California Democrats waste billions on useless climate alarmist schemes while the state burns uncontrollably

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

The Wall Street Journal published a superb article that exposes the government lunacy in California where its climate alarmist propaganda driven Democratic politicians have wasted tens of billions of dollars on energy schemes that are totally useless in having any meaningful impacts on global emissions levels while ignoring the statewide wildfire disaster that is destroying massive amounts of property, thousands of homes and taking hundreds of lives.

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The article notes the following Democratic Party California government driven climate alarmist absurd climate actions being taken while ignoring the critical need for aggressive statewide highest priorities and resources commitments to addressing long standing failures by the state in addressing its forest management responsibilities.

“State law mandates that utilities obtain 33% of electric generation from renewables such as wind and solar by 2020 and 60% by 2030.

Utilities must spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to reduce the cost of green energy for low-income households. PG&E has prioritized political obeisance over safety.

In 2018 PG&E spent $509 million on electric discounts for low-income customers in addition to $125 million for no-cost weatherization and efficiency upgrades for disadvantaged communities.

Utilities also receive allowances from the state’s cap-and-trade program—$7.5 billion since 2012—to pay for other “ratepayer benefits” that reduce emissions.

For instance, the Legislature in 2015 mandated that utilities spend $100 million annually on solar systems in low-income communities.

This is on top of the $2.2 billion in customer rebates for rooftop solar installations, which utilities charged to ratepayers between 2007 and 2016. Under the state’s net-metering program, solar customers also get a break on their bills.

Last year PG&E invested more than $150 million in battery storage and “sustainable” technologies, which was paid for by a special charge on ratepayers. PG&E is also spending $130 million over three years to install 7,500 electric-car charging stations and offers drivers a $800 “clean fuel” rebate.   

All of this has been part of a Democratic political strategy to use PG&E to advance their climate agenda without raising taxes.

But Californians have instead paid through higher electric rates —PG&E rates are twice as high as in Oregon and Washington—while utilities have had to redirect capital and ratepayer revenue away from fortifying the grid and tree-trimming.”

“PG&E has prioritized serving its political overlords above all else. California’s return to the dark ages is a direct result of the Democratic political monopoly in Sacramento.”

Democratic Party politicians in Sacramento have created this colossal wildfire debacle mess by their hugely misguided, monumentally incompetent and totally useless climate alarmist policy priorities wasting tens of billions of dollars on globally meaningless actions while ignoring the disastrous failures of the state to deal with its forest management responsibilities.

No doubt the states Democrats will hide their mind-boggling failures and try to shift blame and responsibility elsewhere most likely with the full support of the states corrupt media.        

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Alan Chapprll
October 29, 2019 6:05 am

Whatshot wall street journal you will get impeached !!!!

Curious George
Reply to  Alan Chapprll
October 29, 2019 8:05 am

When I lived in a socialist country, socialism had four main enemies:
spring, summer, autumn, winter.

Now I live in California, and the Democratic establishment has five main enemies:
climate change, drought, wind, rain, capitalism.

We had our power turned on after a 40 hour blackout (for fire prevention, did not prevent any fires). If you can not afford a generator, you lose your food, your goldfish, vegetables in your garden.

Big T
Reply to  Curious George
October 29, 2019 1:44 pm

If you live in zillion dollar house, BUY A F*****GENERATOR!!!!!

Scissor
Reply to  Big T
October 29, 2019 4:17 pm

Even the Titanic had lights when it sunk.

Don Horne
Reply to  Scissor
October 30, 2019 5:32 am

What did Californians use before candles?
Ans: Electricity.

Reply to  Alan Chapprll
October 30, 2019 6:26 am

The following two statements were published by my co-authors and me in 2002 and are clearly correct-to-date:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”

“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”

In contrast, all the CAGW alarmists’ very-scary climate predictions have failed to materialize. The global warming / climate change alarmists have a perfectly negative predictive track record, and nobody should believe them.

