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Boat Fire Leaves 34 Dead, Hate Crimes On The Rise, Tech Takes Over CA DMV

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Officials say 34 people died after a diving boat caught fire off the Southern California coast, officials say they have suspended search efforts for survivors. Also, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports there were 437 hate crimes in San Diego County over the past five years, a tech entrepreneur is now running the California DMV, the state is facing a shortage of physicians, Cal Fire is preparing for the two worst months for wildfires, a new book by a science journalist details the different ways the planet could be destroyed, and the Radio Silence collective talk about their new feature film, “Ready or Not.”

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 Coming up the latest on a deadly boat fire off the coast and an interview with the new leader of the DMV. I'm mark Sauer in for Maureen Cabinet and I'm jade Hindman. This is KPBS midday edition. It's Tuesday, September 3rd officials say 34 people died when fire erupted on a dive boat off the coast of Santa Barbara overnight on Monday. Right now there is an ongoing investigation into what happened. Saul Gonzalez is cohost of the California report and is in Santa Barbara and joins me now. So welcome.

Speaker 2: 00:43 Hi.

Speaker 1: 00:44 What did you learn from the news conference this morning?

Speaker 2: 00:48 Well, essentially the headline is there are, they don't expect to find any more survivors from this festival and they're transitioning from a search and rescue operation until full search and recovery operations. Meaning they're going to be looking for the remains of, of, of human beings and they're going to start figuring out how to salvage this vessel. Um, but that's what, and, and, and what started as fire board. If that's all that does, that's also gonna be of course, a huge focus.

Speaker 1: 01:14 And given the current location and condition of the boat being at the bottom of the channel and upside down along with some bodies possibly still inside. How are crews planning on proceeding from here?

Speaker 2: 01:26 Well, extremely careful carefully because of the of the tides and the vessel itself could be a hazard to people go in the water in terms of who might be on the vessel. They think they sided for the remains of four to six people. Late yesterday, they couldn't recover those people because they were losing light. So that will be a big focus of today is getting those remains up to the surface and to the mainland. Uh, they're also searching the surrounding area because some of the remains were found not in the vessel, but on the sea floor. So they're looking up to about a half mile away from the decile. Um, and again, that will be a big focus as well.

Speaker 1: 02:04 You know, a lot has been said about locked doors aboard the boat, which could have prevented people who were sleeping below deck from escaping. What did you hear about that this morning?

Speaker 2: 02:14 Yeah. That came up in this morning's press conference and basically the Coast Guard spokesperson says that was a miscommunication when, uh, the mayday went out. There was a lot of, you know, you can just imagine a lot of very panic chatter from people aboard the boat, the crew, the crew members who were calling the mayday, and then the radio operators who would listen to the message and were responding with their own questions. So apparently that news of some sort of locked doors of, or the vessel was, was really came out of a radio chatter confusion and who was saying what to whom and, and who was asking questions and who was answering questions. The Coast Guard says emphatically there were no locks doors aboard this vessel. What stood in the way of the passengers getting to safety was likely to fire itself.

Speaker 1: 02:58 Okay. And we know any more about

Speaker 2: 03:00 where the fire might have started. Well, the likeliest culprit is, is the, uh, is the kitchen aboard, uh, up on the vessel. And, uh, there were three levels to this vessel. Passengers were on the lowest level and right above them was the kitchen, which could have been the sort light, the likeliest source of the fire. And then above that were, was the bridging crew quarters. So essentially the passengers, you know, these 30 plus passengers were the least. We're in the least ex accessible place on the vessel, the place where it'd be hardest to escape in the event of a fire. And that's why it looks like they were trapped by the flames itself. But the crew was able to escape because simply they were closer to the water. It could jump in the water or jump to another vessel.

Speaker 1: 03:44 And we know the surviving crew members have given statements about what happened. Uh, is there any indication if charges could be filed against anyone?

Speaker 2: 03:52 No, no indication at all of criminal charges at this point. Uh, the coast guard emphasized how the, the, the, the operator that the owner of this vessel at past fall safe safety standards. It was up to snuff in terms of regulate maritime regulations. It has fire suppression equipment, a board smoke alarm, fire extinguishers, all of that. There seemed to be no sign in the path that this vessel, which was built in 1981 with any kind of a problem, decile at all, it seemed to be, you know, it seemed to be fully up to code.

Speaker 1: 04:22 Mm. And you know, you've spent a lot of time at the Santa Barbara Harbor in the last day or so. Give us a sense of how folks there are really reacting to this news and what it's like there.

Speaker 2: 04:32 Well, I think they're, they're shocked at just the scale of this disaster. I don't, I personally don't remember a maritime catastrophe like this and California waters in recent memory. Um, and it's just shocking, right? How quickly did the scope of the, of the, of the lives lost? The number of people lost. How strange this, this was because you very, very rarely hear of these kinds of catastrophes aboard a boat in American waters. But I think people are trying to absorb that. I should say, when you go down to the waterline, down to the harbor at Santa Barbara, people have assembled a makeshift memorial. So there are candles there and people are living flowers and messages and um, and I should also say that the company that ran this boat that owned this boat pretty well respected in Santa Barbara. Yeah. A lot of people know the vessel. They've gone aboard at themselves on, on scuba diving expeditions. So it is a kind of a, well it was kind of a well known address on the water here in Santa Barbara.

