Plant Trees SF Events 2015 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Event

 
Nature News from Jake Sigg
To subscribe to this newsletter, send an email with SUBSCRIBE in
the Subject field to jakesigg@earthlink.net

"Biologists will never be sure that they have found and named every
last species on Earth.  But they have a long way to go before they can
even start to wonder."	Nigel Stork and Kevin Gaston, New Scientists,
1990

1.   Population growth will erase conservation efforts/growing
population=growing energy needs=growing water needs
2.   Planners propose 300,000 more people in San Francisco by 2020
3.   Naomi Shihab Nye says you can't order a poem like you order a taco
4.   Keep It In The Ground tells about more carbon bombs on the drawing board
5.   Livable City's Livability Awards June 1
6.   Horrible bird news from Portland prompts Judy Irving to create
new film: Cormorants in the Crosshairs
7.   SaveTheFrogs will teach you how to build your own backyard
wetland/Kranky Kids Radio Show talks frogs
8.   SHARP provides voice for the civil rights of American Muslims Monday May 18
9.   Mushrooms in the Garden - in Oakland May 20
10. WALC across the City year-end celebration-fundraiser/Student poem
Before and After Life
11.  Rock the Highway! Fundraiser party to support suit against
Caltrans' doubling width of Highway 1 - May 17
12.  Pope Leo XIII sends message to capitalists/employers
13.  Animal suffering
14.  Emily Dickinson on this day in 1886 "could not stop for Death/He
kindly stopped for me"

1.
CALIFORNIA POPULATION GROWTH WILL ERASE CONSERVATION EFFORTS

It's sometimes easy to forget--amid so many areas abundant with
greenery and vibrant flowers--that much of California is desert, or
semi-arid, and water woes have long been part of the state's history.
Only through massive water infrastructure projects and irrigation has
so much of the state bloomed.

More water woes are ahead, as drought severity has continued to worsen
since 2012. As well, much of California depends on the Sierra
snowpack, and 25 percent of it is expected to be gone by 2050, due to
a warming and drying climate.


California has mandated that water agencies reduce water consumption
by 20 percent by 2020. They're on track to do that, but an
ever-growing population in California will eventually erase the water
savings generated by thrifty water usage and technological
enhancements such as "toilet-to-
tap" water.

The agencies' estimates indicate gains will be overtaken by population
growth by 2030 when the state is expected to have about 5 million more
people than today's population of over 39 million. And by 2050,
according to the California Department of Finance, the state's
population is projected to be nearly 50 million.

A recent story in The Sacramento Bee quoted several sources who talked
about being more "innovative" in how we use water, the need to "work
harder" on conservation and how to make do with the same amount of
water even as population grows. Clearly missing was any reference to
limiting population growth.

For a look at CAPS original documentary, "California Then and Now,"
which deals with water and other issues, go to:

CAPSweb.org/about/california-then-now


WHERE THERE'S A WELL THERE'S A WAY
By Leon Kolankiewicz, CAPS Senior Writing Fellow

Politicians and the special interests who own them smirk at Americans'
yearning for reduced immigration rates, and so our country continues
chugging immigrants like an immature college freshman chugging beer.
Because of this recklessness our already overpopulated country
continues piling on 25 to 30 million new inhabitants or more every
decade.

Two consequences of an ever larger population are growing demand for
energy in all forms and growing demand for water.

As America's teeming multitudes mount higher and higher, and
California's mountains of people begin to rival the Sierra Nevada
Range in sheer size, it is all but inevitable that resource conflicts
will emerge and surge.


One such conflict is between fossil fuel extraction and water. In the
East, thousands of miles of trout streams have been rendered sterile
of aquatic life by acid mine drainage from mined-out, high-sulfur coal
seams laced with iron pyrite or fool's gold (FeS2), which produces
sulfuric acid (H2SO4) when oxidized upon exposure to air and water. In
the Gulf of Mexico, BP's Deepwater Horizon 2010 blowout cost 11 lives
in the initial explosion and caused the largest, most damaging oil
spill in U.S. history. Ironically, the massive drilling rig exploded
on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. How symbolic and dispiriting.

The boom in hydraulic fracturing to boost America's natural gas
production from shale (shale gas), which entails injection of more
than a million gallons of chemical-laden water per well, has also put
aquifers and water supplies at risk of methane and chemical
contamination in some areas. There are infamous images of nearby
residents who can use a lighter to light the water coming out of their
kitchen faucets--turning it from a tap to a torch--because it is so
permeated with methane (CH4 or natural gas).

In California's southern Central Valley, where oil and agriculture
have long been operating cheek to jowl, long-standing competition and
conflicts between oil and water have been exacerbated by the state's
vicious drought.

As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle recently, oil companies
have been injecting wastewater from their operations into aquifers
that had been clean enough for people to drink.

