Year 3, Month 7, Day 19: Strike Anywhere…

The Tehama County Daily News (CA) notes that things are sorta kinda on fire:

LOS ANGELES (MCT) After several years of relatively benign fire seasons, the West is headed into a hot dry summer of potentially ferocious blazes like the ones that have scorched Colorado in recent weeks.

The wildfires that have already destroyed more than 700 homes and outbuildings along Colorado’s Front Range and blackened hundreds of thousands of acres of New Mexico wilderness are not likely to be the season’s last for one simple reason: drought.

“This year, fires are going big,” Tom Harbour, fire and aviation director for the U.S. Forest Service, said last week. “We’ve had some really extraordinary runs … fires that are running 10 miles in lighter fuels.

Fires that are running miles in forested areas.”

A dry La Nina winter and a paltry, quick-melting snowpack in much of the West have set the stage for another incendiary summer, compounding the effects of a long-term drought that has gripped the seven-state Colorado River basin for more than a decade.

“The reason Colorado is burning is they’ve had prolonged drought,” said Bob Keane, a forest service research ecologist based in Montana.

Add the high temperatures and gusting winds that hit the state last week, and you have a recipe for combustion.

Quick and dirty. Sent July 8:

No single event can be unambiguously linked to global climate change, because climate science doesn’t work that way. But any attempt to claim that the wildfires devastating America’s West aren’t connected to Earth’s burgeoning greenhouse effect is statistically absurd.

Climatologists have been predicting for years that the consequences of increased CO2 emissions would include weather that was hotter, weirder, fiercer, and less predictable. And while some of their forecasts were erroneous, most of those mistakes were underestimations of the speed and magnitude of the transformation in our environment.

Despite an ongoing campaign of climate-change denial, the atmosphere is still getting hotter. We’d mock any Colorado residents who refuse to heed the gathering flames — why, then, are climatologists and environmentalists whose decades of predictions on climate change have been overwhelmingly vindicated still treated with derision by the petroleum-funded professionals in our politics and media?

Warren Senders

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