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Local Dive Boat Captain Reacts To Conception Boat Fire, Says Charters Are Safe Plus More Local And State News

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There is still no word on what caused the boat fire off the Santa Barbara coast that left 34 people presumed dead. Local charter boat operators said tragic incidents like these are extremely rare. Also, San Diego is entering a dangerous phase of its wildfire season, a new California law that goes into effect in January will give consumers more control over their personal data online, and the governor has appointed a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur as the new head of the DMV.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 It's Wednesday, September 4th I'm Deb Welsh and you're listening to San Diego news matters from KPBS coming up. Still no word on what caused the deadly boat fire off the Santa Barbara Coast. But local charter operators say such tragedies are extremely rare and predictions about the end of the world.

Speaker 2: 00:18 Remember the Cold War nuclear war, that was something we were focused on this tag, this an existential threat. Definitely in this case for the younger people, climate change. Is that

Speaker 1: 00:26 that more coming up right after the break?

Speaker 3: 00:31 [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 00:33 thank you for joining us for San Diego News Matters. I'm Deb Welsh. While there's still no word yet on what caused the deadly boat fire near Santa Barbara that left 34 people presumed dead. Many in the diving and charter boat industry say they work hard to prevent tragic incidents like these KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman spoke to one local diving boat. Captain.

Speaker 4: 00:55 Devastating. Really, I mean, you know, there's been incidents and accidents on these boats over the years, but nothing of this magnitude at all.

Speaker 5: 01:03 John Conniff owns the islander appoint Loma base charter boat that take people on diving trips to see great white sharks. He says charter boats are required to have crew members on watch at all times and have firefighting systems and smoke alarms on board.

Speaker 4: 01:15 You know, we have protocols and systems set up for these emergencies.

Speaker 5: 01:19 Kondo says the industry is heavily regulated and wants people to know charter boats are safe.

Speaker 4: 01:23 If you're not compliant, you can't go out. You literally can't leave the dock. So I, it's well-regulated. And as far as incidents like this, I mean I've been in this industry for 25 years now. I've never seen anything like this.

Speaker 5: 01:35 Matt Hoffman, k PBS News,

Speaker 1: 01:37 September's arrived in San Diego. Fire officials are bracing for the possibility of extreme fire conditions. KPBS reporter Eric Anderson tells us about the seasonal Santa Ana winds and the dangers they pose.

Speaker 5: 01:51 Cal fire officials say that the most dangerous part of the fire season is here. September, October and November are typically some of the hottest months in the region. Cal fires. Thomas chutes says local firefighters have had a good year so far. He says both the number of fires and the acres burned are down this year.

Speaker 4: 02:10 We're able to throw a ton of resources at them very quickly. We're able to, um, typically make a stop very quickly and, and we have a sufficient amount of resources to handle that.

Speaker 5: 02:19 Shoots says cal fire's ability to fight fires is hurt during Santa Ana wind conditions. That's when dry hot desert air rushes over the mountains frequently pushing embers well beyond fire breaks. Eric Anderson KPBS News,

Speaker 1: 02:35 the California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect January 1st. As KPB has science and technology reporter Shelina Celani explains the legislation will give consumers more control over their personal data online. The bill approved last year is actually a compromise. While consumer advocacy groups wanted the privacy regulations to be more stringent, online retailers and other large tech companies pushed back.

Speaker 6: 03:00 But the current version certainly isn't lax. Consumers can still ask larger companies selling their data to destroy that information. And that can be tricky because there's a variety of data companies are collecting. It says, Mark Castalano, a cyber expert at the University of San Diego,

Speaker 7: 03:16 not just our, our, um, names and addresses and things like this, but you know where we're traveling and you know what our various preferences are in various areas.

Speaker 6: 03:28 Castalano says this gray area may make it challenging for businesses, including many in San Diego to figure out how to comply with the legislation. Shelina Trelawney KPBS news

Speaker 1: 03:39 police use of force has been one of the most contentious issues in California's capitol this year. Capitol Public Radio, Scott Rod reports on a bill that would mandate new training for law enforcement.

Speaker 8: 03:51 Governor Gavin Newsome signed legislation last month that changes the standard for when police can use deadly force in California. Proponents say the law will hold more officers accountable when they use excessive force, but it companion bill is still making its way through the capitol. It would make every local law enforcement agency conduct trainings consistent with the law signed by Newsome. The state would reimburse local agencies for any costs. The bill would also require officers to intervene if they witness a fellow officer using excessive force. The bill awaits a vote on the assembly floor. Any changes must be approved by the Senate before it moves to the governor's desk in Sacramento. I'm Scott Rod,

Speaker 1: 04:27 a longtime fixture and San Diego broadcasting died over the weekend. KPBS SLE Hicks. It says, for years, George Chamberlain made it his business to bring us the day's business. If he turned on your radio in the morning, he was there serving as business editor and host of money in the morning on Cogo. If he turned on your TV in the morning, George Chamberlain was there as money advisor for NBC seven you could also find him in the North county times and the San Diego transcript. Chamberlain worked for two Wall Street firms for 15 years before hitching his start. A broadcasting Chamberlain who received numerous awards and commendations was honored three times by the small business administration as the media advocate of the year. Chamberlain was 73 when he lost his battle with cancer. Sally Hixon KPBS News, there are many ways that life on this planet can be wiped out. Nuclear War and asteroid strikes, supervolcanoes viral disease author Brian Walsh writes about all of these threats and his new book in times a brief guide to the end of the world. But the existential threat that's getting the most widespread attention is climate change. While spoke with KPBS as Mark Sauer about the threat of climate change and why we are working harder to fight it and protect our planet's future,

Speaker 2: 05:48 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 background 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 your, where the actions we take now, by which I mean emitting carbon, because that 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. Um, you know, we can say we obviously wouldn't, we would do anything for our children or grandchildren, but we're talking about going even further than that.

Speaker 2: 06:29 And so while we may want to, uh, there's always something in the present pulling us for more immediate gratification, uh, 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 as 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 our own eyes, you just don't see that, that that actually come together. And UC carbon emissions continue to rise.

Speaker 9: 07:03 Well, in addition to a series of dire climate warnings, the UN's international 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?

Speaker 2: 07:22 Those actually involve what are called negative emissions and that means actually removing carbon from the atmosphere. A, 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. Uh, 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'd 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. Not Economically. There are some scientists who have worked on it who have some ideas and theories, but really we need a massive investment program around that kind of a Apollo project or a 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 9: 08:27 Now, we talked about the failure of leadership across the planet here, a at the, at the time being, but what about young people, 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 2: 08:43 I certainly hope so. You know, I think when you see people that go a third bird though European 16 year old climate activists who 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 and 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 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. That's not generational, that's human, but I think you can be sure that they care about it more. That will hopefully translate in political action than political action really is what will make the difference in the long run.

Speaker 1: 09:33 That was Brian Walsh, author of the book in Times a brief guide to the end of the world. Talking with KPBS is Mark Sauer. Thanks for listening to San Diego News matters. If you're not already a subscriber, take a minute to become one. You can find San Diego news matters on apple, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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San Diego News Matters

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.