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🙏 Thank you and farewell! ✈️ – Orange County Register

Welcome to The Compost, a weekly newsletter on the top environmental news impacting Southern California. In today’s edition…


Nobody likes change. At least that’s what the story goes.

Climate change? Agreed. This is the wrong kind of change.

What changes should we make to slow global warming? After almost two years at this pace, the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that these are in fact, overwhelmingly, the right kind of changes.

It’s a change that means eating healthier foods and saving money by buying less junk. This means breathing cleaner air in our homes because we use less natural gas/methane. This really means getting to know new people and places by taking a slower route.

In fact, I have never been afraid of change. I was always more afraid of missing out on opportunities because I got stuck in my ways and overstayed my welcome.

This mindset led to my first big career move twenty years ago. I was teaching English at Jurupa Valley High School when my principal asked me to enter the journalism program. I knew nothing about journalism at the time, but I quickly fell in love with the profession. So I left in the summer of 2006 to become a student again myself – and I still have the student loans to prove it!

Helping to shape the first draft of the story has been part of my identity for 18 years. This is what makes my goodbyes now bittersweet, despite my excitement about the changes to come.

This is my last week at the Southern California News Group. Later this month, I will be joining the communications team at Ontario International Airport, helping to write newsletters, web articles and all kinds of content. My travel-loving heart has long favored our local airport, so I’m excited to come on board as they grow and expand on my passion for making travel accessible to everyone.

That means this is the last issue of The Compost, at least for now. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out and subscribe to some of the other great newsletters created by my colleagues, which often feature stories related to climate and environmental issues. There are coastlines for everything related to beaches, ocean and marine life. There’s The Road Ahead for all things transportation. There’s Down Ballot for your political news and The Localist for the day’s best news from Southern California. Click here to find newsletters in your area and to subscribe for free.

I hope reading this newsletter has inspired some of you to adopt a new green habit at home, venture out on a new hike, or simply have a conversation about the various issues covered by my talented colleagues. It is high time to accept such changes and consider them for the good they can bring, not only to our planet, but also to our quality of life.

I am so grateful to all of you who have trusted me with your stories over the past 18 years. Thank you to everyone who reads my work and to my fellow journalists who inspire me every day. And a special thank you to you composters. Writing this newsletter over the past 14 months has truly been an honor.

Bravo for the change, and let’s keep composting!

— By Brooke Staggs, environment journalist


⚡ ENERGIZE

Upcoming credit: One of my latest stories is about the largest climate credits yet, which will arrive this month on most Californians’ utility bills. I also examine how the cap-and-trade program that funds these credits is/is cost-neutral and could be leveraged to further address skyrocketing utility bills. …LEARN MORE…

The fixed charge package is taking shape: Speaking of utility bills… Regulators are now proposing a flat $24 fee on all electricity bills as part of a controversial plan to help stabilize rates. Rob Nikolewski of our sister paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, has the story. …LEARN MORE…


🖋️ REGULATE

New rules for trucks spark controversy: The Environmental Protection Agency has just announced rules and deadlines aimed at reducing emissions from heavy trucks and buses. The news quickly garnered mixed reviews in Southern California. Our Donna Littlejohn, Jeff Horseman and Kristy Hutchings have the story. …LEARN MORE…

  • Quote in favor: “Today’s rule will improve the air we breathe and reduce the pollution that causes climate change.” »
  • Quote against: “What this means for the Inland Empire is its status as a logistics hub and the blue-collar jobs that the industry provides will be at risk because it will be significantly cheaper and easier to purchase and operate trucks outside of California. »

Trees on the agenda: Whittier discussed plans to remove 108 mature trees as it takes over the city’s main business district as part of the Greenleaf Promenade project. But the residents reacted, reports Christina Merino. The city has now announced a special study session to discuss the plan and possible alternatives. …LEARN MORE…


