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Town Hall to Tackle Climate Change and New Normal

To advance the community conversation about climate change, local residents are invited to attend a free town hall event titled Drought, Fire and Flood: Climate Change and Our New Normal at 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at the Granada Theatre.

Event sponsors are UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara Foundation, and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Host is the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts.

There is no question the frequency and ferocity of severe weather phenomena experienced globally, nationally, and most recently locally, are the result of increasingly rapid climate change.

As global warming progresses, recent weather events represent only the beginning stages of a new normal that will worsen in the coming years. It is urgent for community members to confront the potential impacts of climate change locally.

That starts by asking how we can improve our readiness and response to those impacts, and what this new reality requires in policy and practice to improve the resiliency of local infrastructure, businesses, homes, community and region.

The town hall will be emceed by Steven Gaines, dean, UCSB Bren School.

To provide updates on data and research, four experts affiliated with the Bren School will give TED-style flash talks. Max Moriz (wildfires), Edward Keller (debris flows), Naomi Tague (climate modeling), and Sarah Anderson (environmental politics).

Keynote speaker, former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, will share his experience managing more than 350 disasters during his tenure under the Clinton administration.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion and public Q&A moderated by Sigrid Wright, CEC CEO/executive director.

The public can submit questions before the event via Twitter using #droughtfirefloodSB or in The Granada Theatre lobby when the doors open at 6 p.m.

The panel will feature Pat McElroy, recently retired Santa Barbara fire chief; Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams; and Maricela Morales, executive director, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy.

— Briana Sapp Tivey for Drought, Fire and Flood Town Hall.

 

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