A question that is being asked by talking heads on the right-wing yak shows lately is, “Where are all the green jobs?” Well, there is a simple answer: Those jobs are here in the Southwest, my little conservative Debbie Downers. All over Southern California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona you will find massive solar projects with thousands of construction workers getting their first paychecks in months or, in some cases, years. There are so many solar-energy jobs helping us climb out of the absolute depression in the electrical industry that you can’t swing a Birkenstock and not hit one.
That’s right, despite their efforts to kill every single meaningful jobs bill in the House and Senate for the last four years, conservatives have failed to stop the sprouts and shoots of the new green economy.
Why is it happening now? There is a requirement for all of California’s electric utilities to buy 33 percent of our power from renewable energy sources by 2020.
We just returned from a week of glorious — and nearly free – recreation in three of California’s state parks and want to reflect for a moment on the amazing resource that our state government manages for everyone.
Despite the recent controversy about the “extra” $54 million that was discovered by the state Department of Recreation, we were reminded about the incredible natural resource that we all have in our state parks. We should also be celebrating the extra money found to keep the parks open. It’s important to remind ourselves periodically that the only thing protecting the redwood forests and gorgeous coastlines from being 100 percent privately owned recreation centers for the rich, or a special resource for the lumber industry, is our government.
We spent a week vacationing in Mendocino County, the home of redwood groves that spill down to the gorgeous rocky Northern California coastline. We were surrounded by exquisite beauty.
(In today’s Los Angeles Daily News, staff writer Dakota Smith reports on one of the city’s most promising initiatives — an energy efficiency program that is saving consumers money, creating jobs and reducing our energy use. The project, a partnership between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 , the union representing the utility’s workers, and the Department of Water and Power, has received strong support from RePower LA, a broad-based coalition that promotes the economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.)
Lorraine Cannon stretches every dollar. The 84-year-old lives off a monthly retirement check from L.A County, and she shares her Pacoima house with her granddaughter and three young great-grandchildren.
But now helping to pay the bills is an unlikely source: the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Cannon’s house was picked for an energy efficiency makeover by the department,
The L.A. Times story about fish Down Under getting skin cancer could’ve been a funny, though macabre, read if the subject weren’t so sad. After noting that 15 percent of coral trout in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are believed to have cancerous lesions on their scales, writer Jon Bardin adds, “In that regard, they resemble Australians who live on land — two in three people who live down under will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70, the highest rate in the world.”
This is serious news, though, because the takeaway goes beyond the fact that Aussies won’t be throwing coral trout on the barbie any time soon. The fishes’ affliction apparently stems from their habitat, which lies under the outer fringes of the giant Antarctic ozone hole that’s been letting in ultraviolet rays since the invention of refrigerants. These UV rays are strongly suspected of causing the trout’s melanoma – as they are of causing it in humans.