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Ocasio-Cortez points to California fires: 'This is what climate change looks like'

Ocasio-Cortez points to California fires: 'This is what climate change looks like'
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSimmering Democratic tensions show signs of boiling over Out-of-touch Democrats running scared of progressives Progressives rally behind Omar while accusing her critics of bias MORE (D-N.Y.) on Monday pointed to the catastrophic California wildfires as evidence of the drastic effects of climate change.

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“This is what climate change looks like,” the liberal firebrand said in a tweet.

“The GOP like to mock scientific warnings about climate change as exaggeration. But just look around: it’s already starting,” she added, linking to footage of wildfires in Vallejo, Calif. “We have 10 years to cut carbon emissions in half. If we don’t, scenes like this can get much worse.”

 

Research indicates that major wildfires now burn nearly double the area they did in 1970, and other factors such as earlier snowmelt contribute to the dry conditions that create the fires. Federal projections indicate that for some forested areas, the median area burned by fires could increase up to 600 percent from an average annual 1 degree Celsius temperature increase.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCaitlyn Jenner wants to use funds for bullet train project to build rest of Trump border wall Feds agree to restore B to California for bullet train California appeals ruling overturning state's assault weapons ban MORE (D) has declared a state of emergency in the Golden State due to the fires, which have forced thousands of people to evacuate and prompted Pacific Gas & Electric to cut power to about 2.35 million people across 38 counties. The National Weather Service has warned of up to 75 mph winds that could cause “erratic fire behavior.”

“I’m seeing people reporting that they’re going to stay and fight this fire,” Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick said. “You cannot fight this. Please evacuate.”

Ocasio-Cortez has made climate change one of her signature issues, spearheading the ambitious Green New Deal proposal and endorsing Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyClimate progressives launch first action against Biden amid growing frustration Senate Democrats urge Google to conduct racial equity audit Senate climate advocates start digging in on infrastructure goals MORE (D-Mass.), who sponsored the Senate version of the Green New Deal resolution, as he faces a primary challenge from Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyWarren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Five centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to name Speaker MORE III (D-Mass.).