It’s shaping up to be a busy week, another in a string of busy weeks that’s seen me traveling around the state. Sitting on trains and planes provides an opportunity to catch up on reading and I’ve got a few recommendations to start off your week.

In case you missed them, a few stories I’ve been reading. Primary focus: Southern California.


The next Napa? Chinese money is pouring into the wine industry in a quiet area of Southern California’s Inland Empire. Investors are betting that Temecula – with its proximity to Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego – may be the next big wine region. “Compared to Napa and Sonoma, we’re like a little baby,” said Terri Delhamer, a leading real estate broker… An interesting read by David Pierson for the Los Angeles Times.


Small beetle is a big threat to So Cal’s urban trees. Also appearing in the Los Angeles Times…a #mustread piece about how a small beetle could fell up to 27 million trees from Ventura County to the Mexican border. The polyphagous shot hole borer is a danger to California oaks, avocado, and citrus trees, among others. It’s a big deal.

“We’re witnessing a transition to a post-oasis landscape in Southern California,” says Greg McPherson, a supervisory research forester with the U.S. Forest Service who has been studying what he and others call an unprecedented die-off of the trees greening Southern California’s parks, campuses and yards.

Penned by Louis Sahagun of the Los Angeles Times. Bonus? A video featuring commentary about the pest by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) advisor John Kabashima, an entomologist. To learn more about the pest, check out this UC ANR page.


Related: 100 Million Dead Trees Remain a Danger Post-Drought. UC Berkeley fire scientist Scott Stephens says there’s limited time to manage the threat. Fantastic read by Matt Weiser for Water Deeplya fantastic publication I’m reading more (it’s part of the News Deeply family). H/T: Faith Kearns.


Climate Lab video series. I’m really intrigued with this video series about climate change, produced by the University of California (Carbon Neutrality Initiative) in partnership with Vox. Follow conservation scientist and UCLA visiting researcher M. Sanjayan as he explores surprising ways to change how we think and act about climate change. He’s terrific at making complex material accessible. Two thumbs up (and more if I had them). Two episodes up already…the third is due out Wednesday May 3rd. UC is striving to be carbon neutral by 2025; there are lessons for individuals and other institutions in the effort. Learn more about the Carbon Neutrality Initiative here. Take the quizzes: they’re helpful at identifying knowledge gaps and giving you information to take action.

Have a great week!