Charles Benner: While thousands of homes burn | SierraSun.com

Charles Benner: While thousands of homes burn

Other Voices
Charles Benner

Wildfires are getting bigger, stronger, and more frequent. Six of the most destructive wildfires in California's history have occurred in just the past 10 months.

Ninety-seven percent of the world's scientists agree the major cause of increased fires is global warming. Our Congressman Tom McClintock doesn't want to believe them. He is a climate change denier.

McClintock insists that "the climate has been changing for 4 1/2 billion years. The extent to which human activity has a role to play is being hotly debated right now."

Meanwhile, as the floods, fires, and hurricanes keep getting worse, the USA is the only nation that's withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement and the fight against global warming. Time is running out.

Challenging McClintock for his seat is Democrat candidate Jessica Morse. She says: "Forest fires don't ask whether you are a Republican or Democrat, they impact the entire community all the same.

"Whether it's drought, fire prevention, or 120 million trees dying in the forest, or investment in renewable energy … McClintock's still arguing about whether climate change is real."

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Morse says McClintock has blocked funding for forest fire prevention, "costing significantly more to try to put out these forest fires than making small forward investments in prevention. For example, it cost $72 million to put out the Butte fire a few years ago. It cost $2,000 to build the fire break that saved the town of Mokelumne Hill which was right in its path."

Small investments save money in the long run.

And scientists now warn that if drastic action isn't taken within the next 10 years, global warming caused weather disasters will be with us forever. This coming November election can be a decisive turning point, bringing us back into alignment with the Paris Climate Agreement, back into alignment with our truest local, national, and global values.

Jessica Morse thinks the district will be better off if we stopped electing politicians and start electing public servants.

We must vote for change now. Before the fire reaches our doorstep.

Charles Benner lives in Grass Valley.