What I did not see clearly in 2002 was how incredibly stupid the warmists would continue to be, as the overwhelming evidence of their egregious errors should have become obvious to even the most obtuse of their followers.

The conclusion is that nobody (with rare exceptions) could be this stupid for this long. Therefore, they must have a covert agenda, and they do:
The Cost To Society Of Radical Environmentalism, July 4, 2019
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/07/04/the-cost-to-society-of-radical-environmentalism/

John Garrett
October 29, 2019 6:08 am

★★★★★

Included in Governor Newsom’s latest caterwauling was a plea for Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to buy PG&E.

Buffett isn’t dumb enough to put a large chunk of capital where it can be constructively expropriated by ambulance-chasers, economically-illiterate demagogic politicians and crypto-communists.

California rate-payers and voters are currently reaping the consequences of exactly what they sowed over the last couple of decades.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  John Garrett
October 29, 2019 6:21 am

Warren will let it go bust then pick up the profitable bits for peanuts.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
October 29, 2019 1:19 pm

Warren?

Reply to  John Garrett
October 29, 2019 7:20 am

Hosea 8:7

Kenji
Reply to  John Garrett
October 29, 2019 9:31 am

Sadly, I’ve steadfastly voted AGAINST every single one of these politicians and policies. But I’ve LOST every election … including all that State money for an idiotic euro-kewl train doomed for station FAILure. I am seething anger after my second PG&E shutdown (this time for 48hours) despite living in an innocuous suburb (not some shockingly HIGH Fire Zone. And in the saddest irony that was nearly tragic … I was almost evacuated because just blocks from my powerless neighborhood in Lafayette CA … an active PG&E transformer EXPLODED sparking a 10acre fire that threatened to spread with the wind. I guess PG&E needs to shut off EVERYONES power because their infrastructure ROT. NONE of PG&E’s infrastructure is safe. None of it. But I am supposed to be a happy ratepayer because I funded discount power for Tesla charging stations?

OK … I get it. My fellow Californians HATE me and “my type” (fellow “deniers”). I know where I am not wanted. My family and I are no longer “wanted” in the State my Great Grandparents first made their home in 1919. Yes. I will be leaving.

Mumble McGuirck
Reply to  Kenji
October 29, 2019 11:55 am

Just for a laff…
https://babylonbee.com/news/texas-luring-jobs-away-from-california-with-promises-of-electricity

P.S. My sister left Napa about 5 years ago and now lives in a nice house in St. Pete. Power 24/7

wws
Reply to  Mumble McGuirck
October 29, 2019 12:10 pm

Conservatives in California today are like Jews in 1935 Berlin.

ZenitFan
Reply to  Mumble McGuirck
October 30, 2019 3:10 pm

I hope your sister left any idiot liberal (pardon the redundancy) attitudes at the state line. CA leftists are 2-legged locusts — they turn their new homes into the same manurehole they created. They have ruined OR, WA & CO. They will ruin AZ unless the state fish & game bureau issues “no bag limit” hunting licenses on them. (Good thing AZ is an open carry state.)

ZenitFan
Reply to  John Garrett
October 30, 2019 3:18 pm

Buffett already owns a good slice of PGE stock (now effectively worthless). Don’t be surprised if he gets some sweetheart deal from Newsom, at taxpayer/ratepayer expense. Buffett is no longer a value investor; he is now a crony investor and bailout investor, starting when Obama became POTUS.

Terry Bixler
October 29, 2019 6:33 am

These actions when taken by an individual when life is lost would be called murder. When taken by government are seen as virtue signaling.

Thomas Homer
October 29, 2019 6:40 am

Has California equipped itself to derive meaningful scientific progress towards understanding the ‘climate crisis’ that is being used to influence policy?

