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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Eco Watch

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

This is very concerning, however there are many people focused on working on solutions that reimagine the way we relate to our ocean ecosystems. Concerned California citizens have been partnering with Greenwave.org and CA Fish and Wildlife to strategize on how to successfully permit and implement restorative ocean enterprises that restore kelp forests through actively seeding native varieties of kelp to help repopulate kelp forests. Please reach out to support Greenwave.org's work and sponsor this CA initiative.

Erin Axelrod
Sonoma County, CA

Posted by Erin Axelrod on 12/03/2017 at 6:54 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

The Sixth Great Extinction. We're probably not that far down the list.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/01/2017 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Nature has it's own ability to recover but sometimes we need to help them to heal or recover.
We all need to harvest or remove purple urchins as many as possible and migrate starfishes and implement seaweed seed on to the bottom of the rocks.

Posted by Sungsik Joo on 11/30/2017 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

As a abalone diver who's been diving over 25 years I've never seen it so bad. Places I've dove for years are now a Barron waste land of urchins . This is a problem that I believe can be repaired. Bull kelp seed will lay dormant for years and grows fast. We as the stewards of our oceans must take action. Instead of taking your abalone and getting out take a bag of urchins. Fish and game could aslo put some of our tax dollars to work and hire these out of work urchins divers to clean up and harvest these purple urchins. The starfish are coming back slowly but it's up to us to fix this. A hand full of urchin divers could clean up a cove in a day and within a matter of weeks the kelp will start to return. We divers need to press Fish and Game to allocate money for the clean up of our ocean. 10 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the total collapse of one of the last great wild abalone populations in the world. I call on every sportman and woman to take action and put pressure on the fish and game to fix this. It can be done if we take action now . Let's not wait on fish and Game to do nothing which we all know will happen. Sometimes nature needs a little help. Starfish are coming back but without a effort to rid some of these coves of urchins there is no way the Starfish alone can solve this by themselves!! The time for action is now so please get involved and let's make sure your kids kids have the opertunity to enjoy one of natures greatest delicacys !!

Posted by Donald Gates on 11/30/2017 at 7:04 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Phil Sammet is diving in or near Fort Ross? Isn't that area closed? That location was decimated several years ago from a red tide and no wonder he saw no abalone there. Not a fair representation of the healthier populations further north. The kelp growth has actually increased this year from last in the spots we dive in northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties. No question about the urchins though. Everywhere except the isolated rock outcroppings where the abalone have clustered in big numbers and the urchins can't migrate across the sand. Those isolated areas also have abundant kelp growth again.

Posted by Scott E. on 11/29/2017 at 4:18 PM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

Abalone have been overfished for decades, this just adds to the problem. They once were so abundant in Big Sur that you could harvest at low tide in sneakers. They have been gone for many years from there.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 11/29/2017 at 8:00 AM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

Not only is Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program not Working.. If it trades third world REDD carbon credits; climate chaos, violence & land grabs are likely to increase

This article convincingly presents the ineffectiveness of California's Cap and Trade(AB398). But it only begins to present the global suffering, dislocation and acculturation that is likely to be caused by AB398's proposed trading of developing country carbon offset through REDD+ (REDD). REDD is an acronym for a program that stands for the reducing emissions due to deforestation & forest degradation. These destructive forest processes emit around 20% of the worlds green house gases, more than those emitted by all global transportation. One of the REDD program's main methods is to biologically sequester carbon in forests & create carbon credits for sale & trading. The REDD agreement text only requests that REDD participants "address" "tenure issues", "forest governance", "safeguards" and "participation" for marginalized and traditional forest people. Would REDD promoters or Governor Brown sign an agreement that only "addressed" their family's property rights or human rights without the legal requirement to enforce those rights? And what if those supporters also lived in a remote forest in the Amazon, without legal means to enforce those rights?

Jorge Furagaro Kuetgaje, climate coordinator for COICA, the Indigenous People of the Amazon Basin stated, For us to continue to conserve the tropical forests we need to have strong rights to those forests. Death should not be the price we pay for playing our part in preventing the emissions that fuel climate change. For more on REDD Rights abuses see: http://www.cifor.org/publications/pdf_file…

The human rights and land tenure (i.e. land ownership) enforcement record of tropical forested countries is alarming. Global Witness's November 30, 2015 Press release stated, At least 640 land and environmental activists have been killed since the 2009 climate negotiations in Copenhagen - some shot by police during protests, others gunned down by hired assassins."

REDD supporters have found a few communities confident enough in their land ownership and human rights to participate in and support REDD activities, but they are a minuscule minority of the worlds forest people. Those rights makes it practical for them to think long-term about their resources, which is a precondition for biologically sustainable resource management. More attention needs to be given to secure land tenure and human rights as a legal requirement for REDD or other programs promoting environmental resilience in third world forests. The vast majority of forest people need those rights now and will need them even more if exposed to the market forces that AB398's REDD carbon trading would unleash.

