Western datebook: January on the half shell

With warm wishes for 2010, a few events of note:

January 5: “Borderlands,” a show from the International League of Conservation Photographers studying the impact of the border fence between the US and Mexico, G2 Gallery, Venice, California, through February 7

January 13: Southern California Shells and Beaches from Prehistoric Fossils to Modern Seashore Life
with Scott Rugh,
Collections Manager, Invertebrate Fossils, San Diego Natural History Museum, Casa Romantica Cultural Center Lecture Series, San Clemente

January 13: State of the Bay Report and Conference, Bay Restoration Commission, Stewards of Santa Monica Bay, Los Angeles

January 14: G’day Australia Week 2010 Water Policy Forum, Los Angeles

January 27-29: Climate Change Impacts on Water, policy conference with Jane Lubchenco, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington DC

Chance of Rain will begin publishing

Hasta la vista, 60 Minutes

WaterWired and Aquafornia both have last night’s 60 Minutes report on California water embedded for your viewing pleasure. Be warned, WaterWired links back here. Those instantly overtaken by boredom whenever a speech (tv program, headline, fill in the blank) opens with the threadbare Twain quote “whisky is for drinking, water is for fighting,” be further warned: Lesley Stahl opens with it.

Beyond the cliches, the esteemed news magazine offers a decent potted version of our water woes. An empty promise of a free drink to anyone who counts how many times Stahl called the Delta smelt “tiny.”

On the subject of size, a couple of minutes, far fewer than 60, of checking crop output would have taken the enormity out of what the program suggests is a looming almond crisis says On the public record. That and a half-way energetic intern might have put a question mark over the

The week that was, 12/20-26/2009

Mariele Neudecker, '400 Thousand Generations,' 2009, from "Earth: Art of a Changing World," Royal Academy at Burlington Gardens, London, through January 31, 2010. Click on the image to be taken to the gallery website.

China played an important constructive role in promoting the attained achievements at the conference and demonstrated the greatest sincerity and the greatest efforts. — State Premier Wen Jiabao interviewed by the Xinhua news agency, BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific, December 22, 2009, via Proquest

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen. — Mark Lynas,

Spanish trickledown


Image of the (shortest) day

With winter solstice today, Southern California’s growing season begins. Following this the shortest day of the year, every additional minute of light and therefore warmth will begin stimulating plants. Watch for dandelions as first responders. For background on this 2007 image, which in a series of time-lapse photographs traced the mid-winter arc of the sun over the temple of Apollo, click here.

Or click here for the Earth Observatory’s image of the day for the 2009 winter solstice: the Eastern US seaboard blanketed by snow.…

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