There is super-heated air moving downwind of these fires. This air contains elevated levels of CO2. How is this CO2 with an ‘overabundance’ of heat behaving? Each of these CO2 molecules must be spewing massive amounts of energetic photons that are fiercely heating the surface. I’m not aware of the apparatus being used to measure this ‘property’ of CO2. If CO2, not heated by fire, can radiate the same energy transmitted from the surface back towards the surface thereby ‘trapping’ (?) heat, how are these super-heated CO2 molecules manifesting this ‘property’ that can’t be measured? We measure solar activity but we can’t measure CO2 activity? Would measuring this be more worthy of investment (billions) than a speculative high speed rail system?

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Thomas Homer
November 11, 2019 9:06 am

CO2 molecules radiate “energy” randomly in every direction, regardless atmospheric / wind direction – a 0 sum game.

Maybe distributing over a greater area without wind – a 0 sum game either.

KT66
October 29, 2019 6:40 am

The fools in Cali really think there is some kind of magical connection between the burning of fossil fuels and weather events. Instead of the real world providing a reality check they see it as proof of their quasi religious imaginational musings.

Another Paul
Reply to  KT66
October 29, 2019 9:44 am

“The fools in Cali really think there is some kind of magical connection between the burning of fossil fuels and weather events” Uh, Cali isn’t the only place where those fools exist. It’s pretty wide spread.

Lorne Newell
Reply to  Another Paul
October 29, 2019 9:42 pm

And therein lies the problem.

J Mac
Reply to  KT66
October 29, 2019 10:03 am

When fictitious scary stories become societal priorities, disaster looms!

commieBob
October 29, 2019 6:45 am

Folks are blaming the severity of the current wild fires on climate change. They ignore the fact that California has suffered great droughts for as long back as we can see. link The dryness is what allows the wild fires to propagate.

The fuel load is due to bad forest management. IMHO, it’s the biggest problem. The economic damage is due to the fact that many more people are living in proximity to burnable areas. Climate change is a red herring.

Pat Frank
Reply to  commieBob
October 29, 2019 9:31 am

commieBob, climate change is the CA government’s tool to shift the blame away from themselves.

KcTaz
Reply to  Pat Frank
October 29, 2019 1:01 pm

“The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.” 
Adolf Hitler

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Joseph Goebbels

mpcraig
Reply to  commieBob
October 29, 2019 10:15 am

“Climate change is a red herring.”. It’s much more than that, it’s a ‘get out of jail free’ card. And that card is used for much more than forest fires.

Kenji
Reply to  commieBob
October 29, 2019 11:07 am

I’ve lived in CA for 64 of my 64 years … I have NEVER witnessed so many fires STARTED by PG&E equipment FAILure. Every physical product and structure has a serviceable life. It’s patently obvious that a majority of PG&E’s equipment is PAST its reliable, serviceable life. THAT can be the ONLY reason for these widespread catastrophic FAILURES. However PG&E has been distracted from its primary function … including proactive inspection, repair and maintenance of their infrastructure.

KcTaz
Reply to  Kenji
October 29, 2019 1:10 pm

Kenji,
I wonder how much of the failure of PG&E’s equipment is due to their having to build extremely long transmission lines from wind and solar farms? The lines they have to maintain are many miles more now than when they had to just run them from fairly close fossil fuels plants to their destinations.
I don’t know if that has any effect or not but it seems to me it might be a factor.
Also, a factor might be California’s decades long refusal to allow people to clear any brush or trees from around their homes, to do prescribed burns and clearing. Other states woke up to the need to fight the “greenies” long ago and passed legislation so projects could not be stopped by them, esp., after the massive wildfires suffered in the early 2000s. Calif., learned nothing from them and are paying the price.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  KcTaz
October 29, 2019 6:10 pm

“I wonder how much of the failure of PG&E’s equipment is due to their having to build extremely long transmission lines from wind and solar farms? The lines they have to maintain are many miles more now than when they had to just run them from fairly close fossil fuels plants to their destinations.”

Good question.