Speaker 1: 05:25 Mm. Yeah, an absolute tragic incident. I've been speaking to California report cohost Saul Gonzalez from Santa Barbara. Saul, thank you so much for joining us.

Speaker 2: 05:33 Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: 05:36 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 05:38 hate crimes are widespread in our area, but the majority of them happen right in the city of San Diego. And New report from the San Diego Union Tribune analyzes five years of hate crime data. Between 2014 and 2018 there were 437 incidents. Lindsey weekly public reporter with

Speaker 4: 05:58 the San Diego Union Tribune has been covering the story and says the numbers may be even higher. So what's being done about it? Lindsay joins us with details. Lindsay, welcome. Thank you so much for having me. You know, as I said, more than 400 hate crimes were reported in the last five years in the county. Talk about what you found in terms of the nature of the incidents and who's being targeted. Just to give a little bit of background, um, we've obviously written a lot about hate crimes since the incident in Poway happened. Um, and we wanted to try and take a look at hate crimes in a different way. And for this project we were really focused on location. We really wanted to give people a sense of where are these hate crimes happening and who is being affected. Um, and, and if you've taken a look at the project, um, you can go online.

Speaker 4: 06:49 There's a very big map. And what it really shows, I think at the core is that so many communities across San Diego county are connected to some kind of hate crime. Um, there was an, there were incidents all across the region, um, but sort of specifically what we ended up finding was, um, most hate crimes happened in San Diego, the city of San Diego. Um, however, more than 20 communities across the region saw hate crimes in that time frame. The most common type of hate crime, uh, was anti LGBTQ hate crimes, followed very closely by anti-black hate crimes. Um, Anti Hispanic and anti-Jewish were also quite common. And you, you spoke with someone who believes the number of incidents against Latinos may actually be undercounted. Is that right? Yes, and I will just say I think all of the hate crime categories were undercounted hate crimes are notoriously under-reported, um, like unfortunately many other crimes.

Speaker 4: 07:51 And so this really is a snapshot of hate in the region. It is certainly not an encompassing picture, um, because there are a lot of reasons why people don't want to report hate crimes. Whether that's because certain communities don't have good relationships with law enforcement, whether they just don't have faith that anything will happen and they are, they're just concerned that they're going to go through this very traumatic reporting experience and, and nothing will be done about it. And, and you know, unfortunately the prosecution numbers really do sort of back that up. You know, we had 81 reported hate crimes in 2018 and 30 of them were successfully prosecuted. And can you give us one or two examples of the disturbing stories you learned about? That was definitely something that we wanted to put some energy into is just trying to find personal stories of individuals who had, um, suffered hate crimes and just the impact that that had had on them as individuals.

Speaker 4: 08:47 And um, it's the, it's essentially the story that I lead this piece off with. Um, but a woman and boyfriend were getting their car serviced in point Loma and they are walking down the street to when they notice that somebody is following them. Um, this woman was white, her partner then was black. Um, and the man behind them, they noticed pretty quickly had white supremacist tattoos. He sort of approaches them and things quickly escalate. He ends up taking out a knife. He threatens to kill them. They're sort of trying to pacify him as they move back to, um, their car mechanic who ends up seeing what's going on and calls nine one one. Um, he ended up being prosecuted because he had a history of hate that really helped that case. To me, it was a story that really showed how unfortunately unpredictable hate crimes can often be, I mean, these people were just walking down the street waiting for their car to get worked on and they were attacked simply for existing and it was just, yeah, I remember hearing that story and it really gave me chills and you mentioned earlier how challenging it can be to prosecute hate crimes.

Speaker 4: 09:59 Why is that really boils down to having to prove intent. You know, obviously a crime needs to have occurred, but then you have to prove that the reason why that person committed that crime was because of some kind of anti bias towards the individual that they attacked. Which is one of the reasons why many experts I spoke to during this project talked about the importance of reporting hate incidents, even if they don't cross the threshold into criminal activity. Because what that does is that really helps prosecutors later on down the road a piece together, this person's background so that they can kind of successfully argue a history of hate. And that helps prove hate crimes in the future. So after looking at this data and talking with law enforcement prosecutors and community members, all of them, you know, what is actually being done to combat hate, I will say I think a lot, there's a lot of county-wide unity kind of to do something about hate crimes.

