The Plan to Turn Our Aging Oil Rigs Into Skyscraper-Sized Reefs

Off the coast of Southern California, there's an underwater city. A thicket of almost 30 enormous steel oil rigs, each as large as a skyscraper, bolted to the floor of the ocean. Most of them are elderly, aging giants—and soon, the state will need to make a decision about whether to rip them up or let them stand.… » 9/12/14 10:58am Friday 10:58am

California Officials Say People Are Stealing Water Under the Cover of…

A fire hydrant or a spigot in a park might seem like innocuous civil courtesies, but in our drought-consumed future, they're dangerous weak spots in the infrastructure that protects our precious natural resources. Public officials in California say their water is being siphoned off illegally—and it may be indicative… » 8/29/14 5:30pm 8/29/14 5:30pm

Dear Tesla: Bypassing Environmental Laws Is Bad For Everyone

Tesla is planning a so-called Gigafactory, an enormous battery plant to supply the company's upcoming high-volume Model 3. California wants that factory bad, offering to waive its environmental regulations to win it. That's bad news—for Tesla, for California, for you and me, and for the future of electric cars. » 8/12/14 3:08pm 8/12/14 3:08pm

Just How Bad Is California's Drought? Here's A Scary, 10-Second Answer.

California continues to dry up. The latest figures indicate more than 80% of the state is in extreme drought, or worse, exceptional drought. These are sobering numbers, to be sure, but for an even better perspective on the drought's unprecedented progression, check out this GIF, created by L.A. Times reader Alvaro… » 8/09/14 4:34pm 8/09/14 4:34pm

How Big Data Is Helping Snuff Out California's Wildfire Epidemic

California is currently in the grips of a major drought, one of the worst of this generation. The region's lack of precipitation has not only hindered California's agricultural industry, it's also turned our forests into tinder. But researchers at the University of California San Diego have a potential solution: just… » 8/07/14 11:40am 8/07/14 11:40am

Burbank's Aerial Monorail of the Future

The city of Burbank, California was incorporated in 1911 with a population of just 500. Today the population is just over 100,000 and the city is best known as the home of big name movie studios (and the closest Ikea to my apartment). Leading up to the incorporation of Burbank there was a lot of discussion about… » 7/30/14 4:05pm 7/30/14 4:05pm

Poor Doors, Hot Trains, Old Ads: What's Ruining Our Cities This Week

It's hot pretty much everywhere and everyone's in a horrible mood. Which means there is plenty of ruining of cities to be had—so much so, that I've had to double up on this week's selections. From a plan to plunge Russia into darkness, to a steamy, sweaty Tube in London, it's What's Ruining Our Cities: The Dog Days of… » 7/27/14 4:00pm 7/27/14 4:00pm

How to Save Water (And Not Get Fined) In This Drought

Sprinkling scofflaws in the drought-stricken state of California are about to get an expensive wake up call. As water consumption rates climb despite Governor Brown's call for a voluntary 20 percent per household reduction, the State Water Board has voted to impose fines up to $500 for a variety of wasteful outdoor… » 7/19/14 12:00pm 7/19/14 12:00pm

Silk Road Bitcoin Auctioned Off to Guy Who Wants to Split Up California

When the FBI shut down illegal online marketplace the Silk Road, it seized a stash of 30,000 Bitcoin from the underground website and announced plans to auction the supply off. This week, venture capitalist and would-be California-splitter-upper Tim Draper won all of it, gaining an estimated $17.7 million in illicit… » 7/02/14 12:20pm 7/02/14 12:20pm