Environment

California Must Stop Trying To Stomp Out Suburbia

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We may be celebrating — if that’s the right word — the tenth year since the onset of the financial crisis and collapse of the real estate market. Yet before breaking out the champagne, we should recognize that the hangover is not yet over, and that a new housing crisis could be right around the corner.  read more »

The Battle for Houston

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Over the last half-century, Houston has developed an alternative model of urbanism. As the New Urbanist punditry mounts an assault on both suburban growth and single-family homes, Houston has embraced a light regulatory approach that reflects market forces more than ideology. But last year’s Hurricane Harvey floods severely tested the Houston model.  read more »

California Takes The Prize For Environmental Virtue Signaling — But Not Much Else

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If there’s an award for environmental virtue signaling, California would win the prize. Yet for all the constant self-promotion, shameless grandstanding and endless moralizing, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the impact, and failures, of our current green obsessions.  read more »

Food Porn

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What’s this now? A few acres of suburban gardens? Yes. And no. It’s the mini farm adjacent to The French Laundry in California’s Napa Valley. Local. Organic. Seasonal. It’s the full expression of a particular trend in foodie culture. It’s strange to see so ordinary a thing – veggies growing in a suburban plot – elevated to near monastic tidiness. It’s illegal to grow food on the front lawn in many places these days, either by municipal regulation or private home owners association bylaws. Even where it is legal, most people simply don’t do it. Food is cheap. Gardening is a lot of work. Why bother?  read more »

Little Experiments on the Cheap

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Part of my ongoing plan to create a more resilient and adaptable life includes finding alternative ways to satisfy daily needs with simple affordable work-arounds. I want electric lights at night and I want to charge my cell phone and small devices even if the power goes out in a storm. This little $80 portable foldable solar panel does the trick. I placed my wallet next to the folded panels for scale. The package is the size of a book.  read more »

California’s Climate Extremism

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Environmental extremism increasingly dominates California. The state is making a concerted attack on energy companies in the courts; a bill is pending in the legislature to fine waiters $1,000—or jail them—if they offer people plastic straws; and UCLA issued a report describing pets as a climate threat.  read more »

Lessons from the Oakland/San Francisco Dismissal

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Federal District Court Judge William Alsup dismissed the "global warming" lawsuits of the cities of Oakland and San Francisco against large oil and gas companies, In so doing, the Judge provided important lessons in history, logic and public policy.  read more »

Progressive California’s Growing Race Challenge

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No state in the union has been more adamant in opposing President Trump’s policy on immigration than California. The Golden State widely sees itself — and is widely seen in progressive circles — as the harbinger of America’s multi-cultural future, a “sanctuary state” that epitomizes ethnic ascendency.  read more »

California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change

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This is an excerpt of a new report, California, Greenhouse Gas Regulation, and Climate Change, from Chapman University’s Center for Demographics and Policy. The report is authored by David Friedman and Jennifer Hernandez, and edited by Joel Kotkin. Read the full report (pdf) using the attachment below.  read more »

In California, the “Jungle” Is Predictable

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One doesn’t expect the unexpected in California elections. A progressive Democrat will become governor; Dianne Feinstein will return to the Senate yet again; and so on. Nuances still matter, particularly at the congressional level, in part due to the “jungle primary” system, but nothing much has changed. Statewide, the ideological die, at least for now, is cast.  read more »