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October 13, 2020 -In case you haven’t noticed, wildfires are getting bigger, stronger, and more frequent. The current record-breaking fires in California have scorched over four million acres and destroyed over nine thousand homes and structures—and it’s not over. Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists agree that the major cause of increased fires is global warming. 

Our Congressman Doug LaMalfa still doesn’t want to believe them. He is a climate change denier.

Droughts, floods, fires, and hurricanes keep getting worse and worse every year. Six of the 20 largest wildfires in modern California history have occurred this year.

At a 2017 Town Hall meeting, a year before the historic Camp Fire destroyed over eleven thousand homes in the town of Paradise, Congressman LaMalfa said he “didn’t buy” the claim that climate change is man-made. “I think there’s a lot of bad science behind what people are calling global warming.” The audience booed.

President Trump has repeatedly called global warming “a hoax.” On a recent visit to California, state officials told him we can no longer ignore climate change science. He said, “I don’t think science knows, actually.”  Meanwhile, California burns.

LaMalfa remained silent when the President pulled out of a global treaty to combat climate change, and when he ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to roll back regulations allowing an increase in earth-destroying carbon emissions.

Along with other Republican climate change deniers, LaMalfa represents a clear and present danger to our planet—and to our hometown.

Picture your hometown ten years from now. You are standing among the ashes of what was once your home, remembering back to the days when Trump, the Republican Party, and all the climate change deniers called global warming a hoax. Will you have to tell your kids that you voted for the climate change denier Doug LaMalfa? That the hoax was on you? 

In a 2016 poll of the local residents before the Camp Fire, only 35% believed that global warming would personally harm them. Perhaps losing their homes has changed their opinion. 

In my Republican leaning district, I had been losing sleep dreaming about forest fires, wondering what I could do, when a flyer arrived in the mail. It was from LaMalfa’s Democratic opponent Audrey Denney. 

There was a photo of peaceful mountains and a lake, with a picture of Audrey Denney, a young woman with a sunny smile. The flyer said:  Our district is filled with natural beauty… and it is being poisoned by corruption and lobbyist money. “We need to take back our democracy from the special interests.”  She is for getting big money out of politics

Does anyone still doubt that special interest groups are continuing to pay off climate change deniers?   Audrey Denney says she knows man-made global warming is very real. She will not take money and deny it.

Recently, climate change scientists warned that if drastic action isn’t taken within the next ten years, global warming caused weather disasters will be with us forever. This coming November election can be a decisive turning point. If we don’t vote we are silent, which also means we are complicit. As Martin Luther King said, “Silence can turn you into an accomplice…we can no longer be indifferent.”     

We must vote for change NOW. Before the fire reaches every doorstep.