California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) will plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter for sparking the state’s deadliest wildfire, the company announced Monday.
The announcement comes a little less than a year after an investigation confirmed that power lines owned by the utility sparked the Camp Fire, which burned 153,336 acres, killed 85 people and scorched the town of Paradise.
“We cannot replace all that the fire destroyed, but our hope is that this plea agreement, along with our rebuilding efforts, will help the community move forward from this tragic incident,” PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson said in a statement reported by Reuters.
As experts warn that the world is running out of time to head off severe climate change, discussions of what the U.S. should do about it are split into opposing camps. The scientific-environmental perspective says global warming will cause the planet severe harm without action to slow fossil fuel burning. Those who reject mainstream climate science insist either that warming is not occurring or that it’s not clear human actions are driving it.
As Australia’s bushfire crisis continues to impact wildlife, aircraft have been deployed to feed thousands of starving wild animals who have been stranded by the blazes.
The government of the hard-hit state of New South Wales (NSW) has begun a campaign of airdrops across scorched regions, delivering thousands of pounds of root veggies —like carrots and sweet potatoes —from choppers flying above in a bid to sate the appetites of hungry colonies of brush-trailed rock wallabies, reportsDaily Mail. Continue reading →
While Australia’s unprecedented wave of fires has devastated the country, it’s been difficult for experts and authorities to accurately measure the true extent of the damage sustained by the country’s wild animals and plants.
However, new figures released by specialists studying the blaze reveal horrifying new statistics about the number of animals killed in the bushfires, which likely now exceed one billion. Continue reading →
“The fires have burned so hot and so fast that there has been significant mortality of animals in the trees, but there is such a big area now that is still on fire and still burning that we will probably never find the bodies.”
Ecologists at the University of Sydney are estimating that nearly half a billion animals have been killed in Australia’s unprecedented and catastrophic wildfires, which have sparked a continent-wide crisis and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in desperation.
News Corp Australiareported Wednesday that “there are real concerns entire species of plants and animals have been wiped out by bushfires following revelations almost 500 million animals have died since the crisis began.” Continue reading →
With destructive wildfires raging across the country amid a severe drought, Australia on Tuesday experienced its hottest day on record as the national average maximum temperature reached an unprecedented 40.9°C (105.6°F).
“That was the national average temperature. Some places were far hotter,” tweeted meteorologist Eric Holthaus. “Truly, an unthinkable and unlivable reality. We are in a climate emergency.” Continue reading →
The latest official figures show 79,513 forest fires have been recorded in the country this year, the highest number of any year since 2013. More than half of those are in the massive Amazon basin. Experts say increased land clearing during the months-long dry season to make way for crops or grazing has aggravated the problem this year. Photo: @capnfrenchie/Twitter
Brazil’s army on Sunday deployed aircraft to battle the raging fires in the Amazon as global concern and outrage over the potential consequences—and the destructive causes—of the disaster grow.
The military operations involving C-130 aircraft to put out fires came after Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro triggered global protests over his government’s policies and failure to take swift action to combat the flames. Continue reading →
The Camp and Woolsey fires in California cost at least $9-13 billion in damage, according to a Christian Aid report published Thursday. (Photo: U.S. Forest Service)
From heat waves and hurricanes to fires and floods, the 10 costliest extreme weather events of 2018—driven by the global climate crisis—killed thousands of people and caused at least $84.8 billion in damage, according to a new analysis from Christian Aid.
As an air pollution exposure scientist, I worry about the extreme levels of air pollution that rise from these fires and affect many people across great distances. They can create unhealthy conditions in far-flung locations where residents probably never think about wildfires. But since major wildfires are becoming increasingly common, I believe it is important for all Americans to know some basics about smoke hazards. Continue reading →