Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

California isn't a stranger to what meteorologists call extreme weather events.

Many years produce a fire season. Sometimes a "pineapple express" storm unleashes an atmospheric river, which The Bee's Matt Weiser likens to "California's version of a hurricane". If Sacramento's levees broke, the Capitol building would get rather soggy.

Enter Gov. Jerry Brown's conference today on "extreme climate risks and California's future."

The invitation-only, all-day event at San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences will consider questions such as, "What do climate-driven extreme weather events mean for California?" and "What actions will protect California and help our state prosper?"

Brown will give opening remarks, after which he'll participate in a panel called "The Global Climate Challenge" along with Rajendra Pachauri, who heads the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

This afternoon, Global Green President Matt Petersen talks to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about his perspective on the state's leadership in the nation on climate change issues.

Click here to read the full agenda, which also lists other speakers and panels. The conference will be streamed live at the governor's website, www.gov.ca.gov. Viewers may also submit questions to conference speakers through that site.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL: The House Transportation Committee looks at California's high-speed rail project starting at 10 a.m. To read more about what's at stake, Michael Doyle previewed the hearing in this Capitol Alert post. The hearing will be webcast live at this link.

WATER: The state Senate Energy Committee, chaired by Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of Los Angeles, holds a hearing beginning at 11 a.m. to assess the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power's progress toward reaching its energy efficiency and renewable energy goals. Click here for more information.

OCCUPY: Occupy Sacramento activists are rallying on the Capitol's west steps at noon to commemorate the ratification of the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791, highlighting the First Amendment. The rally, which will also protest federal defense funding, follows a march from Cesar Chavez Park.

CAKE AND CANDLES: Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, turns 70 today.



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