Climate Discussions at CA State Senator John Moorlach’s, CA 37th District, Office in Sacramento
Joan and I had a very pleasant conversation in State Senator John Moorlach’s office about climate matters, with his environmental assistant Megan A. DeSousa. She is a recent graduate of UC Irvine in Business. Senator Moorlach had already returned home as the Senate session had ended for the summer.
Her office is proposing Senate Bill 535 on Tracking Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Wildfires. This would include pollutants from wildfires in the AQMD pollution counts, on a three year basis. This would allow California gas tax funds to go to fire mitigation projects. Among these would be funds to cover perhaps half of the cost of under-grounding utilities along Laguna Canyon Road. That is where the 1993 fire started that took almost all houses along Skyline Drive on Mystic Hills. We also discussed the Paradise fire and the problems of evacuation along one lane roads in each direction. Wildfires also emit black carbon, which is dangerous to breathe. Part of the wildfire problem results from logging, and then replanting at a much higher density than the original forests were. This also produces a ground level growth that can propagate its own fires.
I informed her of my blog, and recent treatment of temperature rises locally, in the US, and globally. I also talked about my articles on sea level rise, which concerns Sen. Moorlach’s coastal cities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Balboa Island. We also mentioned the possible half-a-billion dollar cost of protecting the Newport Bay islands and the Newport Peninsula from sea-level-rise over the rest of the century.
We found Megan quite receptive and informed about environmental concerns, and recommend that others contact her and Senator Moorlach’s office (moorlach.cssrc.us) about such matters. They have their bills accessible from their website.