Category Archives: Greening Los Angeles

2013: Year of the L.A. Aqueduct – L.A. City Council Declaration

LADWP Letterhead
 

Los Angeles City Council Declares
“2013: Year of the L.A. Aqueduct”

LADWP to Celebrate Engineering Marvel that Brought Water
from Owens Valley to L.A. 100 Years Ago

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LOS ANGELES — (Jan. 18, 2013) The Los Angeles City Council officially declared “2013: Year of the Los Angeles Aqueduct” today, joining the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in launching a centennial celebration to mark 100 years of continuous operation of William Mulholland’s great engineering achievement that brings water to Los Angeles from the Owens Valley, 233 miles away.

The declaration, a City Proclamation, states, “the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct 100 years ago is a significant historical event that led to the growth and prosperity of Los Angeles and Southern California, helped spur an economy that today rivals many nations’ and supports a distinct culture synonymous with invention, creativity and entrepreneurship.

It was presented by Councilmember Jose Huizar along with Councilmember Tom LaBonge. 

“The Los Angeles Aqueduct is a critical reason the City of Los Angeles was able to expand from a sparsely populated region to the second-largest city in the United States and a thriving metropolis,” said Councilmember and Energy & Environment Committee Chair José Huizar. “The L.A. Aqueduct’s importance continues to this day and the City of Los Angeles is proud to recognize this engineering marvel.”

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Mediterranean-Climate Cities to Converge On Los Angeles

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[Press Release]

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 16, 2012 ) —How is your city prepaing to deal with the impacts of climate change? That is the question being framed at 2012’s The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation, to be held June 27 in Downtown Los Angeles. Leaders from the five Mediterranean regions of the world will come together to focus specifically on adaptation, which seeks to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems to the effects climate change.

The conference will initiate an ongoing collaboration of Mediterranean cities working together to solve the mutual problem of adapting to an uncertain climate. In addition, the conference aims to create new and strengthen existing ties among the decision-makers, thought-leaders and academics, building bridges across disciplines. 

“Our climate is changing and so it is more important than ever that cities work together around this common cause,” said Executive Director, Dr. Nancy Steele. “By coming together, conference participants will share resources and knowledge across regional and national boundaries to build effective solutions. We are excited to host this first ever convening of all the Mediterranean-climate regions around the world.”

Cities of the Future author Paul Brown will be the keynote speaker at the conference. Other invited speakers include: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, United State Representative Lois Capps, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Yarqon River Authority (Israel) Executive Director David Pargament, Pacific Institute President Peter Gleick, and many more.

On June 25 and 26, an invited group of regional experts will come together for The Mediterranean City Consortium. During this time, small working groups of invited scientists, planners, engineers, resource managers, and policy makers will work collaboratively toward sharing solutions and suggest collaborative steps forward. The pre-conference working group activities will heavily shape the agenda of the The Mediterranean City Conference, which will be open to the public and present a forum for the working groups to present their shared findings and ideas for the future.

Conference Themes

Water: Resilient Water Management Strategies for a Changing Climate
Water is among the most basic of human needs and is necessary for economic vitality and food security. In the Mediterranean City, water is harnessed for consumption, industry, and waste management, while flood control systems seek to move water away from cities as efficiently as possible. Degradation of water quality occurs from urban practice and single purpose policy. As water scarcity increases with climate change, and as demand continues to outpace sustainable supplies, human and natural communities of the City and of the water-supply-shed are threatened at the most basic levels.

Energy: Transitioning to an Energy Efficient and Low Carbon Future
With a natural supply of abundant solar energy and the potential for tidal and off-shore wind and wave-to-energy power, the Mediterranean climate zones have great potential to harness renewable energy supplies. However, as urban populations in Mediterranean Cities continue to grow, renewable resource demand may outstrip renewable resource availability. Needs and costs of production must be better understood and affordable to move forward in producing green energy.

Biodiversity and Open Space: Building an Ecological City
Mediterranean ecosystems have nutrient−poor soils and are seasonally climate−limited, yet have evolved species−rich ecosystems with a great deal of endemism.  Healthy ecosystems provide nature’s services to urban centers, cleaning air and water; providing spaces of beauty to refresh the soul and encourage recreation; producing food, fiber, and fuel; and mitigating natural disasters (e.g., drought and flood) while cleaning of polluted urban runoff.

