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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) used his Democratic National Convention address on Thursday to highlight the real-world effects of climate change, speaking just a mile from the site of one of the over 370 wildfires that are currently ravaging his state.

What he's saying: "Well, I confess this is not where I expected to be speaking here tonight," said Newsom, who was originally set to speak at the DNC but remained in California to monitor the fires. "We are just coming off a record heat wave that led to 130 degree temperatures — the highest temperature ever recorded in California."

  • "The hots are getting hotter, the drys are getting drier. Climate change is real. If you are in denial about climate change, come to California. 11,000 dry lightning strikes over a 72-hour period, leading to this unprecedented challenge with these wildfires."
  • "This is an extraordinary moment in our history. Mother Nature has now joined this conversation around climate change. And so we need to advance that conversation anew."

The big picture: Newsom tore into President Trump, who does not believe in man-made climate change, for claiming that the wildfires are the result of the state not cleaning its "floors" — and for suggesting that the federal government should withhold relief funds to California.

  • "You gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests — there are many, many years of leaves and broken trees and they’re like, like, so flammable, you touch them and it goes up," Trump told reporters Thursday.

The bottom line: "There is so much at stake in this election. And I just want to close by reminding each and every one of you, the future's not just something to experience — it's something to manifest," Newsom concluded. "It's inside of us, not just in front of us. It's our decision, not our conditions, that will determine our fate and future.

Go deeper

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

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Updated 9 mins ago - Health

The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Omicron's blitz around the world has underscored the need for a new arsenal of COVID vaccines and therapeutics, experts say — and that may require an effort akin to Operation Warp Speed 2.0.

Why it matters: The virus will continue to evolve, potentially in a way that further escapes vaccine protection, and the best way to prevent more global disruptions to everyday life is to have tools ready to combat whatever comes next.

Ina Fried, author of Login
36 mins ago - Technology
Column / Signal Boost

Microsoft's metaverse maneuvering

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Microsoft is pitching investors and regulators that its $68 billion Activision Blizzard deal is all about the metaverse, that nebulous buzzword taking the tech world by storm.

What they're saying: By my colleague Stephen Totilo's count, Nadella used the word "metaverse" at least five times in his conference call discussing the deal. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick mentioned the metaverse four times, while Microsoft gaming chief Phil Spencer used the term twice.