ENVIRONMENT

LATEST ENVIRONMENT NEWS

Science proves it: Girl Scouts really do make the world a better place

For decades, Girl Scouts have pledged to make the world a better place. Now there’s scientific proof that they do. After completing five hourlong courses on energy conservation, Junior-level Girl Scouts boosted their households’ energy-saving activities by as much as 49%, according to a study published...

  • Downtown L.A.'s five-year rain total is lowest ever recorded

    Downtown L.A.'s five-year rain total is lowest ever recorded

    Los Angeles has chalked up yet another dreary milestone in its growing almanac of drought. On Wednesday, experts at the National Weather Service confirmed that the last five years have been the driest ever documented in downtown L.A. since official record keeping began almost 140 years ago.  Having...

  • California should take the lead on protecting tropical forests

    California should take the lead on protecting tropical forests

    In Sacramento, an opportunity is pending that could make a huge difference to achieving climate stability and sustainable development goals on a global scale. California could take the lead in demonstrating an innovative approach to reducing tropical deforestation. And the benefits would accrue...

  • AQMD plan would fight smog mainly through incentives, not rules

    AQMD plan would fight smog mainly through incentives, not rules

    For decades, regulators have attacked Southern California’s notorious smog through an ever-stricter array of regulations that forced polluters to deploy cleaner technology. But a plan released Thursday by the South Coast Air Quality Management District takes a more industry-friendly approach. It...

  • Another heat wave expected to hit region, hindering Kern County fire fight

    Another heat wave expected to hit region, hindering Kern County fire fight

    Another unseasonable heat wave was expected to hit Southern California early this week, complicating efforts to contain the massive wildfire raging in Kern County, forecasters said.  Temperatures were expected to start rising across the region on Sunday, caused by a high pressure system coming...

  • Wildfire burns more than 30,000 acres, prompting state of emergency; 2 dead, 100 structures lost

    Wildfire burns more than 30,000 acres, prompting state of emergency; 2 dead, 100 structures lost

    Fire officials confirmed two fatalities Friday in a fast-moving fire near Lake Isabella that has scorched more than 30,000 acres and destroyed 100 structures. As of Friday evening, the blaze was 5% contained. Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency for Kern County, a move that helps more quickly...

  • What drought? Many Californians no longer required to curb water use

    What drought? Many Californians no longer required to curb water use

    After a year of mandatory water conservation that shortened showers and faded lawns, millions of drought-weary Californians will no longer be required to aggressively cut back their use. In order to comply with the state’s latest emergency regulation, local water providers this week submitted documents...

  • Red flag conditions ahead for Southern California amid several wildfires

    Red flag conditions ahead for Southern California amid several wildfires

    A short respite from triple-digit heat allowed crews battling several wildfires in Southern California to block the flames from destroying homes this week, but dangerous red flag fire conditions have returned, the National Weather Service said Thursday. Temperatures in the Los Angeles, Ventura...

  • It will take years of wet weather before California recovers from drought, study finds

    It will take years of wet weather before California recovers from drought, study finds

    When forecasters last year warned of a massive El Niño, some Californians held out hope that a single extremely wet year could bust the state’s severe drought.    But a study published Tuesday in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, offered support for the...

  • Heat wave shatters temperature records across Southern California

    Heat wave shatters temperature records across Southern California

    A sweltering heat wave baked Southern California on Sunday, bringing triple-digit temperatures to some areas and shattering records that in some cases held for decades. The National Weather Service issued a list of record-setting temperatures in cities across the Southland. Here’s a selection: ...

  • Temperatures soar as Southern California's heat wave intensifies

    Temperatures soar as Southern California's heat wave intensifies

    High temperatures are expected to continue Sunday as Southern California’s heat wave intensifies, according to the National Weather Service.  Forecasters say the weather system that has been building over Southern California is strengthening and will cause temperatures to keep climbing higher. ...

  • Rare toads (presumably) love him; off-roaders do not

    Rare toads (presumably) love him; off-roaders do not

    Cantankerous outlaws and merciless nature are out to kill the arroyo toads of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Like an ecological John Wayne, Sam Sweet — a big man with a beard and ponytail who at one point in his controversial career packed a .44 magnum — has spent his life trying to protect...

  • Supreme Court rejects citizenship for American Samoans

    Supreme Court rejects citizenship for American Samoans

    The Supreme Court turned down an appeal on Monday from American Samoans who said they deserved the right to be U.S. citizens at birth. The court’s action leaves in place a law adopted in 1900 that says persons born in American Samoa will be considered “nationals” who owe allegiance to the United...

  • Portland unnerved by discovery of high lead levels in school drinking water

    Portland unnerved by discovery of high lead levels in school drinking water

    Communities across the U.S. have been testing their water in the wake of a lead contamination crisis in Flint, Mich., and for the most part, the results have seemed reassuring, with many cities declaring their water safe to drink. One exception has been a city that has always prided itself on its...

  • Crackdown on archdiocese-owned oil field near USC gets OK, city attorney says

    Crackdown on archdiocese-owned oil field near USC gets OK, city attorney says

    An oil field near USC that neighbors have long accused of causing health problems ranging from nosebleeds to serious respiratory illness must remain closed permanently or comply with stringent regulations, Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer told The Times on Wednesday.  The two-acre field, operated...

  • In another sign the drought may be easing, MWD ends water limits

    In another sign the drought may be easing, MWD ends water limits

    Citing the state’s improved hydrology and impressive regional conservation, officials at Southern California’s massive water wholesaler voted Tuesday to rescind the cuts they imposed on regional water deliveries last year. Effective immediately, the Southland cities and water districts that make...

