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Report to California Lawmakers: Prepare for sweeping effects of climate change

 April 8, 2022 at 2:41 PM PDT

S1: A warning about the looming costs of climate change in California.
S2: The report is focused on a number of different hazards that climate change has already worsened.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. A preview of the grand reopening of the Museum of Contemporary Arts La Hoya campus.
S3: San Diego are emerging from a very dark time in our history to see these incredible beacons , not just of new buildings , but of new hope.
S1: And Arts editor Julia Dixon Evans reports on the museum's new interior and first exhibition. That's ahead on Midday Edition. One California legislator calls it an all hands on deck report about the impact of climate change. The State Legislative Analyst's Office released reports this week that outline the effects of a changing climate on every aspect of life , from housing to education to public health. Legislators must now grapple with how to plan and budget for issues like school days lost and wildfires , infrastructure that is vulnerable to rising sea levels and rising death tolls from increasing heat. Joining me is Rachel Becker from Calmatters , who reported on the legislative analyst's findings. And , Rachel , welcome. Thank you.
S2: So that means heat , increased drought intensity , flood risk , wildfire severity , coastal flooding and erosion as seas continue to rise. And there are certainly economic consequences to all of those , including billions of dollars in property that's at risk of being underwater by 2050. But the report's also looked at how these hazards could really affect , as you said , all aspects of life for Californians. So economic impacts , yes , but also increased deaths from things like wildfire smoke and extreme heat , public health consequences and how those are distributed unequally , too. Among Californians , for instance , outdoor workers who are largely Latino and make up about 10% of California's workforce are going to be especially vulnerable to wildfire , smoke and extreme heat. So , you know , far reaching , but also unequal burdens of climate change for California.
S1: Let's break this down a little bit. Many of the impacts outlined in the report came from wildfires and some you wouldn't naturally think of. Yeah.
S2: Yeah. So the report's outlined health effects , for instance , from wildfire smoke , which may have killed about 20 people per 100,000 to older adults in 2020 by some preliminary estimates , and is projected to only get worse. But also school closures. And you can actually see some really brilliant coverage from my former colleague Ricardo Cano when he was at Cal Matters about the frequency of school closures because of disasters like wildfires. And the reports from the Legislative Analyst's Office really backed us up and found that more than 1600 schools temporarily closed because of wildfires and other disasters each year between 2017 and 2020 , which affected nearly a million students every year. And that was a massive increase over prior years and disrupts , obviously , education , but also access to free meals and child care.
S2: And I'm quoting that part. California will also really need to figure out how to balance kind of the need of new housing with also where to build it to avoid rising seas and also wildfire risk in the San Francisco Bay area , for instance. The report's included a study that found thousands of housing units and job spaces may no longer be usable over the next 40 to 100 years because of sea level rise and lower income Californians who live in communities that are already at greater risk for heat and floods because of historical discriminatory housing practices , there can be especially at risk to the soaring temperatures of smoke , worsen air quality and will have fewer resources to adapt. We'll see the sea continue to eat away at our coast so beaches will disappear. Really far reaching consequences.
S1: Now , California has already been budgeting billions of dollars for climate mitigation.
S2: So not just focusing on mitigation , you know , the policies aimed at cutting greenhouse gases , but focusing on adaptation , not just in the environmental sphere , not just in the natural resources sphere , but also in areas where people might not expect climate change to affect them , including education , health , housing , transportation.
S2: Looking at. California's landmark climate market and whether it's strong enough to achieve the state's greenhouse gas goals. They've looked at threats of sea level rise and the costs of delaying action. These reports did not have any explicit policy recommendations , and they did not focus on mitigation. So instead , they focus on how California will need to adapt to climate change consequences that are already here and expect it to worsen. Okay.
S1: Okay.
S2: I think it remains to be seen. You know , when one state senator told me that he intends to use it as a resource , as he crafts policy and spending proposals , and , you know , there's still plenty of time this year to see how California's lawmakers will use this report between the budget and the continuation of the legislative session. So we'll just have to stay tuned.
