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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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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