ATheoK
Reply to  Kenji
October 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Kenji:
Perhaps the competent staff at PG&E were long ago driven from California?
That is, the employees who could read the coming signs of equipment failures and knew they would be the first blamed, took their high house and land values and headed towards cheaper low tax neighborhoods less burdened by self guilt?

mike the morlock
Reply to  Kenji
October 29, 2019 6:13 pm

Kenji October 29, 2019 at 11:07 am

In all machine&Tool industries there is something called “P.M.” It stands for “preventative maintenance”. When it is not preformed in a timely manner it is called “Postmortem”.

I don’t think the Governor grasps the level of cost this nonsense is causing. Cali gets up to half its electricity from outside the state. If that power is part of what they are shutting off, do they still have to pay for it?

michael

Peter K
Reply to  Kenji
October 30, 2019 1:39 am

Correct….I worked for the NSW state government transmission line section for many years. Vegetation control around the transmission line conductors took up around 65% of the maintenance budget….Regular inspections, reporting and prompt follow ups are essential, in preventing tree contact with live conductors.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Kenji
November 11, 2019 9:22 am

mike the morlock October 29, 2019 at 6:13 pm

Cali gets up to half its electricity from outside the state. If that power is part of what they are shutting off, do they still have to pay for it?

Of course Cali doesn’t pay for shut up energy.

That’s California’s advantage!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
October 29, 2019 1:02 pm

commieBob
Interestingly, the pictures I have seen of Paradise suggest that the natural fuel load — trees — survived better than the homes. It was building practices in the downtown area, of flat roofed business buildings sealed with asphalt, that doomed the buildings from flying embers. A further tragedy is that Magalia, just north of Paradise, has a large reservoir. There was lots of water to protect homes with sprinklers on the roofs and in the yards, but nobody thought to install them. It was lack of planning, not climate change or drought that caused the catastrophe.

Лазо
October 29, 2019 6:58 am

The grid has been a mess in California for decades as the mantra for all things “green” was shouted far and wide. Fires like the Kincade, started by transmission line to vegetation contact began in the 1980s after the enviros screamed and sued over cutting trees. Smoky Bear’s success coupled with destroying the timber industry over the spotted owl and other shill species added to the build-up of fuels. 2007 the Angora Fire in Lake Tahoe was a result of if you clean-up the vegetation and debris, you will get sued over Lake Tahoe water quality and the consequences were much worse in more ways than one.

All in all, the WSJ nails it. Environmental policy by a one-party system has gone amuck with an unlimited supply of steroids to really screw things up massively.

Scissor
Reply to  Лазо
October 29, 2019 8:08 am

Indigenous peoples in California used fire to manage land resources. They apparently did a decent job doing so, possibly better than government today.

https://www.amazon.com/Tending-Wild-Knowledge-Management-Californias/dp/0520280431

Wallaby Geoff
Reply to  Scissor
October 29, 2019 12:55 pm

We have the same issue in Australia. Big fires due to heavy fuel loads caused by the hand wringing fools they call ‘progressives’. The Aborigines burned regularly, as frequently as once every two years. The current mantra is minimum 7 years, and some areas haven’t been hazard reduced for up to 60 years! The authorities don’t seem to get it. Big fires kill koalas, that survived when confronted with regular burning.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Scissor
October 29, 2019 1:12 pm

Scissor
What seems to have been forgotten is that fire was so common in the towns in the Gold Country along Highway 49, in the late 19th century, that a unique architecture was developed. Buildings were built of local stone, and fitted with iron doors and iron shutters over the windows. Today, all the new buildings in the Mother Lode country are built just like in the SF Bay area and the rest of the country. Even the massive firestorm in the Oakland Hills in October of 1991 was a lesson ignored by those fleeing the cities to live in the country.

October 29, 2019 7:04 am

There are many old theories behind socialism, from Marx to Keyenes and Krugman, to Obama and the Democrats. But a new and practical understanding seems to be developing:
The movement is made up of chronically anxious people who really believe if they force someone else to do something they would not otherwise do, relief will be obtained.
They get worried about the weather, and other people must stop using airplanes and must use electric cars with electricity not from tabooed sources.
But it no matter what others are forced to do, it will never relieve personal anxieties.
Thus, the drive to intrude never ends,
Until it ruins the economy, which prompts popular uprisings as we see over the last couple of years.
The last successful uprising took down the Berlin Wall and official Communism.
I’m optimistic, today’s equivalent to tearing down the Wall is draining the swamp.

