MAY 2005 HEADLINES

June 1 World
Environment Day Workshop Looks at Solutions to Global Water Crisis

On June 1, the Pacific Institute and
the Earth Day Network will present a workshop on “Solving
Water Challenges in the 21st Century: Local Solutions to a Global
Crisis.” The event will be held at the Fort Mason Firehouse
from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and will feature Peter Gleick and Gary
Wolff of the Pacific Institute along with experts from San Francisco
City government and a speaker from the Earth Day Network. The
event will be part of the week of festivities surrounding World
Environment Day 2005, which aims to bring mayors and elected officials
together with environmental experts, activists, and the public.

For more information
visit our World Environment
Day page
.

Gleick Testimony Helps Ruskin Climate
Bill to Committee Win

Dr. Peter H.
Gleick of the Pacific Institute and Dr. Ronald C. Cohen of the
University of California at Berkeley testified in support of a
new California bill that will combat climate change by adding
green house gas targets to California’s state planning priorities.
AB 1365, sponsored by Ira Ruskin (D-21) and State Controller Steve
Westley, passed out of committee 8-to-1 with bipartisan support
and is now headed to the Assembly floor. “Climate change
is real, has already begun, and poses a grave threat to the United
States and the world,” noted Gleick in a press release that
accompanied his testimony. “The failure of the United States
to act means that states must begin the process. This historic
bill is a first step in that direction.”

Our press release
and a fact sheet are available
online.

West County
Diesel Project Moves Forward

Efforts to
reduce diesel pollution in West Contra Costa County moved forward
this month, with two major events. On April 11, Pacific Institute
staff, in conjunction with our local partners, held a meeting
with residents who hosted indoor air monitoring equipment in their
homes. Neighborhood House of North Richmond introduced the problem
of diesel pollution, Pacific Institute staff presented information
on the monitoring results and analysis, and the director of the
Contra Costa Health Services discussed health risks and opportunities
to create change. Preliminary monitoring results, to be released
in June, show higher levels of black carbon in the air in inner
West Contra Costa homes than in another home in Contra Costa County.

UPCOMING

5/12, Diesel Pollution Reduction
[West Contra Costa County, Calif.], Join the Pacific Institute,
community residents, and other activists as we brainstorm and
develop solutions to reduce diesel pollution in W. Contra Costa
County. Info: Emily Lee, 510-251-1600 or elee (at) pacinst.org.

5/18,
Salton Sea
[Sacramento, Calif.], Michael Cohen will attend
the Salton Sea Advisory Committee meeting in Sacramento and the
Salton Sea Coalition meetings held later that week. Info on the
Advisory Committee is online.

6/1/05,
“Solving Water Challenges in the 21st Century: Local Solutions
to a Global Crisis,”
[San Francisco, Calif.], Peter Gleick,
Gary Wolff, and other experts will present at this workshop for
World Environment Day. Info is online.

6/08,
Colorado River
, [Boulder, Co], Michael Cohen will present
“Environmental Impacts of Increased Colorado River Water
Stress and Shortages: An Overview,” at the University of
Colorado Law School’s “Hard Times on the Colorado River:
Drought, Growth and the Future of the Compact” conference
in Boulder, Colorado. More info online.


STAFF UPDATES

4/27, Forty climate
scientists, including Peter Gleick, spent the day meeting with
California legislators to discuss climate science. They were some of
the more than 500 California scientists who signed a letter calling
on the Governor and state legislature to act on climate change. Info
is online.

4/27, The Pacific Institute and our
local partners hosted a meeting to present the results of our diesel
pollution study and identify solutions to the problem. The meeting was
a great success, with participants coming up with a range of innovative
solutions, including developing green barriers between train tracks
and homes, and reducing idling on the Richmond Parkway. These ideas
will presented as part of a final report being created by the Institute
and local groups, which we hope will catalyze the community, local agencies,
and businesses to solve this pressing problem.

4/26, Pacific Institute staff co-hosted
a meeting with the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative to craft a regional
diesel agenda.

4/25, Peter Gleick testified in favor
of AB1365 in the California Assembly. This bill, which passed out of
committee 8 to 1, calls on California to adopt greenhouse gas targets
in the state planning priorities.

4/23, Emily Lee and Margaret Gordon
gave a presentation on West Oakland’s environmental health issues and
related legislation at a legislative training for community members.
The workshop helped residents in Richmond and West Oakland prepare for
the upcoming legislative trainings in Sacramento hosted by the Environmental
Health Legislative Working Group on May 23-24. For more information,
contact Alisha Deen at alisha (at) ejwatercoaltion.org.

4/22, Meena Palaniappan presented
a talk on “Improving Urban Water Access” at the Technology,
Innovation and Learning in Developing Economies Conference co-hosted
by the United Nations and the University of California Berkeley.

4/20-4/22, Margaret Gordon gave a
presentation on environmental justice to the Center for Disease Control’s
2nd Annual National Environmental Public Health Tracking Conference
in Atlanta, Georgia.

4/18, Peter Gleick lectured on the
Soft Path to Water at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

4/15, Meena Palaniappan attended
a the meeting of the Port of Oakland Technical Review Panel to identify
ways to quickly and effectively spend Port settlement funds to replace
older trucks.

4/12, Jason Morrison gave a guest
lecture to Naomi Roht-Arriaza’s environmental law class at the University
of California, Hastings School of Law. Morrison’s discussion with the
second and third-year students focused on industry uptake of ISO 14000
and more generally on voluntary international environmental standards
and certification.

4/7, Peter Gleick gave the opening
keynote presentation at the University of Nebraska’s conference on “Water
Management and Policy: Increasing Competition for a Scarce Resource.”

4/7, Pacific Institute and the West Oakland
EIP
hosted a meeting with City staff, community residents, and truckers
to discuss implementation of a West Oakland truck route to reduce residents’
exposure to diesel pollution. The draft truck route is expected to go
to Oakland City Council in July and has been presented at numerous events
and meetings to get feedback from all stakeholders. Info: Emily Lee,
510-251-1600 or elee (at) pacinst.org.

4/6, Nicholas Cain gave a presentation
on the global water crisis to the Berkeley City Club as part of the
Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions series.

4/4-4/5, in Atlanta, Georgia, Jason Morrison
attended the semi-annual meeting of the the national mirror body to
ISO Technical Committee 207 – Environmental Management. At the meeting,
the group approved a vastly revamped version of its operating procedures,
which among other things, now emphasizes stakeholder balance in governance
and decision-making. Approval of the revised procedures was a victory
for Morrison and the Institute, who spearheaded the task force charged
with revising them over the last year.

4/4, Emily Lee and Margaret Gordon
attended a meeting to discuss the West Oakland Health Survey. In May,
the West Oakland Health Collaborative plans to present the results of
the survey and obtain support from County health agencies on ways to
address health issues in West Oakland.

4/3-4/5, Peter Gleick was a Zucker
Fellow at Yale University and gave a series of lectures, including a
public lecture on Water and U.S. Foreign Policy.


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