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”

Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.”

After a vacuum truck blew up in the yard of Santa Paula Waste Water last November, the Santa Paula Fire Department arrived at shortly before 4:00 a.m. According to the interview with Captain Milo Bustillos, they were told “You have nothing to worry about it is just treated sewer water.” As Bustillos and two otherContinue reading “Scenes from an explosion: “Nothing to worry about — it’s just sewer water.””

Scenes from an explosion: Santa Clara Waste Water exec admits falsifying records

In the wake of the tanker truck explosion that set the Santa Clara Waste Water plant near Santa Paula on fire last November, causing a multi-million dollar disaster, not to mention many serious injuries, the Ventura County District Attorney presented 67 witnesses to the Grand Jury in building a massive case against SCWW. After theContinue reading “Scenes from an explosion: Santa Clara Waste Water exec admits falsifying records”

Is a climate disaster inevitable? Adam Frank/NYTimes

Astrobiologist Adam Frank looks at climate change from a deep time perspective, and speculates that perhaps the reason we're having difficulty with adjusting is that it's a really hard problem that few if any civilizations in the history of time have managed to figure out.  Frank points out that science now knows that virtually everyContinue reading “Is a climate disaster inevitable? Adam Frank/NYTimes”

IPCC report leaked: global warming a disaster of poverty

Seth Borenstein of the AP leads the national press in reporting on a leaked IPCC report starkly warning that global warming will give us a poorer, sicker, more violent world. And he puts the language of the report itself front and center: "Throughout the 21st century, climate change impacts will slow down economic growth andContinue reading “IPCC report leaked: global warming a disaster of poverty”

Overrated movie of the year: Snowpiercer

Yours truly sees all sorts of movies with alleged environmental messages (even the recent Godzilla, for crying out loud) to see how pop culture understands the on-coming prospect of planetary disaster. One of the best such movies in recent years was "The Host," from South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, which at least one other criticContinue reading “Overrated movie of the year: Snowpiercer”

Leading British scientist links warming to flooding

In this country, scientists have been historically averse to link weather disasters — such as flooding caused by huge storms — to climate change. The scientific cliche is well-known: No single meteorological event can be caused by climate change.  A leading theorist of climate communications, Naomi Oreskes of UC San Diego argues that the generalContinue reading “Leading British scientist links warming to flooding”

How much of our climate change fear real? (Achenbach)

Joel Achenbach is a super-popular writer for the Washington Post who happens to be interested in science-y developments such as climate change, asteroids, and disasters. He's also a man with a giant pen, or, perhaps these days, keyboard. He can write! So refreshing in science, may I say. His latest thinking out loud, from thisContinue reading “How much of our climate change fear real? (Achenbach)”

Drought-Proofing Ventura County

How a water district is trying to shelter 600,000 people in Ventura county from the potential for drought or disaster; how the first attempt went awry, and how the second one will work — we hope. (Climate change is in the background of this story, but I didn't get into the projections — no time.) Continue reading “Drought-Proofing Ventura County”

Take Shelter — the birds are falling (again)

2012 opens with news of blackbirds falling dead from the sky in Arkansas — again.  Thousands of dead blackbirds rained down on a town in central Arkansas last New Year's Eve after revelers set off fireworks that spooked them from their roost, and officials were reporting a similar occurrence Saturday as 2012 approached. Police inContinue reading “Take Shelter — the birds are falling (again)”