The Built Environment: Designing Healthier Communities
In the face of rapid development and population growth, cities are under increasing threat of loss of functionality and ability to meet the needs to their residents. By redefining the built environment to require or incentivize green building design, ecologically-functional streets, transit-oriented communities, and open spaces, cities can become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. By becoming more compact, for example, cities can promote the preservation of regionally-unique habitats while also combating urban sprawl. Smart building and landscape designs can also effectively reduce the energy footprint of buildings while contributing to the overall energy portfolio of cities.

Public Health: Preparing People for Their Future
A healthy ecosystem – dependent on clean air and water, natural hydrogeologic processes, and biological diversity – nurtures a healthy human population, which in turn must respect and tend those resources through conservation. Human systems too must reorient towards healthier outcomes for natural and human populations through changed practices in sanitation, food provisioning, and ecosystem services management. Planning for greener cities that conserve these Mediterranean resources will also provide avenues for improving public health.

Governance: Rethinking Boundaries
Cities are now the engines of the world economy and social structure and must, therefore, work as a network across sectors and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions. To bring resiliency to the city and to the network of information sharing, new forms of governance and public-private partnerships must be examined for their efficacy in supporting an open exchange and transfer of ideas and technology. 

Conference Organizer: Council for Watershed Health: The Council for Watershed Health supports healthy watersheds for the region by serving as a robust center for the generation of objective research and analysis.  The Council has established a platform for meaningful collaboration among governmental organizations, academic institutions, businesses and other nonprofit organizations with a vested interest in clean water, reliable water supplies, ample parks and open spaces, revitalized rivers, and vibrant communities. 

Founded in 1996 by leading environmental activist Dorothy Green and others, the Council produces continuing research programs that examine water usage and quality as well as create and enhance preservation and conservation tactics. The trustworthy expertise and analysis that comes from the Council’s ongoing programs connects a diverse set of groups with overlapping missions in an effort to drive polices that will continually improve watershed quality.

The Mediterranean City Conference on Climate Change Adaptation is made possible thanks to the support CDM SMITH, the Department of Energy, the City of Los Angeles, The Nature Conservancy, UCLA, the Long Beach Water Department and more than 20 endorsing organizations.

For more information and to register to attend the conference, please visit the event website at www.medcityconference.org.

 

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Renewable Energy Goes Round…And Round

 

In Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, on the banks of the Seine, there is a Carrousel that is now powered by renewable energy.

Renewable Energy Carrousel, Paris - photo by Paige Donner copyright 2011

All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2011

This City of Light is filled with carrousels. You can find them across the street from the Eiffel Tower, on the other side of the river at the foot of Trocadero, in the vast courtyard of the Hotel de Ville and many more locations throughout the city. But this one, just underneath the Eiffel Tower, is the city’s flagship Renewable Energy Carrousel. Its LED lights are the same color as the flickering lights that have the Tour Eiffel twinkling on the hour every evening.

On a recent sunny, Autumn day filled with the scent of fallen leaves, the carrousel was itself twinkling in the afternoon sunlight. And FYI – during the Christmas Holiday week, many of the carrousels are free for children to ride on.

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Clinton Global Initiative Recognizes AEG Farmers Field

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Clinton   Global Initiative Recognizes AEG for their Commitment to Action to   

Create Farmers Field, Nation’s First Carbon-Neutral NFL Stadium

New NFL stadium, event center and modernized Los Angeles Convention Center raise the bar forsustainable entertainment and business development in a major urban area.

NEW YORK — Sept. 20, 2011 —At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting today, leading sports and entertainment presenters AEG were recognized by former President Bill Clinton for their Commitment to Action to invest $1 billion to build Farmers Field, a 72,000-seat, downtown Los Angeles football stadium and event center. As part of AEG’s commitment, the Los Angeles-based organization is working with partners, including the U.S. Green Building Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to ensure that Farmers Field will be the most environmentally sustainable stadium in the world and the first stadium in the NFL to be LEED certified.

