Every burned town is tragic. But Newsom needs to lead with science, not sentiment. He doesn’t.
He says: “We can learn about the damage to the forests, how that’s tied to climate change that we see all around us.” But in his speech he could have mentioned these points as well:
— It took the fires 2,500 days to burn through 1.3 million acres statewide — all of it destroyed. And yet, Newsom says, nobody knows what was going on. “We don’t have enough information to know whether what we believe, which is that climate change is a significant element in this disaster, is accurate.” That’s a lie. There is enough information to know whether a climate change explanation is accurate. And it is. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which examines the scientific studies that explain global warming, said it’s a “fact of extreme concern.”
— The scientists of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say that the drought in California is due to the ongoing drought everywhere, because of global warming. “This drought is in all parts of the state,” says Bill Patzert, who was NOAA’s scientist when the drought started. He says that the global warming modelers “basically agree [that] most of that is water stored in the mountains.” It’s not enough water to flood the whole state.
— There are plenty of scientists who believe that global warming will cause water to rise in the West and lead to droughts and floods in California. They say, “What the climate modelers are showing is that in the future we would expect these,” and the record-breaking fires would be inevitable, “and we would expect these droughts and these floods.” That’s another lie. It just doesn’t happen.
— Newsom says that the California Highway Patrol, on behalf of the federal government, is looking into a possible connection between the fires and an earlier disaster that killed 40 people, many of