Tag: Climate

California’s Alisal Fire signals that fall wildfire season is underway

Just as the first snows have begun to quench the summer fires in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevadas, a major blaze has flared up on the California coast. It’s the sign that fall fire season has begun. The Alisal Fire, west of Santa Barbara, raged through dry brush over the last few days, […]

How climate change gave rise to a monster mosquito season

Summer may be officially over, but mosquito season is showing no sign of abating. If you’re cursing the influx of winged whiners, save some vitriol for climate change, which definitely played a role in exacerbating this year’s mosquitogeddon.  It was an unusually warm summer — the hottest summer on record for the contiguous United States […]

LA County moves to ban oil and gas drilling

When it comes to blocking oil and gas drilling, the Golden State has sometimes fallen short of its deep green reputation. But that may be changing after supervisors in Los Angeles County unanimously voted on Wednesday to end oil and gas drilling in the county’s unincorporated areas.  The move puts the nation’s most populous county […]

Biden administration says solar could provide nearly half of US electricity by 2050

Last year, only about 3 percent of U.S. electricity came from solar power. By 2050, market forces and government policies could increase that fraction 15-fold. A report unveiled on Wednesday by the Department of Energy, or DOE, outlines a path that would dramatically increase the U.S.’s use of solar power, with nearly half of the […]

These urchin slayers are trying to save California’s underwater ‘rainforest’

Grant Downie had been out of the Pacific Ocean for about 10 minutes when he realized he could no longer see out of his right eye.  The second-generation commercial diver had been deeper beneath the waves than usual searching for his catch — red sea urchins prized by restaurateurs for their uni, or sushi-grade gonads. […]

Medical journals warn of an even bigger health threat than COVID

COVID-19 has upended daily life like nothing else this century. It has shuttered economies, plunged millions into economic uncertainty, and killed 4.5 million and counting since the start of last year. For these reasons and many more, the pandemic has dominated any discussion around public health. But medical experts are warning of an even worse […]

Welcome to the Pyrocene

This piece is adapted from the forthcoming book The Pyrocene: How We Created an Age of Fire, and What Happens Next, which will be published by University of California Press in September. The fires of 2020 seemed to be everywhere, a pyric pandemic. Places that commonly burn, such as Australia, California, and Siberia, burned with […]

What scientists are saying about the UN climate report

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, came out with its sixth annual climate change assessment on Monday. The IPCC report, which compiles all of the latest scientific research on climate change and presents it in one massive assessment, has served as a wake-up call for policymakers and the public every time […]

‘Big Three’ automakers join Biden in electric car promises

“The future of the auto industry is electric,” President Joe Biden said in a voiceover to a video posted on Twitter Wednesday night. “There’s no turning back.” Automakers seem to agree with him. On Thursday, the “Big Three” American carmakers — Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler (now part of the Dutch auto giant Stellantis) — […]

What’s the true cost of shipping all your junk across the ocean?

Take a look around your home and you’ll likely find plenty of goods that traveled by cargo ship to your doorstep. A set of IKEA plates made in China. A dresser full of pandemic-era loungewear, ordered on Target and made in Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Tracing the impact on the environment from shipping any […]