Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Smog Is Getting Worse In LA, Confounding Experts
LOS ANGELES, CA — Southern California smog worsened for a second straight year in the latest sign that progress in cleaning the nation's most polluted air is faltering, it was reported Wednesday.
The dive in air quality comes even though emissions are declining, forcing regulators to explain why returns are diminishing after years of progress battling smog, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Ozone, the harmful gas in smog that inflames the lungs and triggers asthma attacks and other health problems, has violated federal health standards 145 days this year across the sea-to-mountains South Coast air basin, The Times reported, citing data from state and local air regulators.
That's up from 132 ozone violation days last year and 113 in 2015 across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to the newspaper.
The last time the region had more than 140 bad air days was in 2004, when there was more than twice as much smog-forming pollution spewing out of tailpipes and smokestacks, The Times reported.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the smog-control agency for the region of 17 million people, believes the uptick is probably the result of more days with hotter temperatures and inversion layers -- weather patterns that trap pollution near the ground.
We're not denying that we've had two really bad ozone years, Philip Fine, deputy executive officer for the district, told The Times. But he added: "It's quite possible weather explains all of it."
Still, air quality officials are looking into other possibilities, including whether smog-forming pollution is actually declining as predicted in its emissions models, according to The Times.
City News Service; Photo by Jacob Repko on Unsplash

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

We, the undersigned, request the City of Los Angeles and the DWP (Department of Water and Power) to establish a Wildlife Sanctuary within the current boundaries of the Silver Lake Reservoirs.
By preserving the open waters of the Silver Lake Reservoirs and their surrounding acreage as a sanctuary, this will create a protected habitat for migratory birds and urban wildlife, to be enjoyed by all.
The Silver Lake Reservoirs have been permanently taken offline from the City’s drinking water system. Water from the Eastern Sierra snowpack is being used to refill the Reservoirs, and existing ground water from the nearby Pollock Wells will be used to keep them replenished.
Silver Lake is known to naturalists as a "nature hotspot." Over 140 species of birds have been sighted here, along with the raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes and bobcats that have long been part of Silver Lake's ecosystem within the Reservoirs' area.
Additionally, Silver Lake has been a vital link in the Pacific Flyway for 100 years, connecting bird habitats from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia. The Reservoirs’ quiet, protected expanse has provided life-sustaining food and rest to thousands upon thousands of migrating birds each year; among them, the Canada Goose, the Bank Swallow—an officially threatened species in California—as well as Buffleheads, Great Blue Herons, American Pelicans, American Wigeons, White-faced Ibis, Northern Pintail, and beloved Mallard Ducks.
Silver Lake has one of the rare bodies of fresh water large enough to host many flocks alighting at once. Everyone who loves experiencing Silver Lake's nature will know that a Sanctuary will preserve the Reservoirs as a protected habitat for urban wildlife and a critical resting place for migratory birds.
We request that the City of Los Angeles and DWP immediately support the establishment of a Wildlife Sanctuary within the current boundaries of the Silver Lake Reservoirs, thereby protecting this precious place for the animals who make their homes here, and ensuring this tranquil oasis is preserved for the benefit of the community and the entire city.
• We are not requesting any city funds for this Wildlife Sanctuary.
• We fully support the amenities that currently exist around the Reservoirs, such as the meadow, the walking paths, the dog park, the recreation center, the tots playground, the basketball courts, and the pocket park on Tesla. (While not an “amenity,” we also support the neighborhood Nursery School there.)
---------- SIGN HERE
This petition will be delivered to:
  • Chief Operating Officer, DWP
    Martin Adams
  • Managing Water Utility Engineer, DWP
    Susan Rowghani
  • Senior Assistant General Manager - Water System, DWP
    Richard Harasick
  • Councilman, 4th District
    David Ryu
  • Councilman, 13th District
    Mitch O'Farrell
  • Chief of Staff, CD4
    Sarah Dusseault
  • Chief of Staff, CD13
    Jeanne Min
  • Field Deputy, CD4
    Adam Miller
  • Field Deputy, CD13
    Mary Rodriguez

Saturday, April 22, 2017

           EARTH DAY
Earth Day 2017’s Campaign
                      is Environmental & Climate Literacy
Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.
Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.
This Earth Day, gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education. We are launching Earth Day and Teach-In toolkits that will lay out the steps for holding a successful event. Register your event with us and we will support you with promotion and advice.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A new bill is moving in Congress that would formally shut down the EPA.

Trump banned the EPA
 from doing new business and prohibited them from issuing any press releases, social media updates or blog posts. Now, a Congressional bill could be the nail in the EPA’s coffin.

A Congressional Committee is deciding whether to pass the bill on for a full vote, but if we stop them, the proposal dies. After the unprecedented resistance of the last weeks, representatives are sensitive to constituent pressure. Let’s flood them with our collective outrage and tell them they should be strengthening environmental protections, not gutting them.

Tell Congress to keep their hands off the EPA!

This executive attack on the EPA is unprecedented. During the campaign, Trump said he would abolish the EPA. Last week, he signed an executive order ensuring repeal of environmental protections. He appointed an oil-industry insider to head the EPA who, as Oklahoma attorney general, took over $300,000 from oil companies and then turned around and sued the EPA for protecting the environment -- 8 times!

The EPA was created over 40 years ago under President Nixon. Its mission of protection and preservation of our environment requires bipartisan cooperation which hasn’t always happened, but we need to make the EPA stronger, not gut it. Trump has declared war on the agency and over 450 former EPA officials -- from both Republican and Democratic administrations -- have signed on opposing Trump’s plans.

The Trump team and their corporate cronies are not hiding what they want to do with the EPA. They are vigorously pursuing its demise. But there is one thing that stops the Trump agenda from signing the EPA’s death warrant. Us. 

Tell Congress to keep their hands off the EPA!
There are things in life that are non-negotiable, no matter who threatens them. Let’s stand for the protections that keep our air breathable, water clean, and planet livable -- before it is too late.

With hope and determination,

Dalia, Joseph, Jooyea, Ari, Nataliya and the rest of the Avaaz team

More information:
US conservative bill aims to axe EPA (New Scientist)

Republicans are using big tobacco’s secret science playbook to gut health rules (The Intercept)

Scott Pruitt in charge of the EPA risks irreversible damage to the planet (LA Times)