Speaker 4: 11:00 Um, community leaders are very focused on education, on making sure that we know each other. It is so much more difficult to commit a hate crime against somebody that you understand that's not a stranger to you all the way down to law enforcement. You know, uh, the San Diego Police Department really recognizes that it has a role to play in making sure that the community feels comfortable in reporting hate crimes. And so they have an LGBTQ liaison who works very closely with that community to make sure that anytime somebody is a victim, that they, um, have the support that they need to become survivor. And I thought that that was a really interesting thing. I've been speaking with Lindsey Winkler, the public safety reporter with the San Diego Union Tribune. Lindsey, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 3: 11:53 [inaudible]

Speaker 5: 12:04 California is DMV is on the cutting edge of 1973 that's how governor Gavin Newsom described the fraud agency in his 2013 book. Citizen bill last month, the Newsome appointed Steve Gordon to turn the DMV around, fix the computer system, ease the ridiculous wait times, straighten out the motor voter mess, make renewing your license, a reasonable experience. Gordon, who once worked for the San Diego county auditor is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur now. He's director of the California Department of motor vehicles. He's been on the DMV job for a month and he joined me from Sacramento. Steve Gordon, welcome to midday edition. Great Mark. Thanks for having me. Well, first off, why in the world did you take this job?

Speaker 6: 12:48 Well, you know, it's a interesting story. My wife happened to see an article in, uh, in the San Jose mercury news from Aaron Ball. Dossey or Badassery, sorry if I'm not pronouncing her name right, but she wrote an article about, look, if you don't like the DMV, it's your chance to run it. And in that article, believe it or not, at the bottom there was a link to the appointments website of the governor. And so I read the article and I said, well, why not?

Speaker 5: 13:09 Well, the La Times had an interesting anecdote in their story about you, about your visit to the DMV office in San Jose one morning. Tell us about that.

Speaker 6: 13:17 Sure. I think that, you know, one of that, one of the tasks that the, the appointments offices from the governor's office had for me is like, Whoa, go off and just give us your observation of what you see at the DMV. And I know the intended for me to go in, you know, during working hours and walk around, which I did, but I also thought, well, well, who's out there at six o'clock in the morning? And you know, so I was out there as, as the article stated, my flip flops, my, uh, my faded jeans and a polo shirt. I may have been, you know, right out of bed, but, and I just wanted to see how many people were in the parking lot and every DMV I went to three different ones. Every DMV, there was at least one in some cases, two or three people that are sitting there.

Speaker 6: 13:51 And I, and I talked to every one of us. And why are you here so early in the morning? What are you trying to accomplish? And, and ask them if, you know, for the people who brought a chair, well that's pretty good that people didn't bring a chair. So, you know, you got to think about bringing in a chair next time. But it was very important to me to understand, well, what, what lengths do people go to to be able to get served? And it helped me kind of frame some ideas about how we can actually get those people through the internet or through some other digital means to be able to achieve their objective without waiting outside. Uh, you know, essentially our retail establishment at the state.

Speaker 5: 14:20 Well, right after he took off as governor Newsome announced he was reef who was forming that is a DMV re-invention strike team and the team's report came out last month. What's happening with the number one item, which is what we're talking about wait times.

Speaker 6: 14:33 Well, a number of things are happening there. I mean if you think about wait times, uh, and the main driver of wait times today is really is going to be this push for real ideas. And you know, there's been this drum beat in the media to get people to get a real id. So we're trying to build up a series of strategies to get people to other services, whether they be kiosk, whether they be, uh, Internet services services. We can do VR call center, but getting them so they can use a channel that's most appropriate for the transaction they want to do, which is going to clear a path for the people that really need to come into the office. I think people default to the office and what we want to do is make sure that they're aware of all the other services that are available in their community.

Speaker 6: 15:10 And equally important, you know, mark, you know there are a number of people that think they need a real id. And think about your area. I mean, I'm not sure how broad your broadcast area, but think about San Diego in general, large military population. Almost every one of those people in the military has a military id, which is approved by Department of Homeland Security to be a to B in lieu of I California Real Id. So we want to encourage people that already have met the requirements for DHS to leverage those cards. Same for passwords. 60% of the people in California have a passport. Most of those are valid for an extended period of time like you or me. And there's no reason necessarily they go off and get out, get a real id.

Speaker 5: 15:46 And, and what about credit cards? Is the DMV taking them now?

Speaker 6: 15:49 Yeah. So we have our, our well, DMV takes credit cards on many fronts. We're finally going to take them at our field offices. Starting later this month. We have a test run, uh, with our selected vendor at the end of this month in Davis. And then we're going to roll them out throughout the remainder of the year.

Speaker 5: 16:04 All right. And the DMV numbers alone are daunting. 9,700 employees, 172 field offices, one point $3 billion budget, the DMV licenses, 27 million drivers registered, 35.7 million motor vehicles. How do you even start to revamp something so huge?

Speaker 6: 16:22 Well, I mean it's, it's big and those are just, those are the, the numbers I've heard on the retail side of the business. And we regulate, you know, the autonomous vehicle industry. We regulate commercial trucking. We have a various rules, regulations for traffic school. So we have a very, very large per view. And to be honest, as I think about this job, I thought about it or I looked at it through the lens that you know, that you just looked at it through, you know, based on number of people that get driver's license, vehicle registration. But we do a lot more. So now the question is actually a lot bigger than what you asked. And I'm trying to prioritize my, my approach where we're very focused on, you know, the striking report. Those guys did a great job of identifying, you know, the the targets we should, uh, we should attack and we're going to prioritize those to make sure that again, we clear that path for real id and for people that need to be in a, in a retail space, we need to enable, you know, all this stuff online we already talked about.

