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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the primary way Americans can combat misinformation about the wildfires ravaging the West Coast is to vote out "any politician like Donald Trump who has downplayed climate change."

Why it matters: Trump is a climate skeptic who has weakened environmental regulations and began the process of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. At a rally in Nevada on Saturday night, Trump insisted that the fires were "about forest management."

  • Scientists say that the hot and dry conditions created by climate change have exacerbated the intensity of wildfires.
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), who appeared alongside Inslee, said Trump's claim that the fires could be prevented by raking forests was a "big and devastating lie."

What they're saying: "The only moisture in eastern Washington was the tears of people who have lost their homes and mingling with the ashes. And now we have a blowtorch over our states in the west which is climate change, and we know that climate change is making fires start easier, spread faster and intensify," Inslee said.

  • "Vote. Vote on climate. Get out there and vote against any politician like Donald Trump who has downplayed climate change, just like he's downplayed COVID," Inslee added.
  • "And for Donald Trump to say he's a hero of climate change is like saying he's a hero of masks against COVID. This idea that somehow we could have solved this problem by timber thinning is just a bunch of malarkey."

The big picture: Trump will visit California on Monday after being conspicuously silent about the fires. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the fires, with dozens of people missing. The Oregon emergency management director said the state was preparing for a "mass casualty event."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Dec 19, 2020 - Energy & Environment

"The Ministry for the Future": How to solve the climate crisis

Photo: Hachette Book Group

A recent novel illustrates the likely consequences of climate change in the decades to come, and offers hope that better technology and politics might help us save the future.

Why it matters: Perhaps no subject as important as climate change has also proven so difficult to effectively and accurately dramatize. "The Ministry for the Future" is the one novel I've read that captures the consequences of warming while offering a realistic blueprint for how we can stop it.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.