In the state of California, wildfires have been an ongoing and escalating issue for the past decade. According to global climate and environmental scientists, climate change is one of the greatest driving forces impacting the scale and magnitude of recent fires that have raged throughout the Golden state.
California Wildfires are Roaring at Record-Breaking Levels.
This week, it was announced that California's Dixie Fire has burned just under three quarters of a million acres, with just under 700 homes being destroyed in the process. Air quality levels have been horrific in some parts of the state, with CalFire only having contained roughly 35% of the blaze.
The Dixie Fire is California's second-ranked most powerful and destructive wildfire in the state's history. This statement includes comparing its impact to previous fires in the Butte, Plumas, Lassen and Tehama counties. The August Complex fire, which burned over a million acres last year, is still the state's largest fire of all time.
Although the previous United States Presidential administration regularly pointed the finger towards poor land management of California as the primary cause of these fires, this cannot solely explain their recent hike in severity. To paint a more clear and accurate picture of the events which led to these deadly fires, we must also consider the planetary and environmental conditions they were ignited in.
Scientists agree: Climate Change has a major impact on fire conditions in the state of California.
Scientists around the world have pointed to the global climate crisis for the severity of California's fire seasons. A recent scientific analysis finds human activity and climate change to play an "unequivocal and pervasive" role in boosting the more habitable conditions for fire. This is due to global heating and more extreme weather patterns throughout not only California, but the entire world.
The United Nations recently published a groundbreaking climate crisis report detailing that humans are approaching the point of no return when it comes to global heating and temperature change. This report was reviewed and signed off by every major country represented in the UN, as well as notable scientists from around the globe.
There is no time more crucial than now to take actionable steps towards reducing our impact on the planet. Should we ignore the raging fires and more extreme weather patterns and continue to burn fossil fuels at the same rate, things will never improve. In fact, it is has been made clear through this report that our descendants will already more than likely inherit a worse planet than the one we started with.
With all of this comes a small glimmer of hope. President Joe Biden recently signed an Executive Order calling for 50% of new vehicles to be electric by 2030, and the Senate recently passed a massive infrastructure bill supporting green energy efforts. $7.5B of this bill is expected to go to build new EV charging stations should it pass in the House of Representatives.
These investments in green energy have the potential to make a tremendous impact on our planet, and may help reduce the risk of extreme weather patterns flaring up to this extent in the future.
Source: Newsweek, Aug 20, 2021.