Environment

PG&E: Cause, or Symptom?

October 09, 2019

I woke up this morning in Davis, California to the sound of high winds and the taste of dry, brittle air. Neighboring communities in the Sierra foothills and various Western ranges are experiencing a planned power outage, as the investor-owned private utility PG&E shuts down their system in an attempt to avoid catastrophic wildfires like the Camp Fire.

Are Farmers Really Elk?

July 09, 2019
Bottom line: No, farmers are not elk. However, could they adapt to climate change like elk? A new study from UC Berkeley examined how annual elk migrations from valleys to the high country and back again are triggered by proximate environmental cues such as emergence of spring vegetation. Since climate change is shifting the timing and geography of those environmental cues, the researchers expect the elk to shift their ranges in order to adapt. These adaptive strategies can help the elk population keep up with climate change, although there will be ripple effects through the broader ecosystem given the importance of elk in the overall set of ecological interactions in places like Yellowstone National Park. Could farmers and agriculture follow a similar adaptive strategy?