Publisher’s note: This editorial is from the July 27, 2018, Sacramento Bee.
As we face yet another summer of towering firestorms and overmatched first responders, it is becoming clear that we must radically improve emergency preparation in California. Summer has been a death march and July isn’t even done.
On Thursday evening, the wind-driven Carr Fire rushed into residential neighborhoods in Redding, bringing a one-two punch of thick smoke and unpredictable “firenados” that overwhelmed firefighters.
This is climate change, for real and in real time. We were warned that the atmospheric buildup of man-made greenhouse gas would eventually be an existential threat.
Still, it is sobering to witness how swiftly scientists’ worst predictions have come true, from the lethal heat wave gripping Japan to the record temperatures in Europe to the flames exploding near the Arctic Circle. And it is terrifying to watch as ideologues in the Trump administration block action on this gathering crisis.