By Jennifer Pierre for CalMatters
SACRAMENTO –California needs to reshape how it manages the rivers of the Sierra Nevada and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It needs to provide more water for the environment, more restoration, more funding and more collaborative science.
All this can happen through voluntary partnerships with water agencies from throughout California, environmental groups and the state and federal governments. Within the next few months, this better way of managing water, our most precious resource, is within reach.
In one of its most crucial remaining decisions of this session, the California Legislature must decide whether to pass Senate Bill 1. This legislation seeks to tap into public sentiment against President Trump by using a new state law to dictate future federal water decisions.
Water agencies throughout the state and lawmakers from Republican and Democratic parties are opposed to SB 1. The reason is straight-forward. SB 1 threatens collaborative progress for the good of the environment and the state economy.
The State Water Resources Control Board oversees the water rights of our beautiful rivers and can regulate how these waters can be beneficially used, including the water rights held by the federal Central Valley Project.
The board is finishing a years-long process of updating the management of the Delta and the Sacramento and San Joaquin river systems. This process has inspired a voluntary approach to environmental improvements rather than a regulatory approach that undoubtedly would be contentious and tied up in the courts for years.
My organization, the State Water Contractors, represents public water agencies throughout the state that receive supplies from the State Water Project. We have been among the participants in this voluntary agreement process, which is led by members of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration.
While all the details are not finalized, water agencies are prepared to provide additional flows for the health of the rivers and the Delta, to improve habitat for important species such as salmon, and to contribute funds to make this 15-year effort happen.
The State Water Project and Central Valley Project form the backbone of the statewide water delivery system. It is crucial that people who oversee both systems participate in this proposal to make real change in how the systems operate.
SB 1 would destroy the ability to make voluntary, collaborative progress by starting a legal war between the state and federal governments.
It is far from clear whether a state law can nullify a federal one. It is crystal clear that there would be conflict, and no progress. And the window of opportunity to voluntarily make progress together via the water board will have closed. The board will have little choice but to try to regulate a solution, causing even more conflict.
I share much in common with colleagues in environmental groups, and I want to solve our shared problems. The right flows at the right times and at the right temperatures are all important. So is restoring habitat.
Testing hypotheses together and using science to provide us with answers can help break down barriers so we can find common ground. This approach is so much more powerful than the idea behind SB 1. If SB 1 were to become law, stakeholders would stay in their respective silos.
These voluntary agreements with the Water Board are all about the long view, making our rivers and the Delta healthier 15 years, and at least two presidents, from now. Let’s not lose focus on what we need to do together.
Jennifer Pierre is the general manager of the State Water Contractors, an association of 27 public water agencies that receive supplies from the State Water Project.
This article is a response to “Newsom and legislators have a choice: side with the environment or with Trump,” Sept. 12, 2019.
This article is produced as part of WeHo Daily’s partnership with CalMatters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters.
Changes Brought On by Coronavirus May Help Tackle Climate Change
by Glen Peters for The Conversation
Stock markets around the world had some of their worst performance in decades this past week, well surpassing that of the global financial crisis in 2008. Restrictions in the free movement of people is disrupting economic activity across the world as measures to control the coronavirus roll out.
There is a strong link between economic activity and global carbon dioxide emissions, due to the dominance of fossil fuel sources of energy. This coupling suggests we might be in for an unexpected surprise due to the coronavirus pandemic: a slowdown of carbon dioxide emissions due to reduced energy consumption.
Based on new projections for economic growth in 2020, we suggest the impact of the coronavirus might significantly curb global emissions.
The effect is likely to be less pronounced than during the global financial crisis (GFC). And emissions declines in response to past economic crises suggest a rapid recovery of emissions when the pandemic is over.
But prudent spending of economic stimulus measures, and a permanent adoption of new work behaviours, could influence how emissions evolve in future.
The world in crisis
In just a few short months, millions of people have been put into quarantine and regions locked down to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Around the world events are being cancelled and travel plans dropped. A growing number of universities, schools and workplaces have closed and some workers are choosing to work from home if they can.
Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cancelled a critically important meeting and will instead hold it virtually.
The unprecedented coronavirus lockdown in China led to an estimated 25% reduction in energy use and emissions over a two-week period compared to previous years (mostly due to a drop in electricity use, industrial production and transport). This is enough to shave one percentage point growth off China’s emissions in 2020. Reductions are also being observed in Italy, and are likely to spread across Europe as lockdowns become more widespread.
The emission-intensive airline industry, covering 2.6% of global carbon dioxide emissions (both national and international), is in freefall. It may take months, if not years, for people to return to air travel given that coronavirus may linger for several seasons.
Given these economic upheavals, it is becoming increasingly likely that global carbon dioxide emissions will drop in 2020.
Coronavirus is not the GFC
Leading authorities have revised down economic forecasts as a result of the pandemic, but so far forecasts still indicate the global economy will grow in 2020. For example, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) downgraded estimates of global growth in 2020 from 3% (made in November 2019) to 2.4% (made in March 2020). The International Monetary Fund has indicated similar declines, with an update due next month.
Assuming the carbon efficiency of the global economy improves in line with the 10-year average of 2.5% per year, the OECD’s post-coronavirus growth projection implies carbon dioxide emissions may decline 0.3% in 2020 (including a leap year adjustment).
But the GFC experience indicates that the carbon efficiency of the global economy may improve much more slowly during a crisis. If this happens in 2020 because of the coronavirus, carbon dioxide emissions still could grow.
