Ocasio-Cortez on L.A. Brush Fire: ‘This Is What Climate Change Looks Like’

Flames approach rolling hills of grape vines during the Kincade fire near Geyserville, California on October 24, 2019. - The fire broke out in spite of rolling blackouts by utility companies in both northern and Southern California. (Photo by Josh Edelson / AFP) (Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday used the wildfire in California threatening the heart of Los Angeles to push her climate change agenda, writing “this is what climate change looks like” and warning that “scenes like this” will “get much worse” if the U.S. does not cut its carbon emissions in half over the next ten years.

A brush fire broke out early Monday morning “close to the southbound side of the 405 Freeway at Getty Center Drive near the Getty Center museum,” prompting hundreds of thousands of evacuations.

As Breitbart News reported:

The Los Angeles Times reports evacuation orders have been issued from the top of Mandeville Canyon Road down to Sunset Boulevard, from Mandeville Canyon east to the 405 Freeway.

An evacuation warning zone was also set for west of Interstate 405, south of Mulholland Drive, north of Sunset Boulevard, and east of Topanga Canyon. “People in the area … are advised to prepare to evacuate due to a rapidly moving brush fire,” the fire department said in a statement posted on Nixle.

Elsewhere, as nearly 200,000 people remain under evacuation order from threat of wildfires, some of the millions of people in Northern California on track to get their electricity back may not have power restored before another possible round of shut-offs and debilitating winds.

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz did not mince words, warning residents in mandatory evacuation zones to “get the hell out.”

“If you’re in the mandatory evacuation zone and you’re still there watching this, you’re an idiot, get the hell out,” he stated.

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the news of the devastating fire, using the tragedy to push her Green New Deal.

“This is what climate change looks like,” she wrote. “The GOP like to mock scientific warnings about climate change as exaggeration. But just look around: it’s already starting.”

“We have 10 years to cut carbon emissions in half. If we don’t, scenes like this can get much worse,” she warned, using the hashtag “#GreenNewDeal”:

Critics of Ocasio-Cortez’s climate change agenda say it is disingenuous to blame wildfires solely on “climate change.” For example, the Kincade Fire, which prompted roughly 200,000 evacuations and burned at least 54,000 acres in Northern wine country, was possibly caused by Pacific Gas & Electric’s broken transmission line, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, investigators have yet to pinpoint the exact cause.

Townhall references an argument made by Chuck Devore, the Vice President of National Initiatives at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and a former California lawmaker, who argues that it is “decades of environmental mismanagement that has created a tinderbox of unharvested timber, dead trees, and thick underbrush” that has caused these massive wildfires– not climate change.

He wrote in Forbes:

This is California’s big secret: it’s not climate change that’s burning up the forests, killing people, and destroying hundreds of homes; it’s decades of environmental mismanagement that has created a tinderbox of unharvested timber, dead trees, and thick underbrush.

This dangerous situation attracted attention from President Donald Trump who, during the height of California’s wildfires last year insisted that “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.”

The irony is that forest management is so bad on public lands that a new report, ordered by the California legislature in 2010, shows that the portion of California’s National Forests protected from timber harvesting is now a net contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fires and trees killed by insects and disease.

If federal and state environmental policies continue to make it difficult and costly to harvest timber and manage the fuel load, then the wildfires will continue and they will be bigger and deadlier. This will, in due course, cause some politicians to blame the fires on climate change.

Many users responded to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, criticizing the freshman lawmaker for ignoring the complexity of the issue in order to aggressively push her progressive agenda.

“AOC PG&E has an aging infrastructure and needs to be updated and underground cable. Get your facts right,” one user wrote.

“This is what it looks like when state law prohibits clearing of dead brush and debris from forests,” another tweeted.

“This is what poor forest management and antiquated, faulty and dangerous power lines failing looks like!” another added.

The latest media briefing on the Getty fire can be seen below:

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