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A special report on California’s cap-and-trade program, in collaboration with Earth Island Journal and Bay Nature magazine. It was made possible by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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New 7/16/13: Public Press podcast: Reporter Chantal Jolagh reports on Gov. Jerry Brown’s raid on cap-and-trade funds to balance state budget.

Climate Change

Major S.F. Bayfront Developments Advance Despite Sea Rise Warnings

Kevin Stark, Winifred Bird and Michael Stoll, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:39pm

Builders plan to invest more than $21 billion in offices and homes in flood-prone areas, where waters could climb 8 feet above today’s high tide by the end of this century. Land-use records reveal that the building boom, fueled by a white-hot tech economy, is moving too fast for regulators to keep pace. (Cover story from the summer 2015 print edition)

Mission Bay Pioneers: Working and Living in a New Waterfront Neighborhood

Tanya Dzekon, Caroline Cakebread and Sophie Murguia, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:31pm

As cranes and bulldozers continue their work to build Mission Bay, residents and workers say they love the new waterfront area. Few say they have any knowledge of, nor are they much concerned about, the long­-term flooding risk.

Bay Area Governments Study Sea Level Rise, but Few Set Limits on Development

Emily Dugdale, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:29pm

The San Francisco Public Press surveyed 13 Bay Area cities and counties where building projects are planned in waterfront areas vulnerable to sea level rise. While most are studying the issue, few have passed new regulations to limit growth or require developers to flood­proof their properties.

With Dozens of Local and Regional Governments, Baywide Planning Is Hard

Winifred Bird, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:28pm

Regional coordination will be essential if Bay Area cities and counties are to minimize flooding as the sea rises. A few initiatives have launched, but none yet has the legal authority or resources to align all 41 governments that border San Francisco Bay.

Interactive Map: A Baywide Building Boom Threatened by Rising Waters

Lulu Orozco, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:26pm

We found 27 proposals for major construction projects that could be flooded in decades due to climate change. View our interactive map.

As Science Gets Better, Dramatic Sea Rise Seems More Certain

Kevin Stark, San Francisco Public Press — Jul 29 2015 - 2:25pm

Sea level rise of 8 feet is an unlikely but worrisome possibility. Many objections to preparing aggressively for sea level rise center on the uncertainty in projections about how quickly global warming will cause the oceans to expand. But the science is increasingly clear.

Heinberg: Localize Economy or Face the Consequences

Paul Lorgerie, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 9 2014 - 6:48pm

Author Richard Heinberg and other experts spoke at the Economics of Sustainability conference, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Heinberg said communities must become more self-sufficient in order to mitigate the coming climate crisis.

Stanford Divests, Bay Area Still Spews Carbon

Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press — May 30 2014 - 4:18pm

With Stanford University dumping its coal investments, and Plan Bay Area’s “smart growth” strategy aiming to reduce regional greenhouse-gas emissions by 2035, has the Bay Area finally turned the corner on climate change? Far from it. In fact, Stanford’s divestment won’t even sting coal companies, and, as reported by the Public Press, Plan Bay Area will actually result in an increase in carbon pollution in the atmosphere.

Audio Interview: Board Game Teaches California’s Cap-and-Trade Climate Program

Chorel Centers and Adriel Taquechel, San Francisco Public Press — Jan 27 2014 - 12:56pm

Public Press reporter Chorel Centers sat down with editor Michael Stoll and illustrator Anna Vignet to discuss the creation of a board game that allows teaches players how California’s year-old cap-and-trade greenhouse gas pollution control program works. It's part of a trend of “gamification” of the news, using interactive formats to engage audiences and teach complex policy issues. Players work as greenhouse gas tycoons in a race to make money before the caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases take full effect. The game is laid out like a Monopoly board.

The project was published in the summer 2013 print edition, and the prototype board game was printed on the back page of the first section of the newspaper. It accompnanied an extensive investigation on California’s cap and trade program, which aims to cut back to 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 2020.

Plans to Relax California Climate Regulations Upset Some Environmentalists

Barbara Grady and Lisa Weinzimer, San Francisco Public Press — Oct 31 2013 - 12:38pm

California regulators are weighing plans to make it easier and less expensive for oil refineries and other big industries to comply with the state’s new cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and environmentalists are alarmed. At a hearing last week in Sacramento, the California Air Resources Board heard staff proposals to amend the year-old cap-and-trade program to extend “transition assistance” to industry through 2018. The change, coming on the heels of lobbying from industry, would give businesses possibly hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free allowances to pollute, and alter the economics of the emerging auction market for carbon.

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