We’re in the pot

This isn’t the approach to the climate crisis, this is the climate crisis. Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano, authors of Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy, have the details.

In few places is this as clear as California, where extreme wildfires have become the new abnormal. There is currently a “fire siege” in northern California, with wildfires burning in every one of the nine Bay Area counties except for San Francisco, which is entirely urbanized. Tens of thousands of residents have evacuated and people are choking on smoke.

And that’s not some random inexplicable thing, it’s the climate crisis.

California’s governor announced on Wednesday that there were 367 fires, and conflagrations have grown so rapidly that there are not enough firefighters to tackle them all. Neil Lareau, an atmospheric scientist, told us in an interview that he was watching the current fires with “incredulity”.

“It seems like every year re-ups the previous year in terms of pushing the envelope, in terms of how much fire we’re seeing in the landscape and how severe that fire is,” he said.

There were also, by the by, several fire tornadoes at the weekend. Witnessing these phenomena, another fire expert remarked that California “is the exemplar for climate change extreme events today”.

An exemplar. The fires got pretty extreme in Australia just a few months ago, and China is watching anxiously as water nears the top of the Three Gorges Dam.

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