Tom Gelsthorpe
Reply to  Bob Hoye
October 30, 2019 6:43 am

Good insights. Thanks.

Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2019 7:16 am

Their version of fiddling while Rome burns.

J Mac
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2019 10:06 am

Pelosi fiddles while LA burns….

Perry
Reply to  J Mac
October 30, 2019 2:04 am

Nero may have been guilty of many things, but the story of him fiddling while Rome burned belongs firmly in the category of popular legend. The viol class of instruments (to which the fiddle belongs) was not developed until the 11th century AD. If Nero played anything, it would probably have been the Cithara, a heavy wooden Lyre with four to seven strings—but there is still no solid evidence that he played one during the Great Fire.

So, Pelosi the lyre, harps on whilst LA burns….comment image

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
October 29, 2019 12:26 pm

I suppose you could say that they’re fear-os, nibbling away while their home burns.

Graemethecat
October 29, 2019 7:27 am

Isn’t it strange that there were never blackouts or uncontrollable forest fires back when California was a Red State?

Curious George
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 29, 2019 8:11 am

+777.

On the outer Barcoo
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 29, 2019 9:14 am

Or any other of the 49 States of the Union this week

Darrin
Reply to  On the outer Barcoo
October 29, 2019 10:56 am

I live in California’s northern neighbor where PG&E is also a big supplier of power. We are almost as nutty and whacky as California and have similar beliefs/laws coming out of our state capital. Oregon is not as dry overall as California the late spring to early fall typically are very dry, low humidity, extremely high fire danger with lots of fuel. That said we don’t have PG&E running around starting fires on us nor cutting power every time a computer model warns of high wind. Since it’s the same utility for both states I’m going to guess that they are not the problem…

Richard Patton
Reply to  Darrin
October 29, 2019 12:41 pm

PG&E is NOT a supplier of electricity in Oregon. PGE is. PG&E is Pacific gas and electric and doesn’t even serve the two most northern counties of California. PGE is Portland General Electric, which services the Portland Metro area. Two totally different companies. PGE is much smaller than PG&E. The problem is that Google thinks that PGE and PG&E are the same, so when you try to check on Portland General Electric, you get Pacific Gas and Electric.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 29, 2019 9:41 am

CA was more a purple state. The parties regularly switched power. That all changed after 1980, when the first tranche of illegal aliens were given green cards.

Since then, about half of all illegal aliens turned residents have settled in CA. That’s about 15 million people, so far. About 80% of them vote Democratic. That’s given the Democratic party a lock on CA. It’s been one long descent into madness, since then.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Graemethecat
October 29, 2019 1:18 pm

Gramethecat
Well, blackout are certainly a new phenomena. However, I remember 60,000 acre burns up around Redding in the 60s. Its just that there weren’t a lot of people living in the area at the time. Then there was the massive Oakland Hills firestorm in 1991!

Grant
October 29, 2019 7:31 am

Now that they’ve created this hysteria by shutting down power to millions, all the fire bugs are out there rubbing their hands. There’s been some arrests, and some fires we’l never know.
No rain in the forecast, it’s going to be a long November.

ren
October 29, 2019 7:32 am

Another dangerous cold front approaching from the mountains to California.
comment image

Dennis G Sandberg
October 29, 2019 7:38 am

Utility companies shouldn’t be penalized when they are forced by political mandates to contend with “off spec” poor quality power from a dozen wind farms with a dozen turbines and thousands of solar panels all operating at different times and producing different quantities and qualities of electricity from different directions. With this junk power being dumped on the grid is it any surprise that a transformer overheats?
Eventually it will become undeniable that worth-less-than-nothing wind and solar junk power is nothing but “grid poison” and should be “landfilled” (most of the material is non-recyclable).
A power plant needs to do more than just provide raw power. It needs to be able to maintain inertia for frequency, which means you need a large spinning turbine. Nuclear has this, as do hydro, coal, and natural gas. Solar and wind do not. Combined cycle gas turbines now & small scale modular nuclear when it’s available (soon).

