MAY 2006 HEADLINES

Institute Water Bill Advances in Calif. Assembly

A landmark water conservation bill has progressed in the California Assembly. Sponsored by the Pacific Institute, Assembly Bill 2515 would improve on California’s commitment to water conservation. Efficiency improvements are the fastest, cheapest, and most environmentally sound way to ensure that California continues to meet its water needs. The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife approved AB 2515 on April 25.

Man Installing Efficient Showerhead (Photo courtesy DOE)“California has a long and proud tradition of leading the nation in developing efficient appliances and technologies that save water, energy, and the environment,” said Assemblymember Ira Ruskin (D-Redwood City), who introduced the legislation. “By approving this bill today, the Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife is continuing that tradition.” More.

The bill will be considered next by the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. Check bill status and download text.

Institute Explores Role of Private Social
and Environmental Standards in New Article

Pacific Institute program director Jason Morrison recently coauthored an article on the standardization of socially responsible and green labeling. The International Environmental Law Committee recently published “The Emerging Role of Private Social and Environmental International Standards in Economic Globalization,” which traces the history of socio-environmental labeling (with familiar labels like “Fair Trade” and “organic”). Recently, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has taken steps to set its own socio-environmental definitions. Morrison and his coauthor Naomi Roht-Arriaza discuss the implications of ISO’s involvement.

Download the article here (PDF).

Gleick Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Peter Gleick
Jason Morrison

On April 25, Pacific Institute president Peter Gleick received a welcome wake-up call. The caller informed him that the U.S. National Academy of Sciences that had just elected him to the honorific society.

“This is a wonderful honor,” exclaimed Gleick, dashing out the door for Sacramento to testify before a California Assembly Committee in favor of a water efficiency bill (see above). “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Academy’s prestigious body of elected members and I hope I can contribute to maintaining the integrity and quality of the nation’s science.” more

Congratulations Peter!

QUOTE OF THE MONTH

“No amount of Wite-Out can hide the evidence that continues to pour in demonstrating that humans are dramatically changing the climate.”

– Peter Gleick, from his recent <a
href=”http://enn.com/today.html?id=10343″ target=”_blank” class=”bodyText” color=”white”> ENN Commentary

UPCOMING

5/9/06. Freshwater Future [Ottawa, Can.] Peter Gleick will give the luncheon keynote at the “Freshwater for the Future” conference in Ottawa, Canada, a conference aimed at federal and provincial ministers and other senior Canadian environmental policy makers. His talk will be on Water for the 21st Century.

5/16/06. Salton Sea [on-line] The Pacific Institute will release its report depicting future conditions of the Salton Sea, if a restoration project is not implemented. If you would like to receive notice of the release of the online report, e-mail publications@pacinst.org.

5/22-5/24/06. Colorado River [Rio Rico, Ariz.] Michael Cohen will participate in the Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research and Policy’s 8th annual border environment conference.

5/24/06. Climate Change and Water [Los Angeles, Calif.] Heather Cooley will speak on climate change and water at the Southern California Water Dialogues.

EPA Honors WOEIP

On April 18, the U.S. EPA honored 39 western groups and individuals as environmental heroes, including the Institute-borne West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. EPA Regional Administrator Wayne Nastri presented WOEIP with a plaque.


APRIL PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

Say You’re Sorry (Peter Gleick guest commentary) Environmental News Network, 4/27/06

Dry spell heightens water worries Orlando Sentinel, 4/26/06

Barbara Lee Congratulates Bay Area Environmental Honorees California Chronicle, 4/18/06

The West’s water future may float on cloud plan Rocky Mountain News, 4/17/06

Social Footprint Introduces Simple Elegance in Measuring Corporate Sustainability Performance GreenBiz.com, 4/5/06


STAFF UPDATES

5/3/06. Human Right to Water [Washington, DC] Peter Gleick gave an introductory talk on basic human needs for water at a luncheon honoring Senators Bill Frist and Harry Reid and Representative Earl Blumenauer for their roles in sponsoring and passing “The Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act.”

4/27/06. Environmental Indicators [Oakland, Calif.] Margaret Gordon appeared on the Comcast cable television program “The Public’s Health” for a segment on asthma and adolescent health.

4/25/06. Environmental Indicators [Oakland, Calif.] Meena Palaniappan and Margaret Gordon attended the California Asthma Partners Northern California Regional Meeting. Serving on the Collecting and Utilizing Data panel, Palaniappan spoke on using community based environmental indicators to advocate solutions. Gordon spoke on communities working towards environmental justice as part of the Asthma in Your Environment panel.

4/25/06. Water Efficiency [Sacramento, Calif.] Peter Gleick testified at the California Assembly hearing on Assembly Bill 2515 (Ruskin), a bill promoting water conservation, efficiency, appliance standards, labeling, and more. The Committee approved the Pacific Institute-sponsored bill. (see HEADLINES).

4/19/06. Salton Sea [Ontario, Calif.] Michael Cohen participated in the California Resources Agency’s Salton Sea habitat working group meeting, to discuss restoration project alternatives.

4/10-4/11/06. International Standards [Washington, DC] Jason Morrison attended a meeting of the U.S. national mirror body to the ISO Working Group on Social Responsibility. The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of consensus and disagreement among US interests and to provide strategic guidance for the US multi-stakeholder delegation attending the next meeting of the Working Group in Lisbon in May. Morrison will serve as the NGO representative on the six-person delegation.

4/5/06. Infrastructure [Oakland, Calif.] Peter Gleick appeared on KCBS-TV5 (San Francisco) for a story on California’s water infrastructure.

4/4-4/6/06. Global Governance [Oakland, Calif.] Jason Morrison co-facilitated a Facility Reporting Project (FRP) workshop that was held in conjunction with Ceres Conference 2006. The half-day meeting, which was limited to FRP pilot test organizations and steering committee members was a huge success for sharing best practices, lessons, and information about how to improve the FRP. The following day, Morrison moderated the FRP session that took place as part of the public conference. Dr. Peter Gleick also attended the conference, participating on the April 6 Water Panel.

4/3/06. Climate Change [Sacramento, Calif.] Peter Gleick testified on the impacts of climate change on California, with a focus on water resources at a joint hearing of the California Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Efficient showerhead installation photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy


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