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Why Solar Energy Is So Important To Our Planet

Sunshine on lakeEvery second the sun produces enough power to fulfill our entire planet’s energy demands for 2 hours.  Harnessing this solar power is one of the keys to resolving the climate crisis we are facing.  The good news is that over the past 19 years, we have increased our use of solar energy 300-fold!  However, solar energy still only provides less than 2% of our energy needs.

Fortunately, decreases in hard costs – the solar cells – and soft costs – labor and permits – are decreasing, while the efficiency of solar panels is increasing.  In coming years, this trend will continue.  One result will be an increase in the amount of energy which can be harvested from a solar cell, and a decrease in the cost of solar energy.  Engineering will be key in better converting the sun’s rays into solar energy, more efficiently.

Learn how this technology works, in a way everyone can understand.

See how FIELD is helping with solar energy.

Posted in Solar panels | View Post

How We Fight Wildfires

WildfireA century ago, US policy was to extinguish all wildfires as soon as possible.  It took decades to realize that this was interfering with the nature’s ecosystem, where wildfires can have beneficial effects.  Indeed, some species of plants are dependent on fires. Now, the focus has shifted from suppressing fires to managing fires.

This means minimizing property damage, along with injuries and deaths to the public and firefighters, while permitting naturally-caused fires to burn – which are only 10% of wildfires.  Among other benefits, this reduces the fuel that could cause future fires to burn out of control.  90% of wildfires are caused by humans, so an important part of policy now is educating people on how to avoid starting wildfires.

Read more

Learn more about FIELD’s firefighting training and efforts

Posted in Wildfires | View Post

Climate Change Effects

Climate change effectsThe planet is experiencing significant events at an unprecedented pace.  Weather extremes – including hot, cold, storms, and more – are becoming the norm, including record temperature highs, lows, and precipitation in many locations.  Global temperatures are rising.  Wildlife habitats and populations are shifting.  Sea levels are rising.

Learn what’s happening and why.  And a bit about what can be done about it.

Learn more

Support FIELD’s climate change initiatives

Posted in Climate change | View Post

Climate Change Science Made Simple

Climate change scienceThe science is in!  Here’s the (scientific) scoop, in language everyone can understand, regarding:
  1. Is climate change real?
  2. Is it really caused by humans?
  3. What is the implication of the 2 degrees of warming we’ve experienced since the 1800s?
  4. Why are winters colder if the planet is warming?
  5. How are wildfires connected to climate change?
  6. How bad will it get?

Get the whole story here.

Support FIELD’s efforts to combat climate change.

Posted in Climate change | View Post

Los Angeles to Achieve 100% Electric Buses by 2028

Electric vehiclesThe Los Angeles Department of Transportation recently received a $6 million grant to continue its quest to have an all-electric bus fleet by 2028.  This money will be used to create one of the nation’s largest electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, with 104 new EV chargers throughout the city.

The chargers will be solar powered, with some of the solar panels being on roofs of buildings and even the buses themselves.  A key use of these EV chargers will be to power 100 buses at the Washington Bus Yard.  This will lower energy costs, and help the city to achieve its goal of 100% electric buses by 2028.  It will also provide emergency backup power to the city.

Read this article

Support FIELD in its efforts to bring clean energy to California

Posted in Clean energy, Climate change | View Post

Climate Change Conference agrees to Eliminate Gas-Powered Vehicles by 2040

COP26The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland resulted in a landmark agreement among most of the world’s nations to achieve 100% zero-emissions vehicles by 2040, and sooner for some countries.  While the U.S. and China, the two largest car markets, were NOT part of this agreement, the state of California was.

As part of this agreement, governments will convert their vehicle fleets to all-electric by 2035.   Business fleets will be zero emission by 2030.  Rich countries will help developing nations, while financial institutions will help fund the transition.  Economies of scale are expected to significantly lower the cost of zero-emission vehicles.

Read more

Support FIELD

Posted in Climate change | View Post

What Are The Key Decisions Wildfire Fighters Must Make?

Firefighting decisionsWe all see news stories about major wildfires that go from completely uncontained, to 10%, 30%, and eventually, completely contained. But how does this happen?  What are the important decisions and tradeoffs firefighting management must make in containing fires and minimizing the loss of property and human life – while keeping the firefighting crew as safe as possible?

For example, when should a fire be allowed to burn, especially if it was caused naturally and/or is not threatening structures?  What types of firefighting resources should be deployed, including aircraft?  How many ground personnel should be deployed, and where?  When should additional personnel be called in?  What technology can be used, from overflying aircraft using sophisticated sensors collecting valuable data to drones?  How can “hot spots” be detected, particularly after the fire has been extinguished, so that it won’t flare up again?

Furthermore, what time of day is best?  Hint – it’s usually not in the middle of a hot day.  How and where should fire lines be created?

From a safety standpoint, when should evacuation orders be issued, and for which areas?  While those are designed to protect the public, there is a whole other set of decisions to protect the firefighters, such as when and where to “shelter in place”.

