The Buzz 08.09.18
GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK
For years, the promise of better train service to Salinas has been purely conceptual. That changes at 11am on Aug. 9 when the Transportation Agency for Monterey County holds a groundbreaking ceremony to put a shovel in the ground on the Monterey County Rail Extension project, which will offer two round-trips daily from Salinas to Gilroy. The idea is to extend Caltrain service further south, and offer an alternative commute to Silicon Valley. The $81 million project includes some rail improvements, but mostly improves access to the existing station, TAMC planner Christina Watson says: “It’s going to really transform the train station and make it a nicer place to be.” Speakers at the groundbreaking include State Transportation Agency Deputy SecretaryChad Edison, Assemblymember Anna Caballero and TAMC Director Debbie Hale.
As wildfires rage across California (again), the headlines of major media outlets are finally acknowledging what has long been in plain sight: With climate change making the West hotter and drier, wildfires will continue to grow more frequent and destructive. A snapshot of the warming planet came with the Aug. 1 annual State of the Climate report led by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which compared 2017’s weather to past years. Globally, it was the third-hottest year on record (2016 was first; 2015, second), and had the highest greenhouse gas concentrations in at least 800,000 years. Among other tidbits: Arctic maximum sea ice coverage and Antarctic sea ice coverage both reached a record low. In turn, sea level rise reached an all-time high, and is rising at about 1.3 inches per decade. Buckle up, folks.