Published on
by

America in Peril

This is just a tiny taste of our coming future if climate change is not halted

"Huge blazes in California have destroyed over 1,500 homes and killed at least eight people." (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

"Huge blazes in California have destroyed over 1,500 homes and killed at least eight people." (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The American West is once again on fire.

Huge blazes in California have destroyed over 1,500 homes and killed at least eight people, with others raging in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. Overall, fires burn twice as many acres today as 30 years ago.

Wildfires are also raging across Europe, with fires 43 percent above average. At least 70 people in Greece have been killed and hundreds more were temporarily driven into the sea, while Sweden has asked for help with its own infernos.

This is just a tiny taste of our coming future if climate change is not halted. Murderous heat waves, drought, vast wildfires, super-powerful storms, floods, and sea level rise will lay waste to great swathes of the American landscape and built infrastructure. It is unquestionably the greatest threat to the nation.

As usual, one cannot say that these particular fires are unquestionably the fault of increased global temperatures, because that's not how climate change works. Instead, warming increases the background likelihood of extreme weather events. Global climate models predict that a warmer future will make those extreme events — just exactly the kind of thing we are seeing today — more frequent. Statistical collections are ratifying those predictions, proving beyond question that rising sea levels and heat waves are on the increase, while rarer events like extreme hurricanes are still being tabulated (but initial science is coming in as expected).

Read the full article here.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Won't Exist.

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at TheWeek.com. His work has appeared in the Washington Monthly, The New Republic, and the Washington Post.

Share This Article