California Gov. Jerry Brown is blaming global warming “deniers” like President Trump for the wildfires currently engulfing his state.
The comments came after President Trump said California’s mismanaged forests are culpable for the disaster.
Gov. Brown disagreed, saying California’s wildfires are the inevitable result of climate change, and warned that it will cost “hundreds of billions” of federal dollars to address the underlying climate issues.
“Those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years,” Brown said. “The chickens are coming home to roost. This is real here. And it's not a question of pointing this way or that way, but pulling together in these tragic circumstances and thinking wisely and collaboratively — and that's the spirit in which I'm approaching all that we need to do in response to these fires.”
Brown said scientists say these fires will only get worse in the future.
“This is not the 'new normal,' this is the 'new abnormal,'” Brown told reporters at a press conference Sunday. “And this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years. And unfortunately the best science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they're going to intensify. Predictions by some scientists are we've already gone up one degree; I think we can expect a half a degree, which is catastrophic, over the next 10-12 years. So we have a real challenge here threatening our whole way of life.”
Brown said big spending will help fix this issue.
"And we're going to have to invest more and more in adaptation,” he said. “When we talk about things like the climate, and the warming climate, and we talk about words like 'adaptation,' that's what we're talking about. And it's not millions, it's billions, and tens, and probably hundreds of billions even in the span of a few years."
He went on: "So we've got lots of work to do. It is a time of sadness, but also one to reflect on where we are and this resolve to pull together and do everything we can to help those in need -- and to take the steps to minimize and mitigate the damage that's so obvious."