Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
Curated by PIRatE Lab
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Why Does Green California Pump the Dirtiest Oil in the U.S.?

Why Does Green California Pump the Dirtiest Oil in the U.S.? | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
California may be a leader in climate policies, but much of its abundant oil reserves are nearly as carbon-intensive to extract and refine as Alberta tar sands crude. Many experts now say that reform of the state’s methods of producing oil is long overdue.
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Explosion, major fire rocks DWP power station; 140,000 customers without power

Explosion, major fire rocks DWP power station; 140,000 customers without power | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
An explosion Saturday at a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power plant in the San Fernando Valley caused a major fire and knocked out electricity to 140,000 customers.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Yet another argument of a distributed, battery/storage-based electrical grid.
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After the drought, the 'Killer Kern' river is a different beast

After the drought, the 'Killer Kern' river is a different beast | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
During this deadly year for the so-called Killer Kern, the county has relied on two teams of about 50 trained volunteers to save swimmers
PIRatE Lab's insight:
These dynamic flows with high year-to-year variability in this era of a changing climate bode a world with many more such deaths.
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Water extraction project would be destructive to California’s Mojave Desert

Water extraction project would be destructive to California’s Mojave Desert | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Cadiz seeks to create a loophole in an 1875 railroad law to drain an ancient desert aquifer without any federal oversight.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Draining aquifers is something we are supposedly trying to put into the past her win California.  Not greenlighting with federal nepotism.
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Residents Challenge Harmful Oil Drilling - Community Coalition

Residents Challenge Harmful Oil Drilling - Community Coalition | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
  By Bob Wing Oil has been a source of tremendous wealth for Los Angeles, but the city’s 1,071 active oil wells also pose serious health risks for the nearly 628,000 Angelenos who live near them. That’s why residents and environmental justice organizations ar
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For some, effects of drought not over

For some, effects of drought not over | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
HANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Knee-high tufts of grass dot the streets of Hardwick, a rural neighborhood with a few dozen homes hemmed in by vineyards and walnut and almond orchards …
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Overdrafting of our aquifers went beyond anything that we can reasonably recover from for many in California's Central Valley this past few years.
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Oil Wells Are Bad Neighbors to These Kids in LA

Oil Wells Are Bad Neighbors to These Kids in LA | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Hear from the kids of Wilmington, California, who grow up in the shadow of oil wells. This video, second in the series of Stop Fooling California, tells the story of urban oil extraction in Los Angeles.

"Our goal in producing this series is to reveal to the public and the LA City Council the impacts of urban oil extraction on our most vulnerable communities," Sarah Goldman, campaign and digital director, said.

Help spread the word by sharing this Facebook video:

Via pdeppisch
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Fire hits California refinery - maritime global news

An explosion and fire at an oil refinery in Torrance, California, on Saturday forced the partial shutdown of the plant, leading oil traders to expect a spike
PIRatE Lab's insight:
These complex chemical engineering plants are always a potential accident waiting to happen.  This same plant in Torrance Los Angeles had a huge problem about two years ago that drove a several month reduction in capacity and associated gasoline supply disruption for much of southern California.
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California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns

California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
A confidential Federal Railroad Administration report, obtained by The Times, reveals that California's troubled high-speed rail system faces more significant delays and a 50% cost overrun.
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California's climate fight could be painful — especially on job and income growth

California's climate fight could be painful — especially on job and income growth | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Californians are likely to pay more for gasoline, electricity, food and new homes — and to feel their lives jolted in myriad other ways — because their state broadly expanded its war on climate change this summer. The ambitious new goals will require complex regulations on an unprecedente
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Solar power store highlights bright potential for clean energy

Solar power store highlights bright potential for clean energy | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Glenn Bland owns the state's (and possibly the nation's) only solar power store with a full showroom. He in fact, he has three and growing.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
The fact this store is in one of the highest oil-producing areas of California is telling.
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There's a tiny house on wheels in Burbank — and you'll definitely want to see it

There's a tiny house on wheels in Burbank — and you'll definitely want to see it | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Traveler XL will be open for touring on Sunday, Sept. 18 in Burbank
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Pretty swank.  The blonde wood is nice, but this wouldn't be a good fit for cold climes nor for areas with lots of neighbors or security concerns...too many windows.
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This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. Here's why that won't change any time soon

