September 1, 2009 - 4:53pm
It was bound to happen. That is, someone was due to blame the catastrophic wildfires in California on global warming.
Rep. Linda Sanchez, the Democratic congresswoman from California’s 39th Congressional District , appeared on MSNBC’s Sept. 1 “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and did just that. She told the show’s fill-in host Tamron Hall that these wildfires have increased in “magnitude” over the years. And she knew why.
“Yeah, it’s really interesting because I'm a native Californian, born and raised here and periodically we would have fought wildfires when I was younger, but nothing of the magnitude that we’ve seen in the last several years,” Sanchez said. “And, obviously, a big contributing factor to that is that we’re in drought condition. We don’t, we aren’t receiving the amount of rainfall that we should or, quite frankly, that in years past we did.”
But Sanchez blamed this lack of rainfall on changing weather patterns made possible by global warming for her perception that wildfires that there has been an increase in wildfires.
“I think that also is a signal that our weather patterns are changing and I think that that is further evidence that, you know global warming and the need to do something about it is going to affect us sooner rather than later and I can’t think of a better example than the fact that we’ve had now these habitual wildfires just about every year,” Sanchez said.
According to MSNBC, half of the state’s $182-million emergency fund has been depleted due to this round of fires in a state that is already experiencing a cash-crunch due to budget shortfalls.
But, blaming these natural disasters on the theory of manmade global warming has been tactic used all too often – including by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. In February 2008, he blamed global warming for storms that killed 50 people throughout the Southeastern United States. Former Vice President Al Gore alluded to global warming in the wake of the May 2008 Myanmar cyclones .
But CNN’s Tom Foreman warned of a possible “century of fires” as a result of global warming in October 2007 , although California wildfires have been a phenomenon that has occurred long before the theory of anthropogenic global warming was conceived.