Fighting Climate Change Amid Wildfires, Extreme Weather and Presidential Denial
On Monday, during a trip to California, President Trump refused to acknowledge the role climate change has played in generating wildfires that have burned more than 3 million acres and killed at least 26 people, including one firefighter battling the El Dorado Fire east of Los Angeles. Trump asserted that poor forest management was to blame and that the weather would get cooler. But Trump’s denial of climate change is at odds with public opinion. According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, more than 70% of Americans believe that climate change is happening, and nearly 60% believe that it is mostly due to human activities. Meanwhile, California remains a leader on fighting greenhouse gas emissions, with more than 30% of its energy coming from renewables like solar and wind, a figure that is mandated to double in a decade. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would accelerate its climate change strategies, including a goal to get to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045.
- Daniel Kammen, professor of energy and director, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, UC Berkeley
- Jennifer Marlon, professor and research scientist, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
Economic Outlook and the Struggles of a Small Business Owner
Some Bay Area businesses are eagerly opening their doors and rolling out the welcome mat to customers — although on a limited basis. San Franciscans enjoyed exercising and getting their nails done indoors once again. Marin, Napa, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties have all moved one step up from the heaviest restrictions —shifting from the purple tier to the red tier in the state's color-coded system that assesses the level of COVID-19 risk in each county. But even so, many small business owners worry if they can survive while complying with protocols and measures to keep customers and workers safe. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor announced there were 860,000 first-time unemployment insurance claims filed last week, continuing a downward trend from a peak of nearly 7 million in late March. But concerns abound for the pace of economic recovery, which could be hampered by a wave of new coronavirus infections and the continuing drag on restaurants, tourism and other service sector jobs.
- Joe Talmadge, owner, World Gym San Francisco
- Christopher Thornberg, founding partner, Beacon Economics and director, UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development
‘Something Beautiful: Painted Hearts in Parks’
This week, KQED Newsroom is launching a new recurring segment called “Something Beautiful,” which highlights beauty in our communities during a time of anxiety, stress and multiple challenges our society is grappling with, from the coronavirus pandemic to the national reckoning over racial justice to deadly wildfires that have filled the sky with smoke and ash. In this edition of “Something Beautiful,” we spotlight hearts that have been painted in chalk in several San Francisco parks by the San Francisco Parks Alliance to help visitors socially distance and raise awareness and money for urban parks.