Skip to main content

Common Dreams - December 31, 2021

Tens of thousands of Coloradans were forced to flee their homes Thursday as two fast-moving wildfires—whipped up by wind gusts reaching 110 mph—tore through communities just outside of Denver, engulfing entire neighborhoods in flames and destroying hundreds of buildings.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has declared a state of emergency to help aid the disaster response as officials characterized the late-December fire event as among the worst in the state's history.

"None of this is normal," said Colorado state Rep. Leslie Herod (D-8). "We are not OK."

Experts said the combination of months of unusually dry conditions, warm winter temperatures, and ferocious winds set the stage for the devastating blazes, which meteorologist Eric Holthaus viewed as further evidence that "we are in a climate emergency."

The Colorado branch of the Sunrise Movement agreed, writing on social media that the fires were "fueled by the climate crisis." A growing body of evidence has detailed the extent to which human-caused climate change is driving more frequent and intense wildfires in the U.S. and across the globe.

"People are losing their homes and running for their lives from a fire that started December fucking 30th," Sunrise Colorado tweeted before turning its attention to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and the Big Oil-friendly infrastructure law he helped craft.

"Sen. Manchin, your Exxon highway bill isn't going to save our homes or our lives," the group said. "Your greed and corruption is not only torching our future. It's burning our communities and destroying lives tonight."

Manchin, a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, is currently blocking progress on Democrats' Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion reconciliation package containing hundreds of billions of dollars in climate-related investments. ...
Read full report at Common Dreams