Speaker 6: 17:10 So we're trying to stay focused on the things that are, you know, high priority right here, right now.

Speaker 5: 17:15 Now one of the big problems has been the motor voter program, which produced tens of thousands of duplicate records. How do we know or do we know why that happened and what's being done about it?

Speaker 6: 17:25 Yeah. The, the amount of coordination required to make that work effectively was a mince. And did some things fall between the cracks? Absolutely. I think. But very quickly I think people understood what those issues were. They re they remedied those. And how we go forward, right? We have now formalized inner agency agreements, very clear control structure. So we know who's supposed to do what. When we test, we test across all the departments that are involved with those initiatives. So we make sure that goes in, comes out the way we want it to go. And it's kind of basic program management that, you know, we probably should've done a much better job on day one. The team did a, I think a great job considering that they were under a lot of pressure to generate an outcome right away. But I feel very confident with the control control structure we have in place now. The inner agency agreements we have between the different up departments and we have a QA process that I think is very tight. And I personally, you know, look at those numbers a lot with my team to make sure that the things that are coming through that pipe are the things that should be coming through that pipe. And I'm assuming each one of my partners are doing the same thing as well.

Speaker 5: 18:21 And will it be running smoothly by uh, the march primary coming up?

Speaker 6: 18:25 Oh absolutely. I mean to run it smoothly now we've registered over 5 million people to vote. I think the stuff that was published in the press recently was really a, a view from over a year ago. And so you know, really within a couple of months of that initial launch, these, these problems that we've talked about were identified are remedied. It's taken us a little while to get the interagency agreements working cause we, we've got a bunch of lawyers working on that but we want to make sure that we do that right. But we're watching it like a hawk. We're working, we were on the phone a couple of times a week between Secretary of state and the agencies that we work with at the state to make sure that the process works well. And again, the QA process, we're looking at that on a daily and weekly basis as a management team to make sure that you know, what's coming in is going out correctly

Speaker 5: 19:06 now, what would you like to see the DMV look like 10 years from now?

Speaker 6: 19:09 You know, we're again very laser focused on kind of the here and now and execution. But you can imagine that, you know, we want the DMV to be as modern as any enterprise. And I can't predict, you know, what Starbucks or others and other state agency are or your best service agency in the marketplace will do. But I will say this is that, you know, we, we certainly believe in digitizing everything that we do and that it comes down to digital experiences, digital ids. There's no, there's no reason that we should, you know, do things on paper that we should be able to recognize you from your mobile phone. We can authenticate you because you've, you've captured your credentials on your mobile device. I'm just speculating here where the technology will be and you should be able to, you'll use your, your mobile device or some other credential that's been authenticated and tied to you, uh, that will identify you wherever you go.

Speaker 6: 19:55 So whether it's a traffic stop or whether you need to renew something, you know, that should all be automatic and you should be able to do everything from your mobile phone. And that's been, you know, been tied to your personality, things like that. But I mean, coming into an office and processing paper, you know, that should be, that should be over with. I mean that should be maybe the rare exception where maybe there's a federal policy that requires, you know, wet ink on a piece of paper. But I'm not even sure that's gonna exist 10 years from now. Mark.

Speaker 5: 20:19 Well, I've been speaking with Steve Gordon, new director of the California Department of motor vehicles. Thanks very much for being with us,

Speaker 6: 20:25 mark. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 5: 20:44 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm mark and I'm jade

Speaker 1: 20:48 Hindman. Now that Labor Day is behind us, we head into another season and for California that is fire season. September and October are typically the worst months for wildfires. So how our fire officials preparing captain Thomas shoots with cal fire joins us with how they're getting ready. Captain shoots. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Um, now that we are headed into the peak of our fire season, what are you all expecting? [inaudible]

Speaker 7: 21:15 oh, we're expecting things to still have a huge potential. Um, we've been fortunate this season as a, as a lot of people have noticed. We haven't had a ton of fires, um, both in San Diego County and statewide. The numbers are, are drastically lower than last year. And so we're very excited about that. However, going into the late summer, early fall, we are still seeing a large fire potential. Um, we have what's called predictive services. They do a lot of weather analysis for us, looking at future trends and all kinds of stuff. And, uh, we do have a significant amount of wind events lined up or uh, potential wind events lined up for this time of year. And we, that's usually when we see the large acreage fires. And so we can't, can't quite let our guard down yet. We need to stay diligent.

Speaker 1: 21:59 And so how do you guys keep yourself guarded and prepared?

Speaker 7: 22:03 So we're, we're staffed up and ready to go. Um, I'll just use today as an example. We have, um, five helicopters available to us in the county. We have four fixed wing Erik aircraft. We have 26 engines, um, just on the cal fire side, um, throughout the county. And that's not even including our, our cooperators. The forest service is staffed up and ready to go. We have local government options, we have tribal options. And so we have a ton of resources available to us. Anytime something happens.

