Green City

Green City: Climate change could spark more wildfires

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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Imagine a future in which hundreds of thousands of people in the more arid parts of the country flee wildfires. Imagine a future in which many of those people never return home when the winds shift and the temperature drops because the blazes have left their property a smoldering husk. Read more »

Green City: The baby question

Is childbirth bad for the Earth?
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY I remember exactly where I was — sitting on a BART train, reading yet another magazine article about global warming — when it hit me harder than ever before: the year 2050 is going to suck.

Predictions suggest it's going to be hotter, colder, drier, wetter, and stormier in all the wrong places. Sea levels will be up. Resources will be down. The view from 2007 is not good. Read more »

Presidio gets a Starbucks

Farewell, Perk Presidio -- the bane of local beaneries is moving in.
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY First came the troubling mandate that the Presidio needed to break even financially, a new model for a national park area. Then came the Starbucks. That's right: the Guardian has learned that a Starbucks will open next month in the Presidio's Letterman Digital Arts Center, replacing locally owned Perk Presidio.

The new Starbucks — and all it represents — has raised the ire of both park and city activists. Read more »

Feed our students well

Salad bars come to the schools
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Not long ago a green vegetable was a rare and startling sight on a lunch tray at a San Francisco school. Carnival-style food was the standard, with corn dogs as a regular entrée, packaged apple turnovers as the "fruit" course, and fried potatoes as the staple vegetable.

School lunches have come a long way since 2003, when San Francisco Unified School District parent volunteers, staff, students, public health professionals, and other community supporters joined together to begin creating the school district's Wellness Policy. Read more »

Green City: Early puberty's toxic causes and effects

New report links chemicals to problematic early development
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY As if growing up weren't hard enough, a new report published by San Francisco's Breast Cancer Fund says girls, particularly African American girls, are hitting puberty earlier — and it's lasting longer.

Environmental toxins, obesity, and psychological stressors are all cited as possible reasons for the trend in the report written by Ithaca College professor Sandra Steingraber. Read more »

Green City: Solar solutions

Working to make solar panels more affordable in San Francisco
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY When Berkeley mayor Tom Bates recently announced a creative city plan to financially assist homeowners who want to dress their roofs in solar panels, people across the Bay wondered if San Francisco could come up with something similar.

It's happening. Sup. Gerardo Sandoval is working with the City Attorney's Office on legislation to make solar panels more affordable for property owners. "The idea with my proposal is the city would use its very high credit rating to borrow money at almost zero cost," the District 11 supervisor said. Read more »

Green City: The bay-delta connection

Scientists predict that rising sea levels and levee failures could have profound consequences for both ecosystems
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sarah@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Until recently, politicians and the public tended to view the problems facing the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta levees as separate from the problems facing the San Francisco Bay. Read more »

Are high-rises green?

High-rises use energy in ways that single-family homes don't
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY High-rises are popping up fast in San Francisco, altering the skyline from one month to the next. But are these giants environmentally friendly? Read more »

Green City: Saving people and the planet

Widespread attention for Oakland's Green Jobs Corps
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The average young person doesn't pay much attention to things like wind turbines and energy efficiency. Friends and family, yes. School or work, sure. Green technology? Probably not. And for youths in underserved communities, where violence and economic hardship are a backdrop for everyday life, the likelihood of thinking green is even lower.

Enter activist groups like the Oakland's Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and watch as things begin to change. Read more »

Green City: Meeting the Climate Challenge

A race to turn the lights out
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY It is easy to become discouraged by environmental problems, but a few San Franciscans are reminding us that we have collective power to make positive change. And we might even have a little fun along the way.

Paul Scott came up with the idea of the San Francisco Climate Challenge, a citywide contest to reduce household energy consumption. Scott is a lawyer and founding member of One Atmosphere — a nonprofit created by North Beach neighbors concerned with sustainability and conservation. Read more »