Opinion

Leadership must act now on climate change

Solar panels arrayed in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Andrei Orlov, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: As firefighters from across the West come together to battle wildfires, and legislators meet for their last week of this year’s legislative session, our state’s leadership has before them a real opportunity to take decisive action to help mitigate the climate trends that are weighing on our state today.

Opinion

California’s energy future: Are we ready for 100?

Wind turbines in operation near Palm Springs. (Photo: Sumikophoto, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Imagine a California powered solely by renewable energy – it may be within reach as the California Legislature considers Senate Bill 100, which would put the state on the path towards 100% fossil-fuel free electricity by 2045. On Tuesday, the bill passed the state Assembly, and it now heads to the state Senate for a final vote before reaching Gov. Brown’s desk by the end of the week. The likely passage of SB 100 has sparked a statewide debate around one question: Are we ready for 100?

Opinion

Clinical trials: Data privacy law needs quick fix

Scientists at work in a clinical laboratory. (Photo: Minerva Studio, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Unfortunately, California’s recently passed data privacy law will have unintended consequences for medical research and clinical trials in California and may inadvertently prevent patients like me from accessing the clinical trials that are keeping us alive.

Opinion

Clock ticking on desert protection

Sunrise in the Mojave Desert, CAstle Peaks. (Photo: sierralara, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The window of opportunity is rapidly closing for Senate Leader Toni Atkins and the California Legislature to save the Mojave Desert from Cadiz, Inc.’s reckless plan to suck the water out from under one of the Earth’s driest places and sell it to water golf courses and suburban lawns as far away as Orange County. Killed by Barack Obama and revived by Donald Trump, the water mining project would dramatically overdraw the aquifer below the desert and almost certainly stop the flow of water to the springs that preserve the Mojave’s fragile biodiversity.

Opinion

Urgent need to fix California’s ‘bottle bill’

Crushed containers await recycling at a California facility. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)

OPINION: The fact of the matter is that recycling rates are falling in California. For the first time in a decade, the percentage of beverage containers being recycled has dropped below 80 percent. The decline means that about 1.7 million containers that five years ago were being recycled are today being buried in landfills or, worse, tossed aside as litter.

Opinion

Women’s role suffers in merging local treasurer, controller offices

The California state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Adonis Villanueva, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The leadership of the California Association of County Treasurers and Tax Collectors (CACTTC) is comprised of five elected women and two men, thus reflecting the success of women in elected office. Representing the concerns of CACTTC, we find it ironic that at a time when gender balance in politics is front-and-center, the office to which historically more women than men are elected is being eroded through consolidation of treasurer-tax collector with auditor-controller without voter approval.

Opinion

Trump admin has declared war on the environment

The deeply forested landscape in Humboldt County, where environmental protection is a critical issue. (Photo: Ethan Daniels)

OPINION: The resignation of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was met with a collective sigh of relief across the nation. Pruitt, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal foot soldiers in the Trump Administration’s ongoing war on environmental quality, environmental justice, and environmental health, had overseen some of the most egregious rollbacks of environmental protections in history during his brief and troubled tenure in office.

Opinion

Lawmakers: Look closely at our energy landscape

An aerial and solar energy installation in the southern California desert. (Photo: Veeterzy, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The clean energy revolution is here, now, and California is a trailblazer of its success. Solar and wind power, electric vehicle use, rooftop photovoltaics, and community choice aggregation are all on the rise in California. The traditional centralized, fossil-fuel power plants are now competing with renewable and distributed energy sources, forcing the industry and regulators to adapt, and upending close to one hundred years of power generation and distribution. 

Opinion

Emergencies highlight critical tribal role

Smoke from the Mendocino Complex fire creates a "blood moon." (Photo: Padelphoto, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: With the Mendocino Complex fire burning through three counties in Northern California, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe could only watch and pray as flames consumed massive amounts of our homelands, forcing the closing of our small casino and all governmental buildings as well as the evacuation of Tribal members and our neighbors.

Opinion

Pathways-to-college bill would help students like me

Students at Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School, Los Angeles. (School photo)

OPINION: College application season is upon us. This fall, I will begin my senior year of high school at Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School and submit my application to my first-choice school, the California Institute of Technology, to study engineering. I’m excited to make my college dreams come true, after four years of hard work.

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