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Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Author Archive: John Mott-Smith

Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

The last column was about bad news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They issued three reports recently. Last September, the first report made the point that scientists are 95 percent or greater certain that global warming is being driven by human actions. In the scientific community, 95 percent is essentially 100 but leaving […]

Per Capita Davis: More bad news on climate change

I had several ideas that I wanted to write about for this column, and I just got back from a really relaxing vacation. I didn’t think about climate change for a whole week. I was looking forward to writing a positive, hopeful article. But everything went kablooie when I read an article in Monday’s New […]

Per Capita Davis: Put it on the table and put a price on it

A headline in the news recently read: “Lack of water will raise Roseville rates.” The headline says Roseville, but it could be Anytown, USA. The point is that people are going to have to pay more for water and, as a result, will use less of it. This type of rate hike is commonplace in […]

Per Capita Davis: Now’s the time for energy upgrades

Financing solar or energy efficiency: There’s a new program available to Yolo County residents who would like to install energy-efficiency measures or put solar on the roof but hesitate to lay out the cash to do so. The program is called Clean Energy Yolo and was adopted by the Board of Supervisors and all four of […]

Per Capita: Silent cars pose risks to bicyclists, pedestrians

Here are a few “short stories” about aspects of climate change, greenhouse gases, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. THE SOUND OF SILENCE: For several years, I commuted to my job in Sacramento on a bike. It was a great way to wake up in the morning (not so great in the darkness of winter) and […]

Per Capita Davis: The pace of change

The term “early adopter” doesn’t apply to me, not by a long shot. I am slow to pick up on new technology, and more than a little choosy when I do adopt a change, gadget or gizmo. My organizing principle has been that I don’t want to be a grandpa who can’t understand or help with […]

Per Capita Davis: We’re suffering a brain freeze

The headlines were bracing: “Extreme cold grips snowy Northeast” and “Mercury in single digits from Atlanta to Boston,” to name just a couple. The recent freeze that gripped a good portion of the county propelled another new term into our cultural vocabulary — the polar vortex — and had the chattering class’ teeth chattering from […]

Per Capita Davis: Mother Nature and the Red Queen

I’m offering a couple of thoughts for the new year. One involves Mother Nature, and the other Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen. First, Mother Nature. The world’s policymakers sat down in Warsaw in 2013 to talk about climate change. Actually, the intention was not to just talk about it, but to do something. This has been […]

Per Capita Davis: The end of the year as we know it

Paraphrasing R.E.M.’s 1987 song, and poking a bit of fun at my own proclivity toward doomsday scenarios, “it’s the end of the year as we know it (and I feel fine).” Each year, dating back to 2007, my last column of the calendar year has been an opportunity to reflect back and to peer forward, […]

Per Capita Davis: Freedom isn’t free

An oil company executive was asked why, if he agreed that burning fossil fuels is the major culprit in climate change, he opposed any legislation or regulation to limit that burning. His response, to summarize, was that he feared a loss of freedom, that new laws and regulations would restrict his personal choices, such as […]

Per Capita Davis: UCD Dining Services ensures a healthy student body

I’m always impressed when an organization takes a soup-to-nuts look at how it can promote sustainability in its operations, and back in July I wrote about how the state Department of Fish and Wildlife was doing just that. Well, there’s another organization closer to home that is showing real leadership in sustainability. A short while […]

Per Capita Davis: Take a look in the mirror

When we look in the mirror, we see ourselves. Or, more precisely, we see ourselves backwards: my left arm looks like the right arm of the impostor in the mirror. It turns out that we can’t, without some optical gymnastics, really see ourselves as others see us. And, collectively, we tend to view ourselves through […]

Per Capita Davis: Landing on local issues

Friends and readers kindly suggest topics I might write about. Most recently, the suggestion was to address local issues such as the plastic bag controversy and various pending land-use issues. Honestly, I don’t get too excited over the plastic bag issue, but local land use is another matter. I do think that land-use decisions will […]

Per Capita Davis: ‘The fierce urgency of now’

Martin Luther King, speaking about the Vietnam War and inequities associated with it, said: “We are faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate […]

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