Green City

Red ink stains green rhetoric

A state report encourages increased use of mass transit, but the governor's budget proposal denies the public transportation fund more than $1 billion. Plus: Transit Funding 101
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Environmentalists are pondering the state's seemingly schizophrenic approach to fighting climate change after a recent state report encouraging increased use of mass transit came out at the same time that the governor's budget proposal denies the state's public transportation fund more than $1 billion.

The California Air Resource Board's June 26 Draft Scoping Plan to combat global warming, released pursuant to Assembly Bill 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, is at least the second major report this year to recommend expand Read more »

Man with a plan

Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Environmental groups have voiced cautious optimism about the California Air Resources Board's new draft plan for fulfilling the legislative mandate of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Read more »

Free solar power?

A new solar incentive program might make the conversion to green power almost free
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco's new solar incentive program just might make the conversion to green power almost free to city residents when combined with other state and federal programs, some of which expire at the end of this year.

This is an unlikely city for such a dynamic, as we reported a couple months ago (see "Dark days," 04/16/08), given our small lot sizes, high costs, and the fact that we have about twice as many renters as homeowners. Read more »

Environmental shake up

The Big ONE Convergence 2008
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Nothing mobilizes community action like a natural disaster. Read more »

Newsom's power play

"Have they been concerned about what's clean, about our people?"
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Mayor Gavin Newsom finally outlined what he calls a "more promising way forward than the current proposal" of building two publicly owned power plants in San Francisco.

The way forward: retrofit three existing diesel turbines at the Mirant-Potrero Power Plant, while simultaneously shutting down Mirant's most polluting smokestack, Unit 3.

Newsom wrote a letter to the Board of Supervisors just before a June 3 hearing on the power plants, describing a May 23 meeting that he convened with SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington, City Att Read more »

Growing up

Increased density comes with transit and quality of life costs
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Arguments about urban sprawl and the need to drastically improve transit services at the Transbay Terminal are driving plans for massive new skyscrapers in the SoMa District. Read more »

Greening away poverty

If green is the new black, eco-populism is the new environmentalism
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news@sfbg.com

If the flow of venture capital is any indication, the new green economy is not just coming, it's about to boom. There's good reason to be excited about capitalists pouring money into saving the planet. But is it really the panacea that true believers say it is?

The idea behind "social uplift environmentalism" is that the new green economy is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Read more »

PETA vs. Gore

Meat: The inconvenient omission
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Al Gore's 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth invigorated the global warming debate, and the environmental movement owes him a great deal of appreciation. After all, they don't just give away the Nobel Peace Prize like samples of teriyaki chicken at Costco.

Yet some activists point to a gaping hole in Gore's strategy to prevent climate change through lifestyle change: where's the meat? Read more »

The 100-yard diet

"Chickens fill an important spot in the cycle of a sustainable backyard"
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Locavorism — the practice of eating only or mostly food raised with a 100-mile distance — has been a hot trend the past couple of years. It's a concept that makes a lot of sense — even organic food grown hundred or thousands of miles away can hardly be considered sustainable once you figure in the resources used to ship it.

But a committed breed of urban farmers is challenging even the 100-mile definition of local food. Read more »

Ditching the paper cup

The Green Cafe Network goes beyond fair trade
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Statistics show that Americans drink more than 400 million cups of coffee a day. While most buy the average Starbucks and Folgers blends, a growing number of consumers are beginning to care more about what's in their cup and where it comes from.

I work part-time at Coffee to the People in the Haight, which specializes in high quality, Fair Trade products, and I often field questions from customers about the origin and certification of the shop's java. Read more »