Janet Napolitano Connects Wildfires to Climate Change

Obama administration official Janet Napolitano discusses climate change at a press conference in Colorado Springs. Climate Desk/YouTube

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After President Obama declared Colorado an official disaster area, making federal aid available to two counties suffering the devastating aftermath of the High Park and Waldo Canyon blazes, members of his cabinet, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, visited Colorado Springs yesterday to assess the wreckage—and answer this lingering question from Climate Desk reporter James West:

Is this recent onslaught of extreme weather indicative of climate change?

“It could be a lot of different things,” Napolitano said at a press conference at Coronado High School. “You have to look at climate change over a period of years, not just one summer. You can always have one abnormal summer. But when you see one after another after another then you can see, yeah, there’s a pattern here.”

Here’s a video of Napolitano speaking to James at yesterday’s press conference.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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