We are so proud to have a company in Los Angeles being honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for their proven track record of providing the most innovative solutions to environmental issues while also creating jobs and opportunities for the community,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Their tireless commitment to innovative, environmental programs such AEG 1 EARTH has set the precedent for the sports and entertainment industry across the world to follow.”

Through this Commitment to Action, AEG pledges to work closely with CGI to monitor environmental results and report back on progress. This comes on the heels of a bill passed by an overwhelming 80 percent majority of the California State Senate and Assembly that will require AEG to ensure that Farmers Field is 100 percent carbon neutral for all emissions generated from private automobile trips to and from the stadium and for Farmers Field to have the best ratio of fans to automobiles in all of the NFL. The stadium will prioritize on-site and local projects before purchasing carbon offsets to support local economic development while ensuring positive environmental and social impacts. In addition, as part of their Commitment to Action, AEG will go beyond legal requirements to achieve carbon neutrality for all emissions from energy consumption and mechanical operations of the stadium. Combining these commitments with additional measures, such as water conservation and robust waste and recycling programs, including the donation of durable goods and an in-house composting program, will create the nation’s most comprehensive environmental program for an NFL stadium.

“The Clinton Global Initiative is a forum for visionary companies and leaders who are committed to designing a sustainable future for individuals, businesses and communities, by repurposing business methods and culture to solve critical global problems,” said former President Bill Clinton. “AEG has proven to be the world’s most environmentally conscious venue operators, and Farmers Field will be another true example of their mission to marry design, innovation, social responsibility and community engagement, resulting in a measurable impact for future generations. I commend AEG as a model socially responsible company that is the hallmark of CG

“Farmers Field will be an example of the next generation of sports and entertainment venues, where a world-class fan experience goes hand in hand with social and environmental responsibility,” said Tim Leiweke, AEG president and CEO. “We have focused during the last four years on working with some of the most respected environmental organizations in the country to create a blueprint for the stadium and, through the AEG 1EARTH program, to create the most comprehensive environmental program in the sports and live entertainment industry. Our CGI Commitment to Action underscores AEG’s dedication and accountability for making this vision a reality. We are honored to be recognized by President Clinton and this prestigious organization.”

“Through Farmers Field, AEG is making the most environmentally responsible choice possible, with commitment beginning at the point of development,” said S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman, U.S. Green Building Council. “Investing in sustainable construction and weaving carbon and waste programs into the fabric of a venue, its operations and its surroundings creates the lowest impact on our environment and the greatest return for the company.”

The Commitment to Action at CGI comes just weeks after the groundbreaking environmental components of the project helped garner the support of two of California’s most respected environmental groups — the NRDC and the California League of Conservation Voters.

“NRDC applauds AEG’s commitment operate the most energy efficient football stadium in the nation at Farmers field to develop a best-in-the-nation public transit infrastructure for fans and to offset the carbon emissions associated with all fan travel by cars and busses,” said Allen Hershkowitz, PhD., senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Given AEG’s proven record as the worlds’ greenest arena operators and their commitment to work with environmental and community groups in developing their plan, I have every confidence that this goal will be achieved.”

….“Members of organizations across the city have come together to make Farmers Field a reality,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry. “We know that the entire city — even state — will benefit from the addition.”

 “Our focus locally lies not only on the environmental goals, but on the tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of economic benefits to the state,” Speaker John A. Pérez said. “AEG has been able to generate an opportunity for economic development without sacrificing our environmental standards.”

“The construction of a news sports arena and convention center will create thousands of jobs and be an economic boost for the City of Los Angeles, the region and the state,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “Unlike other stadium projects, this one will be built without any public funds and be built to unprecedented environmental standards.”

AEG’s plan is both environmental and economic. It is estimated that Farmers Field construction will create 23,000 jobs, including 12,000 full-time jobs during the construction process and 11,000 more permanent jobs at the convention center. The Los Angeles Convention Center modernization and expansion and Farmers Field project is projected to generate more than $600 million in total economic activity, raising more than $40 million in new city, county and state tax revenues.

“With record unemployment above the national average, the creation of 23,000 middle-class jobs for construction and hotel workers, stage hands, grips and janitors is critical to Los Angeles,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Our top priority is to get men and women back to work in a good job.”

