Category: Environment

What the Frack!?

In 1969, the Cayahoga River, one of Lake Erie’s major tributaries, caught fire. This provided the kind of visual evidence boring old science never could. Folks got hip: Industry, they realized, was using American waterways as a massive free sewage system for their most noxious waste. Americans got serious about pollution in our water for...

Evolutionary Doubts

Mr. Darwin has some ‘splaining to do. Our species, which has managed to rise to the top of the food chain, conquer and colonize every region of the planet we care to inhabit, and control the fate of almost every other species unlucky enough to exist contemporaneously with humankind, seems to be partially exempt from...

Karmageddon

This weekend Los Angeles is enduring what’s being called “carmageddon.” A 10-mile portion of the 405 Freeway, one of the major North-South arteries serving the Westside of LA County (and beyond), including LAX, is closed for 53 hours while a carpool lane is constructed and half of a bridge is demolished and rebuilt. Various degress...

A Simple Plan to Save the World

Here’s how we feed everyone, repair our environment, and provide meaningful work: convert lawns into organic vegetable gardens. Imagine if all the property owners currently pumping water and fertilzer into their grass carpets used our precious natural resources to grow food — healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich vegetables. Imagine if vast swaths of public land currently serving...

Our Environment: Another Drug War Casualty

Our failed War on Drugs has cost us vast treasure, ruined the lives of harmless citizens, and fueled a growing empire of violent crime. To continue with this national folly would be stupid at best and catastophic at worst. It’s time to legalize marijuana, treating it as we do tobacco, alcohol, caffiene, and other widely...

Eating Animals

For more than three years I’ve enjoyed a vegetarian diet, which has left me feeling altogether better. Better energy, better sleep, better digestion, better physical fitness, better health and wellness. I grow a good portion of what I eat. The correlation may be circumstantial or fanciful, but farming my food seems to have made me...

The Food Truck Scourge

Los Angeles is lousy with food trucks at the moment. Thanks to a collision of social- and mass-media fawning, they’ve earned all the valuable trend labels (“hot,” “in,” etc.), transcending their utilitarian function and entering the lofty realm of Culturally Significant Phenomena. No longer do these Winnebago-sized mobile restaurants simply serve workers at construction sites...

Department of Bold Predictions: Crackpots

Bold prediction: Within a decade, a whole class of societal crusaders will develop and be recognized by the arbiters of culture. They will be called radicals, Luddites, crackpots. They’ll be dismissed and ridiculed. And they’ll be consistently marginalized by those with money and power. But they’ll be right.  Their main focus? Harnessing the astonishing energy...

No Free Parking

The idea behind Congestion Pricing is to charge people more to use things — city streets, toll roads, cellphones — during peak times. By raising the cost you reduce demand, freeing up more space. And if demand stays constant you earn higher revenue and then raise the price some more. Such programs are in place...

Boycott!

Everybody is angry at the Gulf oil spill. Everybody is angry at BP. As an expression of that rage, and to punish the callous corporation for its carelessness, calls are circulating to boycott the company for a day, or a week or forever.  Boycotting BP would be mildly amusing, if utterly irrelevant. But anyone who...