Some state and federal programs cover property damage caused by natural disasters, but there have been no support programs for workers who lose work because of floods, hurricanes, heatwaves, fires, and other results of climate change. Now Sonoma County, a vineyard and farming area north of San Francisco Bay, has just established a pilot program to provide low-income residents disaster relief funds for lost wages. 1,100 people have already applied for funds, the majority farm workers who will receive a one-time payment of $250 to $800, Workers, especially in the vineyards, have been advocating for such a fund for years. While the payments are far from adequate, they represent a step in the recognition of the devasting impact of climate change on workers.
For more on this story check out The Guardian article ‘Help us fight’: California farmers ask for more aid after deadly storms
For a 2010 LNS discussion paper laying out the probable impact of climate change on California workers, see “Coming Now to a Job Near You! Why Climate Change Matters for California Workers.”