(WASHINGTON) -- The record-high temperatures recorded around the world show "the climate change bomb has gone off" and Americans must push "further and faster" for solutions -- including voting against "climate deniers" like former President Donald Trump -- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday.
"What the scientific community is telling us now is that the Earth is screaming at us," Inslee said.
In an interview with ABC "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz, Inslee, one of the Democratic Party's loudest voices on addressing climate, spoke gravely about the threat of a changing world: "The fuse has been burning for decades, and now the climate change bomb has gone off. The scientists are telling us that this is the new age. This is the age of consequences."
Earth's 20 hottest days ever recorded have all occurred this July, amid scorching heat impacting hundreds of millions of people around the world. In the United States, cities in the South and Southwest have experienced record streaks of high temperatures, including Phoenix, which has had 23 consecutive days when the temperature reached at least 110 degrees.
Despite this unprecedented heat wave, the "good news," Inslee said on "This Week," is "we can do this. We're electrifying our transportation fleet. We're electrifying our homes."
MORE: Severe heat forecast: Where scorching temperatures will persist over the next week
"This is a solvable problem. But we need to stop using fossil fuels," Inslee said. "That is the only solution to this massive assault on humanity."
He touted Washington state's record on the issue: "This is not just something for the federal government. States can act." Embracing alternative fuels, battery production and more has financial as well as moral value, Inslee said, describing it as "inventing a new economy."
But there is no time to waste, he contended. When pressed by Raddatz on how to persuade climate change skeptics like Trump and his supporters, who dismiss the scientific consensus about what's happening, Inslee said the solution was simple.
"We can't wait for Donald Trump to figure this out. We don't have time to mess around to wait for this knucklehead to figure this out," he said. "We just got to make sure he's not in office. And the way we do this is vote against climate deniers. Vote against people who refuse to assist this moral and economic crisis that we have."
Inslee also slammed Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who like Trump is running for president in 2024. Inslee referenced unusually high water temperatures off the coast of Florida, which could significantly affect marine life in coral reefs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"When Ron DeSantis wants to go swim, he can't because the water is like a sauna," Inslee said.
Raddatz pressed him on how to get other countries, such as China -- the No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide -- invested in climate change as a worldwide issue, given that officials have acknowledged any truly effective solution must be collective.
In a separate appearance on "This Week," Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas agreed that the warming climate is concerning but said China must be pushed to do its fair share.
"Time is running out. ... So what do you do? How do you bring others together?" Raddatz asked Inslee.
"We need to lead. And we need to lead not just from a moral standpoint but from our self-interest standpoint," Inslee said. "We need to build these jobs here and build these economies here."
Cities like Palm Springs, California, have been feeling the effects of the extremely high temperatures in the South and Southwest U.S.
In a "This Week" interview on Sunday, Palm Springs Mayor Grace Elena Garner said hot weather is not unusual for her desert city in the Coachella Valley.
But as a lifelong resident, Garner said the extended period of triple-digit days is less typical and more dangerous.
"We have workers who are outside every day doing gardening, working on A/C repair -- and then, of course, our unhoused -- and those populations are really getting the brunt of this impact," she said.
Firefighters and the local hospital have also had to respond to more heat-related emergencies, she said.
"What I'm concerned about is the rest of the country, the rest of the world, who is experiencing this extreme heat for the very first time," Garner said. "When your body isn't used to these high temperatures, it can go into a shock."
Her city is monitoring the potential stress on its electrical grid and is working to provide cooling centers and shelters for people without homes while creating more shaded public areas, Garner said.
Still, "we absolutely need more support," she said, such as funding for electric vehicles, more shade construction and more housing.
"We need to reduce the impacts of climate change," Garner said. "We are just going to see this get worse and worse.
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