Environment

Restore Hetch Hetchy conjures corporate boogiemen

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The campaign for a ballot measure that seeks to create a plan for tearing down the O'Shaughnessy Dam – San Francisco's main source of clean water and power – and turning the Hetch Hetchy Valley into a tourist destination must be having a hard time collecting the 9,702 signatures it needs by July 9 because it is resorting to conjuring up unlikely boogiemen to win public sympathy.Read more »

Chevron meets amid angry shareholders, liability, and environmental disasters

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About 40 gathered outside Chevron’s San Francisco offices yesterday to mark its annual shareholder meeting. The demonstration was organized by OccupySF’s environmental justice working group, and used art and street theater to criticize Chevron’s involvement in hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas extraction process that may threaten parts of California’s water supply. Read more »

The Performant: The Secret to Life, the Universe, and Nothing in Particular

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“Celestial Observatories for Cyanobacteria” illuminate the knowledge gap at the San Francisco Arts Commission

“The purpose of our lives is to celebrate the grandeur of the cosmos" -- William Kotzwinkle, Dr. Rat

At the age of eight, possibly inspired by my first encounter with Madeleine L'Engle’s A Wind in the Door, the notion occurred to me that just as individual cells were undetectable (to the naked eye) in the human body, so were individual human beings virtually undetectable on the great organism that is the world, and just as the planet earth was virtually undetectable in the vastness of a single galaxy, that single galaxy was virtually undetectable within the infinite scope of the universe.

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Living the green dream

Conservation (and good storytelling) inspire Ann and Steve Dunsky

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FILM Bay Area filmmakers Steve and Ann Dunsky (2005's The Greatest Good) have a pair of documentaries making waves right now: Green Fire, about conservationist Aldo Leopold, which plays at the upcoming San Francisco Green Film Festival; and Butterflies and Bulldozers, an exploration of the decades-long fight to save San Bruno Mountain. Bulldozers screened at the 2011 Green Film Festival, and has a coveted slot amid the 20th anniversary programming at Washington, D.C.'s Environmental Film Festival later this spring. Read more »

Plastic bags banned from all SF stores

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The Board of Supervisors voted to expand a 2007 ban on plastic checkout bags to cover all retail and food establishments.

The law bans all businesses from providing plastic bags to customers. It also requires a ten cent fee for paper bags, to be pocketed by the store. With the ban, only paper bags, compostable bags, and reusable bags will be permitted at checkout. The city hopes to encourage shoppers to carry reusable bags.

Supervisors acknowledged that this ordinance could create confusion and inconvenience for business owners. Read more »

Are we green yet?

San Francisco's ambitious clean-power program moves toward approval

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rebeccab@sfbg.com

A contract agreement for San Francisco's innovative clean energy program, CleanPowerSF, could be approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as soon as January, representing a major milestone for efforts to put the city in the retail electricity business.Read more »

Progressives split on bag ban, ex-cons

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A couple of interesting votes at the Board of Supes Dec. 6. Sup. Ross Mirkarimi lost two pieces of legislation -- a mandate that stores charge for bags at checkout counters and a tax credit for companies that hire ex-offenders.Read more »

Whose park?

Proposal to build a large artificial turf soccer complex in Golden Gate Park sparks controversy

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news@sfbg.com

Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach have long been destinations for locals and tourists to take in natural beauty within an urban setting, but a controversial plan to build a complex of artificial turf soccer fields at their intersection is drawing opposition from neighbors and environmentalists.Read more »

Timber war returns

Environmentalists revive campaign to stop the clearcutting of forests in California

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Protestors in flashy animal costumes picketed the appearance of infamous logger Archie "Red" Emerson, who was giving a guest lecture to the Forestry Department, at the University of California Berkeley campus on Oct. 14 to bring awareness to the increasing use of environmentally destructive logging practices.Read more »

Guardian forum tonight: Energy and Environment

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We've got a great lineup for tonight's Guardian forum on Energy, Environment and Climate Change. I'll be moderating. The panelists are Antonio Diaz for PODER, Alicia Garza from POWER, former Supervisor Aaron Peskin and Saul Bloom from Arc Ecology. We'll be talking about energy policy, environmental racism, how climate change will impact the southeast neighborhoods, the privatization of public space, Treasure Island and a lot more.Read more »