The descent of the Republican presidential debate into new lows of demagoguery highlighted the emptiness of political discourse. And across the country, communities experienced the torrential downpours, record temperatures, floods, droughts, and firestorms predicted by climate change models. But 2015 also brought breakthroughs.
Too often climate advocates stop at apocalypse. If we don't change everything now, or "yesterday," as one scientist said recently, we're toast. Or drowned. Or something, really, really bad. The problem with this kind of message, research has shown, is that most people basically tune out right about then.
"COP21" is shorthand for "Conference of the Parties 21," which tells you absolutely nothing. You could call it the "2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference," but that gives you little more than a vague outline of what it is.
To date, 2015 has been one of the worst fire seasons in history with 9.8 million total acres destroyed. Despite the fact that so many of our West's forests are part of federal lands, wildfire is not just a public lands issue.
Since October is #FirePreventionMonth, I'd like to ask you to take one small action to help prevent wildfires. I'm not asking you to stop lightning -- nobody can do that! I'm asking you to step in and help prevent human caused wildfires, since nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans.
Sadly, land fires in Indonesia do not occur naturally. They are largely the result of a history of destructive land management, poor law enforcement, and inadequate preparation.
If you snooze soundly at night knowing your beloved house is 110 percent covered by homeowners' insurance, better get out the melatonin: There are probably some gaps in that coverage.
All across the western United States, the forests are burning. In normal times, wildfires can be a good thing, clearing out dead material and making room for new growth. These are not normal times. The forests are burning, and in some cases they're not coming back.
At his home in Middletown, a small town of 1900 just north of California's storied wine country, veterinarian Jeff Smith ventured outside after the worst had passed to find only eight of the 20 homes in his neighborhood survived the firestorm.
September is National Preparedness Month, and now is the time to refresh your family's existing emergency plan or map one out for the first time. Waiting to act until the emergency event is occurring is really too late.
Bedtimes are not always golden rituals of expansive love and poignant cherishing in our home. Sometimes we are all exhausted and edgy by the time bedt...
Remarkably, climate change and the movement toward an international agreement to combat it did not make the list. Assuming the agreement is achieved and short of nuclear war, it is hard to imagine a more consequential development.
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On September 11th, as I was flying from Los Angeles to Oakland, I took this picture of the pyrocumulus cloud created from the uncontrolled "Rough Fire" burning east of Fresno, California. The flight was at around 30,000 feet.