California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, which
regulates and manages oil-field operations in the state, has allowed
oil companies to drill 171 wastewater disposal wells into high-quality
aquifers that were supposed to be protected by federal law.

A rapidly growing population and rapidly growing demands for limited
and shrinking resources, both renewable (water) and nonrenewable (oil
and gas) alike, will only further exacerbate problems like this.


This and much much more can be found on
http://www.capsweb.org/spring-2015-newsletter

###########################

2.  San Francisco Tomorrow - May 2015 newsletter

About the Drought

Despite clear evidence of a massive insufficiency of future water
supply, City Planners and Administration are proposing a population
increase of 300,000 persons in San Francisco by 2020. The Governor's
administrative directive to 40 water agencies to cut water usage by
25% is grossly inadequate to deal with the water crisis now and in the
long run.

This is the fourth straight year of below-average rainfall, and this
year's snowpack is 6% of normal. No amount of new surface storage
would help us because it would have been used up in one of the prior
below-average years. SFPUC has plans written for an eight-year drought
- but any drought management plan has to rely upon conservation.

The future of California's water supply lies in management of our
groundwater supplies, which provide about 40% of California's water in
normal years. Some local surface storage that aids in groundwater
replenishment might be needed, but the days of large reservoirs are
over. The good news is that legislation to regulate and manage
groundwater was passed last year.

The call for more surface storage in reservoirs ignores the fact that
the two main surface projects being proposed would add less than 1% to
the state's water supply, and cost more than any other water supply.
That's because all of the major rivers out of the Sierra are already
dammed, and these new dams would only fill up in years of excess
rainfall. The capacity of all the reservoirs in the state is a
thimbleful compared to our groundwater capacity.

Unlike the Planning Department, which has limited outside oversight,
the SFPUC is required to prepare and submit an Urban Water Management
Plan to the State every 5 years that describes their current water
supplies, provides a 20-year population projection and identifies the
water supply for that 20-year period. The 2015 plan is due at the end
of the year.

The Governor knew years ago that in addition to conservation measures,
statewide desalinization and storage were needed with enormous capital
expenditures. The recent water bond measure allows continued
"fracking" and farming on Tule Lake's arsenic soils. What kind of
political blindness is this?


##############################
3.
VALENTINE FOR ERNEST MANN
Naomi Shihab Nye

You can't order a poem like you order a taco.
Walk up to the counter, say, "I'll take two."
And expect it to be handed back to you on a shiny plate
Still, I like your spirit. Anyone who says, "Here's my address, Write
me a poem," deserves something in reply.
So I'll tell you a secret instead:
poems hide. In the bottom of our shoes, they are sleeping. They are
the shadows drifting across our ceilings the moment before we wake up.
What we have to do is live in a way that lets us find them.
Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious. He was a serious
man who lived in a serious way. Nothing
was ugly just because my world said so.
He really liked those skunks. So, he reinvented them as valentines and
they became beautiful.  At least, to him. And the poems that had been
hiding in the eyes of skunks for centuries crawled out and curled up
at his feet.

Maybe if we re-invent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the
odd sock in your drawer, the person you
almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

########################
4.

Here is our first story on global "carbon bombs". These are 14 giant
proposed fossil fuel projects around the world. The numbers are
staggering. If they go ahead, these projects will lead to the emission
of 6.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2020. That is as much as
the entire US emits annually.

View the interactive

In the first, our Australia environment specialist Oliver Milman
visits the Galilee basin in Queensland. The plans here are truly
colossal. Developers hope to establish a series of mines to exploit a
deposit of 247,000 sq km (95,400 sq miles) of coal: a land mass the
size of Britain. If the complex is fully developed, CO2 emissions from
the burned coal would top 700m tonnes a year. That would mean a CO2
output just behind Germany. There are also concerns that the project
will also impact the Great Barrier Reef because of the risks posed by
increased shipping to export the coal. We have established that the
Australian government has engaged in a frantic diplomatic push to
avoid the Great Barrier Reef being listed as "in danger" by the UN.

Preventing the Galilee basin coal mines and other projects from going
ahead is the front line of efforts to Keep it in the Ground and
prevent dangerous climate change.

Please Facebook and tweet this story using #KeepitintheGround to drive
awareness of what's at stake in the Galilee basin.

Facebook
Tweet

Over the coming weeks we will profile four more of these carbon bombs
in Canada, China, Brazil, the Arctic.

On a more positive note, this week we reported on some promising new
solar technology being developed by a Swedish company in South Africa.
It combines sleek 100 square metre mirrored dishes with technology
first developed by a 19th century Scottish engineer and clergyman -
plus some added Swedish military know-how. Its developers say it is
close to commercialisation and is the most efficient solar technology
anywhere in the world. We'll keep an eye on whether it lives up to
promise.

