Blog Archives

12 Million Californians ‘Highly Vulnerable’ to Climate Change — Now What?

Color-coding climate risks in the Golden State

Wildfires can leave little to salvage for homeowners caught in harm's way.

Climate change will disproportionately affect California’s most disadvantaged and isolated communities, according to a recent report from the Pacific Institute.

By looking at a broad array of factors – from social indicators such as income and birth rates, to environmental ones such as tree cover and impervious surfaces – the Oakland-based think tank has found that 12.4 million Californians live in census tracts with high “social vulnerability” to climate change.

This vulnerability can play out in various ways, says Heather Cooley, co-director of the institute’s water program and a lead author of the report. “In low-income communities, many people may not have insurance,” Cooley told me. “So when a flood or fire hits their homes, they may not be able to rebuild. If they’re suffering from a heat-related illness, they may not be able to seek treatment and their health may deteriorate as a result.” Continue reading

Quick Link: Hydro Proposal Raises Alarm With Salmon Advocates

The Yuba River, like many rivers in California, has dams, diversion, tunnels and turbines up and down its course, only more-so. The Yuba, in the Sierra foothills northeast of Sacramento, contains the most complex hydropower project in the state (I reported on that project for our Water and Power series). And on top of that project, which is made up of facilities owned by PG&E and the Nevada Irrigation District, there are other dams owned and operated by the Yuba County Water Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Sacramento Bee is reporting, there’s a proposal for a new hydroelectric facility, which would piggyback on one of the Army Corps of Engineers dams, and it’s drawing fire from salmon advocates and government agencies.

A Canadian company’s surprise proposal to build a hydroelectric generation facility on the Yuba River has raised alarm among government agencies and nonprofits working to restore salmon runs on the river. Archon Energy of Calgary, in a July 18 application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, proposes to build a 3-megawatt energy generation facility adjacent to Daguerre Point Dam.

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