A minor decision, but one with wide implications, is how to name a fire!

Learn more about difficult firefighting decisions

See how FIELD helps train firefighters

Posted in Wildfires | View Post

Dormant Landfills Can Now Be Used to Create Solar Energy

LandfillThe U.S. has over 10,000 landfills that are now closed.  Until now, the land they occupy was doomed to be virtually useless, and a potential eyesore, for eternity.  But now, communities are repurposing these closed landfills, turning them into solar energy farms.  The existing closed landfills alone, were they to harness solar energy, could produce an additional 70% of the country’s solar energy.

Furthermore, these solar projects could create much-needed jobs and revitalization of the underserved communities where the landfills are often located.  The Northeast is leading the way to creating solar landfill projects, but the trend is moving westward.  The potential for California to harness this approach is enormous.

Learn more

Support FIELD’s clean energy initiatives.

Posted in Climate change, Solar panels | View Post

Renewable Energy is Key to Solving Climate Change

WindmillsRenewable energy, also called clean energy, is considered by most to be the most important step toward stemming the effects of climate change.  You know those windmill farms you periodically see off of the highway?  Well, globally their green energy production has risen 22-fold in 16 years.  New techniques will hopefully reduce the number of birds and bats they kill.

Other clean energy sources include solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass.  In addition to helping clean the planet, these new energy sources create jobs, enable electric grids to be more secure, lower energy bills, and bring much-needed energy to developing countries.  After all, every country has sun, most have wind, and many have rivers, seas, and oceans.  Of these, the one that produces the most clean energy today, bay far, is hydroelectric power.  The U.S. is among the world’s top 5 produces of hydropower.  But like most clean energy options, it, too, has its downsides.  Key among them are disruptions to ecosystems, harming wildlife, and potentially displacing surrounding communities and their residents.  Plus, they’re not so effective during droughts.

If you want to learn much more about clean energy sources, click here.

See how FIELD is making its contribution toward clean energy.

Posted in Clean energy, Climate change | View Post

Wildfires 101

WildfireWildfires are a normal part of nature, and are always burning somewhere within the US.  Here you can learn about the people who fight wildfires, the lifestyle they lead, the sacrifices they make, and the rewards they receive.

You’ll also learn about the important, beneficial role wildfires can play in creating a balance in our ecosystem.  When are fires good and when are they bad?  What are prescribed fires and how are they used?  You can also see some of the tools and techniques used to fight these fires.

You may also be interested in learning about why wildfires are increasing in number, size, and damage.

Learn more about wildfires.

See how FIELD helps fight wildfires in California.

Posted in Wildfires | View Post

Minority and Underserved Populations Lag In Workplace Wellness Participation

Workplace wellnessMinority and underserved populations tend to have below-average health, across many metrics, and therefore stand to benefit the most from workplace wellness programs.  Yet, data shows that they are the least likely to participate in such programs.  These wellness programs have been shown to significantly improve health while reducing costs for workers, employers, and society.

Fortunately there are ways to increase workplace wellness participation among minorities and other underserved folks.

Learn more

Find out how you can help

Posted in Minority and Underserved Populations | View Post

Underserved Populations In Poor, Minority Communities May Not Be Getting Enough Exercise

ExerciseRacial minorities, ethnic minorities, and those with low socioeconomic status aren’t getting sufficient exercise, according to recent research.  These people face institutional, societal, and environmental obstacles to getting a recommended amount of exercise.  However, each of these barriers can be overcome given the knowledge and family/community support often found in these communities. 

Learn about specific ways to foster more physical activity in underserved communities.

Learn how FIELD helps those in underserved communities.

Posted in Minority and Underserved Populations | View Post

How ESL Students Can Get Their News, Easily

ESLESL students learn English to better assimilate into their new country.  But almost as important to the assimilation process is knowing and understanding what is going on in their new city, state, and country.  But it can be daunting for ESL students to find good, easy-to-understand sources of news, read them, understand them, and come to their own conclusions about them.

Here is a collection of websites that provide English news in a simple, easy-to-digest format.

See how FIELD is helping educate newly arrived immigrants and getting them to better assimilate.

Posted in ESL | View Post

The US Must Modernize Immigration Processes

DocumentsSince 1986, American taxpayers could e-file their taxes with the IRS.  Yet, in 2021, 90% of immigration forms cannot be filed electronically.  In 2017, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spent billions to digitize filings, but failed to implement it!

Just as the IRS permits software companies to submit e-filed taxes on behalf it their clients, the USCIS must allow lawyers and others to submit e-filed immigration forms on behalf of their clients – and, of course, permit individuals to e-file their own forms.  There are obvious win-win-win benefits to clients, lawyers, the USCIS, and the American taxpayer.  But there are less evident benefits as well.  For example, paper forms are routinely rejected because they are missing required fields.  This would not be possible with an electronic form.