Speaker 1: 22:31 And you all have the use of a new aerial attack plane, how, how will that impact efforts to put out fires?

Speaker 7: 22:37 So the, the c one 34, um, is a new, uh, air tanker that we have down Ramona. They're currently using it as a training platform. Our official [inaudible] will be rolling out throughout the state in 2021, but they need to make sure the pilots are trained up and ready to go. So what they've done is they brought this, he won 30 down to Ramona so they can train up our, our pilots who are currently flying the stts and, and make sure that they're ready to go. So when the, the planes are good to go, our pilots are,

Speaker 1: 23:04 and you, you mentioned that so far the fire season hasn't been, uh, as bad. Uh, we had a very wet winter. Um, has that provided enough ground moisture to prevent some of these brush fires?

Speaker 7: 23:15 It definitely won't prevent it. It's, it's bought us time and, and that's why we've seen the low numbers so far. We've still had a ton of fires. Um, we have fires every day in San Diego County and, and luckily it doesn't pop up on the news because we keep them small and, and, uh, things are kind of handled because the weather has been cooperating. That being said, the fuels are still drying out. Um, we still have that potential out there. We just haven't had the weather line up, um, to, to really bring us something significant. So going into the fall, um, we still have a very dry fuels out there. We still have plenty of, uh, trees that have died off from bug kill that will not be coming back to life. And so those fuels will always present a problem for us.

Speaker 1: 23:54 MMM. You know, as construction spreads into areas like the back country, which would potentially be areas that more are more prone to fires. Um, does that present a bigger challenge for you?

Speaker 7: 24:05 Well, any kind of, any kind of a population in general is, is, uh, does complicate things a bit. Um, however, in, in San Diego, uh, with the amount of resources we have, we, we always go with aggressive fire attack. Um, we don't have the luxury that some other places in the state do where they able to manage fires and, and kind of watch them and let them do their thing. So we're going to aggressively, um, uh, fight these fires, whether, whether there's population out there or not. Because so much of San Diego County is, is surrounding populations. And ultimately we know that people need a place to live in. And there's a lot of people who want to be in San Diego County for for obvious reasons.

Speaker 1: 24:42 Sure. I mean, what can people do to help prevent fires? And is there anything people can invest in to protect their homes?

Speaker 7: 24:49 Definitely. So, so we have all the resources on our end and we're doing our part to make sure we're protected. But we do need people to step it up and make sure that they're providing the defensible space around their house. Um, that means cleaning out dead vegetation. If you jump on ready for wildfire.org, that's the callfire site, which will give you a bunch of tips. But the gist is this, don't have dead vegetation coming up to your house and harden in your home. Make sure that your home is ready to, to take, um, take on that, uh, that flaming front should, that should the need arise. We really need people to, to make sure their home is ready and make sure their vegetation surrounding their home, uh, gives them the, the best fighting chance. Uh, should a fire go through their area.

Speaker 1: 25:27 You know, is there any point in time where you are where we all can breathe a sigh of relief or are we now permanently in a situation where it's fire season, year round?

Speaker 7: 25:38 Really, once we see, um, those significant rains in the winter time, once we see a few inches on the ground and things are really saturated, I think, um, that's a very short window for us to take a deep breath, um, and uh, and, and, and kind of enjoy ourselves. But, but the reality of, of the state of California right now, um, is that we're always going to have that potential. We see, we saw the lilac fire happen late in the season. We saw the Thomas fire happen way late in the season. You know, these are, these are winter months and these fires are taken off. So, um, it's really gonna be dependent, but, but I guess, uh, the, the real big answer is, uh, it is not really, um, but we, uh, once we see those, those, uh, heavy wedding rains, we can, we can take, uh, take a short, brief last thing.

Speaker 1: 26:25 All right. I've been speaking with Captain Thomas shoots with cal fire captain shoots. Thanks so much for joining us.

Speaker 7: 26:31 Awesome. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 8: 26:35 Uh,

Speaker 1: 26:36 there are many ways life on this planet can be wiped out. Nuclear War and asteroid strike supervolcanoes a viral rogue artificial

Speaker 5: 26:44 intelligence. But the one getting widespread attention finally and most likely to ruin our planet over a relatively short time is climate change in his new book end times a brief guide to the end of the world. Author Brian Walsh writes about all of these threats and an excerpt from the book published in Time Magazine. The veterans science journalists focuses on the climate crisis specifically why it is we won't act now to save the planet's future. And Brian Walsh joins me via Skype from New York. Welcome to midday edition. It's great to be here. Well, the headlines hit us almost daily. Killer storms like Hurricane Dorian, record setting, wildfires, droughts, flooding, dire reports from the world's top climate experts aside from hardcore climate deniers of vast majority of thinking. People realize we must act now to save the planet. Yet we really aren't doing nearly enough. Why?

