Monday, May 14, 2012

2012-05-14 "Public Opinion Snapshot: Americans Still Support Environmental Protection" by Ruy Teixeira
Given today’s economic problems, you’d think the public would be in a surly mood about environmental protection, seeing it as a secondary and perhaps conflicting priority to jobs and economic growth. That’s certainly what conservatives are hoping as they continue to push their environment-wrecking agenda.
Turns out, though, the public didn’t get the memo. In the recently released poll from Yale University’s and George Mason University’s climate change communication programs, 58 percent of poll respondents said that protecting the environment improves economic growth and creates new jobs. Just 17 percent thought environmental protection hurts growth and jobs, and 25 percent thought there was no effect.

In the same poll, when asked to choose directly which was more important—environmental protection or economic growth—the public decisively favored protecting the environment 62 percent to 38 percent when there is a conflict between the two goals.

So no, the bad economy has not turned the public off to environmental protection. Conservatives, if they are wise, will factor that into their political calculations.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

2012-05-02 "On a mission for blue butterflies" from "San Francisco Chronicle"
A group of scientists from San Francisco and San Mateo counties scaled San Bruno Mountain on Tuesday to collect endangered Mission Blue butterflies that later would be released on Twin Peaks in San Francisco.
One of the lovely little Mission Blues rests in the sun at San Bruno State Park in San Mateo County.

Stu Weiss climbs a steep ridge at San Bruno Mountain State Park on Tuesday as he searches for Mission Blue Butterflies. San Francisco Parks and Recreation, along with San Mateo County Parks and Creekside Science Center for Earth Observation scaled San Bruno Mountain on Tuesday to collect the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly to release them at Twin Peaks in San Francisco. Photo: Kevin Johnson / The Chronicle

State of the air in the Northeast San Pablo Bay

2011-05-09 "Lena Septimo: Helping to preserve wild Napa County" by SASHA PAULSEN from "Napa Valley Register"

We were following a Jeep that was bumping its way along a narrow dirt road. To the left was a mountain; to the right a sheer drop to a canyon — breathtaking views, in more ways than one.
The Jeep kept stopping so its intrepid driver could jump out to heave boulders out of the way. At one point the growth from trees proved impassable, so from the back of the Jeep she pulled a pair of loppers and went to work clearing trail. When these didn’t do the job, she went back for a saw, also in the rear compartment of the Jeep. What, we wondered, would she pull out next? A chainsaw, perhaps?
The driver was Lena Septimo, land projects manager at Land Trust of Napa County, the preservations group that since 1975 has put more than 30,000 acres in the valley under protection through preserves and conservation agreements. Part of her work, she explained, is documenting conditions both before an acquisition and after, to ensure compliance.
It’s work that keeps her out in the wilds a lot, and that’s what she likes.
This day she was shepherding a media group around the Dunn-Wildlake Ranch, a 3,030-acre stretch of land in the north county, which will now be permanently wild, thanks to the $28 million the Land Trust was able to raise to buy it for a permanent preserve.
Septimo, who grew up in the high desert of eastern Washington, studied natural resource conservation at Eastern Washington University before heading to Panama with the Peace Corps. There she worked on environmental education and conservation; and also met her husband, Eliecer Septimo.
The Peace Corps, she said, “is a great way to be abroad … a great way to be outside the tourist box.”
Returning to the U.S., she finished her master’s degree at Eastern Washington University before heading south to Napa County to take a job with the Land Trust four years ago.
Another aspect of her job, Septimo explained, is leading field trips out onto Land Trust preserves. “It’s a great way of getting people out into the Land Trust lands,” she said.
Along the way, she has learned to know these wild places as only a person who had spent the bulk of her time in them can: As her media charges sat high up on a mountain, admiring the views of the distant valley, they embarked on a discussion of whether or not the tree that shaded them was an oak tree.
“It’s a white Oregon oak,” Septimo told the duly impressed group. “It took some time,” she explained, “but I think I’ve got all the oaks now.”
When the Jeeps could go no further, Septimo led the puffing reporters on a hike up to the top of the aptly named Potato Hill, where the reward was a 360-degree view of wilderness — not a grapevine in sight.
Here was Napa County as it was and will now continue to be, she explained. The Dunn-Wildlake property, she said, is a “marquee that indicates the dedication of the Napa community” — and this, she added, is part of a tradition that goes back to the landmark 1968 Ag Preserve legislation passed by voters to protect the agricultural lands of the county.
“I think it’s pretty cool that Napa did such a thing back then,” she said.
Lena Septimo shows a touring group of reporters the map outlining the Duff-Wildlake property. The Land Trust of Napa County was able to raise $28 million to purchase it and prevent its being developed. Submitted photo

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mercury Waste is in the air and water

For an unknown period of time, the 5 bay area refineries have not kept any records about their mercury waste, on average 3700lbs every year, which contributes to the high incidence of mental and physical disorders caused by mercury poisoning of the unborn amidst one of the highest cancer regions in the USA.
According the a 2007 audit, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board has found that the 5 refineries are in contempt of the public ecology, and are fining them $1000 a day until they figure out a way to explain where all the mercury waste goes. 
Unfortunately, because all 5 refineries in the bay area have "excused" themselves from explaining why they never kept records of where the mercury waste goes, in contempt f the clean air act, their lawyers are helping to write a methodology to account for mercury waste that will not negatively impact investors shares. In other words, there is a strong chance they are going to lie, alot, and the Water Quality Control Board will accept it, and the public won't know the difference.
We, the People, need verified, independent, mercury testing, conducted by an assembly of Bay Area and Sacramento Delta peoples. We are all in danger... autistic children, nerve damage and loss of cognitive intelligence, politics of corruption, danger to water, fish, land animals, farms.

2007-05 "The case of the missing mercury" from "Eco News" newspaper