And...back to next week. Both the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation say they carefully scrutinise the companies
they invest in. Next week we will take a careful look at the social
and environmental record of some of those companies and share the
results. Watch this space.

#########################
5.
Livable City's annual Livability Awards are just a few weeks away.
We'll have plenty of food, drink, and music for you to enjoy as we
recognize four awardees who have made a tremendous positive impact in
San Francisco.

Sam Mogannam leads the Bi-Rite family of businesses, who have long
advocated for local employment, local and sustainable food, and
nutrition education. Bonnie Nelson has worked throughout her career to
reshape the transportation industry, influencing projects across the
U.S. to adopt more sustainable transportation plans and creating a
generation of progressive transportation planners. As Executive
Director of the California Bicycle Coalition, Dave Snyder has
tirelessly worked to improve cyclists' safety statewide and increased
spending on cycling infrastructure. The Planning Department's
Legislative Affairs Division is behind every planning law approved by
the City. Recently, the team has worked to overhaul planning
regulations, reform restaurant codes, and enabled the construction of
more affordable housing. Together, our awardees continue to make
positive impacts throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area on a daily
basis.

I invite you to join Livable City in recognizing this year's awardees
while mingling with San Francisco's most devoted and knowledgeable
transit, development, and open space leaders. Your ticket will
directly support Livable City's policy work. This year, we've helped
legalize new units in earthquake-retrofitted buildings, cleaned up
Article 2 of the Planning Code, and removed minimum parking
requirements in several districts. We've also led an effort to create
priority conservation areas, specifically around the San Miguel hills,
to preserve open space and create recreation areas along our city's
spine. Buy your ticket today.  Tom Radulovich

############################
6.
On May 13, 2015, at 11:35 AM, Judy Irving wrote:
Jake,
I've started a new, short film called "Cormorants in the Crosshairs,"
reacting to this horrible news:
http://audubonportland.org/news/may11-2015

If anyone has video of double-crested cormorants fishing underwater,
we need that. We also need sound fx. Stills we've got. We want to help
stop this massacre before the next breeding season by supporting
Portland Oregon Audubon's lawsuit with this free film, which will be
uploaded to the web.

Pelican Dreams will screen at the Exploratorium on June 18th at 7 PM.
Save the date. I'll send a reminder
later.http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/calendar/screen-thursday-june-18-2015

############################

7.  Kerry Kriger, SaveTheFrogs:

Have you ever wanted to build your own backyard wetland? If so, please
download and share this PDF:
10 Tips to Build Your Own Backyard Wetland

This article originally appeared in the April 2015 SAVE THE FROGS!
Magazine. If you would like to attend one of our SAVE THE FROGS!
Wetland Construction Workshops taking place in the San Francisco Bay
Area November 30th - December 8th, 2015 please fill out this form so
we can update you when we have event details. I'm looking forward to
seeing photos of your backyard wetland!


SAVE THE FROGS! on Stanford University Radio: one of my favorite interviews

In March 2015 I was a guest on the Kranky Kids Radio Show, which aired
on Stanford University's KZSU 90.1FM. This is one of my favorite radio
interviews! I discuss wetlands, frog legs, how I started SAVE THE
FROGS! and a whole lot more. Please go listen to the interview on the
SAVE THE FROGS! Audio page or on the SAVE THE FROGS! SoundCloud page.
Feel free to download and share it. Enjoy! Learn more about the Kranky
Kids Radio Show right here.

#################################
8.

SHARP May Meeting

Monday, May 18, 2015  7:00 PM

SHARP Meeting room, 1736 9th Avenue, near Moraga

Zahra Billoo: Muslim, feminist, advocate, organizer

Zahra Billoo is a civil rights attorney and the Executive Director of
the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR-SFBA), which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
As thoughtful and articulate as she is passionate, Zahra is a leading
voice for the civil rights of American Muslims. She will speak about
her faith, the Muslim community in the Bay Area, and her work at
CAIR--work that includes political advocacy on behalf of American
Muslims, legal representation of Muslims with anti-discrimination
claims, and outreach to people of other religions and no religion at
all.

Come at 6:30 for coffee and cookies
More information at www.sharpsf.com/meetings

##############################
9.
The Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) invites you to our environmental
education talk next Wednesday night.
Mushrooms in the Garden
Wednesday, May 20, 7 p.m.
Dimond Branch Library, 3565 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland
Join local naturalist and mycologist Debbie Viess, co-founder of the
Bay Area Mycological Society, for a fun talk on local mushrooms that
sprout in our Bay Area woods, lawns, and even gardens. Beautiful
photos, stories, and plenty of nontoxic, easy-to-digest science.
Download a flyer
<http://www.documents.sausalcreek.org/FOSC_Member_Meeting_Flyer_150520.pdf>.

#############################
10.

