14 September 2020 - Wildfires ravage US West Coast
Oregon city 'looks as though a bomb went off' as fires continue to scorch the West Coast
Eliott C. McLaughlin, Amir Vera and Susannah Cullinane (CNN, 14/09/2020)
Wildfires scorching the West Coast have devastated the small city of Detroit, Oregon -- located about 120 miles southeast of Portland -- where a majority of the structures in the rural enclave have been flattened by fire.
"We have approximately 20-25 structures still standing, and the rest are gone," officials with the Idanha-Detroit Rural Fire Protection District said on their Facebook page.
Oregon governor calls wildfires a 'bellwether for climate change': 'This is a wake up call for all of us'
Rebecca Klar (The Hill, 13/09/2020)
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said Sunday the wildfires raging across the west coast are a “wake up call” for officials to take action on climate change.
Brown said the cause of the fires is being investigated, but said the region saw the “perfect fire storm.”
“We saw incredible winds, we saw very cold hot temperatures, and of course we have a landscape that has seen 30 years of drought,” Brown said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the west coast and this is a wakeup call for all of us that we have to do everything in our power to tackle climate change.”
The West Coast is on fire. Why is Trump barely paying attention?
Helaine Olen (The Washington Post, 13/09/2020)
Here in Southern California, the outdoors is filthy gray at noon, the sun weirdly pink or gray at 4 p.m. The air reeks of smoke, and ash covers everything — the lawn chairs outside, the books on my coffee table. Everyone’s eyes are burning. I keep looking out the window, thinking I need to open the cabinet under the kitchen sink, pull out the Pledge and begin dusting the sky.
All this is from … well, I don’t know exactly. The Bobcat Fire, which has burned more than 30,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest? The El Dorado Fire, better known to the rest of the United States as the gender-reveal party fire? Another fire entirely? There are dozens of wildfires burning in California, Oregon and Washington state. One, in Mendocino National Forest, is now the largest in California history. Portland is experiencing the worst air quality of any major city in the entire world. The sky is so red in San Francisco that the city looks like it’s been transported to Mars. Entire towns in the Pacific Northwest are no more. At least 33 people are dead — including a young boy who died clutching his dog — and the total will likely go higher. All told, more than 4 million acres have burned.
As California burns, Biden missing chance to focus on climate change
Joe Garofoli (The San Fransisco Chronicle, 13/09/2020)
Joe Biden is passing up a chance to make fighting climate change the centerpiece of his campaign, environmentalists say, at time when wildfires have incinerated an unprecedented 3 million-plus acres in California, a record hurricane season is battering the Southeast and one of the worst windstorms ever to hit Iowa caused $4 billion in damage.
The reason he hasn’t, they say, is political.
Elevating climate change into a top priority doesn’t help the Democratic presidential nominee in states that are competitive in the November election — and those don’t include California or Oregon, a state where 40,000 people were under evacuation orders Friday because of wildfires. In some swing states, including Pennsylvania, where support for fracking is solid because thousands of jobs depend on it, going too green could damage Biden’s slim lead.