An electrical fire in the Omaha sewer system sent gouts of flame shooting out of manholes on Sunday, and knocked out power to the city’s downtown area. There are a lot of potential reasons for a sewer fire — electrical problems, too many farts, angry mutants. But in this case, we can blame it partially on climate change.
As Brian Merchant points out at Vice, the drought conditions in Nebraska set the stage for the disaster:
“It’s been dry, unusually dry, and with the moisture we’ve (most recently) had,” Omaha Public Power District vice president Tim Burke told a local Fox news team, “we’ve probably had some moisture get into cable or tape, something like that could have created the outage. That’s what our crews are so good about doing.” He believes that the fire started underground with a failure in their electrical equipment.
Scientists are being unusually non-weaselly about connecting this drought to climate change. So Omaha’s extraordinarily dry conditions, which made this fire more likely, are pretty definitely the result of all our up-fuckery of the planet.
So congratulations! You helped make fountains of flame shoot out of a manhole in the Midwest! It is almost certainly the most metal thing you will ever do.