Show Me the Water
In a move so sensible its shocking it took so long to make, California has passed a law requiring developers to prove there is a 20-year supply of water before they are given permits to build subdivisions with more than 500 units. The Association of California Water Agencies opposed the legislation, arguing that it would be difficult to determine the future availability of a shared resource, and Southern Californias conservative Orange County Register opined that the law was "a sop to the states left-wing anti-growth forces." But the common-sense contingent, which in the end included the building industry, won out. For the first time in Californias history, statewide government policy has linked land-use and growth issues to water supply.
Saved by the Book
Ancient trees in Canada will live to tell their story, thanks to Random House Canada, Penguin Canada, McClelland & Stewart, and 17 other publishers. The companies have pledged to print their books on ancient-forest-free paper by 2004. With consumption of paper growing twice as fast as that of any other wood product, and with one-third of all trees logged used for paper production, the move by Canadas literati is going to save many forest giants. Kinkos and the Body Shop have already signed similar pledges, and best-selling Canadian author Alice Munro has asked that her next book be printed on the eco-friendly paper.