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environment

Stephanie Penn / Richmond Confidential

We are listening to our audience to cover the issues that matter most to you this election season. This story is one example, and please share your own questions here.

In these last couple weeks leading up to the elections, we’re talking to people in Bay Area neighborhoods with the lowest voter turnout. Today, we go to the City of Richmond in Contra Costa County.

By Flickr user Andrew Nash / used under CC / resized and cropped

A federal judge on Monday blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing the dredging and filling of salt ponds in the South Bay.

Angela Johnston

I visit the bottom floor of the Alisal Health Center in East Salinas in February. It’s home to the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program, where new parents on Medi-Cal can get prenatal or postpartum care. 

Angela Johnston

This summer, farmworkers in California have been working with extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and, in Monterey County, high rates of COVID-19 as they harvest and pick the food we eat every day. Then, there’s another health concern, and it’s been around for much longer — pesticide exposure.

Angela Johnston / KALW

In Salinas, if you make a run to the grocery store to pick up a bag of kale, you’ll probably pass rows and rows of the leafy green.

Kevin Key / Flickr


The Glass and Zagg fires in Sonoma, Napa, and Shasta county have burned tens of thousands of acres, taking with them homes and infrastructure. 70,000 people have been ordered to evacuate. 

Brian Adams

For most of her life, Neets’aii Gwich’in leader Sarah James has worked to protect her homelands, including the coastal plain of the nearby Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But, now the U.S. government wants to lease some of the area for oil exploration and drilling. In this story from The Spiritual Edge we hear how the Gwich’in tribal government is challenging those plans, which threaten land that they call sacred. 

Jenny G. Shao / KALW

Life may feel like it’s on pause because of COVID-19. But climate change isn’t paused. How is the pandemic affecting the climate and the people working on solutions? 

Jenee Darden / KALW

As climate change intensifies, what toll will it take on our mental health in the future? Dr. Robin Cooper is a psychiatrist and co-founder of the Climate Psychiatry Alliance. She gives us a projection of what’s possible to come.

What Can COVID-19 Teach Us About Climate Change? (Ep. 4)

Aug 6, 2020
Lisa Morehouse / KALW

Originally, we were planning to do this series at the beginning of this year… but then COVID-19 hit. We had to put our climate change reporting on pause to focus on covering the coronavirus. But of course, climate change has not paused. In the final episode of our series, we find out what the pandemic can teach us about climate change. And, we talk to a psychiatrist about how to cope.

Robin Loznak / Courtesy of Our Children's Trust

Many environmental lawyers around the country have filed lawsuits against corporations and the government for their role in climate change. Many of these cases fail, stall, or are dismissed, but the quest to litigate the climate crisis continues.

Shereen Adel / KALW

The coronavirus has pumped the brakes on air travel. But before that, flying was responsible for about 5% of man-made global warming. So if and when the demand for air travel goes back to its pre-COVID trajectory, it could account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget. That budget is what would keep temperatures from rising more than 1 and a half degrees Celsius by 2050. That’s why there’s been a growing movement for people to fly less.

Bo Walsh / KALW

In November of 2018, Chico resident and expecting mother-to-be Kaylan Sigel began writing letters in a journal to her unborn son. Four days after penning the first entry, Kaylan’s life was turned upside down when the Camp Fire of Butte County burned down her home.

Dana L. Brown / Flickr Creative Commons

 


The National Weather Service issued a red flag fire warning for parts of the Bay Area on Sunday. The warning runs through 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 29 and covers mountain areas in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.

Photo courtesy of Rue Mapp

An incident involving a white woman calling the cops on a black birder in Central Park last month sparked a conversation about racism in the outdoors world. And, it sparked a celebration online: Black Birders Week. Black naturalists highlighted both the prejudices and the joys they experience out in nature. One of their messages? There are more of us than you think. 

Chasing Donguri CC-by-NC-SA 2.0

COVID has cancelled many people’s vacation plans, so more Bay Areans might be turning to camping. But can we go? Is it safe? And how can we do it responsibly?

Adreanna Rodriguez / KALW

In California, farms have not been immune to COVID-19. A Farm Bureau Federation survey recently found that more than half of farms across the state have lost customers or sales due to pandemic. Small family farms are especially vulnerable.

Julia Llinas Goodman / KALW

Since shelter in place began, health officials around the Bay Area have struggled to deal with packed parks and beaches. And then there are the crowds at Lake Merritt.

Ingrid Taylar / Flickr Creative Commons


The Spare the Air season normally begins on May 4. But the district said at that time, so few people were driving because of shelter in place that the air quality was actually really good.

Now as stay at home orders relax. More people are driving. 

Marissa Ortega-Welch / KALW

Melissa Jones is the Executive Director of the Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiatives, a coalition of the region's public health departments. The coalition has been meeting regularly to discuss best practices for policy decisions around COVID19. One of which is whether or not counties should keep their parks open for residents to access during the shelter in place order. 

Sandip Roy

  Nature marks the season whether or not our human world is out of whack, but soon it will all be back to its old noisy polluted self. But for these few weeks as humans suffer, the earth is healing itself. I just wish we didn’t need a pandemic to hear our earth breathe.

Jan Roletto / Wikimedia Commons

Hey Area is where we find answers to questions you ask. Brit Byrd wanted to know, “Why does San Francisco have the Farallon Islands? They’re thirty miles off the coast, but they’re legally part of San Francisco. What’s up with that?” 

Frank B. Rudolph

Oakland’s Lake Merritt was the nation’s first wildlife refuge, before Yosemite, before Yellowstone.

Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

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California is taking stronger measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Disneyland shut down. Same with sports. And the San Francisco Unified School District will be closed to students for three weeks beginning Monday. But what's being done for the most vulnerable?

Reed Saxon / AP Photo

Climate change is fueling devastating wildfires in California, and in some cases, low-wage immigrant workers are cleaning up after them. They sweep ash out of houses and strip debris from burned buildings.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP Photo

In October 2019, a stretch of dry weather and strong winds sparked dozens of wildfires across California, killing three people and destroying hundreds of homes. For the low-wage immigrants who work in those homes, fire season brings its own dangers.

Pleasanton Faces Newly Discovered Water Contamination

Feb 25, 2020
Brett Simpson / KALW

PFAS is a man-made superchemical used to make carpets stain-resistant and pans nonstick, but it’s toxic to human health. It’s also turning up in drinking water supplies nationwide. Wherever people test for it, it seems to show up, and California’s just beginning to test, thanks to a new state law.

Schizoform / Flickr / Creative Commons

 

It’s been an unusually dry February in the Bay Area, causing concern about a potential drought. Now, federal regulators have added to those worries with the announcement that Santa Clara County’s largest water supply needs to be drained.

Brett Simpson / KALW

You may not have heard of the chemical PFAS, but you probably touched it at some point today. It’s a man-made chemical in tons of products in our homes, like nonstick pans and food packaging. But it’s toxic. And in at least one preschool in Berkeley, it’s in the carpets. 

Photo courtesy of Rhiana Gunn-Wright/modified from original

Meet the woman who helped develop The Green New Deal--and how you can make a difference in the climate crisis. 

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