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

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 16, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Fighting fire with fire

A firefighter works on the scene of a wildfire in California on Sept. 15. Photo: Ringo Chiu/AFP via Getty Images

The catastrophic wildfires in parts of the West are a product of climate change, but also decades of failure to use controlled fire to reduce fuel load.

Why it matters: Warming temperatures in the years ahead will only intensify the climatic conditions that can lead to massive wildfires. That puts more pressure to scale up land management techniques that can clear overgrown forests before they ignite.

Gov. Jay Inslee urges voters to put climate change at forefront in November

Axios' Amy Harder and Gov. Jay Inslee.

Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) is urging Americans to "vote against candidates that deny climate change" in November, during an Axios virtual event on Thursday.

What he's saying: "I hope you'll make a voting decision this year that you are gonna vote against candidates that deny climate change, or even worse, accept the fact that there is climate change but refuse to do something about it," Inslee said.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee dismisses possible Biden Cabinet post

Photo: Elaine Thompson - Pool/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee indicated at an Axios virtual event Thursday that he’s not interested in a Cabinet post should Joe Biden win the presidency.

Why it matters: Inslee, who briefly ran for president on a campaign based solely on climate change, has been rumored among environmentalists and experts close to the campaign as a possible Environmental Protection Agency administrator.