More information and a complete look at the 2010 AEG 1EARTH sustainability report are available at http://www.aegworldwide.com/08_corporate/aeg1earth-report.html.


Photo courtesy WireImage/AEG (Left to Right: Steve Bing, Founder of Shangri-La Industries; Tim Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG; Former President Bill Clinton; Casey Wasserman, Chairman & CEO, Wasserman Media Group)


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World Water Week

From The Green Blog Network

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Courtesy of Stockholm International Water Institute

World Water Week - Green Blog Network

On the Water Front vol. 2 presents new analysis from global thought-leaders

New edition features 14 essays on water and water quality issues that build upon research presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm. 

On the Water Front vol. 2 offers a collection of the most innovative and important insights on water and water quality presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm. This compendium is a must-read for those interested in the latest knowledge, tools and strategies to resolve the planet’s most pressing water quality challenges.

World Water Week Announcement - Green Blog Network

Each of its chapters are authored by leading luminaries from science, business, and public policy and build upon research presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm, includingStockholm Water Prize Laureates Dr. Rita Colwell and Prof. Takashi Asano and have been edited and peer reviewed by the World Water Week Scientific Programme Committee.

Download it here to gain knowledge on how the public health sector will be impacted by climate change, the most potent policy cocktails to protect coastal waters, the best-practice solutions to wastewater reclamation and reuse, what the potential onset of peak water and peak phosphorus could mean to humanity, new ideas to mitigate the growing dangers of chemical and agricultural pollution to human and environmental health, and much more.


 

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Info Dog Day Afternoon L.A.

Ecodog

Join us on Tuesday, July 26 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for the 5th Annual Downtown Dog Day Afternoon at the Cathedral. Come for all or part.

 

This event is for Downtown LA dogs onlyand their humans,but allDowntownerswithout dogs and friends of Downtown are welcome too. Come meet your neighbors, Downtown dogs, and join us for an afternoon of fun, food, and communitybuilding. Dogs and cats will also be available for adoption.

 

Register today at www.DowntownLA.com/dogday

 

See you all there! 

 

 

 

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Produced By Conference 2011 At Disney Studios – Digital Is The New Green

By Gina Hall

Gina Hall
 is a Los Angeles-based writer. Follow her on Facebook.

[Bio Cont’d Below…]

 

The third year of the Produced By Conference brought more than 2,200 people to the Disney lot in Burbank on June 4th and 5th. There was no shortage of star-powered panels and discussions on “green content” but the focus ultimately centered on emerging digital technology. The hope is that digital technology can usher in a more sustainable era to the industry by reducing our print and production materials and changing the distribution model from one that requires delivery of a print to one that is beamed into the theater or home.

Highlights of the conference included the Bleeding Green: Content with a Cause panel, which featured a conversation on developing documentary material with a green agenda. Panelists included Lesly Chilcott, producer of Waiting For ‘Superman’ and An Inconvenient Truth, and Fisher Stevens, producer of The Cove.

Again, the focus centered on how digital media has become the biggest asset to the “green filmmaker” in all areas; financing, raising awareness, filming and distribution. Twitter, Facebook and blogs have become the go-to method for finding an audience and online channels plus Netflix a preferred distribution outlet. The glut of eco-content has become an issue, but the overwhelming sentiment was one of optimism in getting these issues out to a broader audience.

Raising Your Tentpole proved to be another popular panel, apparently many aspiring to bypass the slow ascent to success and jump straight into developing and producing franchise faire. Panelists incl

uded Gale Anne Hurd, Bonnie Arnold and Kevin Feige, among others, as they discussed the ups and downs of creating content through the studio machine.

 

Perhaps more useful to the indie producer was the panel Plugged In: The Socially Networked Producer where Elias Plishner, Sony Senior VP of Digital Marketing who headed up the Social Network campaign, told the audience that it’s never too early to start engaging fans of your project through social media channels to build “pre-awareness.” Not surprisingly, the panel discussed how actors are cast based on their Twitter following as it is assumed that that will become part of the marketing package.

