To the Editor:

I write in response to Philip Dean’s letter of 6/21/19 in which Mr. Dean shamed presidential candidate Governor Jay Inslee for his preposterous claim that climate change impacted on the November 2018 Paradise, California wildfire.

Mr. Dean correctly identifies the initial spark of the fire as a malfunction in the electrical equipment of PG&E, but omits any comment on why the fire was so large and burned so quickly.

That’s where the impact of climate change comes in; an exceptionally wet spring had increased grass production, a dry fall had made timber very flammable, and hot, strong winds were blowing. Climate change does not “cause” hurricanes, floods, and wildfires but it acts as an accelerant to move these naturally occurring phenomena from the manageable to the deadly and massively destructive. So says the Fourth National Climate Assessment published by the Trump administration, also in November 2018.

Mr. Dean also refers to the “worried young people” who fear for their future. I volunteer with 350NH, an intergenerational group working to face the climate crisis head-on. The young people in this group are worried yes, but also angry at the older generations who both experience and read about the impact of climate change and either turn a blind eye or throw their hands up and say “let the youth take care of it.” These young people challenge and push us all to confront the truth and take action. That’s what Governor Inslee is doing.

Stephanie Marshall