Nesting Time

Shout out to Ms. Lilac for the great photo-documenting of Great Blue Herons building their nest at the Palace of Fine Arts.  In about a month, get out your binoculars and telescopes to search for baby birds.  And in another couple of months, you might be lucky enough to spot the first flights of the baby birds!  Admiring from afar is the name of the bird-watching game.

Oh, and if you’ve recently been driven to organize your CDs and mop under the couch, you can sympathize with the heron urge.

Click to learn more about herons.

Drought Hits San Francisco

waterThis is the weather we hate to love.  When even New Yorkers take notice of California’s drought – in the midst of their own big Climate Change woes – you know it’s bad.  Westerners might have forgotten that Sandy is more than just a girl’s name, but down at the New York Times they’ve taken the day off from remediation efforts for sea level rise to focus on our water woes.

In San Francisco, this is a chance for natives and tourists to bond around new water conservation habits.  Share a glass of water with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day and let the restaurant save the gallon of water it takes a commercial dishwasher to clean a single glass.  Let’s get creative here, gang, because that snow pack isn’t looking good for Eau de Hetch Hetchy.

Click to read about Governor Brown’s declaration of a state of drought emergency.

Click for a recent New York Times article on the California drought.


The CONSERVE Imperative

Rim Fire

photo by Jae C. Hong/AP posted on

Three words about water/power in the City during the Rim Fire threatening Hetch Hetchy: CONSERVE, CONSERVE, CONSERVE!  C’mon, fellow San Franciscans, you can cut back more.  Like wear a hat today instead of washing your hair.  Conservation is stylin.  Flush the toilet once a day.  And me, I’m shutting this computer off and writing a real letter.  Like on paper.

National news covering the Rim Fire:

Latest Mercury News Update:

Bay Area Air Quality:

Wild and Free in San Francisco

Alert photographer Ron LeValley caught a couple of parrots resting near Telegraph Hill. No, they aren’t all gone, invasive as the San Francisco supervisors may think they are.  Don’t ya think it’s awesome that tropical-blooded creatures can live free in our wild city?

A must-see is the now old documentary Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

BART meeting tonight

Hear ye, hear ye, San Francisco BART commuters, tonight is your only chance to contribute to a proposed new law aiming to make the ride safer and cleaner.

Wednesday, February 13th • 6:30 pm
San Francisco Department of Public Health
101 Grove Street, Room 300, San Francisco, CA
(2 blocks from the Civic Center/UN Plaza BART Station)

Among many measures, the new law would allow officials to ban (only for a number of days) anybody who urinates in public three times.  Ponder this:  Why three times?  Is there something magic about that number of smelly offenses?  Do people who urinate only twice in a BART elevator with fellow commuters have larger bladders, and therefore should get a pass?  Just wondering.

Get Rational Tonight

windmillsEscape the emotional Climate Change quagmire with Rational Approaches to Renewable Energy tonight at 7:00 at SF’s World Affairs Council on Sutter near Stockton.  Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-Residence, Steyer Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University, will address this complex issue so we average Hoodies can get it.

Mind-expanding events like this vie for your attention alongside comedy clubs, jazz, and world-class theatre (of course), so get off the couch and experience one of the many things that makes San Francisco’s Theater District one of the best neighborhoods in the world.  No lie!  At the very least, you’ll come out of this being able to add some nifty factoids the next time a blind date starts an environmental discussion.

Diversity Meets Fracking

Tapwater on Fire

Tap water lights on fire when water resources are polluted by Fracking. Source: Gasland, the movie.

What a resource!  On the edge of the SF Theater District neighborhood on California Street is the powerful environmental organization with a quiet little office:  The Center for Biological Diversity, which hosted an evening of wine, snacks, networking and education about a new oil-extraction process called Fracking.

Fracking is a new largely unregulated method of oil and gas extraction.  If you caught the documentary Gasland, winner of the 2010 Sundance Jury Prize and nominated for an Academy Award, then you already know the potential dangers of the process to water and air resources.  If you have Netflix, you can downstream the movie.

It’s a bit of a downer to watch, but it’s always better to be educated than not, right?  California public lands and the Monterey Shale Formation just south of San Francisco are new targets for this chemical, high water consumptive process with some links to earthquakes.

From the Ground UP

SF TransamericaThe latest story from Sierra Magazine editor Bob Sipchen shows how one person can make a difference.

“Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.”  -David Orr

It’s kinda cool knowing the national office of the Sierra Club is just over on 2nd, on the edge of the San Francisco Theater District.  Proximity makes inspiration easier.  Right here in the big-city skyline we could look into energy-saving and cost-saving measures that each apartment/condo building could implement.  From easier compost collection to lowering electric bills in the condos common areas, we can start right in our own buildings to save the planet.  Share the pain, reap the gain.  Right?  See you on the  First Wednesday of September at Sugar Cafe, 5:30-6:30, to get started from the ground up.

Down the Dam Drain?

waterHow come all San Francisco waiters know what you mean when you ask for Perrier water but many don’t get the joke when you request Eau de Hetch Hetchy 2012?  Come November, San Franciscans will vote on blowing-up the Hetch Hetchy dam and draining the reservoir, currently San Francisco’s primary source of water and power.  Oh, and spending lots of money to make a plan.  We get to decide the best use of our limited resources in the face of global climate change, which is predicted to lessen the Sierra snow melt.  Should you be worried?  For sure you should be informed.  Here are some links that might help:

Huffington Post on Hetch Hetchy.

New York Times on We’re wasting the drought.

LA Times on the Hetch Hetchy dilemma.

SF Gate opinion on draining Hetch Hetchy.

Restore Hetch Hetchy advocacy group.

This is Climate Change.