The Obama administration’s push to modernize U.S. ports to accommodate huge new ships that can pass through the widened Panama Canal worries environmentalists who believe U.S. coastlines will be subjected to enormous damage and coastal residents will face increased health risks. For marine life already threatened by shipping traffic, like the majestic right whale, the odds are even tougher.
Independent truckers staged a job action that slowed work at the Port of Oakland on November 27. It was the truckers' third job action since August. The Port of Oakland Truckers Association (POTA) said the strike was “in protest of unsafe working conditions and unfair labor practices by terminal owners and Port of Oakland management.“ About a hundred independent truckers were joined by at least that many community and labor supporters at the entrances to the SSA terminal. Five people were arrested and at least two were injured by cars crossing the picket lines.
Called organismo modificado genéticamente or organismo transgénico in Spanish, genetically modified organisms (GMO) were the topic of the day on October 12, in conjunction with a global day of action. Members of La Defensa del Maiz San José gathered in front of San Jose City Hall to protest Monsanto's corporate control of food.
On September 18, Greenpeace activists protesting Arctic oil drilling attempted to climb and establish themselves on the outside of a Russian company's oil platform. The Russian Coast Guard responded by threatening activists at gun point and seizing control of the Greenpeace ship and all who were aboard. A Russian court has now charged twenty-eight Greenpeace International activists and two journalists with piracy. A global day of solidarity with the jailed activists was held on October 5, with tens of thousands of people participating in more than 200 events throughout the world.
Long-time residents of the former landfill known as the Albany Bulb are facing eviction as early as this month. For decades, however, the Bulb has been a safe place for those in the East Bay without traditional housing to make a home. The Sierra Club and Citizens for an East Shore State Park have pressured the Albany City Council to take action to remove those who live at the Bulb and declare the land "recreation only." Residents are now organizing and taking action to raise awareness of their plight and fight impending eviction. On October 7, residents of the Albany Bulb and local community members rallied, marched, and set up a one-night encampment on Solano Avenue, demonstrating what Albany's main street will look like if the Bulb’s 60-plus residents are evicted from their homes.
After spending $17 million, Santa Cruz City officials now want to re-engage the public by backing off on their promised desal vote in 2014. In response, the Desal Alternatives steering committee has issued a call to all citizen supporters to advocate that the City Council adopt water security measures that can be implemented immediately.
Long-term trends show that climate change is impacting the Lake Tahoe Basin with drier years, less precipitation, higher lake temperatures and projected lower lake levels. These conclusions are found within the 2013 Tahoe State of the Lake Report released on August 7 by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center at the University of California, Davis.