On Monday, U.S President Joe Biden visited California to survey wildfire damage as the state battles a devastating fire season that is on track to outpace that of 2020, the state’s worst fire season on record.
Biden made this trip to highlight the connection between the climate crisis and the west’s increasingly extreme wildfires as he seeks to rally support for a $3.5tn spending plan Congress is debating.
During his current visit to California, he said that these year-round fires and other extreme weather are cited as catastrophic climate crises, which is actually a tremendous national dilemma and the nation can no longer ignore and bear.
In a statement, Biden said: “Scientists have been warning us for years that extreme weather is going to get more extreme. We’re living it in real-time.”
The president of the U.S urged the public to spend now to make the future effects of the crisis less costly, as he did during recent stops in Louisiana, New York, and New Jersey, all states that suffered millions of dollars in flood and other damage and scores of deaths after Hurricane Ida.
In a step intended to boost support for his rebuilding plans, Biden also said every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $6 in future costs. He pointed out that more efforts must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and ensure communities can withstand catastrophic weather.
In June, the Biden administration obtained a plan to step up its investments to combat the west’s wildfire crisis, after facing criticism the federal efforts are under-resourced and understaffed. The plan includes hiring more federal firefighters and using new technologies to detect and address fires quickly.
Biden’s plan includes climate provisions such as tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, investments to transition the economy away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources such as wind and solar power, and the creation of a civilian climate corps.
Lately, Biden has declared a “code red” moment for the nation to act on the climate crisis while visiting a New York City neighborhood damaged by Hurricane Ida.