 

Meanwhile, in the conversation panel with Harvey Weinstein and Mark Gordon, the view on internet distribution and Video on Demand (VOD) was lukewarm. Both Weinstein and Gordon expressed that while it is the future, the current business model should continue to focus on the theatrical release.

 

A major announcement from the conference came from the CEO of Scenios, Mark Davis, who unveiled that their production management software will now be available entirely in “the cloud.” This type of platform will allow production teams to collaborate from pre-production through production and then into post and will include a collection of apps that manages items like the script, budget, locations, shoot schedule, call sheets, dailies and rough cuts.

With this movement toward cloud computing, digital distribution, and online marketing, the move toward the industry consuming less is yet to be seen. In the near future, the industry’s net consumption of paper screenplays, plastic DVD cases and oil to shuttle prints to theaters may go down, but electronics require a massive amount of conflict metals and create toxic eWaste (and let’s not get started on production offices and sets slow to phase out plastic water bottles and disposable Starbucks cups). 

Whatever the future may bring, it’s coming quickly and next year’s conference can’t come fast enough.

Gina Hall writes for publications such as Greening Hollywood, as a guest blogger, Culver City News, AskMissA.com and TheScoopLA. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Cinematic Arts and has worked in the entertainment industry on documentaries and features, as a development executive and as a writer. She works with environmental organization Global Green USA whose efforts are primarily focused on fighting global climate change through policies, advocacy and education. 

 

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Environmentalists Honored For Extraordinary Efforts

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By Gina Hall
[Gina is a USC Film School Graduate. She works with Global Green USA and is a guest blogger for the Green Blog Network.]
Environmental nonprofit Global Green USA celebrated its 15th annual Millennium Awards at a star-studded fundraising gala at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica on Saturday. Celebrity guests and presenters included Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Orlando Bloom, Miranda Kerr and Adrian Grenier. 
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One of the evening’s high-profile honorees was actor Mark Ruffalo, recently nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Kids are Alright. Actress Laura Dern presented Ruffalo with his honor for his work to eliminate the controversial hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a., “hydrofracking,” a chemical process that fractures shale in order to retrieve oil and natural gas. The process, as seen in the Oscar-nominated documentary Gasland, has been shown to contaminate water supplies to the point of becoming flammable. Ruffalo has testified before Congress, arguing for a ban on the practice and has started his own foundation, Water Defense, to educate the public on the dangers of hydrofracking.

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Ed Begley, Jr. was also among the honorees, for his work to inspire others to create a more sustainable world. Featured on the reality program, Living with Ed, the actor and Studio City resident has become associated with the ultimate in green living – even going as far as generating power for his home via stationary bicycle.  Other honorees included the Los Angeles Business Council for their work to encourage the use of solar power in the city, and Wendy Schmidt, founder of the Schmidt Family Foundation and the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Prize. 
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“Thanks to our sponsors, including Sprint, 360 Vodka and dozens more, Global Green raised over $470,000 to support our local and national initiatives,” noted Global Green’s Communications Director Ruben Aronin. 

“We are so excited to celebrate the impressive achievements of our 2011 Millennium Awards Honorees,” said Global Green President and CEO Matt Petersen. “It’s particularly auspicious to celebrate these leaders as World Environment Day approaches and we mark the one-year countdown to the Rio Earth Summit in 2012, when our global leaders will gather to make commitments to make our world more sustainable. Global Green will be marshaling its supporters to call for local and community-based approaches to solving climate change, including creating greener cities, schools and affordable housing for families.”

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Produced By Conference – 2,200 Attendees And Over 300 Film Commissions

 

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  • Producer, Lauren Shuler Donner and PGA President Emeritus and PBC Co-Chair, Marshall Herskovitz at the Opening Night Kick-Off Party Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss
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  • Signage from the third annual Produced By Conference Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss

For the first time, the 2011 PBC brought acclaimed producers and industry veterans along with hundreds of film commissions together to interact with an astonishing number of participants—more than double the number of attendees from last year’s PBC. With speakers like Harvey Weinstein, Lawrence Gordon, Kevin Smith, Mark Gordon, Darren Star, Robert Greenblatt, Tim Gibbons and many more, over 100 masters of their craft shared their expertise as attendees were endlessly inspired throughout the two-day celebration. In addition to riveting panel sessions and conversations, attendees were delighted with the unique exposure and interaction with film commission exhibitions from around the globe spread throughout the Disney lot.

