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Wildfires Speed Up Environmental Groups Call For State To Combat Climate Change Faster, San Diego Zoo Rethinking Conservation Strategy And Weekend Arts Events

 September 18, 2020 at 9:53 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 An urgent push to wean California off of fossil fuels. Speaker 2: 00:04 100% carbon free sources by 2030. Speaker 1: 00:09 I'm Mark Sauer infer, Maureen Kavanaugh. This is KPBS midday edition. San Diego zoo global is shifting the focus of its conservation efforts. Speaker 2: 00:30 Wildlife helps the wildlife and it also helps the community. Speaker 1: 00:34 Our weekend preview features in person gallery experiences, virtual theater and dance, and a string quartet streaming tunes from the star of India. That's all I had on KPBS midday edition Speaker 1: 01:00 Touring sites of California's latest hell storms on September 11th. Governor Gavin Newsome declared quote, this is a climate damn emergency. Now environmental groups are calling the state's mandate to be carbon free by 2045 woefully inadequate they're beseeching Newsome to greatly accelerate our transition from fossil fuels. Robin Nicole esky energy reporter for the San Diego union Tribune explained the details in a story today, and he joins me now. Rob, welcome back to midday edition. Always good to talk to you, Mark. We'll start by describing California's current energy goals that are laid out in 2018 Senate bill 100. When is the state supposed to be using energy? That's 100% carbon free. And how are we going to get that done? Speaker 2: 01:43 Yeah, well, the, the current mandate is that, uh, we'll get by, uh, in the next 10 years, SB 100 mandates at 60% of the state's power will come from renewable sources now that by 2045 bumps up to 100%, but it's 100% carbon free. And that's an interesting and important distinction cause renewables like solar and wind, uh, there are renewable sources, but they're also intermittent and that's been one of their issues is because when the wind doesn't blow, we don't get much wind production. And, uh, solar production is terrific during the day, but you don't get any solar production at night. So how do you get to 100% by 2045? Is there some wiggle room there in the, um, in the mandate for SB 100 in which you can also count carbon free sources, uh, to get to that 100% goal. Now carbon free sources can be renewables as we mentioned, but also can be large hydroprojects Speaker 1: 02:48 Environment, California and other environmental groups thinks this isn't good enough. What do they recommend? Speaker 2: 02:54 Well, they want to see the, uh, 20, 45 deadline. So to speak moved up by 15 years up to 2030, because they say, when you look at what happened with the hell storms, as you mentioned that your intro about, uh, all the wildfires have been going on in California and also throughout the West, but they say this is impetus to move forward and to get to 100% carbon free sources by 20, 30, 15 years ahead of time. So that's what, that's what they're pushing for. Speaker 1: 03:29 And less than 10 years from now, and this plan, isn't going over very well with some legislators, including Democrats. What are their arguments? Speaker 2: 03:36 Well, I talked to assembly member, Jim Cooper, who's from the Sacramento South of suburb of elk Grove. And I talked to him because when the state had the rolling blackouts, uh, last month, those brief rolling blackouts, he went to Twitter and was pretty active on, on what he saw, where some of the issues he was a Democrat. Um, but he's skeptical about whether or not we can get to 100% renewables by 2030. He's not an energy expert, admittedly, he says, but he says that, um, he doesn't think that we can get to, uh, all renewable sources right now. And he thinks that 2030 might be pushing it. Speaker 1: 04:18 And governor Newsome seems to side with the environmentalist. He respectfully clashed with president Trump during a meeting in the Bay area this week, the governor declared he has no patience now for climate change deniers like Trump is Newsome ready to campaign to accelerate California's energy transition. Speaker 2: 04:35 That's a big question. I mean, but the indications are that he might, because at that same time where you said, this is a damn climate emergency, he also said, uh, across the entire spectrum, our state goals are inadequate to the reality we are experiencing. So that seems to indicate that he wants to move or accelerate the state goals. But didn't say that explicitly. And that's what environment California really hung their hat on was they said, look, we saw an opening here with the governor saying that we need to accelerate our goals. And what they're suggesting is to move this up 15 years instead of 2045 to 2030, the big question is going to be a, can we do that from an engineering standpoint and B if even if it can be done, can it be done affordably? Speaker 1: 05:23 And there are daunting challenges, obviously with all this start with energy storage, that means batteries, but it also means creative solutions like hydroprojects using pumping stations, presumably fueled by green energy. How does that work? Speaker 2: 05:36 Well, that's one of the, um, if you're going to try to get to 100% carbon free sources and which basically means you're going to be trying to make up for, or eliminate natural gas production, natural gas is the largest single source of electricity production in California. It's more than 30. What we should, Speaker 1: 05:58 What we can do to make up for that loss of natural gas. They start looking at things like battery storage. So to directly to your point, pumped