James Snook
Reply to  Dennis G Sandberg
October 29, 2019 9:00 am

You are right. The recent grid outage in the U.K. was due to frequency plummeting when a gas fire station and a wind farm went offline almost simultaneously. There is so much wind and solar in the system now that it has inadequate inertia. Going to cost a pile to rectify.

October 29, 2019 7:43 am

Increased CO2 and reduced O2 reduces fires.

Mike
Reply to  Tab Numlock
October 29, 2019 1:36 pm

But increased CO2 grows trees faster so the deadwood is building up faster. More wildfire is therefore a natural consequence of a greener planet.

Mark Luhman
October 29, 2019 8:05 am

Native Americans knew enough to burn off the forest and chaparral, eco-nuts have no clue what a western forest and chaparral needs. If you let the fuel build up, when fire comes its not good, notice I said when not if.

icisil
Reply to  Mark Luhman
October 29, 2019 11:33 am

Isn’t it ironic how the many Californians who profess such admiration for indigenous peoples, and want to emulate their ways, eschew their wisdom and practices in this regard.

Rocketscientist
Reply to  icisil
October 29, 2019 1:06 pm

Not really ironic at all. It’s merely another indication of their utter ignorance when they profess to admire only their false image of what the indigenous stone-age lifestyle entailed. Those admirers probably have never even been camping.
What is ironic is that as they are being forced to live that lifestyle, even the smallest amount, by not having electricity they wail loudly an gnash their teeth.

Stephen Philbrick
Reply to  icisil
October 31, 2019 10:44 am

Good point

Larry
October 29, 2019 8:11 am

Why do the media continue to call the ruling scabs of California democrats? The ruling scabs are socialists thru and thru. You see the agenda in policy, in action and the press releases. I’m willing to guess that when the mirrors aka solar panels reach end of service, no one has thought of where to put heavy metal waste. Perhaps these morons will dig a deep pit and bury them. Hello contaminated water supply’s.
When the pinwheels aka wind turbine’s reach end of service, what will the fate of them? Won’t have the equipment to remove them, will not have the equipment to replace them.
As for the fires in Southern California here’s a link to a article by Mike Davis and it’s a good read. Think 1835 https://la.indymedia.org/news/2007/10/208946.php

Lorne Newell
Reply to  Larry
October 29, 2019 10:23 pm

Here is a clue. Democrats are part of a larger political group known as Liberals. The liberal philosophy is group related. Socialist, communist, Marxist are other names for the liberal tribes.

Paul R Johnson
October 29, 2019 8:27 am

Given the increasing cost and decreasing reliability of California power, we should expect a sharp rise in the use of home generators, especially where natural gas is available. We should also expect the State to attempt to ban them through onerous permitting requirements, using air quality as their excuse.

icisil
Reply to  Paul R Johnson
October 29, 2019 11:43 am

Generac stock (GNRC) is soaring. Up 78% since the Camp fire.

Snarling Dolphin
October 29, 2019 8:28 am

This is as close to a glimpse of what socialism produces as you’re going to get in the U.S. Take notice kids. Is this what you really want? Really?

And the frosting on this misery cake? The frosting is it’s all for naught; makes no difference whatsoever in terms of staving off climate change. None.

Take note and remember who told you it would. That’s not all they’re wrong about.

Bill Taylor
October 29, 2019 8:35 am

people on another weather site are claiming it is confirmed that climate change is THE CAUSE of the recent fires on the west coast……amazing how stats from the past exert control over current events so much so those PAST stats cause weather today…….the climate is NOT a force and has NO power and has NEVER caused even one weather event.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Bill Taylor
October 30, 2019 4:27 am

“people on another weather site are claiming it is confirmed that climate change is THE CAUSE of the recent fires on the west coast”

I would like to see that “proof”. That ought to be good for a few laughs.