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  • Moderator Richard Gladstein with featured PBC speakersAlbert Berger, Todd Black, Donald De Line, Steve Golin and Cathy Schulman discuss the “Evolving Role of the Creative Producer” Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss

Reaching across film, television and new media industries, the annual Produced By Conference is an educational forum that involves acclaimed producers, including countless Academy Award®-winning filmmakers and Emmy Award® winners, as well as the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. The AFCI Locations Show is an annual gathering of film commissions from around the globe representing over $2 billion in financing and incentives. The PBC event was chaired by Marshall Herskovitz, Gale Anne Hurd and Rachel Klein. Further information on this year’s event can be found at www.producedbyconference.com.

Check Back soon on Greening Hollywood and Green Blog Network for our Green Event Coverage of the PBC 2011.


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Coachella Renewable

Submitted by Eric Ritz, Founder Global Inheritance

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Film Review: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

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By Gina Hall
[Guest Blogger Gina Hall has a Film Degree from USC. Her day job is with Global Green USA in Santa Monica]

The documentary Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War is a shocking revelation of the long-term environmental impact of America’s wars over the past century and isn’t for those with a weak stomach or who want to pretend we’re always the good guys. From hundreds of sunken World War II ships slowly leaking oil, to Agent Orange, to land-mines and cluster bombs that still litter a landscape, the film highlights America’s lasting legacy in the war zones we’ve left behind after declaring “mission accomplished.”Filmmakers Alice and Lincoln Day feature several expert talking-heads who guide the narrative matter-of-factly through our various assaults on the lands in which we wage war. It’s not an entertaining documentary, it doesn’t use animation or clever editing to engage. It has facts and visual evidence on its side. And if the melted faces of children affected by Agent Orange or the landmine-mangled foot of an elephant doesn’t viscerally affect you, then you have a harder heart than mine.

A statistic the film cites is that prior to the past hundred years 90 percent of war victims were combatants and 10 percent were civilians. Now it is the reverse, with 90 percent of victims being civilians to 10 percent actual combatants. The total body counts may be lower, but the documentary makes clear the human costs of spreading “freedom.” In addition there’s the toll on our coral reefs, water supply, soil, air and just about everything else we need to sustain life on Earth. There’s a cringe-worthy moment of footage of a U.S. armed forces official selling the natives around Bikini Atoll on their important contribution to humanity in allowing nuclear bomb tests near their homes.

It becomes clear that people in these conflict areas don’t hate us, as Bush said, because of our freedom, they hate us because we’re assholes. We seem to have a bad habit of bombing, consuming resources, salting the earth and moving on. The film doesn’t look to place blame on our men and women in the armed services, but does shine a light on economic policies that put them there. With documentaries like this, it’s getting harder and harder for our government to sell war as the humanitarian act of liberation.  If you have to see the proof for yourself, the images are here and they’re not easy to look at.

The film is being aired locally around the country, is available for screenings and on DVD. For more information visit www.scarredlandsfilm.org

Photo Credit: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives

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Evolve Love Live – Legacy of Climate Crisis

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COULD THE CLIMATE CRISIS CREATE THE GREATEST LOVE STORY ON EARTH?

“Evolve Love: Love in a Time of Climate Crisis” is a creative feature documentary (in progress) that will take us on a voyage to discover the ways in which planet wide climate catastrophe could propel us into a sustainable future founded on empathy for all life on earth.

Chronicling the birth of a global “movement of movements” forming to confront climate change, EVOLVE LOVE will reframe the despairing, apocalyptic narrative that is dominating popular discourse around the crisis, transforming it into a moving love story.

The film will feature compelling stories of everyday individuals who are living with the devastating impacts of climate change, while taking us through to the emerging “BRIGHT GREEN” sustainability movement, which offers the energizing confidence of constructive solutions and action, showing that we can reduce our ecological footprint while improving our lives.

With director Velcrow Ripper’s signature awe inspiring visuals, a powerful soundscape, compelling animation, moving stories of crisis, restoration and sustainability, combined with the wisdom of the greatest climate crisis visionaries, EVOLVE LOVE will be an inspirational, transformative and engaging viewing experience.