  • Couple is sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling sea turtle eggs from Mexico

    Couple is sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling sea turtle eggs from Mexico

    A Southern California couple has been sentenced to six months in prison for smuggling more than 900 endangered sea turtle eggs into the United States from Mexico, the U.S. attorney's office said. Jose and Olga Jimenez pleaded guilty Feb. 19 to charges of conspiracy, smuggling and unlawful trafficking...

  • Some emergency drought rules might be eased, but don't start hosing down sidewalks

    Some emergency drought rules might be eased, but don't start hosing down sidewalks

    Gov. Jerry Brown and top water regulators on Monday laid out a revised game plan for dealing with California’s persistent drought, making some conservation rules permanent while also moving to give communities more of a say in deciding how much water they must save.Brown issued an executive order...

  • How the California Coastal Commission pressured scientists to change opinions on major project

    How the California Coastal Commission pressured scientists to change opinions on major project

    The land — the largest private undeveloped coastal parcel in Southern California — is dotted with rusting oil pipes, abandoned wells and groaning pump jacks that continue to pull crude from the earth. But nature hasn't let go. Patches of prickly pear cactus, grasslands, scrub-coated arroyos and...

  • This is how serious India's drought has gotten

    This is how serious India's drought has gotten

    Prakash Rathod's family is living in a makeshift shed of sticks barely 4 feet high, with torn clothes serving as a canopy. They hail from a village more than 300 miles west of Mumbai, in a farming region where some 350 farmers have committed suicide this year due to the impact of one of the worst...

  • A North Korean farm may not be what it appears

    A North Korean farm may not be what it appears

    It looked like a farm: Cabbages were growing in neat rows in the dirt. Cucumber vines stretched to the ceiling in a spotless greenhouse, with an orange tractor parked out front. And it smelled, faintly, like a farm. But in North Korea, master of the Potemkin everything, what looks like a duck and...

  • In response to 'Little Miss Flint,' Obama visits Michigan city for the first time since the water crisis began

    In response to 'Little Miss Flint,' Obama visits Michigan city for the first time since the water crisis began

    President Barack Obama is set to meet with residents of Flint, Michigan, to hear how they're managing after lead from old pipes tainted their drinking water.  And he is bringing a message to Flint on Wednesday: a promise for change.  Obama declared a state of emergency in mid-January and ordered...

  • Californians step up in March, cut water use by 24%

    Californians step up in March, cut water use by 24%

    After months of flagging water conservation, Californians rebounded in March, cutting their urban consumption by 24.3% compared to the same month in 2013. The savings percentage, announced Tuesday, was more than double the state’s effort in February and offered a strong signal that people in cities...

  • In reversal, staff of Coastal Commission recommends approval of Newport Beach hotel and housing project

    In reversal, staff of Coastal Commission recommends approval of Newport Beach hotel and housing project

    In a reversal of its previous position, the staff of the California Coastal Commission is recommending approval of a hotel and housing complex on the last big block of private land on the Southland coast. The proposal to build an upscale hotel, retail space and hundreds of homes on a coastal bluff...

  • L.A.'s water wasters will soon face heavier fines and audits

    L.A.'s water wasters will soon face heavier fines and audits

    As regulators mull softening the state’s drought restrictions amid outcry from some Northern California water districts, water wasters in Los Angeles will soon face stiffer fines and water audits under a plan approved this week by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Under the city’s amended water conservation...

  • This gated community insists California's drought is over, wants green lawns again

    This gated community insists California's drought is over, wants green lawns again

    The warning was stern and unequivocal: The days of unkempt, browning lawns in the gated community of Blackhawk were officially over. “We believe that allowing the drought to negatively impact the landscaping at any Blackhawk home does a disservice to property values throughout the community,” the...

  • West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean's chemistry

    West Coast fisheries are at risk as climate change disturbs the ocean's chemistry

    The West Coast's abundant fisheries are at risk as the region's waters become more acidic, a group of scientists warn. Researchers from the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel released a report this month that projects dire changes to ocean chemistry and marine life, and recommends...

  • Police escorts, curfews and long lines: What it takes to get water in west India

    Police escorts, curfews and long lines: What it takes to get water in west India

    As two dozen policemen looked on, 25 giant tanker trucks were loaded up with water from a small reservoir in rural western India. Escorted by police vehicles, the tankers filed down the dusty road about 12 miles to deliver the water to Latur, a city of 500,000 people whose municipal water facilities...

  • State isn't using blood-test data that could help focus Exide cleanup efforts

    State isn't using blood-test data that could help focus Exide cleanup efforts

    The state of California has blood test results showing high levels of lead in children living near the closed Exide battery plant in Vernon but is not using the information to direct its massive cleanup of lead-contaminated homes and yards. Health experts say the test results should be used to...

  • California delays BPA warning rules, fearing they could scare away shoppers

     California plans to delay state-required warnings on metal cans lined with the chemical BPA, arguing too-specific warnings could scare stores and shoppers in poor neighborhoods away from some of the only fruits and vegetables available — canned ones, officials said Thursday. Instead, the state...

  • Will the world's next wars be fought over water?

    Will the world's next wars be fought over water?

    California’s ongoing drought is one sign that we have entered some uncharted and uncomfortable territory. Of the fears that have risen alongside a warming planet, perhaps none have attracted more attention than the "water wars" hypothesis. This hypothesis says that increased water shortages around...

  • Reservoirs are getting a big boost from 'Miracle March' — but the drought isn't over yet

    Reservoirs are getting a big boost from 'Miracle March' — but the drought isn't over yet

    So much rain has fallen in Northern California recently that federal officials have done what would have been unthinkable a year ago. They opened the spill gates at Folsom Lake and let precious water tumble into the American River as a precaution against — of all things — flooding. A series of...

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