Newsom said that the disaster was the latest example of climate change.
“The hots are getting hotter. The dries are getting drier. Climate change is real,” Newsom said, appearing via cell phone video against a backdrop of redwoods about a mile away from one of the blazes. “If you are in denial about climate change, come to California.”
He outlined the extremes: 370 fires in the state, with a record heatwave that included a 130 degree temperature, “the highest temperature ever recorded in California, arguably in the world’s history, here in our state.”
Newsom said that President Donald Trump on Thursday “threatened the state of California, 40 million Americans who happen to live here in the state of California, to defund our efforts on wildfire suppression because he said we hadn’t raked enough leaves.”
“You can’t make that up,” Newsom said.
Newsom was pulled from the convention schedule earlier in the day. His spokesman said that “the segment that was originally planned didn’t make sense” given the growth of the wildfires. But he left the door open to an appearance, which came just before the convention’s official open in the 9 PM ET hour.
“I confess, this is not where I expected to be speaking here tonight,” Newsom said.