While Brown proclaims larges wildfires “the new normal”, here’s some scrutiny on his own incompetence in preventing wildfires
Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
In September 2016 California Governor Brown vetoed Senate Bill 1463 which enhanced requirements for the CPUC and state Forestry and Fire Protection to facilitate the undergrounding of power lines in high fire risk areas across the stately by requiring the states involvement with cities and counties facing high fire risks and by requiring the prioritization of high fire risk regions.
The vetoed Bill would have provided enhanced requirements for how the CPUC was to lead this effort by mandating involvement of the states cities and counties along with prioritization of high fire risk regions.
Overhead power lines have been linked to a number of major California wildfires including the 2007 Witch Creek fire in San Diego County which destroyed 1141 homes with 21 deaths and in 2015 are also suspected of being the cause of the Northern Ca. wine country fires as well. Wind damaged overhead power lines are suspected as a potential cause of some of the most recent large and tragic fires in California this year.
Instead of acknowledging to the public that his decision to veto the enhanced fire fighting requirements of SB 1463 was a poor decision particularly given the huge problems the state faces with wildfires he has attempted to cover-up this error by conducting a high profile political campaign blaming California wildfires on speculative and specious “climate change” driven assertions.
At a UN sponsored panel on air pollution in September 2015 Governor Brown claimed that climate change was making California fires more frequent and intense. The conference failed to support Brown’s claim that climate change was driving the states wildfire growth and instead noted other “man made” factors as being responsible for the increased intensity of recent fires.
These factors included excessive and unaddressed growth of vegetation in high risk areas, unnatural and long standing fire suppression practices which are allowing the build up of combustibles and the building of large developments adjacent to or near high fire risk regions.
All of these factors as addressed in the 2015 conference play key roles in creating and intensifying the most recent California wildfires.
According to Cal Fire people are the usual cause of wildfires. “According to Cal Fire statistics, seven of the top 20 most destructive California wildfires were caused by power lines or arson. Another seven on that list are still under investigation or undetermined.”
Research by Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service found the following major causes of wildfires: Debris burning, Smoking, Campers leaving fire unattended, Kids playing with matches, Sparks from trains, Outdoor equipment, Weed whackers.”
None of these factors which have been known for years to be significantly increasing fire occurrence risks and intensity in California were addressed by Governor Brown in his recent wildfire political campaign.
Instead he blithely ignores these real world fire risk issues and tries to shift the blame away from his poor leadership in this area and onto some nebulous claim of “climate change”.
A recent WUWT article presents the scientific data which shows the climate alarmist alleged links between climate change and increasing occurrence and intensity of global wildfires are unsupported with this assessment further demonstrated by conclusions of the UN IPCC AR5 report.
The main stream media appear to be giving Brown a pass on his failure to provide meaningful and effective leadership in dealing with California’s wildfire issues and instead joining with him in trying to falsely shift blame to phony assertions that “climate change” is to blame.
California wildfire occurrences and intensity are clearly being impacted and made worse by “man made” actions but these actions are unrelated to flawed climate change assertions and instead reflect incompetent leadership by California government as lead by Governor Brown to address real world problems that are responsible for these tragic and growing wildfires.