?REDD and AB398 supporters, what is the strategy and text that ensures that REDD requires the recognition and enforcement of customary resource ownership and human rights for forest people prior to REDD project funding or carbon offset creation?

Posted by Norman Lippman on 11/27/2017 at 3:13 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

Whats with the negative, clickbait-y title of this article? Cap and Trade is something we all should support wholeheartedly. Its a tangible step in the right direction and an economicly-friendly solution at that.

The main issue is that corporations were able to lobby their way into exemption. Of which, Jerry Brown had little to nothing to do with.

As an civil engineer who was professionally tracking the development & implementation of AB32 as it affected California utilities & industries - the whole point of this program is to be a proof-of-concept for broader implementation nationally and globally.

California has led the way in environmental laws & regulations for decades and prospered for it - we should be proud!

What can you do to help: encourage CA to take a stronger stance on forcing ALL sectors to participate. These decisions were not made by elected officials and usually with very few folks at the table at the end of the day. We can make a difference!

Posted by Sarah Merrill on 11/25/2017 at 11:05 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

Ronald Stein's screed reminds me of the Mark Twain quote, "reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." People have been saying California's on its last leg for decades.

Posted by chris gilbert on 11/24/2017 at 6:48 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

From the Environmental Defense Fund Blog
By Erica Morehouse and Katelyn Roedner Sutter

California and Quebec released results today for the November 2017 auction which showed steady prices well above the floor for the second auction in a row. The November auction was also the second in a row to sell out of allowances. Both outcomes are a reflection of the secure market that is now set to run through 2030, and demonstrate that the design features of cap and trade are working as expected to maintain a strong and stable program.

November Auction At-a-Glance

Approximately $862,407,989 raised for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to invest in a number of programs including clean transportation, urban greening, and improving local air quality.

All current vintage allowances were sold of the 79,548,286 offered for sale, including 15,909,657 allowances that were previously unsold in 2016. This is the first auction including held allowances.

Current vintage allowances sold at $15.06, $1.49 above the $13.57 floor price. This is 31 cents higher than the August clearing price.

All future vintage allowances sold of the 9,723,500 offered for sale. These allowances will not be available for compliance use until 2020. For the second auction in a row, future vintage allowances sold out above the floor price, showing strong confidence in the cap-and-trade program after 2020.

Posted by Daniel Carroll on 11/24/2017 at 4:47 PM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

And 25% of cap and trade money goes to the dumb high-speed rail project:
http://legal-planet.org/2017/07/18/cap-and…

Posted by Rob Anderson on 11/23/2017 at 10:44 AM

Re: “Jerry Brown's Cap-and-Trade Program Isn't Working

Californias relentless crusade against emissions has been a very effective camouflage to its relentless need for revenues. The original landmark bill AB32 that was signed into law in 2006 when California was contributing 1% to the worlds greenhouse gases, has been ineffective in reducing Californias contributions to the worlds greenhouse gases. A decade later in 2016, according to the California Energy Commission we still contribute a miniscule1 percent. The cap & trade program that hits the motorists pocketbooks and has had little to no impact on the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions, but it has successfully extracted more than $7 Billion dollars of revenue from our citizens to fund a multitude of governmental pet projects.

Californias elected officials must be in La La Land when they state that Californias economy is thriving in large part because of its emphasis on enacting sweeping environmental legislation. Californias economy, like the rest of the nation, has been booming ever since the recession, but California is ranking up where the state is NOT proud of. The California go-it-alone crusade to reduce emissions has been very inflationary on the economy. Heres what is really UP in California today:

1) California taxes and cost of living are higher than most other states. 2) Californias energy costs for transportation fuels and electricity continue to be the most expensive in the country. 3) Nearly 25% of Californians 38 million live below the poverty line. 4) California has more than 33% of the nations welfare recipients, 5) California is home to 12% of the nations population, but startlingly 21% of the nations homeless population, 6) The majority of California renters: Nearly 3 million households pay more than 30% of their income toward rent, 7) Roughly 1.5 million households pay more than 50% of their income toward rent, and 8) Unfunded pension liabilities. Our Golden State schools are on track to force substantial budgetary cutbacks on core education spending, as public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars away from public services.

The green movement is beneficial to reducing emissions, but wind and solar are only able to provide intermittent electricity to the grid, but they are not alternatives to the hydrocarbon products that are driving the airports, military, vehicles and trucks, and are the basis of every component of modern civilizations industries and infrastructures.

Posted by Ronald Stein on 11/22/2017 at 11:55 AM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Gary Patton, I don't usually agree with you but in this instance it's one hundred percent agreement.

EBX and it's staff have become every bit as bad (and the reporting as poor) as the old Hearst organs. The only thing missing is "Remember the Maine!"

