United States – California wildfires deadliest in history as toll climbs to 31 and 228 reported missing

There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!

Abandoned cars, scorched by the wildfire, line Pearson Rd in Paradise. Photo / AP

What we know so far:

  • At least 31 people have been killed
  • More than 6,700 structures destroyed
  • 3,000 firefighters are battling the blazes
  • 228 people are reported  missing
  • Among casualties are 6 firefighters

READ RELATED: What we know about California wildfires: 31 deaths, more than 6,700 structures destroyed

As relatives desperately searched shelters for missing loved ones today, crews searching the smoking ruins of Paradise and outlying areas found six more bodies, raising the death toll to 29, matching the deadliest wildfire in state history.

The burned remains of a vehicle and home are seen during the Camp fire in Paradise
The burned remains of a vehicle and home are seen during the Camp fire in Paradise Photo: AFP

Wildfires continued to rage on both ends of the state, with gusty winds expected overnight which will challenge firefighters.

The statewide death toll stood at 31 and appeared certain to rise.

Massive out-of-control wildfires are ripping through California, causing insurmountable destruction and the evacuation of thousands on both ends of the state.

On Saturday, firefighters hoped that a brief lull in howling winds would give them a chance to block, or at least slow, one of two massive wildfires that have killed at least 23 people and caused the evacuations of hundreds of thousands.

Here is how people can help;

California Volunteers: The state-run office manages programs and initiatives helping to increase public service in California. The group has activated for the disasters and has ways for you to help out, whether it be financially, volunteering or with donated goods,  in each of the fires.

American Red CrossThe American Red Cross is helping those in northern and southern California with finding shelter and providing assistance. The organization has listed ways for you to help. If you would like to make a $10 donation, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999.

CCF Wildfire Relief FundThe organization helps provide intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires and has local initiatives to help out those affected by the blaze.

CLIMATE CHANGE – The BIGGEST Global Story The Media Struggles To Tell 

World media is struggling to tell the biggest global story  – ‘Climate Change’ 

Faced with a major UN report that warns of floods, drought, extreme heat and increased poverty should the world not take radical action to address climate change, Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically reluctant to speak out. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

|PETE VERNON, CJR|AIWA! NO!|The projections are dire: Widespread drought, food shortages, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040. That is the future we’re facing, according to a new report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The story received prominent coverage on the homepages of the The New York Times and The Washington Post on Monday, and was discussed on cable news. But with a daily news cycle that churns out a constant stream of stories with sensational angles or immediate implications, can the press find a way to focus on a slow-moving crisis that affects everyone on the planet?

If history is a guide, then the answer is largely “no.” Writing in 2015, then-Guardian Editor in Chief Alan Rusbridger argued that “the problem with this story is…it’s so big, and it doesn’t change much from day to day. Journalism is brilliant at capturing momentum, or changes, or things that are unusual. If it’s basically the same every day, every week, every year, I think journalists lose heart.

On Monday, Rusbridger surveyed the covers of UK papers and lamented the absence of articles on the UN report. “If voters are kept in the dark about global warming by newspapers then urgent action by democratic politicians becomes a hundred times harder,” he wrote. Climate change has long been held up as an example of the sort of story that news outlets know is important, but struggle to cover. This new report, which warns that world governments have only a dozen years to take meaningful action, could be a wake-up call, but only if journalists find a way to realign their priorities.

The Post’s Margaret Sullivan argues that the press must find a way to keep attention on this threat, even while dealing with the demands of the daily news cycle. “There is a lot happening in the nation and the world, a constant rush of news. Much of it deserves our attention as journalists and news consumers. But we need to figure out how to make the main thing matter,” Sullivan writes. “In short, when it comes to climate change, we—the media, the public, the world—need radical transformation, and we need it now.

In America, that transformation requires an acknowledgement that President Trump, who has questioned the very idea of climate change, heads a Republican party that is one of the few major political organizations in the world that rejects the basic scientific consensus. The Times’s Mark Landler and Coral Davenport note that Trump spent part of Monday in Florida, “a state that lies directly in the path of this coming calamity—and said nothing about [the new UN report].”

