MC/MPA Harvard '84, JD University of California Davis '76, BA U. Michigan '72
Lecturer, Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley
Prof. Nina Oakley
MS/PhD U Nevada
Applied Meteorologist and Climatologist
Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
In conversation with:
The California Report co-host, KQED
For the last half-decade, Californians have confronted the new reality of fire seasons that begin earlier and end later with each passing year. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection calls climate change “a key driver” of this trend. These longer fire seasons have grown deadlier and more destructive than ever before. While climate change can exacerbate conditions, it doesn’t provide the spark. Many of the fires that have destroyed entire communities in California and the West have been ignited by downed power lines belonging to major utilities, including PG&E, which has sparked a series of catastrophic fires since 2015. These fires have changed the way we live, forcing citizens to rethink where they live, how they harden neighborhoods, and what measures to take to protect themselves from unhealthy wildfire smoke.
In this conversation, we’ll explore the roots of this grim new reality, approaches to adaptation, and potential solutions.