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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the massive fires devastating the West Coast are a result of "decades of mismanagement of our forests in this country" as well as "the failure to tackle climate change."

Why it matters: President Trump has also insisted that the fires were "about forest management," but he's dismissed climate change. There's been a chorus of voices in the West Coast calling Trump out for his climate change policies or lack of.

  • Trump has questioned the existence of human-caused climate change and has started the process of formally withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Catch up quick: The fires have killed at least 31 individuals and forced tens of thousands to evacuate from their homes.

What she's saying: "About every year, for the last 10 years, we burn about 500,000 acres. This year, this week alone, we have burned over a million acres of beautiful Oregon."

  • "I stood up at a fire council about two and a half years ago, and folks came together ... to tackle the issues. The council had an extensive report and called for extensive investments in our communities, harvesting and thinning. Unfortunately, the Republicans walked away from the legislative session and we were unable to get that done."
  • "This is truly the bellwether for climate change on the West Coast. This is a wake-up call for all of us, that we have got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change."

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.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Dec 18, 2020 - Energy & Environment

How to judge America’s climate-change responsibility

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Historically, America has emitted the most greenhouse gases of any country in the world. But over the next 80 years, the U.S. may account for as little as 5% of such emissions.

Why it matters: Installing technologies to address climate change will, therefore, be most critical in places other than America where emissions’ growth is expected to be higher, according to physicist Varun Sivaram.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

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