Aug 6, 2018
Combined with ever-increasing temperatures and bone-dry vegetation, the fires in northern California have destroyed more than 10,000 homes and killed more than 40 people since last October. The largest, the Carr Fire near Redding, still burns. It has already torched more than 121,000 acres, an area larger than Denver, since igniting on July 23. State officials said more than 13,000 firefighters are on duty fighting 16 large fires that have burned a total of 320,000 acres and displaced more than 32,000 residents.
This is unprecedented in California history. Fire seasons in general have grown longer and more destructive in recent decades. With 113-degree temperatures, the northern Sacramento Valley was experiencing the hottest July on record when the Carr Fire swept into the city of Redding.
The link between ever-rising temperatures and tinder-dry vegetation caused by hot weather is becoming impossible to ignore, according to experts who study climate and wildfires. “The regional temperatures in the western U.S. have increased by 2 degrees since the 1970s. You’re seeing the effect of climate change,” explained Jennifer Balch, director of Earth Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
So global warming, caused by human, industrial and commercial activity, is taking its toll on nature and humans. Preventing global warming and fighting against its deadly and destructive effects will require a collaborative human effort. Capitalism under which we all currently live is a social straitjacket, since its sole, selfish and narrow purpose is extracting ever-increasing profits from workers to serve a few filthy rich individuals. Capitalism cannot find solutions to such social and natural disasters.