When: May 23, 2011, Doors 6:15 pm, Start 7:00 pm

Where: Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St., Victoria, BC

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Filed under Eco Consulting Eco Media, Green Blog Network, Greening America, Greening Brooklyn, Greening California, Greening D.C., Greening Hawaii, Greening Hollywood, Greening Long Beach, Greening Los Angeles, Greening Malibu, Greening NYC, Greening Paris, Greening Style, Greening U.S., Greening USA, Greening Vancouver, Paige Donner

Los Angeles Convention Center’s Earth Awareness

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The morning kicked off with a ceremonial tree-planting with Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tempore Jan Perry. Ms. Perry gave the students a brief but inspiring talk about her environmental initiatives and participated in the planting of a new shade tree on the school grounds. Los Angeles Convention Center’s Chief Engineer, Rey Castro, gave the students a brief lecture about the LEED certification process and the Center’s solar program.

Afterwards, students visited the various display booths. Convention Center staff set up booths focused on LEED certification and water conservation efforts. Aqua-Tech Water Management walked students through the water purification process. Spectrum Engineering and BC International talked about energy management. LADWP was on hand to educate students on water and power conservation.

Los Angeles Convention Center’s Executive Chef, Brett Lewis, prepared three types of salsa from organic fruits and vegetables for students to taste. The ingredients were generously donated by Fresh Point Organic Foods.

After receiving a stamp at each booth, the students received a commemorative Earth Aware t-shirt. Chuck Burdick, Assistant Principal/SLC Administrator, of Santee Education Complex stated, “Successful high school programs in 2011 are those that include key community sponsors like the Los Angeles Convention Center. Their Earth Aware 2011 was a big success, attended by all of the Chemistry and Biology students at Santee Education Complex. The event raised awareness about conservation and healthy living, in a kid-friendly and interactive learning environment.

Our Santee students attended the Earth Day event in 2010 at the Convention Center, and this year the Convention Center came to us! They mean what they say as far as wanting to sustain partnerships with the local schools.”

Pouria Abbassi, General Manager and CEO, and Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Phillip Hill, both of the Los Angeles Convention Center, addressed students about the importance of environmental initiatives and community involvement. They also participated in the dedication of the new tree, which was planted by student volunteers. Mr. Abbassi stated “The students of Santee Education Complex were enthusiastic, inquisitive, polite, and grateful for the interactive learning opportunity. Our staff and vendors were thrilled to teach them about environmental responsibility while answering questions about potential career paths.” The students signed a posterboard which will be displayed in the offices of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

About the Santee Education Complex Santee is a secondary school located at 1921 South Maple Avenue in South Los Angeles. It serves grades 9 through 12 and just over 3,000 students. The high school is revered for its innovative seven small learning communities. For more information, visit www.santeefalcons.org.

About the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC)

The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) is one of the most technologically advanced convention and exhibition centers in the world. LACC attracts over 2.5 million visitors annually and is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, trade shows and exhibitions. An integral economic component to the Southern California area, total sales from client secondary spending tops $1.1 billion annually, generating and sustaining over 12,000 local jobs.

LACC is a model environmental-friendly facility, holding the prestigious USGBC LEED-EB GOLD Certification for existing buildings. LACC is also a Bronze Level recipient of the 2010 California Award for Performance Excellence (CAPE), Eureka Award. For more information, visit www.lacclink.com.

Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!

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Filed under Greening Los Angeles, Jan Perry

>Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

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By Joel Epstein

The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere. http://joelepstein.com/

Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

With last week’s epiphany on how the unions should be investors in LA’s 30/10 Initiative going nowhere, I was free to attend Wednesday’s Mayoral Sustainable Housing and Transportation Summit.

30/10 is an innovative idea for accelerating construction of 12 critical voter-approved transportation construction projects in 10 years instead of 30. The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere.

LA remains one of the least affordable residential markets in the country and the conference effectively underscored the importance of removing obstacles to building in the city so that working people can find affordable, sustainable housing in safe neighborhoods with good schools within easy commuting distance of their jobs. Yes, that’s a lot of modifiers.

