Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
Articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Orange County Register address Governor Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency to allow the state to waive environmental extremist laws and regulations that are needed so that Cal Fire can proceed with actions to clear dead trees, remove excessive undergrowth, thin out excessive tree growth and crowding, use prescribed fire, etc. to improve forest health and decrease Ca. wildfire risks.
California Governor Brown erroneously claimed that scientifically unsupported and nebulous “climate change” was driving the states wildfires while ignoring decades of pleas from forest and fire fighting professionals to address failed government and regulatory policies which were allowing the build up of excessive fuel which was leading to more intense and dangerous wildfires as addressed in a WUWT article as follows:
“In October 18, 2015 L. A. Times article wildfire experts unsupportive of Brown’s position noted that:
“Today’s forest fires are indeed larger than those of the past, said National Park Service climate change scientist Patrick Gonzalez.
At a symposium sponsored by Brown’s administration, Gonzalez presented research attributing that trend to policies of fighting the fires, which create thick under layers of growth, rather than allowing them to burn.
“We are living right now with a legacy of unnatural fire suppression of approximately a century,” Gonzalez told attendees.”
This century long policy of fire suppression and its impact of Ca. wildfires is further reflected in a 2015 University of California Berkeley study which noted:
“National parks and other protected areas clearly provide an important function in removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it,” said Battles. “But we also know from previous research that a century of fire suppression has contributed to a potentially unsustainable buildup of vegetation. This buildup provides abundant fuel for fires that contribute to carbon emissions.”
Before this state of emergency action by Governor Newsom the state ignored the comprehensive Little Hoover Commission report of February 2017 that laid out in detail the failure of states forest management and environmental polices which were found to be driving the increased wildfire intensity and damage.
Governor Newsom’s state of emergency declaration action is in accordance with recommendations contained in the most recent wildfire study by Cal Fire.
Governor Browns flawed and politically contrived claim of “climate change” driven wildfires was never supported by scientific data which shows that California has a long history going back centuries of extensive and severe droughts and that recent droughts are in fact less severe than the state has experienced in the past.
The Los Angeles Times article noted that some “experts” were in disagreement with the need for Governor Newsom to take these actions but the Governor rebutted these challenges as follows:.
“At the news conference, Newsom acknowledged the criticism, and rebutted it.
“Some people, you know, want to maintain our processes and they want to maintain our rules and protocols,” the governor said. “But I’m going to push back on that. Some of these projects quite literally, not figuratively, could take two years to get done, or we could get them done in the next two months. That’s our choice.”
Finally California has begun to address reality in dealing with the state wildfire debacle by acknowledging its role in building this huge problem instead of continuing to make phony “climate change” excuses for these wildfires.
This action should never have taken so long to occur but instead should have been initiated many years ago.