Mythbusting Mark: Climate Changes Causes Wildfires

Mythbusting Mark: Climate Changes Causes Wildfires

Welcome to DPNM’s Newest Series Where We Fact Check Mark Ronchetti’s False and Misleading Claims

This week, the New Mexico GOP nominated Mark Ronchetti as their candidate for governor. Mark Ronchetti is an out of touch, former TV weatherman that doesn’t understand the issues facing New Mexico (he’s even said so himself!). He’s also a candidate with a history of trying to run away from his far-right views and lying on the record to the press and voters. In “Mythbusting Mark,” DPNM will be holding Mark Ronchetti accountable for his lies and misinformation. 

THE CLAIM: 

Mark Ronchetti has claimed “I mean you know climate change doesn’t cause fires, come on.”

THE RATING: 

DPNM rates this claim 4 Wiley Coyotes out of 4 or COMPLETELY FALSE.

 

THE FACTS:  

There is no doubt that the record-breaking wildfires in New Mexico are happening because of climate change. 

Experts all across the country DISAGREE with Mark: 

  • NPR explains: “large fires began igniting in the region at least a month early due to an extended drought made worse by human-caused climate change.” 
  • The New York Times explains: “With human-caused global warming heating up and drying out large parts of the country, however, wildfire seasons are growing longer, narrowing the windows for performing controlled fires safely.”
  • The AP explains: “Studies show this drought is tied to human-caused climate change, as increasing temperatures dry out soils and plants faster, and alter weather patterns in ways that favor drought.”
  • Axios explains: “Studies have found that human-caused climate change is the main driver behind increased wildfire risk in the U.S. West, and research ‘shows that changes in climate create warmer, drier conditions,’ notes the environmental nonprofit Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.”
  • The Guardian explains: “You have this desiccation going on due to climate change and you combine that with other factors,” Garffin said, noting the La Niña pattern that delivered less winter rains across areas of the west, “and it is really a year-round fire season.”
  • AOL explains: [In their article titled: Climate change is why New Mexico’s wildfire season started early this year] “As it gets warmer, then it increases evaporation, things gets drier, plants get drier, basically setting up fuels for these big fires. So when they happen, they burn longer, more severely,” Weber said.
  • NM Political Report: “New Mexico State climatologist David Dubois said that the continuing drought, warm temperatures and increased risk of wildfires are the ‘fingerprint of climate change.’

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