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climate change

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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