Under the worst-case OECD forecast the global economy in 2020 could grow as little as 1.5%. All else equal, we calculate this would lead to a 1.2% decline in carbon dioxide emissions in 2020.
This drop is comparable to the GFC, which in 2009 led to a 0.1% drop in global GDP and a 1.2% drop in emissions. So far, neither the OECD or International Monetary Fund have suggested coronavirus will take global GDP into the red.
The emissions rebound
The GFC prompted big, swift stimulus packages from governments around the world, leading to a 5.1% rebound in global emissions in 2010, well above the long-term average.
Previous financial shocks, such as the collapse of the former Soviet Union or the 1970s and 1980s oil crises, also had periods with lower or negative growth, but growth soon returned. At best, a financial crisis delays emissions growth a few years. Structural changes may happen, such as the shift to nuclear energy after the oil crises, but evidence suggests emissions continue to grow.
The economic legacy of the coronavirus might also be very different to the GFC. It looks more like a slow burner, with a drop in productivity over an extended period rather than widespread job losses in the short term.
Looking to the future
The coronavirus pandemic will not turn around the long-term upward trend in global emissions. But governments around the world are announcing economic stimulus measures, and they way they’re spent may affect how emissions evolve in future.
There is an opportunity to invest the stimulus money in structural changes leading to reduced emissions after economic growth returns, such as further development of clean technologies.
Also, the coronavirus has forced new working-from-home habits that limit commuting, and a broader adoption of online meetings to reduce the need for long-haul business flights. This raises the prospect of long-term emissions reductions should these new work behaviours persist beyond the current global emergency.
The coronavirus is, of course, an international crisis, and a personal tragedy for those who have lost, and will lose, loved ones. But with good planning, 2020 could be the year that global emissions peak (though the same was said after the GFC).
That said, past economic shocks might not be a great analogue for the coronavirus pandemic, which is unprecedented in modern human history and has a long way to go.
- Climate change
- Air travel
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Working from home
- Coronavirus stimulus program
Glen Peters is Research Director, Center for International Climate and Environment Research – Oslo.
The Conversation publishes knowledge-based journalism that is responsible, ethical and supported by evidence from academics and researchers in order to inform public debate with facts, clarity and insight into society’s biggest problems.
WeHo Annual Arbor Day Celebration Plummer Park – Mar 21
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood invites community members to join staff and City Councilmembers for a tree planting ceremony in Plummer Park as part of the annual Arbor Day celebration.
Arbor Day is a special day that is set aside throughout the world to raise awareness of trees and the important role that they play in our environment.
People throughout the world take part in tree planting events and other celebrations of trees and the role that they play in our environment.
The first American Arbor Day was originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska by J. Sterling Morton. On April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted in Nebraska.
Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 9 a.m. at the Parkway on N. Vista Street on the West Side of Plummer Park, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard.
For more information, please contact Debbie Gonzalez at (323) 848-3116 or email@example.com.
House Passes Schiff’s Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act
WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Adam Schiff has applauded the bipartisan passage of The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, which would add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA). The bill passed the House on a bipartisan basis with 231 Yeas and 183 Nays
Schiff first introduced this legislation in 2017, and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced companion legislation in the Senate. It recently passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a bipartisan basis.
To view a map of the proposed expansion under the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, click here.
“I am thrilled that the House of Representatives has passed the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, legislation I have championed for nearly 20 years,” Congressman Schiff said. “Preservation of the open space in our communities is not only good for our environment, wildlife, and ecosystems, but it is beneficial for the health and well-being of residents of all ages. The Rim of the Valley corridor is an area of striking and breathtaking natural beauty, and we must do whatever we can to preserve that beauty for the benefit of LA residents, the millions each year who visit, and for generations to come.”
“Today’s vote in the House is a win for the Rim of the Valley Corridor and the millions of Los Angeles County residents living in the surrounding communities,” said Senator Feinstein. “Preserving this unspoiled terrain will protect sensitive habitat for California wildlife and open space to benefit local economies. I am glad that Congressman Schiff was able to pass it in the House and look forward to doing the same here in the Senate, where it has already advanced out of committee.”
“The Rim of the Valley corridor is home to some of Southern California’s most beautiful wildlife and landscapes,” said Senator Harris. “That is why we must take immediate steps to protect this area’s habitats and natural resources. I am grateful to Congressman Schiff for his leadership on this issue and I applaud the House of Representatives for prioritizing the preservation of this area so it can be enjoyed by future generations. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill across the finish line.”
The proposed expansion is based on a six-year study of the region completed by the National Park Service in 2015. This legislation would expand the SMMNRA to include many, but not all, of the land included in the study. The lands included within the expansion will be known as the Rim of the Valley Unit and stretches from the Simi Hills and Santa Susanas to the Verdugos and on to the San Gabriel Mountains. The bill will enable NPS and the local community to better protect natural resources and habitats, and provide members of the community with improved access to nature for recreational and educational purposes.
To view the fact sheet about the legislation, click here.
County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
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This Just In…
- County Hospitals Receive 300 iPads for Patients to See Family
- Processions to Cedars Will Salute Healthcare Workers on National Nurses Day
- WeHo Webinar: Loneliness, Isolation, Depression, and Anxiety During Pandemic
- Texas & California Wet Markets Show Full Extent of Vile Conditions
- White House Gift Shop Selling Coronavirus Commemorative Coins
- Joe Exotic Prison Has 2nd Highest ‘Rona Rate
- Beverly Hills Votes To Resume Plastic Surgery Despite Coronavirus Pandemic