hydro is a possibility that you were derive a lot of electricity from what you get with pump. Hydro is you have hydroelectric facilities and they pump water from one reservoir up to another reservoir. And then they release the water and they turn generators. And that produces electricity. The other big area that, uh, that, that people see as a possible replacement for fossil fuel energy would be battery storage. And that would be lithium ion batteries. But if you could soar that store, that energy up with batteries, then at nighttime, when we're not producing solar, you can release that energy from batteries. Well, we're out of time, but there's a lot more moving parts to all this transmission lines are another issue and how we're going to pay for all this, the cost of it. And you get at that in your story. I'd recommend folks go to the union Tribune website or and take a look at that today. And, and there'll be an update on this. Uh, you say, uh, the first of next year on SB 100 and a what our timetable is to transition away from fossil fuels. I've been speaking with Rob Nikolsky energy reporter for the San Diego union Tribune. Thanks Rob. Thanks Mark. [inaudible] Speaker 1: 07:35 San Diego zoo global is shifting the focus of its conservation efforts, KPBS environment reporter Eric Anderson says the multimillion dollar organization plans a more holistic approach to helping threatened species. The San Diego zoo Safari parks nine African elephants were already seeking out shade early on a recent morning. Great. Speaker 3: 07:56 Now, as we've got, Zuli lying down in a big soft pile of dirt, Speaker 1: 08:00 Senior keeper, Mindy Albright smiles as the youngest member of the herd tries to relax. Speaker 3: 08:07 He's had his morning breakfast. He just had some milk from his mom and now it's nap time, just like we would like to do right about now Speaker 1: 08:15 One year old McKayla lumbers over and sits on the smaller elephant. Zuli the, her clusters around the youngsters in a small spot of shade. Speaker 3: 08:25 They're touching each other. Their trunks are inspecting the ground. They're very sensitive with their skin, even though it's thick and their feet. So they're feeling where they're putting their body so that they don't step on Zulily. Speaker 1: 08:37 The elephants eventually leave this area and move to an adjacent compound. Their visitors can get a peek at these giant mammals as the pack of derms, focus on finding and devouring. The treats keepers left for them. They're also helping elephants thousands of miles away for more than a year. Albright and her team have collected milk from the lactating moms. So that that milk can be analyzed by researchers at UC San Diego. Speaker 3: 09:07 Just like for humans, when you first give birth, the milk has a very specific makeup or composition about it. And then as the calf grows, that milk formula is going to Speaker 1: 09:21 Knowing the exact kind of milk to give an orphaned elephant calf can be the difference between life and death and the [inaudible] elephant sanctuary in Kenya depends on the information there's workers, they're mixed formulas for orphaned calves. Speaker 3: 09:40 They get a sick or injured animal. Sometimes I don't know exactly how old it is because it could be malnourished week. It's really critical that they know around what age that calf is, so that they can determine what the milk formula is that they're making Speaker 1: 09:54 Right says elephant numbers are dwindling in the wild and research in San Diego could help Nadine lamb Bursky is the zoo's new chief conservation officer Speaker 2: 10:03 Coexisting with wildlife helps the wildlife, and it also helps the community. Speaker 1: 10:08 She says, the research on elephant milk in San Diego will have a tangible impact at [inaudible]. Speaker 2: 10:14 This is the first community run elephant sanctuary in all of Africa. This is, um, a facility that is completely staffed by, by the folks that live in the community. And they have lived amongst elephants, their entire lives. That relationship has it always been a positive one Speaker 1: 10:33 Lamb Bursky says conservation allows the community to embrace the wildlife in their region instead of fighting against it, cultivating that conservation ethos will in turn, help, create economic opportunities around the reserve and in the nearby community. Speaker 2: 10:49 Really trying to connect that work saving species to increasing biodiversity, which will really help our planet as a whole Speaker 1: 10:59 Pivot is not an about face research to protect endangered species will continue, but zoo president and CEO, Paul Berra bolt says when the organization moves forward, the focus will be more holistic. Speaker 2: 11:12 Our goal is to take the care that we practice every day, protecting and maintaining wildlife and bring that to the field Speaker 1: 11:21 Bearable doesn't expect an easy transition. And he says there are unknowns as the organization decides where to put its research, Speaker 2: 11:28 How should we work with partners? How do we collaborate with communities on the ground, other NGOs? And it's such an incredible, comprehensive approach that I looked at and said, that's how we need to show up around the world, across all of our work, including here in San Diego, in our own backyard. Speaker 1: 11:44 Once the overall approach to the zoo's conservation initiatives to consider more than just the threatened species, he wants to integrate the zoo's animal care with consideration of communities and habitats, where those animals live. Eric Anderson, KPBS news, I'm Mark Sauer. You're listening to KPBS midday edition. The new normal in the arts and