by The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, The Los Angeles Times
- The west coast of the United States is currently experiencing the climate catastrophe scientists have been warning the world about for decades
- Around 2 million acres of land have burned in California from this year’s early fire season
- Though some fires were accidentally started by people, climate change contributed to the conditions that have dried out the land and made it so flammable
- This year there have been 40,000 wildfires in the US before the end of August, compared to 33,600 in 2019 within the same time frame
- An average of 6.9 million acres have burned each year since 2000, with an annual average of 71,300 wildfires
- Fires are not the only looming threat during the climate crisis: coasting flooding may affect nearly 300 million people globally, while an estimated 40% of Americans will experience the effects of sea-level rise
- To combat the worst effects of the climate crisis, the world needs to end its reliance on burning fossil fuels, stop building in fire-prone areas, and start planning for rising sea levels
The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Campaign includes accelerating timelines for climate action to be more in line with the current science and the reality on the ground. Endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform today.
As forests burn, the carbon stored in those trees is lost. Funding and programs for soil sequestration are needed to achieve net negative emissions by pulling carbon from the atmosphere and storing it safely in soils– where it won’t go up in smoke.