California set to be first state with extreme heat warning system under bills signed by Newsom
By Kate Kuykendall
Published: Monday, July 19, 2013 at 12:22 AM.
To the rest of the world, California is the most populous U.S. state. To so many in Southern California, Gov. Jerry Brown’s address Tuesday on his proposal to put a statewide warning system in effect is a personal affront.
To those people, it’s a slap in the face. They say it’s an unacceptable overreaction to the most extreme heat yet seen in Southern California for more than two decades.
For the rest of the nation, the warning system is far more mundane.
So many local jurisdictions have begun a conversation on extreme heat, they have joined in on a call to come up with a national plan, in search of a national solution.
For some, the heat has been relentless. This year, one death was tied to the heat in the L.A. area.
For decades, there was more heat than many people thought was possible. With little federal support, California’s cities and counties were left to grapple with the heat without assistance in a new reality.
It began in 1993, when there was a record heat wave that killed nine people in the state.
It was then California began to see the effects of climate change, including the potential for drought and wildfires.
The problem has become more complex with each year it has gotten hotter.
Brown’s heat warning system was the latest effort in an attempt to get ahead of the problem.
Many were skeptical that any state in the nation would be the first to put forward a plan that, while innovative, is not without risk.
Newsom’s proposals are different.
Here’s what Newsom said in a news conference: “This is an absolute necessity to mitigate the impact of this extreme event. To save lives, to save property.”
He went on to say there are two reasons why: “It’s to mitigate the impact of high temperatures, and it’s to mitigate the impact of drought conditions.”