Blogs

American Banking Association Report: Farm Banks Increase Ag Lending 8% in 2015

ABA Report: Farm Banks Increase Ag Lending 8% in 2015

WASHINGTON — Farm banks increased agricultural lending by 7.9 percent in 2015 and held $100.3 billion in farm loans at the end of the year, according to the American Bankers Association’s annual Farm Bank Performance Report READ MORE »

Early Days of the Central Valley Project: The Role of Progressive Republicans, Freemasons, and Mormon Irrigators

 
 by
Gary Stadelman Posz


This article grew out of conversation with colleagues about a speech Governor Earl Warren gave to a conference on water resource development at Stanford University in 1945. In his remarks, the Governor called for aggressive development of California's water resources. Little is known about the background of this speech, most particularly about what prompted Warren to launch so directly and forcefully into this fraught pubic policy domain when he had previously not identified himself with it; this was a high profile move outside of his known political interests and priorities.

I joined this conversation with commentary on the mutually reenforcing influences favoring water development in the West, which essentially pervaded the political space of Warren's career. One cannot claim that the influence matrix I describe here was dispositive in explaining Warren's unprecedented policy pronouncement. Bailing-wire sociology cum political science this narrative might be, yet it identifies significant influences present and operating in California politics when Earl Warren emerged in 1945 as a water development advocate.
 READ MORE »

Wave Power – Harnessing the Ocean’s Energy

By Emma Bailey

The topic of climate change climbs increasingly into everyday discussion. All over the world, individuals, institutions and businesses have recognized the importance of addressing the issue and taking a proactive approach. Nonetheless, there are many clean sources of reliable power we have yet to fully develop. Capturing the power of waves is an exciting development in the field of renewable energy. If technology can begin to capture its continuous output, wave power promises solutions that could transform the way we obtain energy forever.

Marine Energy  READ MORE »

Scary quote of the Day


        Increasing evidence from laboratory and human studies shows that synthetic chemicals contribute to disease and dysfunction across the life course. Of particular emerging concern is the disruption of the hormonal process that has been found to be associated with increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, neurodevelopmental disabilities, infertility, and breast and prostate cancers.1 Given the magnitude of human and economic burden associated with these conditions, it might be expected that the passage of bipartisan legislation in both houses of Congress to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in 40 years would meet with widespread approval by the public health and medical community.  From the March 14 issue of the Journal of (the) American Medical Society (JAMA) article entitled "Updating the Toxic Substances Control Act to Protect Human Health"

 

LA City Council approves Department of Water and Power rate increases

   The Los Angeles City Council today gave final approval to rate increases proposed by the Department of Water and Power, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Officials signed off on the hikes about two weeks after they first considered the utility's proposals to increase to water and power base rates for the first time in years.

    Water rates will increase 4.7% each year for five years, while power rates will go up 3.86% in the same fashion.       READ MORE »

Film on disappearance of Bees will be shown in Fresno Feb. 21

Sunday, February 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2672 E. Alluvial: the film “Nicotine Bees” will be shown.  This film, directed by Kevin Hansen,  gets to the truth of why honeybees of the world are in big trouble and why our food supply is in trouble with them.  The answers are clear – and have been for several years: filmed on three continents to find out the real reasons bees are in catastrophic decline – and why people don’t want the real story to be told. The simultaneous global decline of honeybees threatens one third of our food supply – yet despite clear cut scientific data, especially from Europe, news reports still refer to the issue as a “mystery”. Come and see the film and find out why the “honeybees” don’t come back home.  53 minutes long.  This film is being co-sponsored by the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and the Peace and Justice Coordinating Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church.  Wheelchair accessible. Free admission though donations would be welcome.  For more information call the Center at (559) 237-3223 Mon-Fri 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Flint, Michigan and the Fate of American Utility Infrastructure

By Emma Bailey

Michigan is defined by its proximity to five of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. The state’s geographic placement makes it ideally suited to benefit from clean, glacial lake water for drinking as well as industry, agriculture, recreation tourism and power generation. These waters are a precious nonrenewable resource.

 

In the last few weeks, the crisis in Flint has highlighted the danger of taking our water for granted. Hidden underground, ageing pipe infrastructure is often ignored – but unless we act fast to upgrade pipeline systems across the country, Flint’s water problems could easily become widespread. Throughout the United States, pipes old enough to be your grandfather frequently bear the responsibility of carrying resources both valuable and volatile.

   READ MORE »

2015 hottest year on Earth on record

FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/21/science/earth/2015-hottest-year-global-warming.html

2015 Was Hottest Year in Recorded History, Scientists Say

By JUSTIN GILLIS JAN. 20, 2016

Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history by far, breaking a record set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.

 

In the continental United States, the year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River watershed.

   READ MORE »

State finally agrees to start accurately measuring river water diversions in California

The State Water Resources Control Board Tuesday (Jan. 19) adopted regulations requiring all surface water right holders and claimants to report their diversions. Those who divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year must also measure their diversions.

The regulations, which apply to about 12,000 water right holders and claimants, require annual reporting of water diversions. The regulations cover all surface water diversions, including those under pre-1914 and riparian water rights, as well as licenses, permits, registrations for small domestic, small irrigation and livestock stockwatering and stockpond certificates.

Previously, pre-1914 and riparian right holders were only required to report every three years, and measurement requirements could be avoided if the right holder deemed them not locally cost effective. About 70 percent of such diverters claimed that exemption.
The goal of the new regulation is to provide more accurate and timely information on water use in California to enable better management of the state’s water resources.  READ MORE »

EPA Survey shows $271 billion needed for Nation's Wastewater Infrastructure


EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure


WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff.

The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost.

“The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task,” said Joel Beauvais, EPA’s Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. “Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains.”
 READ MORE »

Syndicate content