Wrapping up some important and #GoodReads (and listens) to help you get a head start on the week. What’s on tap: a new North American trade agreement and a couple of pieces about California that discuss natural disaster and early season rainfall…and more!

U.S., Canada and Mexico just reached a sweeping new NAFTA deal. Here’s what’s in it. Breaking news and analysis via Washington Post’s always smart Wonkblog. This piece written by Heather Long.

Substantial early season rainfall in California to dampen explosive wildfire conditions. One of my consistently favorite reads is the California Weather Blog, which is produced by climate scientist Dr. Daniel Swain (@Weather_West). This blog doesn’t provide weather forecasts per se (like the National Weather Service). Rather, it enables readers to learn more about the “weather-climate” interface. Swain says his “primary goal is to focus on the connections between large-scale atmospheric conditions and broader trends in weather across the entire state of California.” Well worth following this account/blog.

Natural disaster is inevitable in California…and it can define a governor’s legacy. This #MustRead piece by Melanie Mason is part of a larger LA Times series focusing on the “state” of California as Governor Jerry Brown prepares to leave office. This particular article focuses on natural disasters and their connection to the legacy of the state’s governors (not just Brown). The most recent disasters are of course the catastrophic wildfires that have raged through the state the last two years.

There’s the immediate response to disaster, of course, but there is also increasing discussion on disaster preparedness and creating communities that more fire-resilient. Should housing and development be allowed in areas that are prone to fire? What are the practical and political difficulties? The graphics in this piece are extraordinary; they were produced by Ellis Simani and Priya Krishnakumar. The piece also quotes UCANR specialist and fire expert Dr. Max Moritz, who is also on faculty at UC Santa Barbara.

UC offers backyard and community livestock and poultry workshops in Northern California. Individuals who raise backyard and community livestock/poultry are invited to learn the latest disease prevention and treatment information from University of California experts. UC Cooperative Extension and the School of Veterinary Medicine are hosting a series of workshops in Northern California, starting in Sonoma, Contra Costa and Stanislaus counties. Topics include biosecurity, animal health, emergency preparedness, veterinary feed directive, antibiotic use under Senate Bill 27 and more. For dates and registration information, click here.

“Hooked on the Taste of Freedom.” They perform daring escapes from slaughterhouses, zoos, and laboratories. But animals on the run are only as free as we want them to be. Lyrical and thought-provoking read by Tove Danovich. One of this week’s favorites. For TopicThis is the first time I’ve read Topic. I’m hooked.

The cultural convictions that land some animals on the menu…and keep others off of it. A read in The Atlantic to pair with a #podcast (and it’s one my favorites: “food through the lens of science and history”). Both by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley. The #GoodRead is here. Here’s the podcast.


Have a great day. See you later this week.