Speaking on the ABC News program “This Week,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined a panel of guests Sunday morning to discuss climate change.
Garcetti agreed with others on the show and said that the monster snow storms on the East Coast and the devastating drought in California are connected and part of extreme weather change brought on by global warming.
“This has been the driest year on record,” Garcetti said, speaking of California. “And it’s come at an immense cost, whether its wildfires or changing how we get water.”
The mayor said human beings have had a role in global warming through the use of fossil fuels and that it’s incumbent on elected officials to take action to combat the long-term effects.
He said officials must act now because the evidence of the last few years show that extreme weather conditions, like the blizzards in the East or the drought in the West, have become “the new status quo.”
“We can’t afford to deal with the consequences,” he said.
On Friday, President Obama traveled to California’s Central Valley to announce a plan to provide more than $160 million in federal assistance to the drought-stricken state.
The directives include aid for ranchers struggling to feed their livestock because of the drought, and for food banks serving families in hard-hit areas. Obama also called on U.S. government facilities in California to curb water use.
"These actions will help. But they're just the first step," he said. "We have to be clear: A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms [and] floods are potentially going to be costlier and they're going to be harsher."
Obama tied the drought directly to global warming: "Unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend is going to get a lot worse."