♨️GRIZZLE

It’s not your imagination: Since 1979, a new study shows that climate change has slowed the spread of global heat waves by 20% – meaning more people stay warmer longer – and occurring 67% more often. We have the story from the Associated Press. …LEARN MORE…

“Unknown territory”: Last year was the hottest year ever recorded on Earth. While climate scientists have long predicted a rise in global temperatures as humans continue to burn fossil fuels, Hayley Smith of the Los Angeles Times reports that last year’s sudden rise “exploded far beyond what statistical climate models had predicted, leading a leading climate scientist to warn that the world could be entering “uncharted territory.” …LEARN MORE…


🛡️ PROTECT

San Onofre risks debated: What is the risk associated with spent fuel stored dry at the San Onofre nuclear power plant? In her latest column, Teri Sforza spoke with dueling experts who worry about very different things when it comes to where the greatest risks lie and what should be done about those risks at short and long term. …LEARN MORE…

An artificial reef welcomes marine life: And speaking of San Onofre… An artificial reef built to compensate for marine life killed by the nuclear power plant’s seawater cooling system is finally doing its job, the Union-Tribune’s Phil Diehl reports. …LEARN MORE…

The cool plan ruffles feathers: Federal wildlife officials plan to kill half a million barred owls on the West Coast. They say it’s necessary because these types of owls are considered invasive and cause problems for the endangered northern spotted owls that are native to the area. But Lila Seidman of the LA Times reports that wildlife advocates oppose the plan. …LEARN MORE…


🚆 TRANSPORT

Armed police or public transport ambassadors?: Paying more attention to how drug use, violence and other issues are driving people away from metro Los Angeles (which is not good news in terms of climate change or traffic) , the agency planned to create an in-house police department rather than relying on in-house police departments. contracts with local agencies. But Steve Scauzillo reports that groups that represent low-income transit riders have recently come together to push for Metro to focus less on armed officers and more on “transit ambassadors.” …LEARN MORE…

Rivian figures on the rise: Irvine-based Rivian Automotive built and delivered more electric vehicles last quarter than Wall Street expected, Bloomberg’s Ed Ludlow reports. One analyst said the unveiling of the company’s new R2 model generated new energy for the brand. …LEARN MORE…


🎉 CELEBRATE

Autopia becomes electric: This is long-awaited good news, really. But that doesn’t make it any less great to see our resident Disneyland guru, Brady MacDonald, reporting that the theme park is converting its iconic Autopia ride from gas-powered to electric vehicles. …LEARN MORE…


Visitors walk through a bamboo forest at the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Fullerton, Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

🌻 EXPLORE

Add this botanical garden to your list: Did you know there is a 26-acre world-class arboretum on the Cal State Fullerton campus? Contributor Jenelyn Russo explained how the site recently got a new name to better fit its mission of serving as a living laboratory for the university. In addition to regular tours, the Cal State Fullerton Arboretum and Botanical Garden has a number of upcoming events that are also open to the public. …LEARN MORE…

To watch carefully: Of course, Southern California is not on the path of totality for Monday’s eclipse. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still catch a cool show! Our Carolyn Burt has a story about local viewing events and where to grab free eclipse glasses. …LEARN MORE…


💪 REGISTER

Support local news: For this week’s tip on how Southern Californians can help the environment… For my final piece of advice in my latest newsletter, I need to make a case for supporting local news. Revenue from ad sales once did the heavy lifting to keep journalists employed writing the stories that need to be told. But as the Internet and social media have disrupted this dynamic, we rely on subscriptions more than ever. Much research shows that corruption, quality of life and other factors worsen when local newspapers decline. And few people realize how much every other media outlet — from radio to TV news to social media posts — relies on local newspaper reporters to break stories first. With our Spring Sale, you can get a digital subscription to your local SCNG newspaper for just $3. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll sign up to support the great work my colleagues do every day to make the world a more informed, healthier, fairer, and happier place.


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