Dead orchard of trees in flooded area

Mullin on the Contradictions of Central California’s Climate Emergency

Megan Mullin, faculty director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the San Joaquin Valley, where flagging resilience to drought, floods and heat have made it one of the front lines of climate change in America. The region is also the center of oil and gas production in California and skews conservative, creating many internal contradictions, said Mullin, co-author of a recent paper that found that climate change is projected to disproportionately affect Republican voters. The valley’s residents are “getting messages that action on climate is jeopardizing their well-being, jeopardizing their livelihoods,” she said, yet at the same time they face dried-up wells, dreadful air quality, huge flood risks and other perils. Mullin did point to Fresno as one area that is making climate gains through the state’s Transformative Climate Communities program, which funds hyper-local projects in places that have been disproportionately affected by legacy pollution and other environmental hazards.


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