Speaker 9: 27:36 I think there's a number of reasons for that. Uh, one, you know, is, is a political system that makes that kind of action difficult. So even if you have, which I think we have now, a clear majority of Americans who want to take steps, who want to retread carbon emissions, who would probably want to see legislation passed. It's hard given the mechanics of the u s senate and of course the current OBGYN, the presidency to get that done. Uh, we saw that even with a Democratic president, Democratic Congress 10 years ago. But the bigger issue really is we have a hard time, I think contemplating these problems that feel part of the future. As you noticed, we're having issues with climate change right now. We can see it, we can see the more powerful storms, we can see higher temperatures, we can see drought and other events.

Speaker 9: 28:15 But you know, the, the ultimate impact of climate change will always be felt in the future. And that requires us to take present day action, present day, sacrifice, perhaps economically to pay off in the future. And that's something we just don't do very well as people both that way, whether it's a subject, whether it's something even as personal as saving for retirement. So that limitation really makes it very hard to act on this because we don't see the benefits immediately and therefore it's a lot easier to kind of put it out of our mind or just raises the bar to doing anything.

Speaker 5: 28:44 You're right that we have a difficult time empathizing with our future selves and generations to come. Are we just wired that way?

Speaker 9: 28:51 It seems that there's, that that's the case and perhaps that shouldn't be surprising. I mean, the future obviously isn't guaranteed to any of us. Uh, you know, we expect to live a certain amount of time, but we sort of know in the back of our minds that's not necessarily the case. Um, and of course, you know, we, we are wired to want instant returns. You know, we see that in the way we, I think the way we eat, the way we do or do not exercise and those kinds of things. So when it comes to something like climate change where you, where the actions we take now, by which I mean emitting carbon because the carbon will stay in the atmosphere for decades into the future, even centuries. That means that what we do now will have an impact on that far future. And you know, because we can't live to see it, I think it's hard to make it real.

Speaker 9: 29:30 Um, you know, we can say we obviously wouldn't, we would do anything for our children, our grandchildren, but we're talking about going even further than that. And so while we may want to, uh, there's always something in the present pulling us for more immediate, whether that's personal awards, political, and as a result, I think it just, it just limits our ability to do that. You know, we really have to work very hard cause I think any of us know from our own personal lives when it comes to things like this to really work for the future. And so when you're talking about getting the entire country together or really the entire world together, in the case of climate change, that's something that makes it just incredibly difficult. And I think that helps explain why despite all the sciences, but the evidence we're seeing with their own eyes, you just don't see that, that, that actually come together and you see carbon emissions continue to rise and you're right about the social discount rate a way.

Speaker 9: 30:12 It kind of was a value of the future. Explain that. How does it, how does that relate to climate change? It's a little bit like the opposite of, you know, an interest rate around investment. Uh, basically, you know what economists look and they see, they know where they feel, at least in terms of mainstream economics that you'd rather get paid now than see that down in the future. So that means if you look to see a benefit in the future or a cost, it's lessened with every passing year and the discount rate is the percentage of supply to it. Usually that's about 5%. That's kind of the median sort of arrange. And that may not sound huge, but what that means is that if you look, you know, a century from now, you know, which is a long way off, but you know, people born now will be alive in a centuries time, basically tremendous damage a century from now.

Speaker 9: 30:54 If you asked the economist how much should we spend to a verdict today, they'll actually say very little because we discounted that future so much. We really literally in economic terms do not value it that much. And then when you look even further, you know, two centuries say are further along. It starts to go to almost negligible to the point where at least according to mainstream economists, it doesn't pay to do much of anything to overt huge catastrophic trillions of dollars of damage down like a century or even more. Well, in addition to a series of dire climate warnings, the UN's international panel panel on climate change developed over a thousand scenarios for climate action, but a relative few keep warming below the critical two degrees Celsius increase. What's the nature of those successful scenarios? How could we actually do what's needed to be done? Those actually involve what are called negative emissions.

Speaker 9: 31:41 And that means actually removing carbon from the atmosphere. Usually when we focus on climate action, it's up. We want to reduce the carbon we're putting into the atmosphere. You know, we'd switching from coal to renewable energy for instance, but in this case it means actually acting to take that carbon out of the atmosphere. And there's a few ways to do that. You can do it with trees, you know, trees do that every day. So a massive forest street plan possibly could do it. Even better way would be do it through artificial means, what are, what's known as carbon removal. And that would actually be very useful because it could, it could sort of get around that old problem of, of working for the future. Because if we can actually now in the, in the present day take action to immediately reduce climate change, which is what would happen if we could take that carbon out of the atmosphere. We feel the benefits right away and we're much more likely to do something if we get that immediate gratification. The problem of course is that's not something yet that we know how to do now that economically there are some scientists who've worked on it who have some ideas and theories, but really we need a massive investment program around that kind of a Apollo project and Manhattan project, something like that, to get that going to the point where it becomes economically feasible. If we can do that, that's the fastest way to diffuse climate change.

Speaker 5: 32:44 Now, we talked about the failure of leadership across the planet here, right at the, at the time being, but what about young people, the 18 to 29 population who seem to get climate change? Can we at least hope that these upcoming leaders can do something today to convince us all to take action now?

