Nine people are presumed dead in the crash of a helicopter fighting wildfire in Northern California.
Environmental justice-related stories are expected to get more attention in the news media in 2019. But that’s not because the challenge of protecting marginalized communities from lopsided environmental impacts is being met. This week’s TipSheet explains, in a look-ahead to environmental justice stories making the news, the many forms the problem takes, the many communities affected and the emerging notion of “climate justice.”
"California's building codes are not keeping up with the severe, wind-driven wildfires that are becoming the norm."
"Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state's Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that's the first of its kind in the United States."
"The number of people listed as missing after California’s deadliest wildfire has dropped again to 25, down from a high of more than 1,200 about two weeks ago, officials said."
With flooding from hurricanes and other climate disasters becoming the new normal, badly needed flood insurance reform continues to founder in the halls of Congress. The National Flood Insurance Program is billions of dollars in debt, and aid packages are doing little to get people out of flood-prone areas. Congress watchers will keep an eye on new House leadership for insurance solutions, although politically unpalatable rate hikes swamped the big reform. This week’s TipSheet has more on the story, with leads on what to watch in 2019.
"The deadliest wildfire in California history that destroyed the mountain town of Paradise and killed at least 85 people was 100 percent contained on Sunday, according to state fire officials."
"Victims of the Camp and Woolsey fires will see some relief but also face the threat that rainfall will bring down mud and rocks."
Bears, particularly the plentiful black bears that are the source of much human-bear conflict, can serve as a opening to larger environmental stories, such as habitat destruction and the challenges of the “wildland-urban interface.” This week’s TipSheet has some of the good news/bad news on bears, with story ideas and resources for your reporting.
"The level of air pollution in California exceeded world “safe” levels by about 60 times last week after a series of deadly wildfires."