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Posted on May 19 at 5:28 p.m.
Absolute incompetence on the part of the pipeline operators is what caused this. A lack of sufficient regulation of those incompetent operators is a contributing factor. In this day and age, there is no excuse for this kind of accident. Plains should be fined hundreds of millions of dollars. This will affect the Santa Barbara County coast for months. Refugio is one of the most poplar destination parks in California. The Parks Service should get reimbursed for every cancelation. Nice work oil companies. We've got to keep your eye on these characters, they are idiots in charge of dangerous systems.
On Big Oil Spill Along Refugio Coast
Posted on May 16 at 9:57 p.m.
The County should move the restroom structure on the west end of the park back as far as they can, just to be safe. Losing some lawn and parking lot to a major El Nino/king tide event is no big deal. The destruction of the restroom structure would be a significant loss of infrastructure. Also, once the restroom is moved, the County would not be in panic mode every time storm surf splashes up on Goleta Beach. The Beachside Restaurant is also an important asset that needs protection (it probably pays for the park since there are no parking fees), but it seems pretty well protected in its current location. At least for now.
On Coastal Commission Grants Goleta Beach Rocks
Posted on May 15 at 3:34 p.m.
I agree with you Nativegeo that splitting the County into two counties would create an environment with a lot less political enmity. It would be our version of the "two-state solution." However, when this idea came up for a vote, it lost. As I recall, the economic viability of Mission County was sort of shaky and absolutely not viable without the Santa Ynez Valley (the majority of the residents of which want nothing to do with Mission County). If the southern half of Santa Barbara County could keep all its taxes it would be far better off. There are fewer poor people as a percentage of population in the South and there are more employment opportunities in the South. I believe that Mission County would get along and the citizens would be happier without the influence of the elitist snobs who live south of the Gaviota tunnel. Alas, it's a pipe dream.
On Major S.B. Oil Driller Files for Bankruptcy
Posted on May 14 at 6:59 p.m.
Revetments are normally never a good a idea (although this one seems minor). The sand at Waikiki on Oahu must be constantly replenished because the revetments cause the sand to be scoured away from the shore. The fact that the these boulders do not pose a serious threat to the normal sand deposit process tells me that the boulders are not going to provide any protection against a major large wave event that corresponds to a king tide event. Consequently, the County will one day be in panic mode as to how to prevent the grassy lawn and infrastructure from crumbling into the sea. Everybody can feel good about this result, but anybody who believes that those boulders are going to act as a permanent protection for a temporal sand spit has not spent very much time observing the dynamic interaction between the ocean and coast.
Posted on May 14 at 8:59 a.m.
ERG never had a very good reputation in the oil patch. They were known to be a little loose with environmental compliance, a bit slimy with their creditors, and not a very smart operator. It is not surprising that they are bankrupt. This could also be the first to fall due to the price of oil staying low for so long.
Posted on May 12 at 2:45 p.m.
I could very well be wrong about this, but I bet that this was about gang members attempting to collect "taxes" from a couple of small time student dealers. Without getting on my high horse and judging the drug culture (too big a subject for this small space) the middle class kids who suddenly find themselves with resources and opportunity to feed their drug habits for free by dealing a little on the side, need to understand that the local gangs believe that the gangs control that bit of free market enterprise and that all who engage in it are subject to gang imposed "taxes." The old hippy days are long gone. Best to avoid the dope world altogether.
On Shooting in Isla Vista
Posted on May 11 at 8:53 p.m.
Yeah, Touristunfriendly, the whole "cap-and-trade" based program is b.s. It will never work because it will not produce real emissions reductions. Rather it will generate fake emissions reductions and lots of money for politicians to spend on projects unrelated to climate change. There is only one way to solve this problem and that is with old fashion "command-and-control" regulations combined with increased taxes on automobile fuels. The regulations should be applied to automobiles (through fleet average fuel efficiency standards), electrical power generation (reductions in CO2 emissions), petroleum production, transportation, and refining (again CO2 and methane reductions), and the natural gas distribution industry (through reduction in methane leaks from the pipeline system). The gasoline and diesel tax would simply be an incentive for people to consume less and the revenue should be spent providing grants to unregulated industries to increase efficiency and reduce pollution. The major problem with this idea is that it would have to be implemented worldwide in order to work. That is not going to happen. So, welcome to the future. Hope you have money. The wealthy will do ok; it will suck to be poor. To quote Vonnegut again, "so it goes."
On 7 Dogs for 7 Sisters
Posted on May 10 at 8:40 p.m.
Well, Nativeson, I have studied this issue quite a bit. I spent plenty of time as a skeptic. However, the scientific consensus is that human activities are playing a major role in global climate change, and I agree with the consensus view. If we wait for 100% certainty, by the time we reach such certainty it will be too late to reverse course and off the edge we will most certainly go (which I believe is where we are headed). Andy Caldwell is correct in his assessment of the problem with regard to nations like China and India that are growing their economies. If they don't get on board, we are doomed to suffer the consequences of changing climate, rising sea levels, and melting polar regions. China and India and Africa are rightly indignant that the Europe and the U.S.A. were allowed to achieve historically unprecedented levels of quality of life and now we are telling them that such a quality of life is unsustainable for the entire world's population. If I were Chinese or Indian, I would find that gruel hard to swallow. So, fully knowing that the cataract lies ahead of us, we will continue to rush down the stream, full speed ahead. Hopefully, as we cascade over the falls, we will be able to heed the advice of the Taoist sage to "go in with swirl and come out with the whirl."
Posted on May 9 at 12:13 p.m.
March 2015 was the warmest March since 1880. The first quarter of 2015 was the warmest first quarter on record in 136 years. 2014 was the warmest year on record. The 10 warmest years in the past 136 years have occurred in the past 17 years. These conclusions were not derived from a model but rather represent data from direct measurement. We know that the polar ice is melting because we can measure it. We know how much CO2 and methane are in the atmosphere because we can directly measure the concentrations of those gasses. We know that that CO2 and methane act as greenhouse gasses because that fact has been proven by scientific process. Models are a useful tool, used by scientists to attempt to predict outcomes based on certain assumed conditions. The reality of climate change is not based on modeling. It is based on real measureable and observable data. You can deny it’s happening Nativegeo, but nature really does not care about your opinion.
Posted on May 8 at 9:34 p.m.
The really great thing about science, is that it is not subject to opinions from the peanut gallery. It is based on facts that have been derived from rigorous research and analysis; and when the new research shows new facts then the scientific consensus changes. However, on the internet, every idiot's opinion is equal to scientific research. Consequently, if someone tells you that jumping off a 15 story building will be fatal, there are hundreds of arguments telling you that maybe you will not die. There are folks (none of them serious scientists) who will tell you that Darwin's theory of natural selection is bunk. There are folks that firmly assert that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Climate change is a real thing and it is caused by an accumulation of greenhouses gasses, which include CO2 and methane, and it is going to get worse before we are able to collectively assemble the political will to do something about it. It is one thing to be ignorant due to the fact that you just never had the opportunity to be informed. There is no excuse for intentional ignorance. On the other hand, according to Darwin, over time, the intentionally ignorant will be sorted out of the gene pool. Unfortunately that won't happen soon enough to protect those of us living with them today from their ignorance.