The continuing rage of wildfires in California where roughly 58% of forest lands are federally managed/owned, and the scourge of myopic posts that don’t recognize the incredibly complicated factors contributing to these horrific events, lit a fire under my ass and prompted this post.
As I think some of you understand, the literature and research covering the options for safely mitigating and reducing wildfire risks stress the complexities of this shit. I once again refer folks to Joseph Romm’s book, “Everything you need to know about climate change.” It remains a good source of info. Written a few years back, with solid encapsulations of the research to date, and options for what to do about our adverse circumstances. For too long, we have ignored those who have tried to warn us and help.
A big part of the problem is that some folks don’t want to bask in complexities, preferring less vexing oversimplifications that tend to focus on one issue (e.g., it’s poor forest management dammit!). Heavens to Betsy, would these same folks actually take the time to dig into at least some of the long-standing research that has been warning us about human contributions and what we need to do about it?
Previous administrations are not without culpability. This has not been treated with the urgency it deserves for years. It’s been so much easier to ignore the complex challenges and, with our current prez, make it even more divisive and political.
Obviously, we need to focus on the immediate short term crises and longer term scenarios. Crisis forest management now is one essential aspect but even that is so damn complex (evacuations, shelter of the displaced, folks losing their homes, expense of and risks/safety issues associated with fighting immense blazes, etc), and the ignorance and misinformation surrounding it all just makes everything worse.
We’ve been warned by multiple scientists across the globe, for decades, that persistent severe drought and heat waves would prompt unprecedented wildfires, among other calamities. And so, here we are.
It pisses me off when some look for singular causes for incredibly complex circumstances while generally minimizing, if not outright denying, the significance of human festered climate change. We have to change our ways, from what we drive to where we live, etc. And, yep, there will be dramatic disagreements and conflicts over what that means (e.g., OMG, you mean Gov Newsome and the government are mandating no more fossil fuel burning vehicles in Cali by 2035? Fascistas!). If we don’t change, we will continue to live, and die, with some nasty shit, not to mention what we leave for our kids.
And, this ain’t no liberal or left wing hoax or whatever stupid labels some folks want to apply. Shut the fuck up with that crap.
Clearly, we need an urgent plan at the federal level NOW, to address our current crises. A friend of mine suggested we get the right people around the table to come up with some workable options. I agree, and yes, our prez should be playing a key role in making this happen. But, unfortunately, Trump is not the kind of leader who would bring the “right” folks together for this purpose, preferring instead to lean on climate science deniers, to feast on his need for confrontation and toughness, to feed his own ego, to denigrate environmentalists, and to keep spewing oversimplifications out the wazoo. That’s not what we need.
The current situation in California, and elsewhere, just sucks and if we don’t get some real leadership soon, it is only going to get worse.
And, I hate to say it but, I doubt I’m wrong …