State of fire;

Exploring the links between California fires and climate change

Professor Steve Weissman

JD Boston College ’73, BA UMass ’70

Emerald teacher at Goldman Public Policy School at ABC Berkeley

In conversation with:

Lily Jamali


California Report Co-Host, KQED

For the past half decade, California residents have been confronted with a new reality, with fire seasons beginning and ending each year. The California Department of Forests and Fire Protection calls climate change a “key driver.” These prolonged fires have become more deadly and destructive than ever. Climate change may aggravate the situation, but it will not. Many fires that have devastated communities in California and the West have been triggered by a series of catastrophic fires, including PG&E. These fires have changed the way we live, forcibly relocate citizens, how to re-establish neighborhoods, and what steps must be taken to protect themselves from dangerous wildfires.

In this discussion, we will explore the roots of this horrible new reality, adaptations, and solutions.

Time is set for question and answer.

Supported by:
  • Washington DC MIT Club

Steve Weissman He created and directed an energy law program at Berkeley Law, and taught numerous energy law and policy courses. He came to UC Berkeley from the California Public Utilities Commission, where he was an administrative law judge. He served as policy and legal advisor to three different commissioners at the PUC. He is an energy and environmental advocate, and an environmental mediator. A.D. Prior to his appointment as Administrative Law Judge in 1988, he was involved in PUC labor advocacy, renewable energy and energy efficiency processes, and the implementation of California environmental law. Since 2006, he has taught law law and policy studies at Berkeley Law.

He is a former chief adviser to the California State Council’s Natural Resources Committee, where he has written and reviewed energy, air quality and solid waste management regulations. He is the creator of the U.S. District Court, the Northern District of California, and the California PUC Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. In addition, he has served as Legal Director of the Local Government Commission for Local Government and Social Policy Networks, which provides assistance to local governments. Write a policy guide on toxic air pollution, recycling and land use at the Local Government Commission. Developed in collaboration with some of today’s most influential architects and planners, he developed the principles of transportation, which are key elements of transportation-oriented and pedestrian development.

In Berkeley, Steve Weissman led the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the solid waste commission. He was also a member of the Downtown Planning Advisory Committee, which worked with the university to create a new development plan from end to end. He is the Vice President of the Publishing Committee of the American Bar Association for Environment, Energy and Resources. He also teaches law education at Vermont School of Law and Lewis and Clark. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship for teaching in the fall of 2013 at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, near Barcelona. He was recently appointed to the Fulbright Specialists list.

Lily Jamali He is a co-sponsor of the KQED California Report on NPR stations across the state. She also serves as a reporter for the event. The program covers a wide range of topics that are important to California residents, including economics, education, and immigration. She recently followed the story of PG and E’s losses. Her work was recorded in Butte County, which she covered for the first time as a local television reporter from 2004 to 2006.

Prior to joining the California Report, Lily was the anchor of Blueburg Markets: Canada’s editorial cover of the financial market, economy, and politics. She also reported at the Bramburg Terminal, collaborating with the editorial team to break stories on the air and to write about Trump’s immigration policy on the Canadian economy.

Lily holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stern Business School from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s degree in English from UCLA.

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