Environment

Listen to a blue whale call (without getting seasick)

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Under just the right ocean conditions, the low-frequency call of a blue whale off the coast of California can be detected by another whale off the coast of Hawaii. As part of our annual Green Issue, we report this week on the noise impacts of shipping traffic on marine mammals that rely upon sound for their basic survival behaviors. Click on the player to hear a blue whale call, a form of communication that is often masked by shipping traffic. Read more »

The shit show's extended run

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By Brady Welch

You really can’t make this shit up, people. Since we last reported on the shit show which had gone cross-bay all the way to Alice Waters’ backyard, further accusations have been lobbed, acid press releases have issued forth, and now there’s even a "legal complaint" against, get this, the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

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It's raining reindeer babies in Alaska

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Whenever I want to find out the goods on Republican nutjob Sarah Palin I turn to www.themudflats.net, which also happens to be a great blog about all things Alaska. Read more »

Why is the Potrero Power Plant still going strong?

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The Potrero Power Plant, a longtime source of pollution and health concerns for residents of San Francisco’s southeastern neighborhoods, is slated for partial closure once the Trans Bay Cable begins transmitting electricity into the city.

The Trans Bay Cable is an undersea cord that will transmit 400 megawatts of power underneath the San Francisco Bay from power plants in the Pittsburg / Antioch area. Last we heard, from a January article in the San Francisco Examiner, the project was running a full month ahead of schedule. Read more »

Alice Waters protested for supporting using human waste as compost

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By Brady Welch

In a story that continues to amuse and fascinate, it appears that the human biosolids compost shit show we wrote about last week has left town… and ended up in, of all places, Alice Waters’ own backyard garden. That’s right: the seasonal, local, and cage-free proprietor of Berkeley’s fabled Chez Panisse has emerged as a staunch and unlikely defender of fertilizing your garden with sewage sludge compost, which San Francisco officials have recently discontinued giving away because of environmental concerns. Read more »

Introducing Fossil Fools Day

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"The fossil fools ain’t no joke – but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight them with one," say activists at www.fossilfoolsdayofaction.org as they announce plans to pull pranks April 1. Read more »

Prop 17 discourages going car-free

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Efforts to encourage car-sharing and ways of getting around that don’t involve owning a car would be undermined by Proposition 17, a June ballot measure that I wrote about in this week’s cover story. While I didn’t mention that impact in the story, it is of real concern to people like me who don’t own cars and encourage others to try the car-free lifestyle on for size.Read more »

Sunday Streets returns

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The first of nine Sundays Streets events -- San Francisco’s version of the car-free ciclovias that have caught on in cities around the world over the last few years, temporarily transforming roadways into vital public spaces -- was held Sunday (3/14) along the Embarcadero, drawing an impressive turnout on a beautiful day.Read more »

Ecuador natives push Chevron for settlement

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By Nima Maghame

The Rainforest Action Network, a non-profit organization that protests the pollution and destruction of natural habitats around the world, recently gathered on a bio-diesel bus named Priscilla with Ecuadorian tribal representative Emergildo Criollo and drove to new Chevron CEO John Watson's home in Lafayette to deliver a petition demanding the company pay for the clean up of Chevron-owned Texaco's contamination of the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest.

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Is Chevron lying about its crude plans?

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By Adam Lesser

William Rostov, the Earthjustice lawyer who represents three Bay Area environmental groups, broke it down: “The question is: will it be heavier and will that result in more pollution?” He was speaking about crude oil refining at Chevron’s Richmond refinery as he addressed California’s First Appellate Court in San Francisco this morning. Heavier crude oil is usually less expensive for oil companies to purchase but generates more pollution during the refining process.Read more »