuck in our terrestrial mammal mindset. Let’s face it: most of us are total dry land chauvinists. The only time we even notice something’s happening to the ocean is when it’s gnawing away at our coastline. But something else is going on just beneath the surface. Certain sections of the ocean are losing oxygen – and that’s just as bad for sea creatures as it would be for us.

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