Pacific Institute Online Update for February 2005



 

 

FEBRUARY 2005 HEADLINES

New Report Charts Win-Win Policy to
Reduce Pesticide Use, Help California Farmers

Global competition, suburban
encroachment, tighter regulations, and rising costs are making
farming in California more difficult and, in some cases, less
profitable. At the same time, pollution from farming is causing
serious harm to the state’s water, air, and human health.
But there is a way to reduce pesticide use, protect the environment,
and help farmers stay competitive according to a new report
by the Institute.

"Investing
In Clean Agriculture: How California Can Strengthen Agriculture,
Reduce Pollution And Save Money," by Dr. Gary H. Wolff, the
Pacific Institute’s Principal Economist and Engineer outlines
a plan that "will reduce pesticide use, protect public health,
preserve the environment, and help California’s farmers stay competitive
in a rapidly changing economy," Dr. Wolff said in a press
release accompanying the report. "We think this will be a
win for consumers, a win for taxpayers, and a win for agriculture."

The
report is available
online
without charge.

Institute Continues Work to Cut Diesel
Pollution

Efforts to cut diesel pollution in
Oakland and other nearby communities continued last month. Meena
Palaniappan briefed California Assemblymember Loni Hancock, chair
of the Natural Resources Committee, on diesel pollution in Western
Contra Costa County and solutions to reduce it. Ideas included
tightening oversight of ports, ships and rail yards, and cleaning
up school bus fleets. Assemblymember Hancock and her staff expressed
interest in responding to the long-term impacts of diesel pollution
on health and investigating the use of biodiesel as an alternative
fuel. The Institute is at work on a new report modeled after "Clearing
the Air: Reducing Diesel Pollution in West Oakland"
that
will focus on Western Contra Costa County.

Proposal to Cut Clean Water Funds Unwise

President Bush’s proposal to slash
funding for clean water protection was called shortsighted and
unwise by the Pacific Institute today. As detailed in the proposed
2006 budget, $369 million in federal money would be cut from the
Clean Water State Revolving Fund. "Cutting funding to protect
our critical supplies of clean water is poor policy and a false
economy," said Dr. Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific
Institute in new release.

The full news release is available
online
.

 

UPCOMING
2/16/05, West Oakland Health
Survey Meeting
[Oakland, Calif.] 2-4 pm. Location TBA. Info:
Emily Lee, 510-251-1600 or elee (at) pacinst.org.

2/16/05, Energy and Water [Buena
Park, Calif.], Gary Wolff will present recent work on the energy
used to manage water in California to the Association of Energy
Engineers, Southern California Chapter, at 3 p.m. at the Radisson
Resort Knott’s Berry Farm. Info
online.

2/22/05, Regional Diesel Meeting [Oakland, Calif.] 9:30
am at Communities for a Better Environment (1611 Telegraph Ave).
Info: Emily Lee, 510-251-1600 or elee (at) pacinst.org.

3/30 to 4/1/05, Salton
Sea Symposium
[San Diego, Calif.]. Michael Cohen will speak
about the future of the Salton Sea at the Salton Sea Symposium.

3/24/05, "The
Colorado River Drought — Sharing the Pain"
[San Diego,
Calif.]. Michael Cohen will participate on a panel at the Water
Education Foundation’s Executive Briefing. Info
online.

3/3, Energy and Water [Coronado, Calif.],
Gary Wolff will present recent work on
the energy used to manage water in California
to the California
Municipal Utilities Association annual meeting at the Loews Coronado
Bay Hotel. Info
Online.


STAFF UPDATES

2/3-2/4/05, Jason Morrison participated
in the MSWG Policy Academy’s "Dialogue on Sorting Tools to Improve
Environmental Performance." Held in White Plains, New York, and
attended by roughly 40 high-level representatives from government, business,
and NGOs, the meeting focused on constructing a policy, regulatory,
and management framework for addressing current environmental challenges.

2/3/05, Michael Cohen participated
in a Bureau of Reclamation Colorado River drought-modeling workshop
in Boulder.

1/26/05, Meena Palaniappan provided
public comment at a special meeting of the Oakland Planning Commission
on the need to mitigate diesel pollution during the construction of
housing at the old train station at 16th and Wood Street in West Oakland.
The ten-year construction project would create a significant, new source
of diesel pollution in a community that is already heavily impacted
by diesel exhaust.

1/23-1/27/05, Jason Morrison attended
a joint working group meeting of ISO Technical Committee 224 – Water
Management in Valencia, Spain. Morrison serves as the U.S. expert to
Working Group 3, Expectations of Users Relating to Water Service Delivery.

1/20/05, Meena Palaniappan and Emily
Lee
attended a General Committee meeting of the West Oakland Environmental
Indicators Project, which is becoming an independent 501(c)3 non-profit.
For more information about EIP, please email margaretgordon (at) sbcglobal.net

1/18/05, Peter Gleick was interviewed
by KVNO radio of Sonoma, California on global water issues.

1/14/05, Michael Cohen attended the Salton Sea Advisory Committee
meeting in Sacramento, California to advise DWR on its development of
a management plan for the Salton Sea.

1/13/05, Community Strategies Program
staff
, with partner organizations, coordinated a regional diesel
follow-up meeting to discuss the structure of the collaborative and
next steps for developing campaign issues. The next meeting of the regional
diesel collaborative is 2/22 (see calendar for details).

1/13/05, Margaret Gordon and Emily Lee
participated in the Alameda County Pilot Project meeting for stakeholders,
which was sponsored by the CA Environmental Health Tracking Program.
The Tracking Program, together with InfoOakland, unveiled InfoAlameda,
a new web tool that will make county environmental health data available
via the web. For more information, visit www.catracking.com.

1/10-1/11/05, Jason Morrison attended
the first quarterly meeting of the Multi-State Working Group on Environmental
Performance. The theme of the meeting, held in Salt Lake City, Utah,
was multi-stakeholder collaborations to address resource and land use
challenges in the Western U.S.

1/10, 1/11, 1/12/05, Peter Gleick made three separate presentations
at the American Meteorological Society annual meeting in San Diego,
including one at the President’s Forum. He addressed the impacts of
climate change on water resources and the state of the world’s water
overall.

1/5/05, Peter Gleick was interviewed by National Public Radio’s
All Things Considered on water and the disaster in South Asia in the
morning. In the afternoon Bay Area TV station KRON-TV interviewed Dr.
Gleick on same subject.


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