Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis recently listed the human, financial and environmental cost of global climate conditions, highlighted by the recent California forest fires, which he said were within 12 years of spiraling out of control.

The frontman co-authored a new Rolling Stone opinion piece that was published just before the Malibu Foundation, which he co-founded, staged a benefit concert with the additional aim of focusing attention of local government calling states of emergencies.

“California is on the front lines of the climate crisis,” the article reads. “In 2017, Ventura was hit with the state’s then-largest wildfire burning nearly 300,000 acres. In early 2018, 23 people died in the Montecito mudslides. Later in the year, the Camp Fire left the town of Paradise in total ruin, killing 86 people. At the same time, the Woolsey Fire destroyed 1,643 structures, killed three people and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 residents.

“These extreme weather events are going to accelerate if we don’t act now. The toll on human life and the environment is unfathomable. These events also come with a monumental price tag. New figures released this week show 2018 global disasters cost $160 billion. A third of that total came from just four events in the U.S., with California’s Camp Fire being the costliest disaster of 2018 at $16.5 billion.”

Kiedis and some of his bandmates were directly affected by the Woolsey Fire. He said he’d seen “firsthand how extreme weather events disproportionately impact low-income residents,” which helped inspire the forming of the foundation to “provide emergency relief assistance to people in need, help the community rebuild and put pressure on elected officials to take climate action now.”

The piece noted that "since our federal government is failing us, we must rely on our state and local governments to lead the charge. It’s time for our state and local governments to step in. According to the landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have only 12 years left to mitigate climate change. The clock is ticking. We need to come together and help solve the greatest threat to humankind and embrace our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations. Join us by pressuring your elected official to declare a climate emergency in your state and city.”

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