November 29, 2013 |
India is now the world's third-largest grain producer after China and the United States. The adoption of higher-yielding crop varieties and the spread of irrigation have led to this remarkable tripling of output since the early 1960s. Unfortunately, a growing share of the water that irrigates three-fifths of India's grain harvest is coming from wells that are starting to go dry. This sets the stage for a major disruption in food supplies for India's growing population. In recent years about 27 million wells have been drilled, chasing water tables downward in every Indian state.
November 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Just 90 companies worldwide produced fuels that generated two-thirds of industrial greenhouse gas emissions from 1854 to 2010, according to a new study. The 90 biggest producers of fuels driving climate change include investor-owned corporations, such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron, and state-owned oil companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Mexico's Pemex. The study attributes 914 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases to the fuels extracted by the companies, which is 63% of the total 1,450 billion metric tons of emissions estimated since the mid-19th century.
November 19, 2013
Re "Rising Pacific tides," Opinion, Nov. 13 How poignant to read of a man from the Pacific island nation of Kiribati seeking asylum in New Zealand because rising tides are swamping his homeland. If, decades ago, oil companies had been required to internalize the environmental cost of carbon dioxide emissions, we might not be at this crisis point. One effective action would be to levy a fee on carbon emissions. British Columbia and Sweden are doing so and are reducing their emissions.
November 15, 2013 |
At the U.N. climate negotiations in Warsaw on Monday, the lead Philippine delegate, Yeb Sano, made an emotional plea: "Typhoons such as Haiyan and its impacts represent a sobering reminder to the international community that we cannot afford to procrastinate on climate action. " But was Sano's statement consistent with the science? Most of the scientists who have been asked that question in recent days have replied with dutiful statements that sound like "no. " No single event can be attributed to climate change.
November 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, announced Friday that she will be stepping down by the end of 2014. Starting as an intern in 1973 three years after the group's inception, Beinecke, 64, was only the second president in the NRDC's history, after she took over for founding president, John Adams, in 2006. “I'm making this decision public now to give the organization time to identify a successor and make an orderly transition to new leadership at the end of next year,” Beinecke said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2013 |
Could Los Angeles prosper without electricity from fossil fuels? Could the city shun water imported from the Sierra Nevada, even as a changing climate brings hotter days and a declining snowpack? Those are some of the questions being tackled by a new research initiative at UCLA that seeks to confront and adapt to climate change at the local level. The project, to be announced Friday, aims to unite more than 60 faculty members from a range of disciplines around an audacious goal: shifting the Los Angeles region to 100% renewable energy and local water by 2050 without harming biodiversity.
November 13, 2013
Re "The toil in Mexican tomatoes," Nov. 11 The United States is the land of liberty, opportunity and happiness. In complete contrast are parts of Mexico. Last year, $1-billion worth of vegetables was exported from the state of Sinaloa, including nearly half the tomatoes Americans consume. The people who pick those vegetables should live like kings, yet they live like peasants. We contribute to their destitution. They produce their most prized resource for us, and we cheat them by not ensuring that they receive proper wages.
November 13, 2013 |
Los Angeles County could create tens of thousands of new jobs and reduce global-warming-causing carbon emissions if solar-voltaic panels are installed on just 5% of available rooftops, says a just-issued report. The study by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA, released Wednesday, predicts that 29,000 installer jobs would open up. Carbon emissions would be reduced by 1.25 million tons, the equivalent of taking a quarter of a million cars off the roads each year.
November 13, 2013 |
Society has slowed down global warming several times over the last century without even trying, new research says. A study found that the rate of global warming has ratcheted down in response to major world events, including the two world wars, the Great Depression and, most recently, a global ban on ozone-depleting substances. Researchers attribute the most recent slowdown, since the late 1990s, at least in part to the decline in emissions of chlorofluorocarbons, greenhouse gases that were phased out under the 1989 Montreal Protocol . The international treaty was not intended to fight climate change, but to protect the atmosphere's ozone layer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2013
Join Times staff writer Tony Barboza for a L.A. Now Live chat Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. about the newest findings on climate change. In his latest piece, Barboza reported that an international panel of scientists says climate change will disrupt not only the natural world but also society, posing risks to the world's economy and the food and water supply and contributing to violent conflict. The warnings came in a report drafted by the United Nations -backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.