Jacobin Radio: California's Extreme Weather w/ Ali Meders-Knight

Today Meleiza Figueroa hosts the podcast. She talks to three guests about the historic series of winter storms that have been lashing the entire state of California since New Year’s Eve, causing widespread flooding, landslides, wind damage, and levee failures. With rain forecasted to continue all the way until Martin Luther King Day, the worst may be yet to come. While California is far better known for droughts, earthquakes, and wildfires, atmospheric rivers from the Pacific also bring regular flooding, sometimes on a biblical scale; an inherent feature of California’s extreme weather regime that is expected to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. Meleiza’s guests bring various perspectives to the flood that touch on its historical, scientific, and socio-political significance.

Indigenous traditional ecological practitioner Ali Meders-Knight looks at the deep history of California’s 200-year flood cycle, bringing the long view to us relative newcomers in a place that has only been called “California” for 180 years.

Climate scientist Daniel Swain discusses the complex dynamics of atmospheric river events, and how climate change and wildfires contribute to intensifying the extremes of California’s drought-and-flood cycles.

Myla Ablog, a wetland ecologist and former regulatory official, discusses the state of California’s infrastructure, the impact of these floods on workers and houseless people in the Central Valley and elsewhere, and what we can and must do to prepare our communities for the “Other Big One.”

Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman features conversations with leading thinkers and activists, with a focus on labor, the economy, protest movements.

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