There are some seriously delusional people occupying this planet. So delusional that they are dangerous, like the fools on that other weather site.

Steven Miller
October 29, 2019 8:39 am

My grandson was deployed to California yesterday to help fight the fires. We argued last Spring because he predicted that the cooler and wetter than normal winter they had had last winter was going to result in a worse than normal fire season when it inevitably dried out. My now losing argument was that this was not necessarily so. Damn smart Aleck kid.

This is another example of how global warming caused cool and wet weather that has now resulted in a worse than normal fire season.

climanrecon
Reply to  Steven Miller
October 29, 2019 10:18 am

I’m always amazed when raking out dead leaves from under bushes during a wet winter, the leaves are always tinder dry.

Derg
Reply to  Steven Miller
October 29, 2019 1:00 pm

No kidding Steven, that crazy CO2 causes it to be dry then wet, then wet, then dry, then dry.

Magical CO2 indeed

KcTaz
Reply to  Steven Miller
October 29, 2019 1:33 pm

Your grandson is quite right.
I grew up in the Mid-west and noted that farmers are never happy–it’s always too wet or too dry and it’s never just right. When we moved to the SW, I noted the State Forest Service was just like the farmers. It was always too wet or too dry and they bemoaned wet Springs because more vegetation would grow, dry out and become tinder for fire. If Spring was dry, they bemoaned a dry Spring as, without moisture, it would lead to fires in the Summer. It’s never just right.
Be that as it may, the forest services do say the same thing your grandson says about wet Springs.
I became very well-versed in forest fires as, three days after moving to our new home, I woke up to a house full of smoke. The entire town was perilously close to burning down which happened before at the turn of the 20th century. We were lucky as all Forest fire assests were close by and there were no other fires going on. Without that and our firemen maintaining trails into forests over HOA objections, the outcome may have been much different. After that, my State took aggressive actions to limit greenie lawsuits and our forests are now in pretty good shape. Other states did the same things but not Calif. You do reap what you sow.

Sara
October 29, 2019 8:51 am

“The article notes the following Democratic Party California government driven climate alarmist absurd climate actions being taken while ignoring the critical need for aggressive statewide highest priorities and resources commitments to addressing long standing failures by the state in addressing its forest management responsibilities.” – WUWT

TPTB are never, ever going address practical matters like forestry management or upgrading infrastructure. The brain-dead clowns running that state are completely responsible for the damage that has been done, but unless they are kicked out by voters – and perish that thought!!! – nothing will be done to stop this until the entire state is ablaze and a wasteland. I think they want it that way.

I am very, very glad I live in an area where the Dept. of Natural Resources has enough common sense to weed out the trees and give the various fire departments around here permits for planned burns, so that these things do NOT happen to us.

Corky
October 29, 2019 9:04 am

It does not matter whether it is a wet year or a dry year – it will be the worst fire season, ever. Hear it every year. The public policy selection towards a non-carbon energy future is just about shifting the historic money flow through new channels (vendors), enriching like-minded people ( acolytes). While I once thought folks went into “public service” to serve the public, I,ve come to realize it’s about retiring at 55 at 70 percent of your taxpayer paid salary. We (the tax payer) are an infinite supply of energy to be abused.

On the outer Barcoo
October 29, 2019 9:23 am

I’ve yet to see on TV a resident whose house has been saved, complaining that brave and fearless firefighters were not using electric fire-fighting vehicles armed with pumps running on green energy. And the magnificent pilots dropping water and retardant were flying aircraft on …. gasp … fossil fuels.

October 29, 2019 9:28 am

The goal is too often seen as a lowering of emissions. The actual goal is to prevent climate change or reduce warming.
When looked at from that view and noting that the effect will not be enough to be discernible it is shown to be a total waste of money. There are so many useful ways the money could be better spent.

