Everybody knows that sunflowers turn their heads toward the sun. But until now no one knew whether the movement simply followed the sun’s arc, or whether some internal rhythm guided the plants. Now we have a clue.
In the 1947 science fiction novel Greener Than You Think, a scientist invents a powerful fertilizer intended to boost crop production and combat hunger. The salesman she hires, however, sees more business potential in lawn care, and convinces a Los Angeles homeowner to try the formula on a yellowing, “sad and sickly” front yard. When the salesman stops back the next day, the lawn is transformed. “There wasn’t a single bare spot visible in the whole lush, healthy, expanse. And it was green. Green . . . over every inch of its soft, undulating surface: a pale apple green where the blades waved to expose its underparts and a rich, dazzling emerald on top.”[i]
The lawn grows uncontrollably in the novel, and the grass ultimately takes revenge and crushes cities like a green giant. Whether or not author Ward Moore chose the L.A.
A number of residents of the picturesque, alpine community of Mount Shasta, California are fed up with their big, new, imminent water hog of a neighbor, the Crystal Geyser Water Company. As Capital & Main reported earlier this year, a group of them have been calling for months for an environmental impact report (EIR) to measure the potential harm that the opening of a new local bottling plant may have on the region’s watershed. With the state in the fourth year of a historic drought, they argued that allowing a multinational corporation to extract precious California groundwater to manufacture and sell tea, soda and bottled water around the world is the height of recklessness.
On Monday, under the name of their nonprofit group, We Advocate Through Environmental Review (WATER), residents filed a complaint in Napa County Superior Court, the district in which Crystal Geyser’s corporate headquarters is located,
If L.A.’s landlords have their way, California’s ongoing drought woes could result in many renters having to foot the bill for their water usage. Owners are nudging city leaders to study a survey released in July by the landlord group Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA).
The report claims that more than 86 percent of rental property owners in the city who pay for their tenants’ water have experienced an increase or seen no change in water usage since Governor Jerry Brown ordered mandatory restrictions in April. Landlords assert that renters have no incentive to conserve water because they aren’t paying for it, resulting in higher water costs.
Some tenant groups are crying foul, however, claiming that this proposal is little more than an attempt by landlords to use the drought to circumvent rent control laws. Los Angeles forbids owners of buildings constructed before 1979 to pass on water costs to tenants.
If you take your kids to the beach this summer, expect a gritty ride home. California has turned off most of the showers that people use at state beaches to clean the sand off their kids before the long ride home. Then, of course, you get to clean the sand out of your car. All this aggravation saves about 18 million gallons of water a year, according to the state.
In a drought like this one, it makes sense to conserve as much water as possible, wherever we can. So you would think we would be trying to stop some big water users too. Like Chevron. This mega-corporation sells 21 million gallons of treated polluted water a day to the Cawelo Water District, which, according to the Los Angeles Times, provides water to 90 Kern County farmers.
Where Chevron gets the water,