With the immediate implications of climate change being more dire that previously thought, heading off disaster will require a massive effort from governments around the world. The sort of political will required to make necessary changes could be driven by public pressure, but that pressure depends on an informed citizenry, which is where the press comes in. As Sullivan writes, it’s past time for fresh thinking: “Just as the smartest minds in earth science have issued their warning, the best minds in media should be giving sustained attention to how to tell this most important story in a way that will create change.”

Below, more on the coverage of a global emergency.

  • What’s different?: Previous studies had focused on the global damage caused by a rise in average temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius. The UN report released Sunday calculated the effect of a 1.5 degree increase, and found that the effects would include “inundating coastlines and intensifying droughts and poverty,” reports the Times’s Davenport.
  • Plain writing: The BBC’s headline on its story about the UN report lays out the stakes: “Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe.’
  • Other priorities: One anecdotal measure of how hard it is for this issue to gain traction in Washington: On Tuesday, neither Politico Playbook nor Axios AM, two influential DC morning tipsheets, contains the phrase “climate change.”
  • Not just Trump: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, who finished first in the initial round of the country’s presidential election on Sunday, has said he plans to follow Trump in withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement if he is elected. Brazil is the world’s seventh-largest producer of greenhouse gases.
  • Climate change on the ballot: The topic may have been completely ignored during the 2016 presidential debates, but Lyndsey Gilpin writes for CJR that climate change has emerged as an increasingly important topic in the heart of coal country. As part of our series on midterm races, Gilpin checks in from Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

Scientists Just Laid Out Paths to Solve Climate Change. We Aren’t on Track to Do Any of Them

By JUSTIN WORLAND, TIME|AIWA! NO!|Climate scientists have understood for decades that unchecked, man-made global warming will wreak havoc on human civilization. The challenge has only grown more urgent as the scientific understanding expands and the world begins to feel the impacts.
Now, a landmark U.N. report offers both a glimmer of hope and a giant warning. Scientists and policymakers have the knowhow to address climate change and stave off some of the worst effects of the phenomenon, but political leaders are nowhere close to fully undertaking any of these steps, the report shows.

Scientists on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) point to a global temperature rise of 1.5°C as a threshold the planet cannot cross without seeing the worst effects of climate change. Yet according to the U.N. organization’s latest report, temperatures have already risen 1°C as a result of human activity, and the planet could pass the 1.5°C threshold as early as 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate.

“We need a plan to save us,” Mary Robinson, a former U.N. Special Envoy on Climate Change and a previous president of Ireland, tells TIME. “We have a short window of time and a huge responsibility.”

To keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5°C, humans need to shift the trajectory of carbon dioxide emissions so that we either stop emitting by around 2050, or pull more carbon out of the atmosphere than we release. That’s a tall order given the extent to which we rely on fossil fuels to power our vehicles, homes and factories.

As daunting as the task may sound, the IPCC report hints at good news: scientists already have the technical wherewithal to limit temperature rise to the target 1.5°C.

“Limiting warming to 1.5° is not impossible, but will require unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society,” Hoesung Lee, chair of the IPCC, said at a press conference in Seoul Monday. “Every bit of warming matters.”

Among other things, the list of solutions includes energy efficiency, electrifying transport and pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by reforesting regions and using carbon capture technology. The rapid deployment of renewable energy will also play a key role. To keep temperatures at the target, renewable energy will need to provide at least 70% of global electricity in 2050, while coal use will essentially need to disappear.

Some of these changes are already in motion. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power have expanded rapidly in recent years largely as a result of market forces. That growth is expected to continue in the coming decades as the price of renewable energy technologies continues to fall.

But the change isn’t coming fast enough. Reaching the target will require government action, including support for research and development, and modification of the way markets work to account for the negative effects of burning fossil fuels.

“The energy transition we need now for climate purposes needs to move much faster,” says Adnan Amin, who heads the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “We need policy mechanisms.”

