Sep 13, 2020 - Science

California's "climate apocalypse"

LA Times frontpage
Via L.A. Times

"California is being pushed to extremes," the L.A. Times reports in today's lead story. "And the record heat, fires and pollution all have one thing in common: They were made worse by climate change."

Why it matters: "Their convergence is perhaps the strongest signal yet that the calamity climate scientists have warned of for years isn’t far off in the future; it is here today and can no longer be ignored."

  • Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather said: "People who have lived in California for 30, 40 years are saying this is unprecedented, it has never been this hot, it has never been this smoky."

The big picture ... California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), on Friday: "California, folks, is America — fast forward." (hat tip: ABC's "This Week")

San Francisco in orange haze
Photo: Nick Otto for The Washington Post, via Getty Images

This photo of downtown San Francisco was taken at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, with the city blanketed in an eerie haze from wildfires.

The WashPost pulls back the camera and declares, "The California Dream has become the California Compromise":

  • The San Francisco cityscape "resembles the surface of a distant planet, populated by a masked alien culture. The air, choked with blown ash, is difficult to breathe."
  • "There is the Golden Gate Bridge, looming in the distance through a drift-smoke haze, and the Salesforce Tower, which against the blood-orange sky appears as a colossal spaceship in a doomsday film."

What's next, per The Post: "California has become a warming, burning, epidemic-challenged and expensive state, with many who live in sophisticated cities, idyllic oceanfront towns and windblown mountain communities thinking hard about the viability of a place they have called home forever."

  • "For the first time in a decade, more people left California last year for other states than arrived."
map of wildfires
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