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Articles by Maywa Montenegro

Maywa Montenegro is an editor and writer at Seed magazine, focusing mainly on ecology, bidiversity, agriculture, and sustainable development.

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  • The real meat and potatoes in California

    Like Lisa said, yesterday's schmoozing between Schwarzenegger and Blair was touching but symbolic. The real meat of environmental legislation right now is pending in Sacramento, where Fran Pavley and Fabian Nunez have introduced the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) (PDF). According to the the Environmental Defense fund:

    AB 32 is the first statewide effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of California's economy. It would set a firm cap that would ensure that California's greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 25% by the year 2020, putting teeth in Governor Schwarzenegger's goal to reduce California's emissions.

    According to a summary Q&A (PDF) about the bill, a market based cap-and-trade system is one several "flexible compliance mechanisms" that could be considered by California Air Resource Board (CARB). A specific regimen for carbon trading is not actually included in the bill, a fact which even the LA Times seems to have tweaked.

    Rod Beckstrom, CEO of Carbon Investments in Palo Alto, and Ray Lane, of Kleiner Perkins, had an interesting if optimistic take on AB 32:

  • Corn-fed NASCAR

    OK, so I'm a little behind on my NASCAR news. But I was at the gym today when I saw up on the TV cars whizzing around the track followed by ... a bucolic scene of corn blowing in the wind. "NASCAR," the the closed-captioning read, "is helping save the environment." Here's CBS's coverage of the matter

    One statement in particular is highly misleading:

    According to Argonne National Laboratory, the use of only 10 percent of the clean-burning fuel reduces gas emissions by 12 to 19 percent compared to conventional gasoline.

    No way does this figure take into account the carbon emissions from growing the corn and manufacturing the ethanol. This is just the tailpipe savings.

    Could the first Indy car sponsored by the Sierra Club be far behind?

    Doubt it. But maybe an Indy-sponsored Archer Daniels Midland car.

  • Wildfires are raging — why isn’t concern about climate change?

    Earlier this month, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert delivered a provocative Los Angeles Times op-ed explaining why the public is more scared of terrorism than global warming. Gilbert’s basic premise was that human beings are conditioned by evolution to react most strongly to situations that have certain characteristics: they must be personal (have a face or […]