The IPCC report is intended to help spur those policies. Negotiators brokering the 2015 Paris Agreement included the 1.5°C marker as an “ideal target” following a push from developing countries that feared their nations may be lost if temperature rise exceeds that level. The IPCC was asked to study the feasibility of the 1.5°C threshold and how it might be achieved.

Read More: World Approves Historic ‘Paris Agreement’ to Address Climate Change

The new report, released Monday in Seoul, shows we are nowhere close, and the government commitments made in 2015 by some 190 countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions would still allow temperatures to rise more than 3°C.

It has not helped that in the wake of the historic Paris Agreement, which at the time seemed to herald a new era of cooperation on climate change, many countries have taken a step back from implementing measures to slash emissions. President Donald Trump has promised to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement entirely, while climate change plans in other countries, including Germany, Australia and Canada, have faced unexpected challenges.

“The world is not achieving the goals under Paris,” California Governor Jerry Brown told TIME last month. “It’s stalled.”

Brown and others have tried to restart those efforts with a series of summits, policy announcements and corporate commitments all designed to put pressure on national governments ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate conference in Poland this December. But with political disruptions across the globe the challenge remains steep.

“The main difference between possibility and impossibility is just political will,” says Chris Weber, WWF‘s global climate and energy lead scientist.

The consequences of failure would be immense and affect countries and their citizens in every corner of the globe. But the most worst toll would be inflicted on developing countries that lack the resources to adapt and communities located in vulnerable regions like coastlines, small islands and particularly dry regions.

“We need a ‘climate just’ pathway,” says Robinson. “The risks posed by global warming in excess of 1.5°C are large and unpredictable and in some cases irreversible.”

Indonesia Quake-Tsunami Death Toll Tops 1,700

A villager sits on the ruins of her house destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in Palu on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Saturday. (Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press)Indonesia’s disaster agency says the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi island has risen to 1,763, with more than 5,000 people feared missing

|The Associated Press|AIWA! NO!|Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said most of the dead were in the city of Palu, and warned many more people could be buried in the rubble the tremor and tsunami left in their wake. In Palu’s Petobo and Balaroa neighbourhoods, more than 3,000 homes were damaged or sucked into deep mud when the Sept. 28 quake caused loose soil to liquefy.

“Based on reports from village chiefs in Balaroa and Petobo, some 5,000 people have not been found. Our workers on the ground are trying to confirm this,” he said at a news briefing in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.

Nugroho said that efforts to retrieve decomposed bodies in deep, soft mud were getting tougher and that some people may have fled or been rescued and evacuated. More than 8,000 either injured or vulnerable residents have been flown or shipped out of Palu, while others could have left by land, he said.

Officially, Nugroho said only 265 people are confirmed missing and 152 others still buried under mud and rubble, nine days after the magnitude 7.5 earthquake and powerful tsunami hit Palu and surrounding areas.

The government targets to end search operations by Thursday, nearly two weeks after the disaster, at which time those unaccounted for will be declared missing and considered dead, Nugroho said.

A villager stands amidst the destruction in Palu. (Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press)
As searchers continued to dig through rubble on Sunday, central Sulawesi governor Loki Djanggola said local officials were meeting religious groups and families of victims to seek their consent to turn neighbourhoods wiped out by liquefaction into mass graves.

He said on local television that survivors in the outlying villages in Petobo, Balaroa and Jono Oge could be relocated and monuments be built in the areas, which now look like wastelands, to remember the victims interred there.

Officials have said that it is not safe for heavy equipment to operate in those areas and that they fear the risk of the spread of disease from decomposed bodies.

While grappling with immediate relief needs, the government is also mapping out plans to help more than 70,000 people, including tens of thousands of children, who have been displaced by the disasters to rebuild their lives.

Social welfare officials have set up nurseries in makeshift tents as stopgap to keep children safe and help them heal from the trauma. Local television showed children colouring in one such tent in Palu and staff using puppets to minister to affected kids.

Market vendors have resumed business and roadside restaurants were open in Palu but long lines of cars and motorcycles still snarled out of gas stations.

In Jakarta, volunteers walked around thoroughfares empty of cars collecting donations for earthquake victims during the weekly car free morning in the city centre.