This Mojave Desert solar plant kills 6,000 birds a year. Here's why that won't change any time soon | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Ivanpah Solar Plant in San Bernardino county is killing thousands of birds, blasting them into wisps of smoke against the sky that plant workers call
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Nice video here that really show just how hot the focusing towers can get, with smoldering/vaporized things disappearing on a near-constant basis.
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California's goal: an electricity grid moving only clean energy

California's goal: an electricity grid moving only clean energy | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Imagine a California future where fossil fuels are never used to generate electricity. That's a proposal lawmakers are considering now. What would it take to hit that goal?
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Gov. Brown unveils plan for global climate summit, further undercutting Trump's agenda

Gov. Brown unveils plan for global climate summit, further undercutting Trump's agenda | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
In a swipe at Trump, Gov. Jerry Brown told climate activists Thursday he'll convene an international summit on global warming in San Francisco in 2018.
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Pick Figs, Grapes, And Lemonade Berries At This 5-Acre Park In Culver City

Pick Figs, Grapes, And Lemonade Berries At This 5-Acre Park In Culver City | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The fruit-bearing plants were installed by the art collective Fallen Fruit.
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Here's how California could change its cap-and-trade program for climate change

Here's how California could change its cap-and-trade program for climate change | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
There's a lot of ideas out there for changing the cap-and-trade program. Here are the highlights.
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Vintners reach sustainability milestone

Vintners reach sustainability milestone | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
ST. HELENA, Calif. — The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association announced today it has reached an important sustainability milestone: 50 percent of its eligible members (those who own a …
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California's undocumented workers help grow the economy — but there's a cost

California's undocumented workers help grow the economy — but there's a cost | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
California has the largest economy in the US. It's also the state with the most immigrants. These two facts are not unrelated, but the way immigrants build that economy is complex.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
This story starts with an example from right here in Ventura County and the complex relationship between immigrants and our national economy.  This is an important part of the picture, but we should also note that there are other aspects to the story: justice, freedom, and the character of a nation welcoming to the rest of the world.
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This is what the storm damage in Yosemite looks like, and this is what it means

This is what the storm damage in Yosemite looks like, and this is what it means | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
It almost looks like a post-earthquake photo. The park, which logged more than 5 million visitors last year, continues to deal with fallout from the rain.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
The face of climate change...
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Oroville Spillway Failure Flyover and Explanation 10 Feb 2017

Take a flight in the Luscombe over the Oroville Spillway just prior to overtopping.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, February 12, 1:10 PM
Climate change is giving us both increased droughts and increased rainfall events in climate crazy California.  Both of these situations have been long predicted, driven by the unprecedented anthropogenic greenhouse gas build-up in our atmosphere.  

Oroville is the tallest dam in the United States and (thanks to the intense precipitation this year) the focus of national attention and concern over infrastructure in the wake of a climate changed world.  The most recent estimate pegs the repair of the eroding concrete channel at perhaps $100-200 million (and we are only in early February).

See also these refs:

nice overview/explanation of the current conditions at the dam: https://youtu.be/jIzldNLv8ww
Construction of the Oroville Dam: https://youtu.be/p_5udzKfLQM
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California's birth rate falls to its lowest level ever

California's birth rate falls to its lowest level ever | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
California's birth rate drops to a historic low as more people attend college and delay having kids.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
This is a key, but longterm, change in our population dynamics.  This should not be read as a declining population per se as we have lots of migration bringing folks into the state.  Immigration more than offsets our declining birth rates and any emigration.
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The L.A. Zoo is celebrating 50 years with cake, music and treats for the animals

The L.A. Zoo is celebrating 50 years with cake, music and treats for the animals | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The Los Angeles Zoo will celebrate its 50th anniversary Monday.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
For all their controversy in some quarters, zoos and aquaria clearly played an important role in shaping the public attitude towards wildlife and our greater environment, particularly in the 18th century and in the immediate wake of WWII.
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Now this is a story all about how we found the Wet Princes of Bel Air

Now this is a story all about how we found the Wet Princes of Bel Air | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Reveal’s analysis found seven possible candidates for California’s biggest water user. Here’s how we did it.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
A great piece of "data journalism."
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Can the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV really go 200-plus miles with no recharge? We try it

Can the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV really go 200-plus miles with no recharge? We try it | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
Chevrolet has announced an EPA-approved range of 238 miles for its all-new, all-electric Bolt EV.
PIRatE Lab's insight:
Bolt hits its advertised targets of range on a single charge in real world driving.
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