Paper forms are also rejected because the exact fee does not accompany the form.  Again, this would be rendered impossible via proper online forms and payment.

Learn what else can and is being done to streamline online immigration forms.

See how you can help FIELD to help immigrants and their families.

Posted in Immigrants, Visas | View Post

Hundreds of Thousands of US Immigrants Don't Want to Turn 21!

Immigration dreadSeveral hundred thousand children of US immigrants, who are in the US legally now, with valid visas, face the real possibility that on their 21st birthdays, their visas will expire.  The work visas their parents obtained to gain legal entry into the US only cover them as children.  So, when these kids turn 21, they will no longer have a valid visa, and may face deportation.

These kids, called Documented Dreamers, yearn to find a way to remain in this country, often the only country they have ever know, legally after they turn 21.  Their plight, unknown by most Americans, illustrates the need for changes in the US immigration system.

Find out more about Documented Dreamers and what lies ahead for them.

Support FIELD's efforts to help Documented Dreamers

Posted in Immigrants, Visas | View Post

The U.S. Must End Indefinite Detention of Immigrants

Detention.pngICE has legal limits as to how long they can hold immigrants.  But they routinely violate these limits, sometimes because the countries they seek to deport immigrants to will not accept them.  Read about the numerous, long-term, severe harms caused to immigrants in indefinite detention, and what can be done about it.

Learn more.

See how FIELD is helping U.S. immigrants and their families.

Posted in Immigrants | View Post

Visa Applications Can Get Rejected For The Most Ridiculous Reasons!

RejectedWe all know that visa applications, like many other government processes, are fraught with bureaucracy.  However, a recent poll of the nation’s immigration attorneys reveals visa applications routinely being denied for reasons which border on the absurd.  Here are a few examples:
  1. Green card applications rejected for failing to check certain boxes on the form (which may have even been checked)
  2. Visa applications rejected for failing to file an accompanying form (which is optional or unnecessary)
  3. Applications rejected for failing to pay the fee (which actually paid)
  4. Forms rejected due to missing pages (which weren’t actually missing)
To read about more examples and what’s being done about this, read on.

Learn how to help FIELD help immigrant farmworkers navigate the maze of bureaucracy which awaits them in the U.S. and California.

Posted in Visas | View Post

Immigration Visas Are Backlogged Due To COVID-19

Closed due to COVIDDuring COVID, U.S. visas issued to immigrants have dropped 77%.  Visas issued to non-immigrants have declined even further – 83%!  This is having a huge impact on US citizens, residents, and businesses who need immigrants to come to the U.S.  This impact affects family reunification, businesses’ ability to attract foreign talent, and much more.  This also affects the agricultural community – from the standpoints of farms, farmers, and their families.

Consistent with the decline in visas issued, the backlog of visa requests has jumped 800% -- to about half a million visa applications which have completed documentation, but are awaiting interviews and processing.

These effects have been due in large part to the closing of embassies and consulates, plus travel bans – both to and from the U.S. as well as numerous other countries.

Visas that are being given priority treatment are typically emergency and mission-critical ones – which often excludes visas for agricultural workers.

Click here for more detail.

See how you can help FIELD to help immigrant agricultural workers and their families.

Posted in Immigrants, Visas | View Post

DACA IS Not Sufficient

Nation of dreamers signNine years ago President Obama signed a law to permit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  - often known as “dreamers”, to remain in the U.S., obtain a valid social security number, get educated, drive, work, and live their lives – and live their lives free from fear of deportation.

As helpful as DACA has been for the children of immigrants, Congress needs to act now to offer them a legal path to citizenship.

Learn how you can help dreamers and other immigrants through FIELD.

Read the entire article.

Posted in Immigrants, Visas | View Post

How Can An Immigration Lawyer Help You?

Immigration attorneyMost of the immigrants FIELD serves, as well as their families, can be helped by having a good, accredited immigration attorney.  Immigration attorneys can help immigrants get to America, stay in America (legally), work in America, get educated, get benefits, obtain citizenship, and even open a business.  They literally provide a new lease on life to millions of U.S. immigrants from Latin America and elsewhere.

Learn more here.

See how FIELD is helping immigrant farmworkers and their families.

Posted in Immigrants, Visas | View Post

Immigrants are key to many sports teams

Sports trophyIncreasingly most of your favorite sports teams are powered by immigrants, many of them Latin American.  Whether it’s the MVP of the recent NBA finals, Dodgers stars, or players on most pro and even college teams, immigrants are making a huge impact on sports and our lives.  Many of them and their families came from agricultural or other impoverished backgrounds.

Imagine the thrill their families had when seeing their loved ones play pro ball in person for the first time!  Now imagine the thrill so many other immigrant families experience when they see their loved ones learn English, graduate high school, get a job, and make a true impact on their new community in the US!

Learn how you can help Californian immigrants make more of an impact in their communities.

Click here to read the entire article.

Posted in Immigrants | View Post
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