Climate puts state in the hot seat

California is experiencing one of its worst wildfire seasons this year. With over 6,000 fires igniting so far that have burned almost 200,000 acres, many people are displaced and without a home. If nothing is done to slow down climate change, we may be on track for worse to come.

While many of the fires have been extinguished at this point, the damage caused by the fires will be permanent. The Kincade fire in Sonoma County scorched nearly 78,000 acres and destroyed at least 350 buildings. The Maria fire in Ventura County was declared 100% contained on Wednesday but not before burning 10,000 acres of land.

These are just a few of California’s most recent wildfires and despite officials claiming that the fires are contained, more fires will continue to ignite if climate change continues to be ignored by our current administration.

On Nov. 3, President Donald Trump lambasted California Gov. Gavin Newsom for his efforts to fight climate change. This came after Newsom graciously thanked the administration for its help in containing the fires.

“The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must ‘clean’ his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him.” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Trump went on to criticize California for demanding funds to fight fires every year, threatening to cut funding until Newsom “gets his act together.” 

Newsom then fired back, tweeting that Trump is “excused from the conversation,” because he does not believe in climate change.

And that essentially is what it boils down to: As long as this country has an administration that denies climate change, they will continue to blame others for the effects of climate change.

Climate change is no longer impending, it is already here. California’s arid and windy environment combined with all of the parched shrubs and plant life create the perfect conditions to sustain a wildfire following an ignition.

Despite being at a natural disadvantage, California has been on the front lines of fighting climate change. In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown announced California’s commitment to 100% clean energy and economy-wide carbon neutrality by 2045. 

The time to prepare for climate change is over and we must now face the harsh realities it has brought upon us.

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