Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
Affected PG&E customers in California as of last night. Map: SF Chronicle
Early yesterday morning, California’s largest utility, PG&E preemptively cut off power to over 500,000 customers (and likely hundreds of thousands more) in an effort to prevent power lines from sparking wildfires. More than half of all California counties were without power which equates to over a million people. Dry, hot, and windy conditions compelled PG&E to make this decision, as it has been found responsible for sparking dozens of wildfires in recent years, including the state’s deadliest, an inferno in and around the town of Paradise last November that killed 86 people.
What This Means: Prolonged power outages disrupt lives and harm businesses. Here are some of the hardships this latest power outage has caused:
People living in areas that are still recovering from the Camp and Paradise fires are already struggling with food security and power outages may interrupt assistance they’re receiving.
School districts throughout the Bay Area are closed through Friday as are U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz.
PG&E’s website where customers can check the status of their outage has been down most of the day. The utility launched a new website which also doesn’t seem to be working. If you’ve been unable to get on the site, you can enroll in text alerts.
Morale among PG&E customers is low as they cannot get definitive answers about when to expect outages and when power may return. This tweet sums it up.
Wind Spread Across California: It’s not just Northern California that may be affected, as the LA Times reported,
“Southern California Edison said Wednesday that it was also considering preventive power outages. Given the strong Santa Ana winds forecast for the area, the utility said, power could be cut off to more than 173,000 customers in parts of eight Southern California counties.“
Why This Matters: The San Francisco Bay Area was largely in chaos. People were caught off guard and didn’t have food, water, gas for their cars or gas-powered generators (which are terrible for the environment). As a result, there was a rush on stores that were reported to be sold out of nearly everything and gas stations had lines that were 20-cars deep. Overall, this was just a snapshot of the type of mass chaos that climate change will cause around the world if we do not prepare to fight it and adapt to the inevitable effects. We need leaders with a plan!
Worth Noting: Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign quickly put out a statement saying that should he win, these types of blackouts would cease to occur as his is the only climate plan that fully democratizes the power grid.
The coronavirus pandemic has compounded food insecurity around the world and in the United States has placed great strain on foodbanks. As a result, faith groups have worked diligently to help feed their neighbors. As CNN reported, Gurpreet Singh and other members of the Sikh community in Riverside, California, started to organize efforts to […]
We asked Lori about Climate Power 2020’s work to stop the spread of climate misinformation on Facebook. ODP: Facebook promised it would fact check misinformation and even created an Oversight Board and fact-checking operation to make sure it was not spreading lies. But disinformation about climate change is still getting posted on Facebook. What happened? […]
Climate change is having long-term effects on the marriage prospects of farmers in Andhra Pradesh, India,The Conversation reported today. As part of a larger project running from 2018 to 2021, the researchers interviewing over 1000 farmers to learn about the “increasing vulnerability of agriculture” in the region. What they found was, in their own words, “unexpected.”
Why This Matters: As the researchers note in their study, “the focus on climate change hitherto has mostly focused on the impacts on the natural environment.”
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.