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/21/2017 at 10:08 PM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Did I send for you? Hey. Gary Patton. Thanks for reading both articles and observing the language that was used in which, I don't know if a article and an op-ed that's released on same day could have used your language. It's an universal language, when you live this Injustice you don't have to learn or read about it to write about it. It's speaking truth to power. #EJ4ALL

Posted by EM Goolsby on 11/21/2017 at 6:07 PM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Hey EM, if you are going to co opt my comments about the General Plan and Zoning being the problem in an article you wrote to the Tribune, next time at least give me some credit in a footnote. It is what writers with integrity and not a political agenda do. Also, if you want to play the race card as your main offensive weapon, at least be historically correct. In the case of West Oakland, in the early 20th century, most of the residential populations around industry were Italian, Portuguese and Irish. Blacks did not make the great migration to Oakland from the south until the 1940's and 50's. Similarly, in East Oakland, many industrial land uses predated the construction of residential neighborhoods that came later and ultimately served that same migratory population. Just because Black people are there now does not always mean that these uses were placed there because Blacks lived nearby. Not that there are never cases where that is a factor. But just as historically correct is that these uses chose locations because of economic factors like proximity to the Port as well as convenient rail and truck transportation.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/20/2017 at 2:25 PM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Oh goody! More NIMBYs

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 11/17/2017 at 4:39 AM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

Where is your compassion and understanding of environmental racism, which includes planning and zoning. there is not toxic and Industrials where affluent or people in Oakland that live in the hills have to endure those impacts. understand what it does to one's health and in this identified top 5% disadvantaged communities by https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen/report/calenviroscreen-30 CalEnviroScreen East OaklandS leadership, planning department, planning commissioner and the loopholes in the city where a business comes in and allowed to still operate knowing what it emits THAT KILLS peole and again those people it is going to impact, is environmental racism.

Posted by EM Goolsby on 11/15/2017 at 12:31 AM

Re: “The Return of the Crematorium

There is no doubt that poor and low income neighborhoods in America have always been impacted by injustice and unequal treatment when it comes to nuisance land uses that create dangerous environmental impacts. Lack of political power and lack of concern and sensitivity for the welfare of these neighborhoods (racism) by politicians are most assuredly to blame. Both West Oakland and East Oakland have long histories of industrial land uses interspersed in and around residential neighborhoods. As the factories and warehouses which once provided jobs for residents of these neighborhoods began to disappear in the later part of last century, awareness of environmental issues began to increase. Remaining on many of these sites are the dormant remnants of previous industry. There are storage tanks, lubricants, oils, solvents, paints, and contaminants of all kind.While I understand the concern about the Neptune Society, the fact is that they prevailed in court because they followed the zoning and environmental laws in existence at the time they chose to locate a site in East Oakland. Because of political pressure, the City then tried to retroactively deny their permit, which is illegal.There is also the "poltergeist" factor of a crematorium, which nobody wants to live next to, but many choose as an alternative for deceased love ones. Neighbors should be concerned about the impacts of remaining industrial uses whose operations are grandfathered from modern air and soil monitoring requirements. In addition, there are regional ambient environmental impacts from freeways filled with diesel trucks servicing the Port of Oakland and stuck on I-880 in traffic. There are diesel powered container ships sitting at the Port for days until they can offload their cargo. There is a prevailing southeast wind blowing contaminants over East Oakland 24 hours a day. These impacts are real whether or not the Neptune Society locates in East Oakland. They are also a much more dangerous threat to short and long term public health. It is good that people are mobilizing to protect their neighborhood, but the Neptune lesson is that neighborhoods need to focus on areas where they can actually make a difference. If neighbors want to affect change, make the City amend the General Plan and Zoning laws, which were the real problem in this case, not environmental racism by individual decision makers.

Posted by Gary Patton on 11/14/2017 at 6:58 PM

Re: “Living Dangerously

We control the fire in these developed areas. As a result, the vegetation grows more dense, and more flammable. A natural area would be burned out on a regular basis, making the area less flammable. The homes in these areas need to have a yearly tax that pays for regular brush, road, tree and other clearance. Then they would be paying for the cost which the fire ultimately imposes on other taxpayers.

Posted by Jerry Udinksy on 10/26/2017 at 1:57 PM

Re: “Living Dangerously

Story, while usefully informative especially for those who have never reflected on California ecology, fire science or land-use policy, omits making critical connections.

It's all about transportation. Suburbs, the WUI and even the denser urban areas of California are all designed for the automobile.

It's like building a highrise office building with a separate elevator for everyone who works in the building. That's as sensible as what we've done in developing land, building buildings and creating transportation infrastructure.

We would have to rethink how we get around in order to use land better.

No, the robocar is not the solution--it's still a car.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 10/26/2017 at 10:19 AM

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