A gripping new documentary on raging megafires weaves together stunning cinematography with deeply researched revelations that reveal the futility of current policy around managing wildfires, writes veteran wildfire reporter Robert McClure in a new EJ InSight column. His review, with three big takeaways.
"Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday he would call a special session of the Legislature to consider a windfall profit tax on oil companies in response to the “outrageous and unconscionable” price of gas in California."
"America’s first experiment with high-speed rail has become a multi-billion-dollar nightmare. Political compromises created a project so expensive that almost no one knows how it can be built as originally envisioned."
"An apex predator has been quietly hunting interlopers in Death Valley, and for the first time, the deadly encounter has been captured on camera."
"Before the Dixie fire came barreling through the Sierra Nevada last year, leveling everything here but a few houses, businesses and a school, this was a charming — if dying — Gold Rush-era town that about 800 people called home. Now, much of the charm is gone along with most of the residents, replaced by the skeletal remains of conifer trees and the deathly silence of block after empty block."
"California’s drought has become the state’s driest three-year period on record, surpassing that of 2013-15 — and a fourth dry year is looking increasingly likely, officials said Monday."
Concerns about seaborne plastic waste go back decades, but science writer Juli Berwald suggests that myths and disinformation about sources and solutions continue to cloud the waters. From lentil-sized nurdles to sprawling fishing nets, 200 million tons of plastic now fill the ocean and, for her, it has become evident that the ocean plastics story is really a land story. But will the newly signed international treaty on plastics offer relief?
Electric utilities may sound like a wonky beat, but in the hands of L.A. Times’ Sammy Roth, it became an opportunity to weave together seemingly dry, technical subject matter into a series of award-winning stories on natural gas that captured flash points for climate change, communities of color and energy politics. Roth shares his reporting experience in the latest Inside Story Q&A.
"California’s reservoirs will enter fall in a slightly better position than last year, but the Golden State should prepare for more dryness, extreme weather events and water quality hazards in 2023, officials say.
"Four whales have died near San Francisco this year after ships crashed into them, and scientists hope to drive that number to zero with new technology."