S2: And you can also look at our coverage at Calmatters.
S1: All right , then. I've been speaking with Rachel Becker from Calmatters. And Rachel , thank you so much.
S2: Thank you.
S1: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH. The Museum of Contemporary Art , San Diego will reopen their La Hoya campus on Saturday after a major renovation that began in 2018. KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans has a preview of the new museum and its first special exhibition.
S4: Even the museum's architecture is a work of art at a time when the arts feel essential. San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria spoke in front of the museum this week.
S3: San Diegans are emerging from a very dark time in our history to see these incredible beacons , not just of new buildings , but of new hope. And a real testament to the fact that we are a big global city capable of doing amazing , incredible things.
S4: The New York based firm Sal Dorf Architects quadrupled the gallery space by excavating underground and even moving a large tree on the property. They also transformed the historic but underused Sherwood Auditorium. Kathryn Cornejo is the museum's director and CEO.
S2: Almost 50% of our space.
S1: Was dedicated was dedicated to.
S2: Performance , which isn't our main line of business , if you will. You know , we're we're an art museum with showing visual art objects. So we.
S1: We made the.
S2: Decision to transform the auditorium into gallery spaces.
S4: With 40,000 square feet of gallery space. They now have plenty of room to show their extensive collection. M60 is committed to the art of our time , including works by artists in our region. One striking area , new gallery , holds an impressive amount of California light and space artists. That's a movement of painters and sculptors that spans the 1950s through the 1970s. There's Craig Hoffman , Mary Corse , Duane Ballantine and San Diegan Robert Irwin , to name a few. Irwin was a leader in the movement and has a significant amount of work on view. His beloved site specific 1997 work. One degree. Two degrees. Three degrees. Four degrees is back on view. It cuts several squares into an all the way through the windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The works on display show a commitment to regional artists , not just Irwin or other nationally recognized names like John Baldessari , but also works by Andrea Chang , by Toronto born Solomon Horta and dozens more. It's all part of a world class collection with works by Mark Rothko , Andy Warhol , Ellsworth Kelly and a new acquisition by Yayoi Kusama. One of the.
S2: First pieces the public is going to see when they walk into the building is is a new gift. It is a outsized gourd , a pumpkin by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. So it's reflective stainless steel and it's polka dotted with kind of pastel hues. And it's it greets the visitor as soon as you walk in the front door.
S4: The first special exhibition to be installed is an extensive survey of the 1960s work of Nikita Sam Fall. The French-American artist lived in San Diego for about a decade until her death in 2002. San Diegans know her for her vibrant sculptures like the Nikki Gator in Balboa Park or Queen California's Magic Circle in Escondido. But the exhibition shows another side of the artist's repertoire. In the sixties , she was making radical and feminist work , working with found objects , constructing large scale sculptures that depict the female body and her shooting paintings to make these same forward firsts conceal bags of paint in her works and coat everything with white plaster. She and others would.
S2: Shoot at these constructions with. A.
S4: A.
S2: Borrowed 22 caliber rifle , and then the pigment would explode dramatically and drip and splatter.
S4: That was still Dassey , co-curator of the exhibition. She says that the amount of experimentation in St Paul's work was groundbreaking.
S2: Doing these things that women 5 to 10 years later in the context of the feminist movement , particularly in the United States , do and she's she's working in this masculine context and arriving at many of the same ideas. And it's just incredible how ahead of her time she is.
S1: That was reporting from KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. The Museum of Contemporary Arts grand reopening in La Jolla is this Saturday with free admission all weekend. There will be a ribbon cutting entertainment and self-guided tours of the galleries. On Sunday , the first family friendly Probus Play Day is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with hands on art making. And joining me now is KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. And welcome , Julia.
S4: Hi , Maureen. Thanks for having me.
S1: You report that the museum now has 40,000 square feet of gallery space.
