This is a distillation from California’s latest official climate assessment, which is intended to inform an updated climate adaptation strategy this fall. More on the report in our post from last week.
Monthly Archives: August 2012
800,000 will be getting billed to help fight wildfires
By Alice Daniel
It’s fire season in California. The blazes may not be big enough to draw national TV news crews, but pulling from the top of CAL FIRE’s news feed it’s easy to see the agency is busy.
There’s the Volcano Fire in Riverside County, the Salt Creek Fire in Shasta, the Graham Fire in Tuolumne. Demand for services is as big as it’s ever been, but CAL FIRE has not been spared from budget cuts, which explains a new bill that roughly 800,000 rural homeowners, those who live in the most fire-prone areas, will soon have to pay.
The legislature-approved fee is up to $150 per home and should generate $84 million per year, says CAL FIRE spokesperson Daniel Berlant.
“All that money will go towards fire prevention in the state responsibility area,” Berlant said. “The most notable activities include brush clearance, forest health, fuel reduction.”
A recent state report on climate change says hotter temperatures already are causing more and larger fires. Berlant says 11 of the top 20 largest fires recorded in California have occurred in the past decade. “Even this year, we’ve seen about twice as many fires as we did last year. And that does have us concerned and does have us very busy this year,” said Berlant. Continue reading
…though most remain clueless about the state’s imminent cap-and-trade program
Much has been made lately of Berkeley physicist Richard Muller’s recent “conversion” to the position that global warming is both happening and stoked by human activity.* But it turns out that the controversial scientist and author has been playing catch-up.
In a statewide survey released Wednesday by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), 60% of Californians polled said that the effects of global warming have already begun. Asking the question in a slightly different way, both the Brookings Institution and the Pew Center for People & the Press found that in 2011, 60% and 63% of Americans, respectively, believed that there was solid evidence that global warming is happening.
Californians took it a step further, however, with nearly three-in-four of the 2,500 participants responding that government should take steps to “counter the effects of global warming right away.” PPIC conducted the survey in July and it includes responses in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Continue reading