Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Why the White House Posted a Video Linking the California Wildfires to Climate Change

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers
Firefighter Keith McMillen at a controlled burn in Washington state. (David Ryder/Reuters)

Firefighter Keith McMillen at a controlled burn in Washington state. (David Ryder/Reuters)

Wildfires are tangible. Carbon dioxide is not.

“Here’s the tricky thing about President Obama’s proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030: In order for people to support the move, they need to understand the link between carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. They need to accept that the proposal — a mandate being developed by the Environmental Protection Agency — will help curtail global warming. And they need to prioritize those cuts over concerns — more loudly articulated by opponents — that the cuts will hurt the economy.

“So the White House is starting that fight on YouTube.

“The administration released a video  Tuesday aimed at clarifying the link between climate change and one of the most tangible products of climate change: wildfires. Wildfires have been an an increasing topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, thanks both to the record wildfire years we’ve had this decade and to a strain on funding to fight them.”


GR:  Fire fighters know that climate controls fire occurrence.  Day to day variations and annual averages of temperature, humidity, wind, and fuel are principal ingredients in fire severity and spread.  As the normal gradient from arctic to tropics breaks down and the jet stream wanders and stalls, occasional high-fire-danger conditions can persist long enough for destructive fires to spread far beyond historical experience.

However, the destructive nature of human-caused climate change is so severe that a 30% emissions cut in 15 years is pointless.  We need stronger medicine.

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