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climate change

Delegation From Disaster-Laden Sonoma County, a Test Kitchen for Climate Innovation, Attends COP27

in Environment

A delegation of mayors, climate scientists, water officials and energy leaders from Sonoma County are representing the Bay Area at this year’s annual U.N. climate conference, known as COP27, underway in Egypt.

They are touting Sonoma County as one of the world’s testing grounds for big climate change solutions — including water-saving ideas and clean energy projects.

And they have a good argument to make. More than 85% of the electricity that powers homes and businesses in Sonoma County comes from renewable sources, according to county energy officials. Towns like Santa Rosa recycle 98% of their wastewater, and the Sonoma County Water Agency recently started monitoring the skies for catastrophic storms that could cause climate-induced flooding, using several radar units that predict flood risk with precision.

Continue Reading on KQED

We Can and Must Adapt to Climate Impacts Now

in Weather
TOPSHOT – Rescuers worker at the scene of a giant landslide in Petropolis, Brazil on February 18, 2022. – The Brazilian city of Petropolis is under heavy rains this Friday, three days after a historic storm that left at least 122 dead and covered entire neighborhoods with mud. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA / AFP) (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

In yet another clarion call to action, the leading scientific authority on all matters related to climate change has issued another urgent report. The message is simple: the world must act immediately to deal with unavoidable and compounding climate hazards. While it is “unequivocal that climate change has already disrupted human and natural systems,” the report urges that “societal choices and actions implemented in the next decade” will help determine just how resilient humanity will be.

From increasingly severe humanitarian crises to mass species extinctions, the warnings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Working Group II report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability are stark and jarring, although not entirely surprising. But the key takeaway is that we can and must take a wide range of climate actions available to us right now in order to deal with the climate crisis head-on.

Continue Reading on NRDC

CA isn’t leading on climate

in Nature
A child runs as climate change activists gathered to protest outside of BlackRock headquarters ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in San Francisco on Oct. 29, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon delivered that stark assessment of California’s efforts to combat climate change in a Monday phone call from the United Nations conference in Scotland — turning on its head Gov. Gavin Newsom’s view that California is taking “action that is unprecedented in both nature and scale” by phasing out oil production and the sale of gas-powered cars.

The Lakewood Democrat rattled off examples of other cities and countries outperforming California: Paris is “ahead of us” on dealing with extreme heat, the German state of Baden-Württemberg is “certainly ahead of where we are” on transportation, and there are “various governments in India that have more aggressive goals than we have.”

Indeed, Rendon depicted California as a state that is pursuing outdated solutions to the climate crisis. “This is not a matter of ego,” he told me. “This is a matter of these folks having aggressive goals that are consistent with where we know the climate crisis is. When we developed our goals a couple of years ago … they were adequate for where we thought … climate change was. Things are much worse now than we thought they were.”

In a Monday press conference, California’s state Senate delegation also suggested they were learning more than leading in Glasgow. “This is the homework club,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg. “We’re taking notes and working our hearts out.”

Continue Reading on CalMatters

Hospitals confront climate change as patients sick from floods and fires crowd ERs

in News

The emergency room at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center was unprepared when triple-digit temperatures hit the Pacific Northwest this summer. Doctors competed to treat homeless people, elderly patients with chronic illnesses, and illnesses that were exacerbated by overdose of drug users.

Dr. Jeremy Hess, an emergency physician and professor of environment and profession, said: health University of Washington Science.

Doctors, nurses and hospitals are increasingly seeing patients suffering from climate-related problems, from overheating to wildfire smoke inhalation and even infectious diseases. One recent assessment predicts that annual heat deaths in the United States could reach nearly 60,000 by 2050.

Continue Reading on California News Times

Hospitals Confront Climate Change as Patients Sick From Floods and Fires Crowd ERs

in News

When triple-digit temperatures hit the Pacific Northwest this summer, the emergency room at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center was ill prepared. Doctors raced to treat heat-aggravated illness in homeless people, elderly patients with chronic ailments, and overdosing narcotics users.

“The magnitude of the exposure, this was so far off the charts in terms of our historical experience,” said Dr. Jeremy Hess, an emergency medicine physician and professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington.

Doctors, nurses and hospitals increasingly are seeing patients sickened by climate-related problems, from overheating to smoke inhalation from wildfires and even infectious diseases. One recent assessment predicts annual U.S. heat deaths could reach nearly 60,000 by 2050.

Continue Reading on California Healthline

Climate Change Is Setting Us Up for a Terrible Wildfire Season; It’s Also Killing Off Rare California Elk

in People

So far in 2021, parts of the North Bay near Santa Rosa are without nearly 20 inches of normal yearly rainfall, leading to concerns of another hellacious wildfire season on the horizon. Those same kinds of drought conditions, too, are linked to the deaths of over 150 tule elk.

Climate change is here and only getting worse. Among the fallen dominos caused by global warming, wild shifts in rainfall are expected to pendulate this century. The Amazon will grow barren; parts of the Sahara are expected to mutate into permanent lush grasslands; the Philippines will flood. Here in California, climate change will continue wreaking havoc on our already parched farmlands and forests, causing worse wildfires and depleting agricultural goods — all of which might come to a head later in 2021 and produce an extremely volatile wildfire season.

A recent report from the Chronicle shows that last years’ persistent dryness, which has bled into 2021, already provided ample opportunity for significant fire activity. For example, January of this year saw 297 wildfires in California — almost tripling the five-year average for that month. During that same month in 2020, there were 97 wildfires that burned 22 acres. 1,171 acres were burned this January, statewide.

Moreover: From January 1 through April 4, California firefighters have collectively battled 995 fires that burned a total of 3,007 acres. Per the newspaper, this is a massive increase from the 697 fires that charred 1,266 acres in the same time period last year.

Continue Reading on SFist

Petaluma’s first-in-the-nation gas station ban draws regional interest

in People

Petaluma’s move this week to become the first city in the nation to ban new gas stations to combat climate change could be the beginning of a trend in Marin and beyond, supporters and opponents said.

The controversial measure, which the Petaluma City Council approved unanimously on Monday night, prohibits the permitting of new gas stations. It also prohibits the expansion of gasoline fueling equipment, such as gas pumps and underground storage tanks, at existing stations. Existing stations would still be allowed to apply for permits to install electric vehicle chargers and hydrogen fueling equipment.

“Of course we do hope that other jurisdictions will also do this because we all share the same environment,” Petaluma Mayor Teresa Barrett said on Wednesday. “As we move down the road we have a very short window to improve what we have right now and get our greenhouse gases down.”

Continue Reading on Mercury News

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