Bay Area Climate News from CRI

BAY AREA CLIMATE NEWS FROM CRI
September 2018 
 
 
THE BIG PICTURE 
 
The Summer of 2018 — Where Do We Even Start?
Only part way through the Summer (late July) the Washington Post ran an extraordinary piece scanning the planet — record heat in the Netherlands, fires above the Arctic Circle, hottest temps ever in Africa and Japan, 109˚F in Oman as THE LOW for the day, and (way) more. The Post dug nicely into the science, particularly the “unusual behavior of the jet stream” and what this all means in day-to-day life — fires, energy demand, death — from scientists like UT’s Katherine Hayhoe.
 
At the same time, The New York Times heat-reported on the ground in How Record Heat Wreaked Havoc on Four Continents.  We talked to people who found themselves on the front lines of climate change this year.  Here are their stories.”
 
Sweltering Cities: Halfway to Boiling – The City at 50˚C
The Guardian just published an 8-part series on this terrifying future for heat in South Asia and elsewhere. “The pavements are empty, the parks quiet, entire neighbourhoods appear uninhabited. Nobody with a choice ventures outside during daylight hours. Only at night do the denizens emerge, HG Wells-style, into the streets – though, in temperatures that high, even darkness no longer provides relief. Uncooled air is treated like effluent: to be flushed as quickly as possible.” The series spotlights solutions too, like “What Would A Heat-Proof City Look Like?”
 
Feeling Sick? You May Have A Case of Climate Change
Sandro Galea, Dean of Public Health at Boston University, raises this question (and answers it!) in Huffington Post“It operates much like a disease. Climate change’s “symptoms” include storms and fires, fever and smoke, and the mental and physical health challenges that characterize the long aftermath of disasters. It is through these hazards that climate change has gotten under our skin, into our lungs and weighed on our minds to the detriment of our wellbeing.”
 
Losing Earth 
We hope you’ve worked your way through Nathaniel Rich’s huge piece for the NYT — Rich will be here for the Summit this week — but the reaction from a wide range of climate experts and commenters in Real Climate gives a broader and fuller view of WHY we are losing and how to change that. Also, try the podcast with Rich hereIt’s Time to Admit That Half-Measures Can’t Stop Climate Change is 
the sub-head to Kate Aronoff’s highly-readable essay in The Intercept. “The effect of pitting real science against junk science could be more pernicious over the long run: making it seem like climate change is a primarily scientific issue, rather than an economic, political, or moral one.” 
 
 
HOW WE ARE MOVING FORWARD
 
Sustainable Cooling
One of the most important global strategies is gathering great momentum. How do we protect millions who are heat-suffering already and many millions who will (AC is the key no matter where you live) AND cut GHGs like we must? Start here with links to reports, groups, etc.
 
Taxing Carbon Has Majority Support Across the Country—in ALL 50 States and 435 House districts.
That’s the latest news from Citizen’s Climate Lobby, based on new research from Yale. See the maps and read the entire story here
 
SB 100 Passes: California’s Latest Step to the Future
Vox’s David Roberts provides the full story “what you need to know, how it got passed, and what it means.” 
 
Prioritizing Vulnerable Communities
Looking at D.C. neighborhoods as the example, the Post shows in maps and text what’s true there and here: When it’s hot, poorer neighborhoods are often hotter than wealthy ones. Here’s a similar set of findings focused on the Bay Area and Fresno in a 2012 study and the brand new 90-page Climate Justice Report from California’s 4th Assessment research program. 
 
 
COOL BAY AREA PROJECTS (and Happenings)
 
Bay Area Climate Adaptation Network (BayCAN)
BayCAN, a new network by and for local governments, is off and running. BayCAN launched July 11th with a half-day meeting for 110+ Bay Area climate staff, including news and info items, networking with new and old colleagues, and an in-depth learning session on Adaptation Pathways: Planning With Uncertainty. Fall activities for members (modest sliding-scale dues) include webinars, sub-regional meetings and more. Got questions or what to join? bruce@elmwoodconsulting.com. (BayCAN web site coming soon.)
 
Bay Area Region Report — Webinar October 3, 2 pm
As part of California’s big 4th Assessment Research Program, UC Berkeley’s David Ackerly and a team of researchers and stakeholders have produced a 113-page report on the Bay Area — summarizing how higher temperatures, changes in precipitation, and rising sea levels are impacting social systems, infrastructure, public health, natural systems and more. CRI and BayCAN will host a webinar on October 3, 2-3 pm as part of the outreach effort surrounding the report. The entire collection of 40+ reports from California’s 4th Climate Change Assessment — statewide, regional, and topical — can be found here.
 
Global Climate Action Summit and….300 Affiliated Events!
The GCAS comes to town this week at Moscone Center in San Francisco, starting with Science to Action Day, plus hundreds of Affiliated Events (many open to the public) hosted by NGOs, local governments, and others across the Bay Area. (And demonstrations every day.) The GCAS will “bring together leaders from state and local governments, business, investors, and citizens from around the world, to demonstrate how the tide has turned in the race against climate change, and inspire deeper commitments from each other and national governments.” The Summit, which is invitation-only, will showcase climate action taking place around the world and is focused across five key issue areas: Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship, and Transformative Climate Investments.