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View of the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Florida, on Oct. 13. HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP / Getty Images

As Scientists Sound Climate Change Alarm, States Lead on Solutions

By Abigail Dillen

This column originally appeared in USA Today.

The world's leading panel of climate experts sounded the alarm this week that we are running out of time to get rising temperatures under control. Its latest report calls for "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented" steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, from worsening wildfires and extreme drought to rising sea levels and more powerful storms. It also reminds us what is at stake if we fail to act: our health, our food and water security, our environment and our economy.

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A tree falling on a power line ignites a fire in Colesville, MD on June 13, 2013. A California utility cut power to 60,000 customers to prevent a wildfire sparking from an incident like this. Michael S. Williamson / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Power Cut to 60,000 in Northern California to Prevent Wildfires

Major California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) shut off power to 60,000 Northern California residents Sunday night in an attempt to reduce the risk of wildfires sparking from hot, dry windy weather, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday.

A total of 100,000 people were warned their power might be cut off due to wind speeds of 60 miles per hour and gusts of 70 miles per hour increasing the risk of electrical fires.

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Del Mar, a beach city in San Diego. atramos / CC BY 2.0

Top 10 Greenest Cities in America

San Diegans, pat yourselves on the back. Your city was ranked as 2018's "greenest city" in the U.S., beating out perennially crunchy San Franciscans by less than a point, according to WalletHub's calculations.

In a report released this week, the personal finance website compared the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 26 key "green" indicators, from greenhouse gas emissions per capita to share of electricity from renewable sources. Even the number of farmers markets and green job opportunities were considered.

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Millions of pounds of trash are transported to Santa Monica Bay via stormwater discharge. Image courtesy of Heal the Bay

Now Is the Time to Fund Stormwater Projects in Los Angeles County

By Corinne Bell

This November, voters in Los Angeles County will have the opportunity to help address the largest source of pollution to surface waters in our region: stormwater. Measure W would finally create a funding stream to pay for projects necessary to address stormwater pollution and flooding.

These projects would also increase local water supply, improve air quality and reduce the urban "heat island" effect, among other benefits. Measure W ensures that the communities that typically bear the burden of environmental harms will get their fair share of these beneficial projects, as the Measure seeks to provide Disadvantaged Community (DAC) benefits in proportion to the DAC population in the County.

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Rabbits being held for cosmetic eye-irritancy testing. PA Images via Getty Images

California Passes First U.S. Ban on Animal-Tested Cosmetics

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a first-of-its-kind law banning the sale of animal tested cosmetics Friday, the Huffington Post reported.

"We are grateful to Governor Brown for signing this bill," California state director for the Humane Society of the United States Crystal Moreland said in a press release. "I am proud that California is the first state in the nation to take a stand against cruel cosmetic animal testing."

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California restaurants will only be able to serve plastic straws like these upon request. Horia Varlan / CC BY 2.0

California Becomes First State to Regulate Plastic Straws

California became the first state in the U.S. to ban plastic straws in dine-in restaurants Thursday when Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to that effect, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The law, which will enter into force Jan. 1, prohibits restaurants from providing straws unless a customer requests one. It covers only sit-down eateries, not fast food restaurants, delis or coffee shops.

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California's Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a news conference held at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on Thursday, Sept. 13. Anda Chu / Digital First Media / The Mercury News / Getty Images

California Launching Its ‘Own Damn Satellite’

In a rebuke to the Trump administration, California will launch its "own damn satellite" to monitor pollution, Gov. Jerry Brown announced last week on the last day of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

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A group of mayors with event co-chair and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Global Climate Action Summit. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

4 Groundbreaking Announcements From the Global Climate Action Summit

Over the past three days, more than 4,000 people have gathered in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) convened by California Governor Jerry Brown to mobilize regional, local and business leaders around climate change.

Seventeen states and 400 cities, representing together the world's third largest economy, have now joined Brown and summit co-chair and UN special envoy for climate action Michael Bloomberg's "We're Still In" commitment to honor the terms of the Paris agreement despite President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw, and Bloomberg announced at the summit Thursday that the group was making progress, The Nation reported.

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Energy
Solar panels are mounted atop the roof of the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles. Mario Tama / Getty Images News

California Commits to 100% Clean Energy By 2045

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a law to require that 100 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2045, making it the second state after Hawaii to set such a mandate.

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