Author Archive

California’s drought led to less hydropower and more carbon emissions

Grist: Climate change intensified California’s current drought, and the drought may be intensifying climate change. A new report by the Pacific Institute finds that the state’s energy portfolio has continued to shift away from hydropower and toward dirtier sources of electricity (CityLab covered its 2015 report on the same subject). That’s led to a 10 percent uptick in carbon emissions from California’s power plants, and an extra $2 billion for ratepayers. Between 1983 and 2013, hydropower accounted...

Meet the drought-stricken communities of California’s San Joaquin Valley

Grist: Bulmario Tapia Madrigal doesn’t want to shower in a stream of dirt. He doesn’t want to cook with bottled water, haul a bucketful to flush the toilet, or wonder if he has enough water to clean the diabetes wounds on his feet. But since his well went dry three months ago, that’s how life has been. Some relief is coming for the 70-year-old orange picker. On a dry August afternoon, he zips his motorized wheelchair up and down his driveway, anxiously watching a crew of workers. They’re nearly finished...