Tuesday Must Reads: Sea Levels May Rise Three Feet By 2100; Environmentalists Oppose Proposed Changes to CEQA


Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The international panel of scientists that won the Nobel Prize in 2007 for its work on climate change predicts in a draft report that sea levels may rise as much as three feet by 2100 — if the current pace of greenhouse-gas emissions continues, The New York Times$ reports. A three-foot rise would endanger many cities around the globe, including San Francisco, New York, London, Shanghai, Venice, Sydney, Miami, and New Orleans. Temperatures worldwide could also rise as much as five degrees Fahrenheit, and ten degrees at the north and south poles, causing “widespread melting of land ice, extreme heat waves, difficulty growing food, and massive changes in plant and animal life, probably including a wave of extinctions,” The Times adds.


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2. Numerous environmental groups are objecting to proposed changes from Governor Brown’s administration to the California Environmental Quality Act, saying they go too far, the LA Times$ reports. Brown’s staff is proposing to amend a bill in the legislature by Senate leader Darrell Steinberg that seeks to streamline the development of dense housing projects in cities to help in the fight against climate change. The Brown administration proposal seeks to add commercial and mixed-use projects to the streamlining process.

3. Brown said that his administration plans to plow ahead with high-speed rail in California despite a judge’s ruling late last week that the state had violated aspects of a voter-approved bond measure, the SacBee$ reports. Brown noted that the judge’s ruling did not block the state from spending funds on the proposed high-speed rail project that would connect LA to San Francisco.

4. Prosecutors announced that no charges will be filed in the case of a limousine that caught fire on the San Mateo Bridge in May, killing five women who were en route to a wedding party, the Mercury News reports. The blaze was caused by a mechanical problem, and an earlier claim by the limo driver’s estranged wife that he was talking on his cellphone with her right before the vehicle caught fire turned out to be erroneous.

5. And a federal judge ruled that state prison officials can force feed inmates who are on a hunger strike protesting solitary confinement, the LA Times$ reports. Some prisoners have been refusing to eat for more than forty days, which medical journals say can cause serious health problems and even death.