The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Trump Says California Lawmakers to Blame for Wildfires
President Donald Trump tweeted for the first time about the deadly wildfires ravaging California that have killed nine people, destroyed hundreds of buildings and charred hundreds of thousands of acres.
Trump did not offer condolences. Rather, the president tweeted Sunday that the wildfires are "being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren't allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized." He added that the water is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.
It's not clear why he is blaming California lawmakers for releasing water into the sea.
Congressman Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) slammed Trump's remarks.
"There is more than enough readily available water in CA to fight the fires," he tweeted. "The truth is that wildfires across the United States started increasing in the 1980s. Some of this increase is attributable to climate change."
Also, firefighters have not complained about lacking water to fight the 17 major wildfires across the state.
When asked if there's a water shortage at the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires—the most serious of the many infernos—California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynette Round told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Not that I'm aware of ... but that doesn't mean it's not happening."
To be fair, the president also called for clearing trees to stop the fires, which does starve a fire by removing the fuel.
Cal Fire told KPIX 5 that abstaining from years of controlled burns has caused unchecked growth and created tinderbox conditions.
"It's a daunting task that we're working with some of our cooperators on to make sure we can get some of those trees out of the way to not add to some of the fuel," Cal Fire Assistant Chief Mike Marcucci said to KPIX.
Evan Westrup, a spokesman for California Gov. Jerry Brown told BuzzFeed that Trump's tweet "doesn't merit a response."
Brown recently warned that climate change has made his state's string of wildfire outbreaks "part of our ordinary experience."
"[The] predictions that I see, the more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur later in the century, 2040 or 2050, they're now occurring in real time," Brown said at a news conference on Wednesday in Sacramento.
"You can expect that—unfortunately—to continue intensifying in California and throughout the Southwest. We are part of that process," he added.
Last week, Trump declared that an emergency exists in California and ordered Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Singapore will become the first country in the world to place a ban on advertisements for carbonated drinks and juices with high sugar contents, its health ministry announced last week. The law is intended to curb sugar consumption since the country has some of the world's highest diabetes rates per capita, as Reuters reported.
By Susan Cosier
First there was Fred Stone, the third-generation dairy farmer in Maine who discovered that the milk from his cows contained harmful chemicals. Then came Art Schaap, a second-generation dairy farmer in New Mexico, who had to dump 15,000 gallons of contaminated milk a day.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill that that bans the sale and manufacture of fur products in the state. The fur ban, which he signed into law on Saturday, prohibits Californians from selling or making clothing, shoes or handbags with fur starting in 2023, according to the AP.
By Simon Evans
During the three months of July, August and September, renewables generated an estimated total of 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh), compared with just 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, the analysis shows.