BAY AREA CLIMATE NEWS FROM CRI
THE BIG PICTURE
The New York Times breaks down the top 5 reasons why global GHGs rose in 2017. While renewables grew faster than any other energy sector, they couldn’t match the growth in overall energy demand. Other reasons: Fast-growing Asian economies, a comeback for coal in certain countries, SUVs sales booming here, and government energy efficiency efforts slowing down.
“This is something that climate models have predicted for a long time, but we weren’t sure it was really happening. I think it is happening. And I think it’s bad news.” –Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research). The huge consequences of this news led to coverage everywhere—from Forbes to Real Climate, the Washington Post, the Guardian and more.
David Buckel, nationally prominent LGBTQ lawyer, took his own life on Saturday in a “protest suicide” directed at climate change. “My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves. A lifetime of service may best be preserved by giving a life. I hope it is an honorable death that might serve others.” Buckel referenced similar actions by Tibetan monks protesting China’s government and Vietnamese monks during the American war in the 1960’s.
BAY AREA CLIMATE LAWSUITS
Federal Judge William Alsup, hearing the San Francisco/Oakland lawsuits vs. the FF companies, held a five-hour tutorial on March 21st. The Verge’s Sarah Jeong has an excellent play-by-play spotlighting Chevron’s lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, who channeled the IPCC, and the plaintiffs’ experts—Myles Allen (Oxford), Don Weubbles (Illinois) and our own Gary Griggs (UCSC)—laying out the science of climate change. Verge headline: Chevron Says Climate Change is Real, And It’s Your Fault.
Inside Climate News published a wonderful and informative set of answers to the 8 questions Judge Alsup posed to the SF/OAK sides. You can also find the very latest ICN update here on the other city/county lawsuits—including Marin, San Mateo and Richmond—plus the state suits vs. Exxon by Massachusetts, New York and Virgin Islands, AND the “trial of the century” Oregon kids lawsuit now set for November 2018. This just in from the Miami Herald: A new “kids lawsuit” filed in Florida against Governor Rick Scott.
COOL BAY AREA PROJECTS
The SF Bay Restoration Authority has approved $25 million for the first nine projects for wetlands restoration and sea level rise under Measure AA, the $12/year parcel tax we voted on ourselves in June 2016. The 9 projects range from the South Bay to Solano County with $150K to $8 million price tags.
The redesign of the critical bayside Route 37 from Vallejo to Novato, which flooded again last year, is the focus of a big multi-stakeholder project. Here’s a thoughtful Op-Ed by UC Davis’s Fraser Shilling and the Department of Water Resources’ Steven Moore PLUS a 10-page white paper San Pablo Baylands: Ensuring a Resilient Shoreline (ATTACHED), by a group of Bay Area environmental organizations.
BayCAN and CHARG
No links yet, but stay tuned. Local government reps, in collaboration with a few other Bay Area stakeholders, are working to design a new network for local government staff broadly built around climate adaptation issues and solutions. Launch expected later this Spring. At the same time, CHARG, the Coastal Hazards Adaptation Resiliency Group, which was active here a while back, is reforming to specifically address sea level rise issues for our region. (And yes, the two groups are coordinating!)
Keeping History Above Water: West — May 17th in Palo Alto (10 am – 5 pm)
How can communities identify, prioritize, and adapt historic places to threats posed by climate change and natural disasters? This day-long workshop, presented by the California Preservation Foundation, will cover climate change adaptation concepts and projects specific to cultural resources by showcasing local, regional, and nationwide case studies. Vulnerability assessments, FEMA policies, local hazard mitigation plans, and more.
Marin County’s Collaboration: Sea-Level Marin Adaptation Response Team (C-SMART) won a Gold National Planning Achievement Award from the APA for its excellent community education work. C-SMART covers the outer coast including Muir Beach, Stinson, etc. Meanwhile, one of the largest rain events in recent Marin history caused Easkoot Creek to jump its Stinson banks and cut a huge new channel to the sea. (See CRI’s photos ATTACHED below.)
CRI PROJECT UPDATES
RISeR’s revamped website now features published studies on hydrodynamics, transportation and governance—the 3 big parts of this NSF-funded, multi-year Bay Area sea level rise project involving Berkeley, Davis, USGS, NYU Abu Dhabi. Check it out.
Regional Sea Level Rise Snapshots, Key Findings, and Document Database
CRI is into the home stretch for its big statewide project for the Ocean Protection Council. See ATTACHED for “snapshots” of sea level rise planning progress in the Bay Area and 5 other regions as well as Key Findings on barriers that must be addressed to keep us moving forward. Finally, CRI’s Daniella Hirschfeld contributed nearly 200 sea level rise reports to the new BETA Climate Adaptation Clearinghouse run by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
SEPTEMBER CLIMATE SUMMIT UPDATE
Carl Morrison was the Executive Director of the Bay Area Flood Protection Agencies Association, a consultant to numerous Bay Area agencies AND one of the very nicest people in our field. A true gentlemen. Carl died during the big April 6 storm while piloting his airplane from a Sonoma meeting to his Southern California home. Here is a lovely tribute from Colin Bailey at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.
Climate Readiness Institute
Climate Readiness Institute
The Climate Readiness Institute brings together academic experts from UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, UC Davis, and Stanford University with Bay Area climate practitioners to tackle our region’s most critical climate challenges
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