Before and After Life
Gigi Li

I envy the stars
that get to see
all the wonders of the world
to fall in love with the granite
homes of ancient emerald soldiers
staring down at a mirror reflection
of glistening icy blue
I envy the clouds
that float above
rain chiseled mountains
listening, drifting to
the thundering roar
of this planet's life force
I envy the people
who have walked on this soil
making friends with
the worms in their graves
seeing, breathing, feeling, becoming
part of this planet
I envy these ghosts
that have lived and loved
this Earth better than I have

More poems like this are published in WALC's 16th annual anthology of
student voices, which is available at our annual year-end celebration
and art sale Saturday, May 23 from 2-4 p.m. at Downtown High School
(693 Vermont Street, SF, CA 94107). We will be showcasing three
dimensional story box paintings illustrating speculative fiction our
students wrote about California wildlife and the consequences of
climate change; photo triptychs of northern California's natural
areas; and digital stories about forces that form and shape our
students and they way they can connect their lives to geologic forces
and formations.

#########################
11.
Rock the Highway!
Sunday, May 17, 2:00 - 6:00 pm
Shelldance Orchid Gardens, 2000 Highway 1, Pacifica

Please join us for a FUNdraiser party to support a federal lawsuit
against Caltrans plan to double the width of Highway 1 in Pacifica.
Enjoy music, gourmet food, art & Scenic Coast views!

Music: Nancy Hall, Wall of Blues, Don't Widen 1
(John Hall, Jon Christ, Neil Hooper, Peter Loeb)
Food: Chef Stan Zeavin
Art: Pacifica artists & others
more information: kaufman.cynthia13gmail.com
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
Tax-deductible donations go to Pacificans for a Scenic Coast, a
project of Pacifica's Environmental Family.
To make a tax-deductible donation right now:
Click on the donate button on Pacifica's Environmental Family website:
http://www.pacificasenvironmentalfamily.org/donate

After you select Paypal or credit card, put "PSC - Federal"
in the "Add special instructions to recipient" link.
-OR-

Send a check payable to Pacifica's Environmental Family
PO Box 259 Pacifica, CA 94044 and put "PSC - Federal" on the memo line.

##############################
12.
It was on this day in 1891 that Pope Leo XIII issued an official Roman
Catholic Church encyclical addressing 19th-century labor issues. It's
called Rerum Novarum, Latin for "Of New Things," and it is considered
the original foundation of Catholic social teaching.
He said in the open letter that while the Church defends certain
aspects of capitalism, including rights to private property, the free
market cannot go unrestricted - that there is a moral obligation to
pay laborers a fair and living wage.

He had much more to say to employers; first, he told them "not to look
upon their work people as their bondsmen." He told them it was never
OK to cut workers' wages. And he told them to "be mindful of this -
that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the
sake of gain, and to gather one's profit out of the need of another,
is condemned by all laws, human and divine. To defraud any one of
wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging
anger of Heaven."

With these words Leo began a new chapter in the Catholic Church, one
where social justice issues became incorporated into official Church
doctrine, an essential part of faith, where the Church would stake out
official positions and be vocal on issues like labor, war and peace,
and the duties of governments to protect human rights.

Writer's Almanac

###############################
13.
On May 14, 2015, at 5:22 PM, Alice Polesky wrote:
Hi Jake,
I thought this was share-worthy, though it made me cry.
http://www.care2.com/causes/californias-drought-is-causing-bigger-problems-than-brown-lawns-its-decimating-wildlife.html

Alice, beware of writers and publications that thrive on jerking your
tears.  They're just trying to boost circulation.

Not that animals and people don't suffer in droughts.  But animal
suffering is usually not as dramatic as this.  Animals can nearly
always find water and seldom die of thirst.  Their 'suffering', if
that's the right word, is mostly evinced in other ways, such as less
food, which means smaller broods, or none.

'Suffering' is a human term that we project onto the world; we really
don't know what is going on in their being.  They can experience
physical pain if injured, but most of life they take as it comes,
without judgment whether it is good/bad or painful/pleasurable.  The
Buddha wanted us to take this more realistic view.  Our
discriminating, judgmental mind is a source of our suffering; we bring
it on ourselves.

###########################
14.
It was on this day in 1886 that poet Emily Dickinson died at the age
of 55. She had made her sister promise to burn all of her letters when
she died, but didn't say what to do with her notebooks. There were 40
of them, and they contained nearly 1,800 poems that she'd written.
Only a handful had been published while she was alive.

Relatives and friends fought over publishing her poems, and it wasn't
until 1955 that a complete volume appeared that contained Dickinson's
poems just as she herself had written them - with punctuation,
capitalization, and obscure diction intact.

Emily Dickinson wrote:

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

Writer's Almanac

##############################

To subscribe to this newsletter, send an email with SUBSCRIBE in
the Subject field to jakesigg@earthlink.net
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.