Why so many fires along the west coast?
As with many of the issues that seem to divide America, climate change is yet another where the public debate is between left-wing orthodoxy and a strawman argument that the left establishes as the counterpoint. Unless you believe all three contentions advanced by the left – that the climate is warming, that man is largely responsible, and that we can reverse it without returning to the Stone Age – you are demonized as a climate change denier.
According to those who earn big money scaring the public with doomsday prophecies. They – and they alone – are in possession of the absolute truth even though there is plenty of room for legitimate debate on the second two points.
In the past, I have labeled myself a climate change agnostic. I do believe that the earth is warming. But I am open to considering what many scientists with lots of letters behind their names have to say — that mankind’s contribution may not be as significant as claimed.
I more strongly believe that we cannot reach the levels of carbon in the atmosphere without engaging in totally unacceptable measures – such as banning all air travel, stop eating meat and completely ending the use of fossil fuels.
The fires raging along the west coast are a good example of how the left and their media allies manipulate data to scare the public into giving billions of dollars to the scaremongers. Ponder that point. Those attempting to stampede the public into spending those billions of dollars are the same people who will be receiving a lot of those dollars.
I would concede that the earth has been in a warming cycle – and that could be contributing to weather patterns making for a drier west coast, higher ocean levels and more powerful hurricanes – at least for the time being. But to say that climate change is the primary reason for the horrible fires on the Pacific Coast is challengeable – if not totally wrong.
There arguably is a more basic reason for the upsurge – people.
Population growth in the west has meant more people moving further and further in the forest areas. This means when there are fires, they can cause more destruction and death. Paradise,
California – which was leveled by the Camp Fire in 2018 was only incorporated in 1979. Many of the other endangered, damaged and destroyed communities were even newer.
It is not just the fact that so many people put themselves in harm’s way – just like all the folks building on shorelines and in flood plains. It is more important to understand that the presence of these folks is the primary reason for the rash of fires near their homes.
One data point that gets ignored by the media is the fact that 85 to 90 percent of those hundreds of fires burning up millions of acres are started by … people. It is the folks who settled in those communities who have caused most of the fires – by tossing a cigarette, starting a campfire and playing with fireworks. Sadly, also among the people-caused brush fires is arson.
Because all these new residents need electric power, the utility company strings miles upon miles of high voltage cables. The related transformers attract lightning or just blow upon up their own.
The only other source of ignition is lightning – and that has been going on for millennia. To look at the data another way, If there were not people-caused brush and forest fires, instead of say 500 serious blazes, there would only be 50-plus – and mostly where people did not settle in big numbers.
People – in this case, environmentalists – have also played a role in the increased devastation of these wildfires. There has been strong opposition to removing undergrowth and forestation near population centers. It is just not possible for people on the west coast to live safely too close to nature. When given a choice between protecting the people or the wildlife, the decision should be easy.
It is conceivable – even likely – that increases in world temperatures are a contributing factor. But the primary cause of the large number of fires — and the resultant death and destruction — is people.
So, there ‘tis.