Town Hall: Drought, Fire & Flood: Climate Change and Our New Normal

At The Granada Theatre

April 25, 2018 / 7:00 PM–9:00 PM

A community conversation focused on climate resilience. Free Admission.

Get Informed - Flash Talks from UCSB experts on fires, floods, climate change, and political responses
Get Inspired - Keynote from former FEMA Director James Lee Witt
Get Details - Community panel discussion and Q&A with key officials from Santa Barbara Fire, Santa Barbara County, and nonprofits

The public is invited to submit questions before the event via Twitter using #droughtfirefloodSB or in The Granada Theatre lobby when the doors open at 6:00 PM.

To ensure your seat, please pick up a free ticket in advance at The Granada Theatre ticket office. For more information, visit


There is no question that the frequency and ferocity of severe weather phenomena experienced globally, nationally, and most recently locally, are the result of increasingly rapid climate change. Worse, as global warming continues to progress, the events we are seeing and experiencing now represent only the beginning stages of a “new normal” that will increasingly worsen in the coming years and decades.

It is essential and urgent that we begin to squarely confront the potential impacts of climate change on human lives in our community by asking how we can improve our readiness and response to those impacts, and what this new reality requires for both policy and practice to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure, our businesses, our homes, our community, and our region.

To advance this community conversation in as broad and visible a way as possible, the UCSB Bren School, the Community Environmental Council (CEC), the Santa Barbara Foundation, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History invite community leaders and members from the greater Santa Barbara region to a town hall event generously hosted by the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts at The Granada Theatre on Wednesday, April 25 at 7:00 PM.

The town hall will be emceed by UCSB Bren School Dean Steven Gaines. To provide updates on the latest data and research, four experts affiliated with the UCSB Bren School will give TED style “flash talks”: Dr. Max Moritz (wildfires), Dr. Edward Keller (debris flows), Dr. Naomi Tague (climate modeling), and Dr. Sarah Anderson (environmental politics).

The keynote speaker, former FEMA Director James Lee Witt, will share his experience managing more than 350 disasters during his tenure under the Clinton administration.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion and public Q&A moderated by CEC CEO/Executive Director Sigrid Wright. The panel will feature recently retired Santa Barbara City Fire Department Chief Pat McElroy, Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Das Williams, and Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) Executive Director Maricela Morales.

Photo credit: Ray Ford (