S4: And now at 40,000 , that puts it much closer to places like the Whitney in New York , which really is a world class space. It's still just a slice of those really vast museums. So like SFMOMA , that one is something like 170,000 feet. But AMC , AC feels like it has multiple stories and so many smaller gallery rooms , especially with the art installed. There's the sense of endlessness , like a way. There's more. And I think that really speaks to the design , to the architecture , and also the collection , like the types of work that are on view and the way they are thoughtfully arranged. They have over 200 works on view right now in the space , but the collection they have is around 4700 works.
S1: Admission isn't free. It's $20 for residents and $25 for visitors. What are some ways that they are making it accessible then ? Right.
S4: So for San Diego and Tijuana residents , it's $20 and seniors and students are discounted. It's free for children 17 and under EBITA and SNAP users and for military is free. And once a month they have a free press play day that's on a Sunday for families. And it even starts this weekend , this Sunday. And also a monthly free third Thursday evening event that starts this month on the 21st. They've also kept the vaccine court , which you may remember was added in the nineties , and that is a free public gallery space. Right now there's a pretty large exhibition of works from or about the border region that's there , and that also connects to the outdoor sculpture garden.
S1: In addition to all those works from the museum's collection. They're kicking things off with a major exhibition of Nike. Just some false works from the 1960s.
S4: And that is all work from a particular period in her career as well. The 1970s and eighties and for Nikita san for the 1960s were a really formative period for her as well as for contemporary art. And this is their co-curator , Jill Darcy.
S2: Son begins making this incredibly experimental and radical work in the 1960s.
S4: She's doing so.
S2: Both from this position of having encountered Jackson Pollock and Abstract Expressionism , his drip paintings , which also was a very masculine way of making a painting and a very like this very gestural and physical way of making a painting. And we can see Nikki to some samples , shooting paintings , really as a reinterpretation of that.
S1: Part of the Nikita Samsel exhibition is the collection of Nonna's , her larger than life sculptures depicting the female form. Tell us about that. Right.
S4: Right. And there's definitely a lot of evolution in her nanas and in the exhibition , you can actually see the point in her work where she moves from such a tortured form of femininity into more joy and defiance. There is this ghostly bride constructed from a bunch of kind of unsettling toys and found objects. There's all these monsters and witches in some of these early works , and then she starts moving towards just these vibrant , oversized round women and birthing figures. And I definitely see them as precursors to some of the figurative , the fantastical sculptures we see here in her later work.
S1: Sam Fall has a dark past. It's hard to square that up with the colorful sculptures she's made in San Diego. Many of those sculptures with the intent for children to climb and play on.
S4: And this was actually something that co-curator Jill Darcy said they took into consideration as they focused the exhibition. This show does. Not.
S2: Not.
S4: Try to get.
S2: Into St Paul's biography too much. Most of the exhibitions of her work have focused on her biography and use that as the main lens to interpret her work. We don't try to ignore her biography. We talk about it in the catalogue , but we also want to talk about her work the same way in which we talked about Jasper Johns , that the work of Robert Rauschenberg , her initial female figures that are so kind of tormented , it's because she's questioning these. And she's questioning patriarchal structures.
S4: And I also spoke with Rob Sydnor , who is the executive director and CEO of the Mingle. And he worked with Semple for about a decade while she lived here. And he said that in San Diego , what we're seeing is the result of a long process of healing.
S5: She often said that her art had kept it from killing somebody. It had helped her to work through her great anger and the early work of Nikki. It was very strong and quite violent. We saw mainly her joyous work , the nanas and all the color. And most people think of Nikki as as a joyful artist. A playful artist may not realize what she worked through and how art really did save her life.
S1: The Museum of Contemporary Art , San Diego reopens its La Hoya campus tomorrow , and the Nikki just south fell in the 1960s. Exhibition will be on view through July 17th. Admission to the museum is free this weekend. I've been speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dixon Evans. And thank you , Julia.
S4: Thank you , Marin. Have a great weekend.

From housing and health to transportation and education, the Legislative Analyst’s Office provides a litany of sobering climate change impacts for California legislators to address as they enact policies and set budgets. Plus, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will reopen its La Jolla campus this weekend, after a major renovation that began in 2018. We have a preview.