Elizabeth Weil was a writer at large covering climate and California for ProPublica. Previously, she was a writer at large at The New York Times Magazine.
After another devastating year, it’s clear that Californians can’t keep trying to “fight” wildfires. Instead, they need to accept it as their new reality.
A family’s housing struggle on the front lines of the climate crisis
The climate is getting worse across the state. The rich can just afford to protect themselves.
In the climate crisis, it’s possible to live in the same place but inhabit different worlds.
Postal desde Thermal: la supervivencia en el este del Valle de Coachella en tiempos de crisis climática
En la crisis climática, es posible vivir en el mismo lugar pero habitar mundos diferentes.
A climate scientist spent years trying to get people to pay attention to the disaster ahead. His wife is exhausted. His older son thinks there’s no future. And nobody but him will use the outdoor toilet he built to shrink his carbon footprint.
On California’s fall fire days — days with high temperatures and wind speeds, as well as low humidity — all it takes is a spark from a downed power line to start an inferno. New research indicates that they’re about to become a lot more common.
There are ways to keep people and homes safer from wildfires. Then, there’s what California does.
The West will need “good fire” — controlled, managed fire that balances the ecosystem — to stave off deadly, out-of-control fire. We need to know what that looks like.
Record high temperatures. Record fires. Record smoke. ProPublica reporter Elizabeth Weil spoke to former California Gov. Jerry Brown about the state’s converging apocalypses.
This is a story about frustration, about watching the West burn when you fully understand why it’s burning — and understand why it did not need to be this bad.