environment | KALW

environment

Julia Llinas Goodman / KALW

Since shelter in place began, health officials around the Bay Area have struggled to deal with packed parks and beaches. And then there are the crowds at Lake Merritt.

Ingrid Taylar / Flickr Creative Commons


The Spare the Air season normally begins on May 4. But the district said at that time, so few people were driving because of shelter in place that the air quality was actually really good.

Now as stay at home orders relax. More people are driving. 

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Melissa Jones is the Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiatives, a coalition of the region's public health departments. The coalition has been meeting regularly to discuss best practices for policy decisions around COVID19. One of which is whether or not counties should keep their parks open for residents to access during the shelter in place order. 

Sandip Roy

  Nature marks the season whether or not our human world is out of whack, but soon it will all be back to its old noisy polluted self. But for these few weeks as humans suffer, the earth is healing itself. I just wish we didn’t need a pandemic to hear our earth breathe.

Jan Roletto / Wikimedia Commons

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Brit Byrd wanted to know, “Why does San Francisco have the Farallon Islands? They’re thirty miles off the coast, but they’re legally part of San Francisco. What’s up with that?” 

Frank B. Rudolph

Oakland’s Lake Merritt was the nation’s first wildlife refuge, before Yosemite, before Yellowstone.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

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California is taking stronger measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Disneyland shut down. Same with sports. And the San Francisco Unified School District will be closed to students for three weeks beginning Monday. But what's being done for the most vulnerable?

Reed Saxon / AP Photo

Climate change is fueling devastating wildfires in California, and in some cases, low-wage immigrant workers are cleaning up after them. They sweep ash out of houses and strip debris from burned buildings.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

In October 2019, a stretch of dry weather and strong winds sparked dozens of wildfires across California, killing three people and destroying hundreds of homes. For the low-wage immigrants who work in those homes, fire season brings its own dangers.

Pleasanton Faces Newly Discovered Water Contamination

Feb 25, 2020
Brett Simpson / KALW

PFAS is a man-made superchemical used to make carpets stain-resistant and pans nonstick, but it’s toxic to human health. It’s also turning up in drinking water supplies nationwide. Wherever people test for it, it seems to show up, and California’s just beginning to test, thanks to a new state law.

Schizoform / Flickr / Creative Commons

 

It’s been an unusually dry February in the Bay Area, causing concern about a potential drought. Now, federal regulators have added to those worries with the announcement that Santa Clara County’s largest water supply needs to be drained.

Brett Simpson / KALW

You may not have heard of the chemical PFAS, but you probably touched it at some point today. It’s a man-made chemical in tons of products in our homes, like nonstick pans and food packaging. But it’s toxic. And in at least one preschool in Berkeley, it’s in the carpets. 

Photo courtesy of Rhiana Gunn-Wright/modified from original

Meet the woman who helped develop The Green New Deal--and how you can make a difference in the climate crisis. 

Photo courtesy of Heather McTeer Toney/modified from original

Meet Heather McTeer Toney.. the National Field Director at Moms Clean Air Force, which fights for climate safety to protect our children's health. She shares how her two terms as the first African-American, first female and youngest mayor of Greenville, MS helps her be an even more effective activist, and what one thing motivates people to make big changes.

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Experts and enthusiasts discuss another year of data.

Marco Siler-Gonzales / KALW News

The only road that leads to Martins Beach is on property owned by tech billionaire Vinod Khosla. Last week, the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Khosla saying he has been “improperly and illegally” restricting public access.

lesleyk / AP Photo

A new cafe culture is brewing in San Francisco, where a growing number of coffee houses are banishing paper to-go cups and replacing them with everything from glass jars to rental mugs.

Jerome Paulos / BHS Jacket

From Greta Thunberg to Youth vs. Apocalypse, young people around the world are fighting climate change. But in Berkeley, where students have been pushing environmental goals for decades, logistical realities are making sustainable solutions difficult.

Ariella Markowitz / KALW

If you live in West Oakland, you’re more likely to visit the emergency room for a respiratory illness than anywhere else in the Bay Area. The culprit is diesel pollution, and heavy-duty trucks are a big part of the problem. Now, truckers like Bill Aboudi are going to be part of the solution.

Béatrice Karjalainen. Flickr Creative Commons. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last month, the Bay Area got a taste of what our new fire season could look like. Big fires, and big blackouts. And it’s not over yet.

Photo courtesy of Youth vs Apocalypse/modified from original

Isha Clarke is an activist with Youth vs Apocalypse. You may know her from a viral video where she asked Senator Dianne Feinstein to move the Green New Deal forward; she helped organize the youth Climate Strike in San Francisco that attracted 30,000 students, during the international "week of action" when Greta Thurnberg sailed to America. She is a high school student working every day to reverse the climate crisis because as she says..." we have this power and responsibility to make this radical change.

Courtesy of Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

California is getting an energy czar. That’s according to Governor Gavin Newsom, who announced a big re-shaping of the utility company PG&E in response to the state’s ongoing wildfire crisis. 

Courtesy of NorCal Underwater Hunters

Purple sea urchins are spiny underwater invertebrates that look like pincushions. They’re native to the ocean along the California coast and share their home with sought-after delicacies like red urchin and abalone. Now, after a few years of rapid growth, some people are calling purple sea urchins a scourge.

Licensed through Creative Commons

The Latest on California wildfires (all times local):

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Smartphones are making the wilderness easier to access, but no longer a place to escape and unplug.

Richmond Brings Air Pollution Control To The People

Oct 22, 2019
Sharon Beals

We hear a lot about bad air quality in California. And, it’s hard to know what to do about it. But thanks to a 2017 law, two Bay Area communities known for their air pollution are helping set their own air quality policies. But what does putting air pollution in the hands of the people really look like? 

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Meet a maverick fire chief in the Sierra Nevada who says California’s forests are actually not having enough fire, or, the right kind of fires.

A Survey Of Straws: Which Ones Fail To Suck?

Oct 2, 2019
Alice Woelfle / KALW

Who would have thought straws could be so controversial? Alternatives to plastic straws are everywhere. Which ones suck, and which ones fail to suck? And don’t we have much larger environmental problems to solve?

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On this edition of Your Call's media roundtable, we'll discuss coverage of today's global climate strikes. The turnout so far, from the Pacific Islands to Europe, has been massive. We'll also discuss the Covering Climate Now Project. More than 300 media outlets, including KALW, have been covering the climate crisis all week.

https://www.michaelmann.net

  

On this edition of Your Call's One Planet series, we kick off a special week of coverage about the climate crisis with Penn State Atmospheric Science professor Michael Mann.

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