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Trump promotes logging as method for fire prevention, Newsom asks to “agree to disagree” on climate crisis at Sacramento briefing

by Katie Nelson

September 14, 2020

President Trump and California Governor Gavin Newsom met in Sacramento today to discuss fires in the state

Sacramento, California Today, during a briefing on California fires with California Governor Gavin Newsom, members of CalFire, and representatives from the California Forest Management Task Force, President Trump promoted logging as a solution for future fire prevention and refused to acknowledge the climate crisis as a reason for the growing flames. 

Though Newsom took to Twitter after the briefing to note that “climate change is REAL,” he requested that Trump “agree to disagree” about the subject of climate change when discussing the state’s fire response — a significant departure from previous interactions. 

In response, Greenpeace Senior Forests Campaigner Dr. Amy Moas said: 

“Any response to wildfires should focus on helping impacted communities and preparing for lasting climate impacts, not parroting talking points of a logging industry that is trying to gut environmental safeguards and increase logging on public lands under the guise of fire prevention.

“California’s forests and wildlands have suffered through decades of fire suppression, logging, and mismanagement, leading to more huge fires that impact the property and lives of too many individuals. Studies have shown that methods akin to ‘sweeping the floor’ do not reduce fires; rather, they put communities at higher risk. Climate change is neither a difference in opinion nor a partisan issue, and we need our leaders on both sides of the aisle to listen to the experts and  pursue science-based solutions as we navigate its fallout — not voices of special interests trying to profit off a crisis.

“Intensified hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and other extreme weather events are clear signals that we need to act on climate now. Communities across the United States are still reeling from events like Hurricane Laura and are currently navigating the largest California wildfire season in state history — all amidst a growing climate emergency and a global pandemic. Instead of working to solve these urgent problems, the Trump administration is actively rolling back climate protections, while the Newsom administration continues to expand fossil fuel infrastructure in the state.

“To stop climate chaos, we must hold those who have perpetuated both the climate crisis and have promoted false solutions accountable — including both Trump and Newsom.” 

Currently, about 28 major fires are burning across California, and more than 3.3 million acres have burned this year alone. Updates on fire spread and containment in California can be found at https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/

Notes:

Updates on fires across the Western United States can be found here.

Local Air Quality Monitoring is available at https://www2.purpleair.com/

To give fire affected communities an indication of where winds and weather will drive fires and their haze next, the Greenpeace Global Mapping Hub has created the Global Fire Dashboard

Contact:

Katie Nelson, Strategic Communications Specialist, Greenpeace USA: +1 (678) 644-1681, [email protected]

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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