Elizabeth Weil
Elizabeth Weil
Feature writer, @nymag (before that: @propublica, @nytmag). lecturer, @ucbsoj. elizabeth.weil@nymag.comSource
San Francisco, CA
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This Isn’t the California I Married

This Isn’t the California I Married

Early in my two-writer marriage, my husband and I joked that we should add a silent third spouse who worked in venture capital or practiced corporate law. But really, we already had a bonus partner: California. The state was dramatic and a handful. But she was gorgeous, and she brought into our lives, through the natural world, all the treasure and magic we’d need. The beaches. The mountains. The clean waves at Malibu. The seal pups at Año Nuevo State Park. This was not just our relationship to California; this was everyone here. The implicit bargain was that California would protect and...

Jan 3
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The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.

The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.

Peter Kalmus, out of his mind, stumbled back toward the car. It was all happening. All the stuff he’d been trying to get others to see, and failing to get others to see — it was all here. The day before, when his family started their Labor Day backpacking trip along the oak-lined dry creek bed in Romero Canyon, in the mountains east of Santa Barbara, the temperature had been 105 degrees. Now it was 110 degrees, and under his backpack, his “large mammalian self,” as Peter called his body, was more than just overheating. He was melting down. Everything felt wrong. His brain felt wrong and the...

Jan 26
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California Will Keep Burning. But Housing Policy Is Making It Worse.

California Will Keep Burning. But Housing Policy Is Making It Worse.

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.Monday morning, Sept. 28, California woke up sweaty, devastated, even shocked to find the state burning again. But if we’re honest, and to our great shame, no one was surprised. We’d seen this horror movie in this town. Three years ago, wildfire killed 25 people in Sonoma County. Now the Glass Fire was there, again, burning toward Santa Rosa. At 12:30 a.m., a string of seniors stood in line, many in pajamas, waiting to board an evacuation bus from their retirement home. A...

October 3, 2020
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They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

They Know How to Prevent Megafires. Why Won’t Anybody Listen?

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive as soon as they’re published.What a week. Rough for all Californians. Exhausting for the firefighters on the front lines. Heart-shattering for those who lost homes and loved ones. But a special “Truman Show” kind of hell for the cadre of men and women who’ve not just watched California burn, fire ax in hand, for the past two or three or five decades, but who’ve also fully understood the fire policy that created the landscape that is now up in flames.“What’s it like?” Tim Ingalsbee repeated back to me,...

September 10, 2020
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