Update: 12:01 PM - First-hand evidence of environmental restrictions leading to an increase in damage.
A post a few days ago by Connor Boyack noted an LA Times story quoting economists who said that the fires in San Diego will turn out to be a good thing for the economy. They must be environmental economists trying to cover up the real problem--radical environmentalism and radical advocacy of an untenable claim that man is to blame for the warming of the globe.
Steve Urquhart posted a few months back on his blog about the fires in the west, and how better management would save several million metric tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere. In the instance of the southern California fires of 2007, he is vindicated.
Before being embarrassed by and recanting his comments, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the fires in Southern California were caused by global warming. The implication clearly was that he and others must be empowered to do something about it by taking away some of our freedoms. Well, and then I guess I spoke too soon. The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming is now holding hearings on Reid's thesis.
It turns out that the likely greatest cause of the southern California fires has been arson--not global warming after all. I await very interestedly the results as to who the arsonists were. But we'll probably hear a lot of ranting, raving, and kowtowing about the claim that man-made global warming caused it.
Ironically, some of the freedoms that have already been taken away from Southern California residents--in the name of protecting the environment--have likely caused an increase in the destruction over what otherwise would have occurred. Lowell Ponte writes
A typical example of such government mismanagement came in a Southern California beach community a few years ago where residents were prohibited from clearing brush near their homes, lest they harm an “endangered species” of rat that lived there.
When fire, a natural part of the region’s ecology, recurred it burned the homes, the brush, and the legally-privileged rats.
Now we have become fire-burned experimental animals for left-wing firebrands.
Much like people who cheer setbacks in the war in Iraq because they are opposed to George W. Bush and his war, global warming advocates take a "see I told you so stance" every time a fire ravages the west. They feel vindicated in their lust for power over the minds of men.
There is no question that the earth is warming to a small degree. Droughts have made the west more susceptible to fires. But this series of fires was so destructive largely because of opportunism in the name of destruction. Arsonical and environmentalistical.
Will the arsonists be determined to have been members of terrorist groups? Will they have been environmentalists who sabotaged in much the same way animal rights activists and tree spikers have in the past? I don't have any inside information, but I would not ultimately be surprised if at least some of the fires were arsono-environmentalist caused.
It doesn't matter, whether they are directly to blame. Indirectly, many environmentalists exult and propagandize over the furthering of their purposes caused by the recent spate of fires. And the environmentalists' activities and advocacies have made the southern California fires of 2007 much worse than they would have been.
Investor's Business Daily opines:
The Santa Ana winds that fanned the flames didn't come out of the exhaust pipe of anyone's SUV.
We would suggest that the extent of the tragedy has been enhanced by the anti-logging and anti-thinning agenda of the greenies — an agenda that encourages overgrowth and prohibits sensible forest management, including the removal of dead trees as well as underbrush that is said to be the habitat of endangered species who ironically become crispy critters.
The same naturally warm and dry conditions in which these fires occur are the same conditions that bring people to Southern California to build their homes in fire-prone areas in the first place.
But I shouldn't include such statements in my public writings. After all, that is heresy against the Church of the Warming Globe.
Update: 1 Nov 2007, 12:01 PM - I appreciate Connor's comment (#6) of a few minutes ago. His mother is the deputy mayor of Poway, California. Here is an excerpt from a story of a press conference that Ms. Boyack was involved in (which Connor linked to in his comment):
As the smoke cleared and relief efforts accelerated, some leaders were thinking ahead to the next Southern California firestorm.
"We're going to have more Santa Anas," said El Cajon Councilman Bob McClellan, during the meeting of 30 officials. "What are we doing for the future so that we don't have more disasters?"
No one had an immediate answer, though several agreed something has to change.
Merilee Boyack, Poway deputy mayor, was among those suggesting change has to follow the fires of 2003 and 2007.
"This is twice," Boyack said. "I hope we don't have to have this happen a third time."
She said 14,000 of Poway's 25,000 acres have burned -- half in the 2003 Cedar fire and half in this month's Witch Creek fire -- and the people living in the remaining 11,000 acres are terrified.
Boyack, in an interview following the meeting, said she drove through the Poway burn areas Monday. And she said it was obvious that the homes with vegetation cut back around them survived, and that the ones that didn't survive were in subdivisions where native plants cannot be touched by a blade.
There needs to be a compromise between the needs of wildlife and the need to protect people, Boyack said.
"I think the balance has been tipped too far in favor of the environment," she said.