Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Sunday rebuked President Trump over his claims that the California wildfires are simply a result of poor forest management, telling CNN's "State of the Union": "This is climate change, and this is an administration that's put its head in the sand."

Why it matters: There's a scientific consensus that climate change and the hotter and drier conditions it brings are among the forces that increase fire risks and severity. President Trump has questioned the existence of human-caused climate change and has started the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

What he's saying: "I listen to fire professionals, not the president of the United States or politicians when it comes to what actually causes these fires," Garcetti said. "It's been very clear that years of drought, as we're seeing, whether it's too much water and too much rain in parts of our country right now, or too little. This is climate change."

  • "Talk to a firefighter if you think that climate change isn't real. And it seems like this administration are the last vestiges of the Flat Earth Society of this generation," he continued.
  • "We need real action. We need to actually reduce the carbon emissions that we have. And we need to make sure we can manage that water. And this is not about just forest management or raking. Anybody who lives here in California is insulted by that, quite frankly. And he keeps perpetrating this lie."

The big picture: Trump plans to visit California on Monday after facing criticism for weeks of silence about the devastating West Coast wildfires, which have razed record amounts of land and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated Sep 24, 2020 - Energy & Environment

China's split personality on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new insta-analysis of China's vow to achieve "carbon neutrality" before 2060 helps to underscore why Tuesday's announcement sent shockwaves through the climate and energy world.

Why it matters: Per the Climate Action Tracker, a research group, following through would lower projected global warming 0.2 to 0.3°C. That's a lot!

Mike Allen, author of AM
15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 32,390,204 — Total deaths: 985,302 — Total recoveries: 22,286,345Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m ET: 7,020,967 — Total deaths: 203,481 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,476,600Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.