BRITISH Virgin Atlantic Flies The First Ever Commercial Flight Using LanzaTech’s Sustainable Jet Fuel

Virgin Atlantic flies the first ever commercial flight using LanzaTech’s sustainable jet fuel; paving the way for a revolutionized way of doing ‘air business’ without adding toxic waste that damage the ozone layer –  causing climate change

|AIWA! NO!|Virgin Atlantic has completed the first ever commercial flight using LanzaTech’s innovative new sustainable aviation fuel – a huge cause for celebration. 

I was so proud to marshall the 747 into Gatwick and thank our team and customers for being a part of making aviation history. There was rapturous applause from the passengers and the crew – I could tell everyone was as excited as I was by the enormous potential of this new technology. 

Reducing carbon is a major priority at Virgin Atlantic – we’ve already taken a number of steps to reduce CO2 emissions, but this flight is a huge step in making this new technology a mainstream reality. There is no immediate replacement for long haul travel – and this technology is ready now and would have a significant impact on our carbon footprint.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

The LanzaTech process is so exciting because this fuel takes waste, carbon-rich gases that would otherwise go up the chimneys of steel and aluminium mills and gives them a second life – so that new fossil fuels don’t have to be taken out of the ground. It’s incredible that the factories can make the steel for the planes and then the waste product can be used to power the plane. This is a great opportunity for UK industry as it supports our steel mills while also decarbonising them.

It has the potential to produce up to 125 million gallons per year in the UK – enough to fuel 100 per cent of Virgin Atlantic’s flights departing Britain. This would result in nearly one million tonnes of CO2 savings per year, equivalent to 2,100 roundtrips flights between London Heathrow and JFK airports.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

We’re at a tantalising tipping point for making this ground-breaking new tech a commercial reality  – as long as we can get support from the UK government. We want to secure the world’s first carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) commercial jet fuel production facility in the UK.

Image from Virgin Atlantic

We’ve had some great support from the UK government so far. But we now need to turn this into firm government action on incentives and investor commitment, to help us accelerate towards building the world’s first full size plant producing jet fuel from waste carbon gases.

I want to say a big thank you to all our partners who made today’s flight possible and showed we’re ready for business.

INDONESIA – Soldiers ordered to shoot looters on sight after earthquake that killed over 1,400

Witnesses have spoken of residents who have taken to digging through reeking piles of sodden food and debris, searching a warehouse wrecked by the tsunami for anything they could salvage: cans of condensed milk, soft drinks, rice, sweets and painkillers.

This aerial photo shows Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 2, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - The Indonesian government on October 2 said the death toll from a devastating quake-tsunami on the island of Sulawesi had risen to 1,234 people, up from the previous count of 844. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP)JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
This aerial photo shows Indonesian soldiers burying quake victims in a mass grave in Poboya (Picture: AFP)
|AIWA! NO!|Soldiers have been ordered to fire on people caught looting on the quake and tsunami-struck island of Sulawesi.

Over the last week, desperate survivors have been raiding shops for food and water but as aid now starts to trickle in, the authorities have vowed to end it.

This morning, local military colonel Ida Dewa Agung Hadisaputra revealed soldiers had now been given orders to shoot people spotted stealing from shops.

Indonesian soldiers stand guard in a devastated area in the Petobo subdistrict in Palu on October 4, 2018, following the September 28 earthquake and tsunami. - A total of 1,411 people have been confirmed dead and over 2,500 injured after the monster earthquake struck on September 28 sending destructive waves barrelling into Sulawesi island. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP)ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images
Indonesian soldiers stand guard in a devastated area in the Petobo subdistrict in Palu (Picture: AFP)

‘If there is looting again, we will quickly fire a warning shot and then shoot to immobilise,’ he said.

‘They tried to loot on the first day, when gasoline… and water were not available. Stores were also closed. ‘That kind of situation caused them to loot.’ ‘We could tolerate it (looting) on the first and second day because they needed those things,’ he continued. ‘But on the third day, they started looting things like electronic equipment.’