Speaker 9: 33:00 I certainly hope so. You know, I think when you see people that grid a third bird though European 16 year old climate activists and recently crossed the ocean on a boat to come here to the United States to agitate for climate action, that makes me feel as if the next generation does really care about this. They really do focus on it. For them. It's equivalent to, you know, I'm, I'm 41 years old, you know, people a little bit older than I am. Remember the Cold War nuclear war. That was something we were focused on this as an existential threat. Definitely in this case for the younger people, climate change is that and I would hope and I, and, and think that as they come to power, they're going to bring different attitudes to it. That said, you know, they'll still have to fight that same difficulty of, of, of, of focusing on the future that we all do. I don't, that's not generational, that's human, but I think you can be sure that they care about it more. That will hopefully translate into political action. And then political action really is what will make the difference in the long run.

Speaker 5: 33:50 I've been speaking with Brian Walsh, author of the new book and Time's a brief guide to the end of the world. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Speaker 8: 33:59 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 34:00 access to primary health care is a fundamental need, but that access may be more challenging in the years to come. For most Californians, the state is on a precipice of a huge doctor shortage by 2030 researchers say the state could be down more than 10,000 primary care providers, including nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Inner cities and rural areas are already feeling the squeeze and it's going to get worse as part of our California dream collaboration. Elizabeth AG Dulera of cal matters reports.

Speaker 10: 34:35 Are you a shorter breath all the time or just when you get up and move around? I guess sometimes it comes and goes. Okay.

Speaker 11: 34:43 Dr Dan Dalley visits, we'll match Hasbro in the hospital where she's in longterm care. The 88 year old former operating room nurse used to work with dally.

Speaker 10: 34:52 I've been working there for 34 years and I'm a family practice physician.

Speaker 11: 34:58 Dolly cares for thousands of patients at the big valley health center in a part of the state where so few people live that it is considered frontier

Speaker 10: 35:05 here land. This valley is about as beautiful place you can get from his car. He pointed out the landmarks. You can see Mount Lassen over there in that direction and now chest to here. You can see two of the most beautiful mountains on the planet and all this area, farming and water and lakes out here and it used to be that this place would recruit itself,

Speaker 11: 35:28 not anymore. Dolly is 71 and has postponed his retirement over and over again waiting for a new doctor to arrive. His is not unique. High Medical School debt pushes future doctors towards specialties that pay more and new primary care doctors tend to practice in bigger cities, near medical centers or for large medical groups. It's a problem in the inner city too though. Not just agricultural meccas or bucolic settings with mountain views. It's difficult to find anyone in this area, but specifically doctors because there are, the shortage is everywhere. Shannon Garrick is CEO of mountain valleys, health centers, and then we have a problem because we're so remote and rural, so often providers will come on site to visit and they will say, oh, well we didn't know that it was this rural [inaudible]. An added challenge in rural counties is that doctors have to be able to do a lot. Dally Mans, the Big Valley Health Center in Bieber does a 24 hour shift in emergency room at the nearby hospital every week and does patient rounds most mornings at the hospital.

Speaker 10: 36:35 You have to be able to fly by the seat of your pants at times. You have to think on the run and you sometimes have to do things that are out of the ordinary.

Speaker 11: 36:46 He's done it all from delivering babies to saving people out in the woods. Dolly is a local celebrity of sorts up here. Friends and patients greet him everywhere he goes in the area, the market, the bar, restaurant,

Speaker 10: 37:00 what are you doing?

Speaker 11: 37:03 Wait when they pass him on the road. That's why it's been so hard for dally to retire right now. He's got his eye on a young doctor couple,

Speaker 10: 37:12 a lady who is in her third year of Ob Gyn residency at UC Davis and her husband is a family practice resident. Well, we're trying to recruit him back up here because that will be when I retire.

Speaker 11: 37:26 Sounds perfect except for one very big snag. The local hospital closed its obstetric department a few years ago and dally has been pushing hard to reopen it. Women in these parts travel more than 100 miles to deliver. One recent morning Dolly and patient will much Hasbro reminisced about their friendship.

Speaker 10: 37:45 How many years did we work together? Okay, got it. She's going to say too many working with you. We had London. Yes we did.

Speaker 11: 37:54 It's important to dally to leave his patients in good hands.

Speaker 10: 37:58 They're part of my family and they skew. That's what I do. You get a little tearful, but you know, because I've had so many people praise me and stuff. I mean, I don't need all the gratification and all that stuff, but I am so honored by the fact that they think that I'm a good doctor,

Speaker 11: 38:23 good doctors that are increasingly hard to find, not just in rural California, but across the state. And if nothing changes, that means longer wait times for patients traveling further to see a doctor or skipping care altogether from Bieber, California. I'm Elizabeth Aggie, Yulara

Speaker 12: 38:58 [inaudible].

Speaker 11: 39:02 You're listening to KPBS midday edition. I'm jade Hindman

Speaker 5: 39:05 and I'm mark Sauer. Game night can become a great family tradition, but in the new comedy slash horror movie, ready or not, that tradition takes on a lethal twist. KPBS arts reporter Beth Huck Amando devotes a recent edition of her cinema Junkie podcast to the movie and the trio of filmmakers behind it, Matt and Benton Ali, all Upenn, Tyler Gillette and Chan Velella make up the film collective called radio silence. Here's Beth with an excerpt.

