Since the 1970s, San Francisco’s average temperature has increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit. City leaders are developing new strategies to keep people safe, with infrastructure designed for much cooler weather. The question is whether San Francisco is ready for the next deadly heat wave.
Thousands of delegates from around the world will meet next week in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss their nations’ commitments to addressing the climate crisis at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Among those attending will be local organizers from the NDN Collective, an indigenous-led and -staffed organization.
San Francisco neighborhoods the federal government targeted with racist lending practices face the greatest health threats from pollution, a recent state study found. The California Environmental Protection Agency analyzed the latest pollution data in historically redlined neighborhoods, where people of color were denied mortgage loans under federal policies, in the report finalized in August.
A report on the waste picked up by cleanup crews working along the nation’s beaches and shorelines from the Surfrider Foundation showed almost 90% of the more than 80,000 pounds of trash collected in 2020 was plastic.
Environmental activists are about to launch an air-monitoring project to track pollution linked to high rates of asthma and other health conditions in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood. The results could play an important role in demonstrating the environmental harm residents suffer.
In recent years, the mills and foundries that receive recyclables from Recology have stopped accepting bales of material with more than 1% impurities, so the sorting facility at Pier 96 must work to a very high standard. Through a recent tour of the sorting center, “Civic” reported on what happens when things that cannot be recycled end up there, and what should be done about material that is difficult to recycle, like plastic bags.
Laura Feinstein, sustainability and resilience policy director at the urban think tank SPUR, explained the difficult choice between attempting to create separate drinking and nonpotable water systems, or developing robust wastewater recycling systems.
San Francisco’s residential water use is among the lowest among large cities in California, said Steven Ritchie, assistant general manager for water for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Ritchie joined “Civic” to explain how the city sources and uses its water, and why it is fighting state restrictions on the use of Tuolumne River water.
According to a ranking from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land, all San Francisco residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, but residents of neighborhoods where most people identify as people of color have access to 56% less park space per capita than residents in neighborhoods that are predominantly white.
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the maker of a weedkiller alleging that it causes cancer. Research is mixed on that, as the results of various studies are split on whether glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup, is linked to cancer or other health concerns. In the Bay Area, where many of those lawsuits originated, cities have handled the question of whether to keep using glyphosate in public spaces somewhat differently.
Identifying clear guidelines for the level of exposure to glyphosate that could cause cancer or other illness is a contentious business. Monsanto owner Bayer denies glyphosate, the active ingredient in weedkiller Roundup, is a carcinogen. The European Union and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency back that view. That’s despite a finding from the World Health Organization in 2015 that glyphosate probably is a human carcinogen.