Tuesday, September 8, 2020

'California wildfires illustrate the consequences of climate change' — PBS NewsHour

Just last month, I blogged about massive California fires that were climate-fueled weather disasters. If anything, the situation in California is worse now. PBS NewsHour's California wildfires illustrate the consequences of climate change puts the crisis in context.

A record heat wave is scorching California, where about two dozen wildfires are currently burning. Nearly 15,000 firefighters are battling steep terrain and extremely dry conditions as they struggle to control the raging infernos. On Sunday, temperatures in Los Angeles County reached 121 degrees. Amna Nawaz reports and talks to Leah Stokes of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
That reading of 121oF was recorded in Woodland Hills, where I grew up. Here is the official notification from the National Weather Service, which the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted on September 6th.

This is the third time I've written about record temperatures in Woodland Hills. This time, "Woodland Hills" trended on Twitter. As I remarked two years ago, "This is not the way I want my boyhood home to make the news."

Follow over the jump for how commercial network television covered the story.

ABC News had more footage and reporting from the fire scenes in More than 2 dozen wildfires burning in California | WNT.

A gender-reveal photo shoot allegedly caused one of this weekend's destructive wildfires in California, according to firefighters.
CBS Los Angeles had more on the blaze started at a gender reveal party in Homes Destroyed, Evacuations Remain For El Dorado Fire Sparked By Pyrotechnics.

Firefighters Monday continued to battle the El Dorado Fire — which was sparked during a heat wave Saturday when a family attempted to stage a gender reveal photo in Yucaipa using pyrotechnics — and then exploded to more than 8,000 acres, destroying several homes and forcing hundreds to flee.
Because of the devastation, this incident might be enough to make gender reveal parties unfashionable. Otherwise, words fail me.

To close, I recommend my readers click on Vox and Verge Science on California's year-round fire season for more on how climate change and development patterns are making fire season both longer and more severe in the U.S. west, especially in California. As I wrote then, welcome to the 400 ppm world.


  1. I left Sacramento, California in 2017 because I foresaw what was coming. Soon California will become uninhabitable. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley. I remember the summers. I remember the droughts. You might have one or two days each summer when it reached 100 degrees. The temperatures now are higher than the normal temperatures for Palm Springs or Death Valley. My suggestion is that people move.

    1. Welcome to Crazy Eddie's Motie News! I hope you return to leave more comments.

      I hear you. I beat you out of California by 28 years, although not because of climate change, but because I had a better opportunity in Michigan. As for California becoming uninhabitable, that won't be completely true. There will be people living there for as long as there are humans in North America. However, I don't think there will be nearly as many of them because of all the life-support systems needed to raise carrying capacity to the tens of millions that worked when climate was cooler, but will fail in a hotter, dryer climate. The same can't be said about Florida, a lot of which will be under water. At least nearly all of California will be dry land, if a bit too dry.