Speaker 11: 39:34 Here's a little of the trailer for ready or not in which a young bride discover some of the family traditions she's about to marry into [inaudible].

Speaker 3: 39:41 Ooh. Ah, I can't believe that in half an hour I will be a part of the Domus scheming dynasty empire. A dominion for 2 million. I honestly can't wait to be a part of your family. [inaudible] there's just one more thing and then you are officially part of the family.

Speaker 11: 40:06 So

Speaker 3: 40:07 at midnight you have to play a game. Why is just something we do when someone new joins the family a game, what game? Hide and seek are really gonna play that. Wow. The rules are simple. You can hide anywhere. We then tried to find you. So there's no way for me to win. Right. Let me stay hidden. Told. Hold on. No thank you. Good luck.

Speaker 11: 40:33 I asked the radio silence guys to identify themselves when they spoke and they mostly do, but even when you're not sure who's talking, I think you'll be as entertained as I was by the energy, passion and craft these young filmmakers bring to the table. First of all, the name radio silence is interesting for a group of people that have decided to work in movies. So explain a little bit about what radio silence is and, and kind of, um, what the genesis of this group was.

Speaker 2: 41:01 Uh, we started working together 10 years ago now. This is Tyler. We started working together 10 years, uh, 10 years ago or so. The name of radio silence came about. Uh, it's sort of a, um, I mean I guess it's based on the way that we, that we all started working together. We had this very do it yourself mentality. And uh, as we were starting to get some followers for the stuff we were making yeah. Online, we were getting a handful of meetings around town and we were oftentimes having conversations with people and that would end with, uh, hey, we should work together on something. Let's, let's find a project to do. And we of course were saying yes to everything. We wanted, nothing more than to continue to make projects and we would say yes and then follow up and never hear back. Whole lot of no side [inaudible]. Okay. And, um, I think what it was just a reminder that for us to continue to make stuff, it was going to be about not asking for permission and to just go and do and tell the stories that we wanted to tell. It's been a reminder of how we started, but I think also a how we love to work, which is to just find something that we love and then pursue it until it's, until it's done.

Speaker 13: 42:08 So did you guys start with those online pranks and things like that? Was that where the, the group kind of had its big [inaudible]?

Speaker 2: 42:16 Yeah, yeah. No, we did, we started as Chad, Matt and rob. Our first chat man around video came out in July of 2007. That's Chad, by the way. Yes. Um, and uh, yes and we did the brain videos. We did a bunch of like random shorts that were kind of just all over the place. Uh, we did interactive adventures, which were choose your own adventure stories that kind of like, we're similar in theme and style and tone to what we did with ready or not. They kind of blended different elements of action and comedy and Zahra and whore, uh, into their shorts. But you, you know, there choose your own adventure style. So you get at the end of each video you got to choose another path to go down and hopefully you can make it there without dying.

Speaker 13: 43:02 And did you guys have formal film school education or did you just kind of jump into this?

Speaker 2: 43:09 Well Chad did not go to film school. I went to film school in Santa Cruz, which was more about, it was very, very art film based at the time when I was there in the 90s and Tyler went to slightly more traditional film school. But, but all in all we, we kind of have always treated our work as its own film school. And we started making stuff together. Chad was just saying, you know, we had no money. It was just time and ambition. So we'd get together and decide where we want to make and then go out and make it. And that usually involved us doing everything from getting the costumes to getting the food, to getting the camera to lighting it, gabbing it, every, everything was on us.

Speaker 13: 43:49 And how did ready or not come to you? Was this a project that you initiated or did it come to you a as a script?

Speaker 2: 43:55 I, yeah, it can feel us as a script actually twice the way it blended both elements of genre and also comedy was like something that we wanted to get back to doing. You know, we were coming off of found footage and we were coming off of south bound, which was a little bit more dark I would say. And we just wanted to get back to having fun. Yeah, I mean it doesn't matter. You know, the funds, the chance to play with this kind of commentary on the 1% and the length that they'll go to, which they'll go to maintain their wealth. And is there an implicit deal with the devil when you have obscene amounts of money? You know, those are all really fun semantics to play with. Yeah. And then this is Tyler. I think the other thing that we really were immediately drawn to was this script, uh, was such a page Turner.

Speaker 2: 44:42 But within it, there were all of these wildly unique obstacles and set pieces and characters and, and yeah. And the character that we're running the, those gauntlets were so interesting to us. There was a real opportunity for us as filmmakers to try to try something new to, to design sequences that we'd never seen before and to do them with characters that, um, that we genuinely loved and whose perspectives were, were interesting and bizarre. It's this, it's this wild ride that captivated us and how our attention from page one and we have such a cool opportunity to get to bring it all to life.

Speaker 12: 45:20 Okay.

Speaker 5: 45:20 The film ready or not as playing at theaters around San Diego. You can hear the rest of Beth's conversation where the guys have radio silence on her cinema junkie podcast. Find it@kpbs.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.