A quake survivor salvages items from the debris of a house in Wani, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 3, 2018, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. - Nearly 1,400 people are now known to have died in the quake-tsunami that smashed into Indonesia's Sulawesi island as UN officials warned the "needs remain vast" for both desperate survivors and rescue teams still searching for victims. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD / AFP)JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
The quake has flattened entire neighbourhoods (Picture: AFP)

The Indonesian military are wanting to restore order before the aid convoys land amid fears that trucks and planes carrying food could be ambushed. The move comes hours after the DEC – a group of 14 UK aid agencies – launched a joint fundraising appeal to try to help the survivors and the first British aid plane will leave today.

So far, 1,424 people are confirmed dead and more bodies are being brought out on an hourly basis. However there is a lack of heavy equipment to dig them out and the number of body bags is running low. When they are found, the dead are hastily buried in mass graves to prevent the spread of disease.

TOPSHOT - Medical team members help patients outside a hospital after an earthquake and a tsunami hit Palu, on Sulawesi island on September 29, 2018. - Rescuers scrambled to reach tsunami-hit central Indonesia and assess the damage after a strong quake brought down several buildings and sent locals fleeing their homes for higher ground. (Photo by MUHAMMAD RIFKI / AFP)MUHAMMAD RIFKI/AFP/Getty Images
Medical team members help patients outside a hospital in Palu (Picture: AFP)

Sadly, it has been days since anyone has been found alive in the rubble. A further 2,549 are severely injured while aid workers say there are 200,000 people in dire need of food, water or medical aid.

UNITED KINGDOM Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Indonesia Tsunami Appeal

Indonesia Tsunami Appeal; your help urgently needed

Petobo on October 1
Petobo on October 1 (DigitalGlobe, via AP)

|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA|AIWA! NO!|Last Friday, an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a terrifying tsunami that reached 18 feet in height and left a trail of destruction in its wake.

A girl carries valuables from the ruins of her house after the earthquake hit the Balaroa sub-district in Palu. [Beawiharta/Reuters]
A girl carries valuables from the ruins of her house after the earthquake hit the Balaroa sub-district in Palu. BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS
Tens of thousands of homes have been destroyed and entire communities have been decimated. More than 1,300 people have died and hundreds of thousands of survivors are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

DEC member charities and their Indonesian partners are working closely with national authorities to provide food, clean water, first aid and shelter, while helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days.

As the full scale of devastation unfolds, they are ready to do even more, and with your help, support devastated communities in rebuilding their lives.

Indonesian soldiers carry a body from the ruins after an earthquake hit Balaroa sub-district in Palu. [Beawiharta/Reuters]
Let’s save the survivors. A 400-mile-an-hour tsunami also kills slowly.

Huge devastation has been caused by an earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, with over 1,400 people killed, 59,000 displaced from their homes, and millions more who might be affected. Food, water and medicine are running out, and there is a high risk of outbreak of disease.

Now, on behalf of 14 leading British charities, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has launched an urgent appeal to raise funds to provide those affected by this humanitarian catastrophe with the food, water, shelter and medical care they need.

Today, many of you have already generously donated, but if you haven’t yet, your support remains vital.

 

UK DEC EMERGENCY FUND – INDONESIA TSUNAMI

We really appreciate your support and generosity in helping us raise funds to aid people affected by disasters and emergencies. There are currently no open appeals, so all donations will go towards the DEC Emergency Fund to help us respond quickly and effectively when a crisis hits.

ONLINE

The DEC currently has no open appeals. To donate online to the DEC Emergency Fund and help us respond quickly and effectively when a crisis hits, just click on the donate button below.

DONATE

PAYPAL

You can also donate online via paypal by clicking on the button below.

PAYPAL

PHONE

The DEC currently has no open appeals and is not accepting donations by phone at this time.

BY POST

To send a donation through the post please download our postal donation form. All donations should be made payable to The DEC emergency appeal  and sent to PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA

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Text the word DONATE to 70000 to give £5.

The service is open to all residents of the UK (Excluding Manx and Jersey Telecom customers), You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer’s permission.

If you have any problems please call on 01204 770822 or contact us online.

 

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