Governor Proposes $536 Million To Fight 2021 California Wildfire Season

Governor Proposes $536 Million To Fight 2021 California Wildfire Season

As California’s wildfire season approaches, Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing $536 million in emergency and other funding to combat and prevent fires this year. The plan invests in additional firefighters, fuel breaks around vulnerable communities, and wildfire response capacity.  

Why This Matters: California’s 2020 fire season burned a record-breaking 4.2 million acres and experts say that severe drought may make this season even more destructive.

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Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Due To Extended Drought, This Year’s Fire Season Could Be Worse Than Last

Last year’s wildfire season was exceptionally bad — more than 4.2 million acres burned in California alone in 2020. Experts suspect that this year could also bring severe wildfires, given that 40% of the West is being classified as being in “extreme” to “exceptional” drought. 

Why this Matters:  The West has had seasons of drought throughout its history, but with climate change and a boom in population growth, an increase in water demand could make the West even drier as we confront the reality of climate change.

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Wisconsin Governor Declares State of Emergency as Wildfires Burn

Wisconsin Governor Declares State of Emergency as Wildfires Burn

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer On Monday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency due to rampant wildfires consuming 1,400 acres of land in just the first three months of 2021. As historic (and maybe permanent) droughts move further east, Wisconsin finds itself in a perilous situation. Nearly the entire state is at a […]

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Bearing Witness to Climate Disasters: Lizzie Johnson

Bearing Witness to Climate Disasters: Lizzie Johnson

When Lizzie Johnson began her career as a reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle, she didn’t know that California’s devastating wildfires would become a beat. Since California law doesn’t allow authorities to keep journalists out of disaster areas, Johnson has bravely stepped into areas of extreme danger to bear witness to the human and environmental […]

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Atmospheric Rivers Threaten Once-in-a-Millennium Flooding click button

Atmospheric Rivers Threaten Once-in-a-Millennium Flooding

In 2020, many Californians prayed for rain as wildfires in the region destroyed millions of acres of land. But they got more than they bargained for when what weather forecasters described as an “atmospheric river” set a course for the state, causing storms that triggered catastrophic mudslides and washed out a section of Highway 1. 

Why This Matters: Atmospheric rivers can carry as much water through the atmosphere as land rivers, and at similar speeds. Between 1978 and 2017, just 10 atmospheric rivers caused over half of all flood damage in the Western U.S.   

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Environmental Technology for Peace

Environmental Technology for Peace

At United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres closed out 2020, he offered a searing indictment of the global community’s treatment of our planet.  “Humanity is waging war on nature,” he warned, driving “instability, displacement and conflict.” Indeed, global warming, dying oceans, declining biodiversity, and degraded ecosystems now endanger world peace and prosperity.

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