Tag Archives: california

Climate change effects on hydropower in California

Preface. The main impact of climate change will be on hydropower in California, which is the largest source of renewable electric power. Besides natural gas, it is the only dispatchable form of power to balance unreliable, intermittent wind and solar … Continue reading

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Will California’s high-speed rail go off the tracks? Challenges facing California’s high-speed rail. House Hearing 2014.

Preface.  In 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom said “there simply isn’t a path” for completing the project “from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A”. Originally the project was going to cost $33 billion, by 2014 when the … Continue reading

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California’s central valley aquifers may be gone in 2030s, Ogallala 2050-2070

Preface. Clearly the human population isn’t going to reach 10 billion or more. California grows one-third of the nation’s food, the 10 high-plains states over the Ogallala about a quarter of the nations food, and exports a great deal of … Continue reading

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Earthquakes in California could cost over $200 billion dollars

Preface. The figures below don’t do justice to the harm an earthquake would do.  There is $1.9 trillion dollars of property at risk from earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a catastrophic earthquake on the Hayward Fault would … Continue reading

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Battling the Inland Sea, the history of why and how the levee system was built in California’s delta

[ When settlers first moved to farm the central valley, they found it was often flooded with water, not the “desert” people often claim California to be.  A vast swamp over 100 miles long of half a million acres of … Continue reading

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A Mega Storm in California might cost 3 to 7 times more than Katrina or Harvey and destroy a third of America’s food

[ Katrina cost somewhere between $109 and $250 billion (Amadero 2017) and estimates of what cost Harvey will have range from $100 to $190 billion (Kollewe 2017, Lanktree 2017).  A California’s ArkStorms  is likely to cost $627 (USC) to $725 … Continue reading

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California oil EROI dropped from 6.5 to 3.5 by 2005

Brandt, A. R. October 12, 2011. Oil Depletion and the Energy Efficiency of Oil Production: The Case of California. Sustainability 2011, 3, 1833-1854 [ Brandt estimates the energy return on investment (EROI) dropped from ~6.5 in 1955 to ~3.5 fifty … Continue reading

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The Impact of Climate Change on California: 8th Largest Economy, 40% of U.S. Shipping

Introduction California’s economy and population relies on one of the most extensive and costly infrastructure systems in the world. This includes thousands of miles of roads, highways and railroads, nearly 200 large water reservoirs of varying capacity, miles of canals, … Continue reading

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Aquifer decline in California

[ On top of aquifer depletion, water shortages are also expected in the future as rainfall and snowfall decline and snow melts earlier. Meanwhile, farmers plant thirsty crops, further draining declining water supplies: 2016-9-27 California’s almond boom has ramped up … Continue reading

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The Paradox of Organic Farming in California.

 Alice Friedemann’s book review of:  Julie Guthman. 2004. Agrarian Dreams.  The Paradox of Organic Farming in California.  University of California Press. Introduction Guthman writes brilliantly and has important insights about organic agriculture.  If you’re interested in how food is grown … Continue reading

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