Californians Need a New Political Party That Can Keep Us Afloat

Forget Democrats and Republicans. Real Change Requires Fresh Ideology

I got one of those calls again—they come every six months or so—from a Silicon Valley hotshot who wants to use his brain and his wealth to fix what ails California. This investor asked the same question all my previous tech callers did: What measures might I put on the ballot to reform the state’s politics and governance?

On the phone, I was gruff, sarcastic, dismissive. Don’t you know, smart-rich guy, that California’s governmental dysfunction is built on top of ballot initiatives that don’t work? Passing more initiatives would …

From Bakersfield, You Can See Forever | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

From Bakersfield, You Can See Forever

A Panoramic View From a Kern County Park Shows the Convergence of California's Past, Present, and Future

From the tunnel view of Yosemite Valley to just about any glimpse of the Golden Gate, California is famous for its extraordinary vistas. But if you’re looking for the state’s …

How Crop Circles Saved the Great Plains

In the 1940s, Farmer Frank Zybach Invented Center Pivot Irrigation and Brought the Dust Bowl Back to Life

If you live in the Great Plains, sooner or later you’ll get a question about those “crop circles” that can be observed from airplane windows during flights over the region. …

The Ancient Maya Cosmology of Conservation

In Their Worldview, Humans Were Not Superior to Nature. They Were But One Element Needed to Maintain Universal Balance.

In the middle of the jungle in central Belize excavating an ancient Maya water temple, I’m at the edge of a sacred pool, praying to Chahk, the Maya rain god, …

L.A. Is Drowning in Its Own Water Pretensions

Civic Leaders' Fantastical Claims of Water Self-Sufficiency May Endanger Southern California's Real Water Supplies

This time, “Chinatown” is fooling itself.

Los Angeles has a long history of water deceptions, a point made famously by Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir film. But the massive self-sabotage of the …

Can a Public University Fix a City’s Achilles Heel?

UCLA Is Mobilizing Its Brains and Its Muscle to Make L.A. Energy and Water Independent

Can a university really help make its home city 100 percent independent on water and energy?

In Los Angeles, we’re going to find out. UCLA, where I’ve spent almost 50 years …