Sierra Nevadas to change this century: UCLA researcher

The snowpack this year in the Sierra Nevada soared to 170% of normal: just two years ago at the annual measuring date at the end of March (attended by Governor Brown) it stood at 5%. This extreme variability of the California climate will become routine this century argues researcher Daniel Swain of UCLA. Here’s myContinue reading “Sierra Nevadas to change this century: UCLA researcher”

Want success as a writer? Get rejected.

So argues Kim Liao, persuasively,  in Lit Hub. She said she managed 43 rejections last year — a personal best. Last year, I got rejected 43 times by literary magazines, residencies, and fellowships—my best record since I started shooting for getting 100 rejections per year. It’s harder than it sounds, but also more gratifying. In late 2011, aContinue reading “Want success as a writer? Get rejected.”

Ventura County opposes backyard bee-keeping: Ojai fights back

Sorry I’ve been quiet: too many deadlines. Good news is that I have a number of stories to post, big and small, and so let me catch up please. Here’s a story about a surprising fact. Ventura County, which annually grosses two billion dollars in agricultural revenue, discourages backyard bee-keeping. Even though nationally bees andContinue reading “Ventura County opposes backyard bee-keeping: Ojai fights back”

Rockefeller charity calls Exxon “morally reprehensible,” disinvests

Today a fifty-year-old charity founded by the descendants of John Rockefeller, of Standard Oil wealth, disinvested their funds from Exxon Mobil and accused the company of misleading the public to enable the company to damage the climate. In a statement the Rockefeller Family Fund called the company morally reprehensible and said: “Evidence appears to suggest that theContinue reading “Rockefeller charity calls Exxon “morally reprehensible,” disinvests”

Wishing and Hoping (for El Niño in SoCal)

El Niño has been a no-show in Southern California this year, despite endless fall warnings of a Godzilla event (including those transmitted by yours truly). So what happened? Short version, according to a post put up on the Weather West blog by the wise young Daniel Swain of Stanford, is we don’t know — butContinue reading “Wishing and Hoping (for El Niño in SoCal)”

Be grateful, but stay away from the Permagrin

In the NYTimes, the estimable Arthur Brooks — the rare research-oriented conservative writer — makes a case for expressing gratitude this season, even if we do not feel it. This Thanksgiving, don’t express gratitude only when you feel it. Give thanks especially when you don’t feel it. Rebel against the emotional “authenticity” that holds youContinue reading “Be grateful, but stay away from the Permagrin”

The hazardous truth: Santa Clara Waste Water

My old friends at the Ventura County Reporter ran my latest obsession/story, which I’ve been working on for the last six months or so, off and on, and did a nice job with the lay-out, may I say. Here’s the crux of the matter: What really happened when Santa Clara Waste Water (in Santa Paula area)Continue reading “The hazardous truth: Santa Clara Waste Water”

El Niño in charts: August 2015

An Atmospheric El Niño index surges into unprecedented warmth: Today sets the record for our Atmospheric El Nino index with a +4.62 sigma amplitude. Pretty remarkable. — Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) August 30, 2015 // Ventrice, a scientist with the Weather Channel, notes that the amplitude is most comparable to the epochal warming that wentContinue reading “El Niño in charts: August 2015”

GMOs: a week of ironies and surprises

Yours truly doesn’t profess to *know* anything about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), not having researched the subject, although he thinks the chasm between the reporting and the fear cannot be overlooked. (Notably this New Yorker story from last year, called Seeds of Doubt, in which Michael Specter politely and almost apologetically reported that a slewContinue reading “GMOs: a week of ironies and surprises”

Patzert: El Niño 2015 a potential Godzilla. Maybe.

On a slow news day in August, NOAA’s prediction yesterday that El Niño will continue to strengthen and may well bring big precipitation to the southern half of the country (not just SoCal) made headline news across the nation. But the focus in the LATimes — and several other news outlets — came not fromContinue reading “Patzert: El Niño 2015 a potential Godzilla. Maybe.”