The Southern Lights in New Zealand and Australia, oil regulations, and budget cuts in today’s Bwoglines!

Happening in the World: Unusually vivid Southern Lights have been seen over New Zealand this year. Like the Northern Lights, the Southern Lights are the result of the area’s proximity to the magnetic pole when the upper atmosphere is hit by charged particles that collide with atmospheric gases and emit light. They are typically visible during March and September across southern New Zealand and Australia, but they’ve been so intense this year that they’ve also been seen further north. A similar phenomenon also recently occurred in the northern hemisphere, where the Northern Lights could be seen across Europe. (BBC)

Happening in the US: California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that will allow the penalization of oil companies for making too much money. This bill is the next in a string of legislation aiming to limit the power of oil monopolies in the state. State regulations aim to make California carbon neutral by 2045. Along with restrictions on oil companies, the state has banned the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 and limited where new oil wells can be drilled. The bill also creates a new state agency that will monitor petroleum markets and oil pricing. (AP)

Happening in NYC: More than $16 million dollars in cuts to resources for senior citizens have been proposed. This possibility has faced immense criticism, as the number of New Yorkers over age 65 is expected to increase more than any other age group in the city in the near future. Currently, the Department of Aging holds about 0.5% of the city’s budget, and the upcoming cuts would affect its home-delivered meal programs, adult day care centers, and the size of its staff. There is also concern about how this will affect seniors living in poverty, a demographic which increased by nearly 40% within the past decade. City Council’s response to Mayor Adam’s preliminary budget will be submitted before the executive budget next month. (The Gothamist)

Happening in Our Community: A seminar on conservation and environmental policy in Brazil will be held today in the International Affairs Building from 6:10 to 8 pm. Jose Maria de Silca, Professor and Chair of Geography and Sustainable Development and the University of Miami and Former Executive Vice President of Conservation International, will facilitate a discussion on economic and financial issues in Brazil and on a global scale.

Southern Lights via Flickr