United wants passengers to donate money to sustainable jet fuel. But is it better than carbon offsets for saving the planet?
United Airlines is giving customers who want to reduce the environmental impact of their travel a way to buy sustainable jet fuel that releases fewer emissions than traditional jet fuel. The Chicago-based airline has already secured commitments from about a dozen companies using the program to help offset emissions from employee travel or their supply chain, including Deloitte, HP, Boston Consulting Group, Nike, Siemens and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. The companies will collectively purchase a total of 3.4 million gallons of sustainable fuel this year, Chicago-based United said Tuesday. Individual...
Biden administration budget request includes nearly $25 billion for NASA
President Joe Biden submitted on Friday a $1.5 trillion budget request that includes $24.7 billion for NASA for 2022. The ask is part of the budget’s discretionary spending, which needs to be passed by Congress each year. The requested funding if approved would be $1.5 billion more than the funding for 2021, a 6.3% increase. “This $24.7 billion funding request demonstrates the Biden Administration’s commitment to NASA and its partners who have worked so hard this past year under difficult circumstances and achieved unprecedented success,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. The major...
Can cooking be a hobby? Or is it just cooking?
Everyone should do what they do best. As it happens, I excel at self-pity. So it was that many years ago, when a friend was telling me about his hobby, I decided to indulge in a brief but satisfying wallow: “I don’t have any hobbies,” I said. He looked at me in surprise. “You cook,” he said. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Actually, I hadn’t thought of it at all. I just thought I cooked because I liked to eat. Any enjoyment I got out of the physical act of cooking was secondary, merely a pleasurable byproduct of my desire to keep myself fed. Hobbyists, on the other hand, become intensely int...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bluff collapse warning system proposed for North San Diego County coastline
SAN DIEGO — A bill passed by the California Assembly Natural Resources Committee last week would allocate $2.5 million for research that could help create an early warning system for the state's coastal bluff collapses. AB 66 by Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, an Encinitas Democrat, would give Scripps Institution of Oceanography the job of researching when and why bluffs fail, so potentially catastrophic failures of the seaside cliffs can be predicted. Three women were killed at Grandview Beach in Encinitas in August 2019 when a 30-by-25-foot block of sandstone broke loose and fell on a f...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Movie review: Marquee monsters bring the spectacle in 'Godzilla vs. Kong'
Director Adam Wingard knows how to deliver what a movie titled “Godzilla vs. Kong” should be. Audiences watch Godzilla movies because we want to see the big lizard crush a bunch of buildings, perhaps while fighting another creature, not for deep myth-making or rich character study. Yet, the past three films in the MonsterVerse franchise that have led to this clash of the Titans, “Godzilla,” “Kong: Skull Island” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” have been heavy on the lore and characters, setting the stage for this matchup. Wingard knows the appeal of this film is two beloved movie giants p...
Tribune News Service
Did you hear that? Another mystery boom leaves San Diego grasping for answers
SAN DIEGO — Everybody loves a mystery. But we like them solved, too, and so far an answer has been elusive for the Big Border Boom. It rattled windows and shook doors across a large swath of San Diego and Tijuana late Wednesday afternoon, jangling the nerves of residents who’d experienced a similar noisemaker last month, and one a year earlier. What was that? The region joined a list of communities from coast-to-coast that are defined in part by unexplained goings-on. “Mysterious Shaking Rattles San Diego County AGAIN,” the website Strange Sounds trumpeted in a headline this week. It isn’t alw...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Wildfire smoke up is to 10 times more harmful to breathe than other air pollution, new study finds
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Choking smoke from record wildfires blanketed Northern California last summer and fall. It turned Bay Area skies an otherworldly orange, raising health concerns over a hazard that is increasing as temperatures continue to climb and poorly managed forests burn out of control each year across the West. With this winter being extraordinarily dry, the chances of another big wildfire year are high. But the flames may not pose the biggest danger to the most people: A new study published Friday found that tiny particles of soot from wildfires, which millions of Californians are bre...
The Mercury News
Sierra snowpack at 61% as new drought looms for California this summer
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Highlighting the second dry winter in a row, the Sierra Nevada snowpack on Tuesday was just 61% of its historical average for this date, the latest signal that California appears headed toward summer drought conditions, with water restrictions possible in some areas for the first time in five years. The last major storm system in the state was more than a month ago, when an atmospheric river drenched the Bay Area and Central Coast in late January. Weeks of unusually sunny, dry weather came before it, and have come since. As a result, this winter is shaping up to be similar t...
The Mercury News
Warming seas could wipe out Snake River chinook by 2060, scientists predict
SEATTLE — Snake River spring-summer chinook could be nearly extinct by 2060 and interventions are “desperately needed” to boost survival in every stage of their lives, scientists warn. The findings, published Thursday in the journal Communications Biology, modeled survival of eight populations of wild Snake River Basin spring-summer chinook during the ocean phase of their life, under various climate-warming scenarios. Salmon hatch in rivers, but mature for years at sea before they return to the waters of their birth. It is a perilous life cycle that could become all but impossible for some alr...
The Seattle Times
Female resident orcas especially disturbed by vessels, new research shows
SEATTLE — Female orcas are most thrown off from foraging when boats and vessels intrude closer than 400 yards, according to new research — troubling findings for the endangered population of southern resident orcas that desperately needs every mother and calf to survive. The research, gathered by attaching suction-cup electronic tags to the whales, is a clear wake-up call to the protection endangered mother orcas need, researchers and experts say. "Anything that takes food away from a mom trying to support a calf, that is something we should carefully consider," said Marla Holt, lead author on...
The Seattle Times