culture scene in San Diego is an ever evolving mix of formats. And this weekend has it all from in-person gallery experiences, virtual theater and dance, and the string quartet streaming tombs from a boat directly to your landlocked home. Joining me is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans, with all the details. Welcome, Julia, let's start with the visual arts world. We're seeing galleries and museums opening up for small groups and appointment-based viewings. How does this work? And what's going on this weekend? Speaker 4: 12:48 Yeah. So since around mid summer, we've seen some galleries offer these appointment only viewings where individuals or small groups get access to the space. Well, nobody else is in there. Um, some of our smaller galleries in town already had such narrow open hours pre COVID that they already had these appointment systems set in place. But, um, with bigger museums struggling throughout the summer to balance their own opening plans, these appointment only models have quietly stuck around and Luxe art Institute. And Encinitas is just reopening today with a strict reservation system. And the upside is these visits are free. Speaker 1: 13:31 Well, what's on display at Luxe. Speaker 4: 13:33 Yeah. They're opening to new exhibitions from their artists in residence model one is Cosmo white. Who's a Jamaican born artist, blending sculpture, drawing, photography, performance art, and these major installation works. He works to explore identity his own body, and his works often build on something mundane, even kind of kitschy everyday things or furniture. And, um, regional artists believes eras stay. She divides her time between San Diego and then Sonata she'll display her ceramics and mixed media works there. All of these beautiful sculptures and she really pulls on materials and techniques from her varied influences. Speaker 1: 14:16 It works by Cosmo white and believes their stair now on display at Lux art Institute to view with advanced reservations Thursday through Saturday from two to 5:00 PM and the Hospin quartet returns to the ship, the Berkeley at the maritime museum this weekend. But of course, things are a little different. Tell us about this performance. Speaker 4: 14:37 There are heightened voyages series is usually are really lovely performance from a board, the Berkeley, uh, with string quartet music by yes, Haydn, but also some of his contemporaries as well as newer modern works. This weekend's performance worldly travelers has already been recorded on the boat to an empty performance space. And it'll be streamed to viewers at home. The selections are pretty diverse. There's LA 17 hundreds concerto by Chevallier the st. George who worked with Haydn, but he was also one of the first noted composers of African descent. I have a clip here of his quartet, concert talent in B flat major [inaudible]. And there's also a piece by a young Iranian composer. Aftab Dovie she based her composition on a poem it's haunting and hypnotic. And I really nice contrast to the older stuff. And they'll round it out with a really one sickle Haydn quartet. One of the last ones he wrote Speaker 1: 16:12 And the husband quartets heightened voyages stream Sunday at 4:00 PM. We also have a dance film series kicking off this weekend. Speaker 4: 16:21 Yeah. And I'm really loving the popularity dance film as a genre is getting well. These performance venues are shut down. The Roslyn box project has delivered a steady stream of new works, and they're launching a film series for weekends where a new dance film is released each week at first is the long good bye. And it's set in the stunning old house with spooky institutional looking corridors, puzzle like staircases. And what I love about dance film is how it can really hold the narrative of storytelling and film, but also kind of play with the abstract, go a little obscure and plotless if they want. And the rosin box projects offering up these films with seasoned subscriptions for all of their upcoming programming, Speaker 1: 17:08 The Roslyn boxes in focus, dance film series kicks off tonight, online with the long goodbye. Finally, Moxie theater is back there presenting a new place, staged in stream to audiences at home. Tell us about the niceties. Speaker 4: 17:22 Yeah. So Moxie is launching these performances beginning Saturday have Eleanor Burgess's 2018 play. It's a two person show directed by Maxis co-founded DeLuise had turned her Sonnenberg, the plays about two women. One's a young black student and the other is her white professor. And the entire thing hinges around a meeting between them to discuss the student's paper about the American revolution. I love the, that a single setting can unravel to fill a play and it pulls on these themes of race, feminism, politics, and more, and to tackle those issues with the audience. Moxies also framing each show with a Q and a and discussion as well. Speaker 1: 18:05 Certainly sounds timely. And the Moxie theater presents the niceties Thursday through Saturday at 7:00 PM and Sunday at 2:00 PM. With more performances through October 4th, for more arts events visit the KPBS arts calendar or sign up for the weekly KPBS arts slash arts. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. Thanks Julia. Thanks Mark. Have a good weekend.

The devastating wildfires around the state are causing environmental groups to lobby for California to move up its timetable for carbon-free energy. Plus, San Diego Zoo officials are changing the way they think about what’s involved when they step in to help endangered species. And this weekend’s arts events around town have a mix of in-person and virtual experiences.