The smell of wood smoke wafting into my house on a September afternoon should be a cozy and comforting aroma, however combined with the 101 degree heat, I knew the smoke wasn’t coming from a neighbor’s fireplace. Stepping outside, I saw the telltale haze from the Soberanes Fire settling in the valley. Air quality in parts of California’s Central Coast are now worse than Beijing as the most expensive wildfire in U.S. history continues to burn since July. Throughout California, groups are working to build resilience to the risks of climate disruption, including increasingly frequent and destructive fires.
Thousands of Louisianians were displaced last week when record-breaking rainfall led to catastrophic flooding in the region. As extreme weather events become more common due to climate disruption, there is a heightened need to prepare and protect communities most at risk. I connected with Rae Breaux, Lead Climate Justice Organizer with People’s Action, about how the flooding is disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color, and how climate communicators can ensure equity is at the heart of engagement efforts.
The announcement of new guidance from the White House Council on Environmental Quality requiring agencies to consider climate change as part of their National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews caused a stir in the climate community. However, the implications can be challenging to convey to individuals less involved with the ins and outs of federal policy.
San Mateo County is considered ground zero for sea level rise in the Bay Area. With both Bay coastline and Pacific Ocean coastline, the County faces challenges in adapting from differing geography and impacts as the climate continues to change.
Climate Access is an initiative of The Resource Innovation Group's Social Capital Project. We are grateful to our founding partners, the Stonehouse Standing Circle and the Rutgers Initiative on Climate and Society.