Posts Tagged: wildfire

News

Amid pandemic, air quality remains critical environmental challenge

A nearly empty freeway interchange near downtown Los Angeles, photographed in April 2020. (Photo: Time Media)

In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, California’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by almost 9%, and the state’s smoggy skies briefly cleared. This was particularly true during the pandemic’s first months, when schools closed, offices went remote, and statewide shelter-in-place orders kept millions of Californians at home. That spring, clogged freeways went vacant. Fewer semis rattled down roads.

News

It’s a wrap: Nuke power, care for the mentally ill, abortion rights

Lobbyists crowd around video screen to watch the floor votes on the last night of the Legislature's session. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)

The final curtain fell early Thursday on a legislative session that coursed through a pandemic, bolstered reproductive rights, saw a speaker nearly dispatched by his own caucus and drew the national spotlight to a governor who had survived an effort to recall him from office.

Opinion

FAIR plan: CA’s insurance rates haven’t kept pace with risks, costs

Homes destroyed during the Thomas fire in Ventura, 2018. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Increasingly, California residents have been left with no choice but to accept the California FAIR Plan, the insurer of last resort, and the typically higher rates that come with it. The FAIR Plan provides basic fire insurance coverage when traditional insurance is not available, often for properties that other insurers decline to cover because they are considered high-risk.

News

Deep-blue California: Where the GOP, hard right come for cash

A photo illustration of hundred-dollar bills. (Image: iQoncept, via Shutterstock)

Staunch Donald Trump allies and the far right of the Republican Party have found deep-blue California – the state they love to hate – to be a treasure trove. California, where Democrats hold every statewide elected office and overwhelmingly control the Legislature, has long been a political ATM for campaigns across the county, especially Democrats.

Opinion

A wildfire prevention plan: Shorter grass on rangelands

A landscape shot of grazing range in Central California near the foothills. (Photo: David A. Litman, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California can take significant climate actions not just in such obvious areas as energy and transportation policy, but also in policy areas that some might find unlikely. It can start with land management – an area in which past shortcomings have contributed to creating our new era of megafires.

Opinion

Climate change: Other options than just cutting gas-powered cars

Out for a spin on a California coastal road. (Photo: oneinchpunch, via Shutterstock)

OPINION Rather than imposing climate austerity measures that perpetuate poverty, there are wiser investments we can make today that will have a greater impact on reducing wildfires and creating healthier forests without adversely impacting disadvantaged communities, people of color, and the struggling middle class in our state. 

Opinion

California needs a comprehensive plan for air quality

Morning pollution over Longt Beach. (Photo: Katharine Moore, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: We all have witnessed the devastation of climate change. As I write this, our California neighbors in Napa, Sonoma and up north are losing homes and businesses to wildfire. Every year, wildfire season is more severe than the year before. But the ravages of wildfire are not the only harmful result of climate change that is impacting us.

News

State just starting to grapple with climate change

An aerial view of the freeway system feeding downtown Los Angeles. (Photo: trekandshoot, via Shutterstock)

California’s vulnerability to climate change — from deadly fires to sea level rise — has been well documented. But the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser says the state, with rare exceptions, has only just begun to assess the risk climate change poses to roads, dams, parks and schools.

Opinion

New wildfire safety bill hurts, rather than helps

A California forest fire seen at night. (Photo: vladseagull, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Until 2019, if a California utility violated fire safety rules and thereby caused a catastrophic wildfire, the utility could not make its customers pay for its uninsured wildfire costs.In 2017, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was found by two administrative law judges to have violated numerous fire safety rules when its operations caused San Diego’s catastrophic wildfires in 2007.

Opinion

A key move to address California’s wildfire crisis

A resident watches smoke billowing from the Woolsey Fire, November, 2018, in Southern California. (Photo: BrittanyNY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California is facing a wildfire crisis of epic proportions, and with the 2019 fire season already upon us, the immediate threat of yet another highly destructive and costly wildfire looms over communities all across the state. Everyone agrees that something must be done to address this crisis, and yet legislators still have not taken definitive action.

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