Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

latest news Majority of Californians fear worsening weather fluctuations

As California continues to see fluctuations from one extreme climate to the next, a majority of residents say they are increasingly concerned about the state’s changing climate, and some worry that weather impacts will force them to move in the future.

Nearly 70% of registered voters say they expect the volatile swings between severe drought and periods of heavy rain and snow – what some call a weather whiplash – to become more common in the future due to of climate change, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.

The poll follows an extremely wet winter that ended a three-year drought, killed nearly two dozen people and flooded the long-dried Lake Tulare basin.

Although the responses were sharply divided along political lines, they appeared to reflect growing unease among residents about the current and future effects of global warming on California.

Thirty-one percent of voters said they had been somewhat or greatly affected by the heavy rains, snow and flooding that occurred this year, including 8% who said they had experienced a “great” impact.

Of those who reported a ‘great’ impact, two-thirds said they were somewhat or very concerned that over the next few years they might have to move away from their homes due to events. extreme weather in their area.

Residents of the California North Coast and Sierra region reported the most winter storm impact, followed by the Central Coast, Sacramento Valley and San Francisco Bay Area.

This year’s wet winter has been particularly acute in these areas: in the Monterey County town of Pajaro, levee breaches caused evacuations and sent floodwaters into people’s homes. In the San Francisco Bay Area, powerful storms downed trees, caused widespread power outages and knocked glass from skyscrapers onto city streets.

Esteban Sepulveda holds his dog Milo as he leaves his home in the Pajaro Valley after severe storms flooded the area in March.

(Shae Hammond/Associated Press)

And in the Lake Tulare region, floodwaters and snowmelt rushed over low-lying fields and ranches, filling the dormant basin for the first time in decades. Officials say the area could remain underwater for at least two years.

Along with regional variations, “big partisan differences” have permeated most responses to climate questions, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the IGS poll. Forty percent of Democrats said they were somewhat or greatly affected by winter storms, compared to 16% of Republicans.

There was an even bigger divide among those who fear the extreme weather could get worse – 91% of Democrats compared to just 28% of Republicans, the poll found.

“I think Republicans have a different mindset, and maybe that leads to a greater tolerance for some of the hardships they can see around them,” DiCamillo said. “It also likely leads to a much smaller proportion of Republicans saying, ‘I’m very concerned about these weather events in the future that may cause me to want to leave where I live. “”

Ellen Hanak, vice president and director of the Water Policy Center at the Public Policy Institute of California, said concerns about worsening extreme weather were warranted.

“Precipitation patterns in California have always been unstable, with oscillations between wet and dry spells, but we are already starting to see signs of increased weather whiplash – with more intense dry and wet spells – and that is expected to increase in the coming decades,” Hanak said.

The poll results are broadly consistent with annual surveys conducted by PPIC that track Californians’ views on the impacts of climate change, she said.

The institute’s July 2022 survey found nearly 7 in 10 Californians believe the effects of climate change have already begun, and 8 in 10 say climate change is a serious threat to the economy and mode. California’s future lives.

The flames consume a house and a vehicle.

Flames from the 2021 Dixie Fire consume a home and automobile near Greenville in Plumas County.

(Noah Berger/Associated Press)

It’s likely more Californians will have to move away from home due to changing weather conditions, including an increased risk of wildfires, Hanak said.

“In my view, the increased risk of wildfire may cause some of the most significant changes in this regard, especially as it becomes more difficult and expensive to purchase insurance,” Hanak said.

Just last week, State Farm halted home insurance sales in California, citing rising costs and wildfire risks.

Hanak noted that the risks are often greater for low-income communities and residents with fewer resources and less ability to adapt.

Despite some divisions, IGS poll respondents were somewhat more aligned across the spectrum when it comes to one of California’s most entrenched environmental principles: water conservation.

Eighty-one percent of respondents—including 95% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans—said that despite this year’s unusually wet winter, it is still important for the state to enforce its conservation policies and programs. water for residential, commercial and agricultural water users in the years to come.

Among those efforts are two bills passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday. AB 1572 would prohibit the use of potable water for purely decorative grass along roadways, in medians, on public and institutional properties, and in businesses and multi-family developments. AB 1573 would require non-residential projects to phase out the use of non-functional turf and transition to low water and local native plants beginning in 2026.

“It really is grass that the only time you walk on it is to mow it,” said Tracy Quinn, president and CEO of Heal the Bay, which has supported AB 1572 with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“There is a very broad consensus among stakeholders, including many water agencies, that there really is no place for non-functional turf in our communities,” Quinn said. . “We just don’t have the water to waste, to keep the grass alive while it serves a purely aesthetic function.”

The decorative grass ban would take effect in phases between 2027 and 2031. The proposal would make the measures permanent that California water regulators imposed on a temporary basis.

DiCamillo said the broad agreement on the issue speaks to Californians’ philosophy on water conservation.

“I believe Californians have been conditioned now to value water and conserve as much as they can because there may be years when we don’t have much,” he said. However, he noted that Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to rate water conservation as “very important.”

The poll was conducted May 17-22 – just days before California and six other states reach an agreement in principle on how to drastically reduce use of the Colorado River, a lifeline that supplies water nearly 40 million people in the West.

About 60% of respondents said they favor cuts to Colorado’s water deliveries, while 14% said the status quo should continue. Twenty-seven percent said they were unsure.

The poll also comes ahead of the expected return of El Niño later this year. The climate pattern in the tropical Pacific is associated with wetter winters in southern California and warmer temperatures worldwide.

Forecasters say there is a 98% chance that at least one of the next five years – and the five-year period as a whole – will be the hottest on record on Earth.

The survey was administered online in English and Spanish to 7,465 registered voters in California.

The survey sample was weighted to match census and voter registration benchmarks. Due to the weighting, it is difficult to accurately estimate the margin of error, but the results are estimated to have a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points in either direction for the full sample.

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button