Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Climate Change: California burning

Its fire season in California, and the state is on fire again, with tens of thousands evacuated and millions without power as forests and homes burn. And its so bad now that some are asking whether parts of the state are now too dangerous to inhabit:

Three years in a row feels like – well, it starts to feel like the new, and impossible, normal. That’s what the local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, implied this morning when, in the middle of its account of the inferno, it included the following sentence: the fires had “intensified fears that parts of California had become almost too dangerous to inhabit”. Read that again: the local paper is on record stating that part of the state is now so risky that its citizens might have to leave.

If you're going to be evacuated every year, if your house burns down every three, you can't build any sort of life. And so places where that happens are just going to have to be abandoned, become places that people live in temporarily, rather than year-round. Its going to be a big change, but that's what we've done to ourselves.

California is where the future happens, but unfortunately our climate future is hostile. They're just seeing it before the rest of us. If you need a warning about why we need to cut emissions to zero and start drawdown, what is happening in California is it.