A single developer has spent so much political money in Irvine as to take control of the City Council, and that representation is completely out of line with the values of our community.
FivePoint Holdings spent $106,088 to get Christina Shea elected to Irvine City Council in the November 2016 election to make sure that they get to develop the ARDA site, and numerous other favorable decisions from the Council in their development plans. The last elected mayor, Don Wagner, had 25 times more money spent by developers, including FivePoint, than he could raise himself in the 2016 election. Since…
Gianna Lum, Ben Leffel and I recently published an Op-Ed in the OC Register describing that the solar energy resource exists to power all of our City’s residents’ energy needs right from our own home’s rooftops. (Note: the OC Register article had a typo sneak through, and where it’s written EJ, exajoule, the unit is PJ, petajoule. The calculation and match between solar and need is correct.)
Here is an outline of the numbers that go behind assessing the match between Irvine residents’ energy usage and the solar resource on rooftops.
On March 15, I’ll be joining the Greta Thunberg inspired, student-led #FridaysForFuture. This Global Climate Strike will be “skipping school but… not failing school. Adults are both skipping the planet and failing their future and ours.” These students may help us save ourselves and our planet’s future, as we are in an unfolding global threat: climate change, or more accurately, a climate catastrophe.
Scientists have detailed the required levels of action, and the requirement of immediacy. Business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions are forecast to be truly globally catastrophic: the melting of frozen regions causing a positive feedback loop of exposing darker…
California has gone from being one of the states with the highest incarceration rates to below the national average. How did that happen?
In that past few years, California has passed legislative bills and ballot measures intended to reduce its massive prison population. One of them was Proposition 47, otherwise known as the “Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative.”
With a downgrading of several lowest-level non-violent drug and petty-theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, Prop. 47 was controversial. The move lowered prison populations by 13,000, and some worried that the change of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors would encourage crime…
Corporate Handouts, OC Style
By Dr. Kev Abazajian & Iyad Afalqa
The major corporate influence over both political parties is not a distant situation in the halls of government in Washington, D.C., as highlighted so well by incoming Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Moneyed corporate influence is holding great sway in the halls of power right here in Orange County. In the past two years, we have come to see the juggernaut of corporate influence over politics in OC, specifically over land-use in Irvine. That influence surrounds many aspects, but is highlighted in the future development of a 125.7 acre parcel, dubbed…
Recently, the House Science Committee held a hearing on climate change that stacked the deck of testimony at the hearing to be 3 to 1 climate change deniers, while climate scientists at large are 97% to >99% in agreement that anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions are leading to a warming planet. The only scientist present that represented the overwhelming conclusion of the scientific community was Prof. Michael Mann, of Pennsylvania State University (as well as an Advising Board Member of 314 Action). The controlling Republican Party Congressmembers stacked the hearing in such an unrepresentative way in order to push their own…
Often, people like to point to the latest talking point on denying climate change to argue that the science is not settled. This tactic is, of course, usually science-free. It is an argumentative tool in many denialists’ drawer. The actual scientific content of pointing to most denialist arguments is nil. One can find similar strategies and even entire books by flat-Earthers claiming that the round Earth is a hoax.
Science has much to provide policy makers regarding how to be the most effective in policy design and implementation. The social sciences, in particular, are relevant to many social policies. For example, at the University of California, Irvine, the Department of Criminology, Law and Society hosts the Center for Evidence-Based Corrections, which has the goal of “Putting science before politics to improve state correctional practices… [and] to provide [research] that helps corrections officials make policy decisions based on scientific evidence.”
No one can argue against the immense gains science has brought people in the quality and longevity of their life. Average life expectancy after the age of ten in America has improved from the fifties to the late seventies today. Child mortality before the age of 5 has gone from over 40% globally in 1800 to less than 1% in America today. The medical science advances leading to longer and healthier lives are a stunning example of the power of science to reduce and eliminate perils.