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

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 Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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