Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Happy New Year, You’re the Bane of the World’s Existence

The Center for Biological Depravity…er, Diversity, announced its top 11 priorities for bringing the U.S. economy to a halt in 2011.  It was going to go with 12, but making sure Jerry Brown appointed an ultra-enviro to head California’s Resources Agency has already been crossed off the list.

As you’d imagine, this year’s agenda is filled with plans to protect a whole slew of species from various man-made dangers.  If you’re a wolf or a bluefin tuna, this just might be your year.  Humans…not so much.  After taking baby steps last year, the Center hid in the middle of its list a rather Maoist priority to “Challenge the Overpopulation Paradigm.”  That’s right Joe Citizen, you and your 2.3 adorable kids (and their future kids) now have big fat target on your back.  As if an economic meltdown and global terrorism weren’t enough.

We’ll continue to encourage other groups to tackle overpopulation this year. We’ll distribute hundreds of thousands of condoms and ramp up the overpopulation dialogue through high-profile projects, including a study on the connection between overpopulation and diminishing water supplies in the Lower Colorado River Basin, the Center’s unique newsletter, Pop X, and targeted actions to Congress.

We’ll be interested to see their study on the Colorado River, which is facing challenges.  But that’s more so from several years of drought than too many newborns from too many “What Happens in Vegas…” nights.

Maybe the Center is grabbing for headlines to boost its coffers.  Maybe it’s tired of fighting on the environmental front lines and has chosen to try the back door.  Maybe it just doesn’t care for chubby babies with good short games.  Maybe all of the above.

Either way, it’s time to come to grips with the fact that you and your family are the bane of the world’s existence.  Happy New Year!

Read the rest of the Center’s 2011 priorities here.

LP&A Land Weekly 3: Reaching, Reaching, Reaching

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPALand on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

CARB Officials Reach for Their Sunglasses

It may not exactly be “Morning in America” just yet, but the sun is beginning to shine through the obfuscating clouds in Sacramento.  A new law signed this week by Governor Schwarzenegger requires the California Air Resources Control Board to – get this – actually explain to businesses why they’re being fined.  According to the bill’s author, “there was nothing that held CARB accountable in how the penalties were determined or the reason for the violation.”  That was a necessary first step.  Now it’s time to address the burdensome laws CARB will be more transparently enforcing.

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Weekly 3 Land: Spited noses, golden gambles and more

What are the three biggest stories each week in the world of California land development?  You’ll find them right here, or follow LP&A all week long on Twitter at @LPALand for up-to-the-minute news and analysis.  You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

1. What’s That About Noses and Faces and Spite?

There’s AB32, SB375 and a whole host of other regulations designed to coerce developers onto the green bandwagon. Some moves in that direction are wholly embraced by the building community, primarily because they’re market-driven solutions that provide tangible benefits.  Like smart energy and water meters that help homeowners better manage their consumption and reduce utility bills.  So why is the evergreen County of Santa Cruz moving to ban the technology? It’s afraid the wireless signal the boxes transmit – similar to cell phones – poses health risks.  Builders beware.

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Why the Old Ways of Talking Water No Longer Work

Amidst a recent hectic afternoon, one of our clients called to pick our brain about what LP&A sees as the latest trends in water agency communications.  Although it admittedly caught us off guard, it’s a great question that couldn’t have been posed at a better time, given the uncertainty of California’s water future and the swirling dynamics of public sentiment.  We share our answer below, but the bottom line is that the old ways of doing business no longer work in today’s changing environment.  Here’s why:

1. Water is no longer an issue that flies under the radar. These days water providers are asking a lot from their customers: Use less, pay more, vote for this (within the advocacy laws), don’t mind that sinkhole or pipe break.  Agencies that foster trusting relationships with their customers through proactive communications will reap the most benefits.

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What Really Matters

The Field Poll recently asked a scientifically valid number of Californians (who, we’re sure, feel just great about having been scientifically validated) a pretty important question as primary season rolls around:

Thinking of the November election for Governor, how important will the candidates’ position on each of the following issues be to you in deciding whom you would support?

The issues were asked in random order; here they are alphabetically: crime/prisons, education, environmental protection, gasoline prices/energy, global warming, health care, illegal immigration, jobs/economy, state budget deficit, taxes and water.

Only those living in a time warp would be surprised that economic issues rocked the vote … and rocked it hard.  Jobs and the economy was ranked most important by almost 60 percent, followed closely by the state’s budget, a few decimal points behind.  At the other end of a scale, in near-lockstep for the last two positions were environmental protection and global warming.  A scant 23 percent of those polled ranked the imminent destruction of the planet by greenhouse gases as the top priority in their decision-making.

We wonder why, given these results, politicians throughout the state, from Sacramento to local city councils, remain so deferential to environmental interests when these greater environmental protections (as if the laws on the books don’t go far enough already!) come at the cost of jobs.

Water Bond Battle Already Underway

cali-aqueduct2We recently attended the Southern California Water Committee board of directors meeting and were very pleased by that group’s early and unanimous support of the $11 billion water bond that will be on this November’s ballot.

Laer Pearce & Associates played a small but important part in getting the comprehensive water legislation passed last November, pulling together a coalition of important local business organizations and taking their pro-water message to Orange County’s Sacramento delegation. We’re proud that an OC senator, Tom Harmon, was the deciding vote in favor of the bond.
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