Floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other human-caused disasters made 2017 a hard year to beat. But environmental journalists would do well to be prepared for 2018. This week's TipSheet explains why predicting weather-related disasters may not be as hard you think, and provides resources to get reporters ready.
"In a landmark decision, the California Public Utilities Commission has decided PG&E can close Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in 2025 — and San Luis Obispo County still won’t get its much-desired $85 million mitigation settlement to support the community through the shutdown."
"The death toll from devastating mudslides in affluent communities along a stretch of Southern California coastline rose to 17 on Wednesday after two more bodies were recovered, the local sheriff said, and the number of people missing also climbed to 17."
"At least 13 people are dead and more than 20 are injured in California from weather-related incidents, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. The southern part of the state has been drenched with severe rain just weeks after several fires tore through the area."
The 2018 elections may prove highly consequential for environment and energy policy, possibly slowing or even reversing the Trump-GOP deregulatory agenda. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters frame the choices voters face, including environmental justice and offshore drilling.
"Thousands of Southern Californians fled their homes on Monday as a powerful rain storm that could cause flash floods and trigger mudslides soaked steep slopes where a series of intense wildfires burned off vegetation last month."
"In a vicious cycle California knows too well, parts of the state scarred by recent wildfires now face an elevated risk of flash floods and debris flow."
"Citing a 'long-term systemic failure' at the California Department of Water Resources, independent forensic investigators released their final report Friday on the nearly-catastrophic emergency last February at Oroville Dam."
Long-standing disputes over exploitation of public lands bubble over as the Trump administration advances campaign promises to ease restrictions on energy development. A special TipSheet, part of our 2018 Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment, has resources for covering public lands-related issues as they play out in the coming year.