The three panels that made up the generally well-paced program explored [different] definitions of sustainable communities, resources to support a sustainable community, and best practices for sustainable community development.

 
In the second panel discussion Larry Parks of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco captured the challenge explaining that affordable housing developers and transit-oriented development (TOD) advocates need to do a better job of conveying to the media and policy makers that TOD reduces the amount of household income residents must spend on transportation from 25 percent to 9 percent.

Given my bias toward transit-oriented development and sustainable communities with a strong public transit component, my favorite comments came from Metro’s Art Leahy, Senior Deputy Dan Rosenfeld from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office and John Huskey, CEO of Meta Housing.

I am paraphrasing, but here is what I heard them say and/or why their comments rang true.

In his comments Leahy forcefully drove home how Metro’s extensive and costly building program supported by revenue from voter-approved Measure R will create a true transit system out of our already extensive collection of bus and rail lines. This will mean a significantly more transit-oriented LA, conducive to greater mobility for those smart enough, or with no choice but, to ride Metro. Unlike some others in this town who advocate for greater mass transit but don’t themselves take Metro, Leahy earns our respect in part because he is a customer, as well as Metro’s CEO, who uses the system as often as he can.

Rosenfeld focused on the need to rally around greater density at Metro stations and to implement changes that make land acquisition and development around the stations easier. He bemoaned the fact that South LA, from Wilshire Blvd south to Long Beach has seen no transit oriented development around its rail stations even though the area has long had the Metro Blue and Green Lines.

Huskey of Meta Housing captured my imagination with his candid comments about the challenges of developing Adams & Central, a new mixed use development in what was once the heart of LA’s African-American community and an R&B and jazz Mecca. Coincidentally, at the recommendation of Councilwoman Jan Perry I had visited the impressive development which includes a Fresh & Easy supermarket just last week. At least during the day, the development and the market are the envy of most mixed use developments and supermarkets in West LA.

Many of the other speakers spoke of LA’s critical 30/10 Initiative, including Metro Board member Richard Katz who reminded us that those who are speaking of the death of 30/10 are underestimating the merits of the program and the hard work that has gone into creating an infrastructure financing model for the nation. Katz’ wise counsel to the media, including yours truly, is worth heeding, just as many were forecasting Measure R’s demise just before it was approved by a two thirds majority of County voters in November 2008.

Given the sustainability theme, the conference featured some nice touches including a cloth conference tote that will make a nice shopping bag now that the County Board of Supervisors has passed a sweeping ban on plastic shopping bags. The wasteful bags have become known as urban tumbleweed that all too rarely gets recycled.

The LABC tote included a soon to be collectible “Watts Is Worth It” reusable coffee mug, grace à the LA Housing Authority’s Jordan Downs Redevelopment.

At breakfast and lunch, what looked like biodegradable cutlery and unbleached paper napkins accompanied the food. Nice, though as Metro’s Leahy noted, is there really a plentiful water source in Las Vegas, where the bottled water provided to the panelists came from? Am I the only one who remembers when conferences provided a pitcher of ice water and glasses to their presenters?

One more criticism of the otherwise excellent sustainable housing and transportation conference. It appeared as if I was as guilty as most of the other attendees in driving alone to the early morning event at UCLA’s Anderson School. Maybe next year LABC can organize a shuttle from the Metro Wilshire 720 Rapid, the Metro 2 and other buses that make stops in Westwood.

All small issues. Kudos to the LABC for organizing this important conference! Oh, one more thing. The Mayor spoke as well.

Joel Epstein is a Los Angeles-based public transportation advocate and also a contributor to the Huffington Post. http://joelepstein.com/

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Filed under 30/10, Green Blog Network, Greening Los Angeles, LABC, Larry Parks, Los Angeles Business Council, Mayor Villaraigosa, Meta Housing, public transit LA, Toxics Free Babies and Toddlers Act, Wendy Greuel

>Environmental Charter School Opens Doors In Los Angeles

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Filed under Environmental Charter School, Green Blog Network, Greening Hollywood, Greening Los Angeles, LEED for Green Schools, Maxine Waters, Planet Green, Rachel Gutter, Sarah Backhouse