John Mott-Smith

Per Capita Davis: Is nuclear power worth the dangers?

Well, I can’t put it off any longer. A small newspaper article buried deep in the interior pages on Sunday announced that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has granted a license for two new nuclear reactors to be built in the state of Georgia. The plant will take a while to build — estimates are it […]

February 16, 2012 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Statistics show we’re using sun’s energy

How are we doing? Environment California recently released a report on the state of photovoltaic solar energy systems in California cities. The report included some surprises and some points of local interest. They looked at “distributed solar” systems installed on rooftops of homes and businesses by owners or third-party financing companies; utility scale solar systems […]

February 02, 2012 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: The French connection

Greenbelts, bike lanes, a vibrant downtown, great schools, a commitment to sustainability and a sense of community are among the attractions that lure people to Davis and to stay here after they arrive. Add to that easy access by train, proximity to the airport, a high-caliber hospital and medical community and the state of California […]

January 19, 2012 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per capita: Starting a new year

IS IT REALLY 2012? I remember reading George Orwell’s book “1984” back when that fearsome date seemed far in the future. I also recall the futuristic predictions of space travel and technology in Stanley Kubrick’s movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Somehow, the world has raced past both of those years (and others) and now, hard […]

January 05, 2012 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: The year in review — some pluses, more minuses

The last column of the year is usually a recap, a time to step back, take a longer view and assess whether, overall, the year was one of progress or retreat, whether we are closer to avoiding or experiencing the consequences of our actions or inactions. The question is complicated and the answer is difficult […]

December 15, 2011 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Gaining perspective outside Davis

GETTING OUT OF TOWN: Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my wife and I visited with her sister and her family in Southern California — a city named Fountain Valley that, as far as I can tell, has neither a fountain nor a valley. I love our family members who live there, but it’s where I go […]

December 01, 2011 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Water conservation saves money

My last column made the point that energy and water are inextricably linked, and efforts to reduce water consumption also reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas production. This is a follow-up to that column. The city-sponsored community forum I talked about in the last column featured a lot of useful information. If another is scheduled, […]

November 18, 2011 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Conserve water, save energy

With all the talk and controversy over proposed water rate increases, I expected more of a turnout for the Oct. 21 city of Davis water conservation workshop on “How to Reduce Your Water Use Without Impacting Lifestyle.” But there were twice as many empty chairs as there were people attending. I went for two reasons. First, […]

November 03, 2011 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Bits and pieces

GOING TO GROUND: The Bay Area has proximity to the ocean and fog as its natural air-conditioning system. As crazy as it may sound at first blush, those of us who live in the Central Valley also have access to natural cooling (and heating) systems, and not just the delta breeze that cools us off […]

October 20, 2011 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Smart cars take us for a ride

The Volkswagen initially was envisioned in the late 1930s as a “people’s car” that could carry two adults and three children at highway speeds and be affordable to the average German citizen. It was designed to be simple, fuel-efficient and easy to use and repair. It was not, however, the first effort in this regard: […]

October 06, 2011 | Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Planet goes green in the coming days

There are several dates on the calendar in the next couple of months with events themed around sustainability. It must be a good sign that it sometimes seems like we’re closing in on using almost all of the 365 days available for some sort of focus on the environment. * Moving Planet: Coming up on […]

| Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita: Simplicity and complexity

Americans have always been builders of big things: it seems to be in our DNA. The Empire State Building, the Erie Canal, the Panama Canal, the Interstate Highway System and the Transcontinental Railroad, to name a few. California has been no slouch when it comes to big things: the Central Valley Water Project, for example, […]

| Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per Capita Davis: Cloudy with an extreme chance of change

Pretty nice weather we’re having. A long, cool spring and a very mild summer with, so far and fingers crossed, very few days over 100 degrees. So what is all the talk about “extreme weather?” I sat down to write about this, and, despite an inch-thick file of news articles, journal reports and scientific findings […]

| Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Per capita Davis: Reader feedback

At the bottom of this column is a small note asking readers to send comments to my email address. I receive a small but steady stream of these, most letting me know about interesting programs or asking questions. Some comments correct an error I made or offer more information. Most are very helpful. In a […]

| Posted in Agriculture + Environment | Tagged ,

Special Publications »

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
Copyright (c) 2015 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.