Sean
October 29, 2019 9:51 am

The environmental elites in California have for decades tried to restrict development and stop growth. For years they tried the “if you don’t build it, they won’t come approach”. This has let to sky high rents. They’ve tried exorbitant energy and fuel prices to battle smog and climate change, this lead to a trickle of lower middle Californian’s to leave. The current fires, caused by bad forest management and lack of maintenance on the grid, coupled with recurring blackouts during fire season may finally be the ticket that smokes out the much more of the middle class. As absurd as many of California’s policies may seem to the rest of us, its often the well healed incumbents who benefit most by them.

Usurbrain
October 29, 2019 11:09 am

Look at where all of this “renewable” power is coming from. Look at where California got its power from 20 – 30 years ago. Now look at where the high voltage transmission lines are. Not that many of those transmission lines are where all of the power is coming from. Look at all of the multi GW nuclear power plants shut down over the last 20 – 30 years and how they would have elevated the overloading of the lines used by this renewable energy and would have allowed power many counties with Nuclear power. The distribution system was optimized for the use of Diablo Canyon, Rancho Seco, and San Onofre. Now only Diablo Canyon is in operation. And there are no massive renewable sources taking their place. The impact is similar to shutting down all of the Interstate Highways and putting all of the traffic on state highways – ACCIDENTS will increase.

Zigmaster
October 29, 2019 11:13 am

Ironically the only lesson the powers in California will learn is that the fires are due to global warming and climate change and the only solution is to impose even more draconian measures to stop them. Like with any religion when zealots suffer Gods wrath and tragedy strikes they conclude not that maybe there religion is not fit for purpose but they just weren’t devout enough. More prayer will fix it.

A fool and your money is soon parted.

Steve Z
October 29, 2019 11:55 am

The current fires in California have nothing to do with global warming. Most of the Rocky Mountain states (MT, ID, WY, UT, CO) are having record cold temperatures right now.

California has forgotten that water needs to be well-managed in an area with very dry summers, with reservoirs to trap snow melt in spring in order to provide water through summer and autumn. But the Californians let the spring snow melt out to sea, in order to protect tiny fish like the Delta Smelt.

This is nothing new, since the Mediterranean coast of southern Europe also has very dry summers, but the ancient Romans built aqueducts over 2,000 years ago to bring snow melt from the Alps to sun-baked cities in the lowlands. Why can’t California do like the Romans did?

ren
Reply to  Steve Z
October 29, 2019 1:25 pm

Great comment.

Lorne Newell
Reply to  Steve Z
October 29, 2019 10:12 pm

I think maybe you have already done that and Lake Mead is drying up.

Ann in L.A.
October 29, 2019 12:05 pm

There are studies which include the emissions from the wildfires in the accounting of CA’s carbon totals. It turns out that the 2018 wildfires released 9 times more carbon than was saved through all the expensive reduction schemes the year before.

William
October 29, 2019 12:07 pm

My favorite of the red-green Democrat regulations is the one that requires any money for hardening of risky lines to come solely from money taken from PG&E executive salaries and shareholder dividends… and there aren’t any dividends. Like having Kafka run Sacramento.

Mike
Reply to  William
October 29, 2019 1:55 pm

I just now calculated the current Ted Cruz U-Haul one way moving cost ratio for LA to San Antonio versus San Antonio to LA for a 20′ van. $2711 versus $1113 = 2.44X

R Moore
Reply to  William
October 29, 2019 2:11 pm

How much biomass has been burned in this fire season? How much electricity would this produce if converted to wood pellets? The EU regulations for renewable energy sources have created a market for converting Eastern hardwood forests to wood pellets to supply power plants in the EU such as the Drax power plant in GB. Current harvest is 50,000 acres projected to rise to 80,000 acres per year. Maybe a wood pellet burning power plant or ten could alleviate the excess shrubbery in California .

KcTaz
Reply to  R Moore
October 29, 2019 8:04 pm

Sorry, R Moore, The UK already has dibs on those forests in the US and Canada and others. I guess you missed this article in WUWT?
It is much cheaper and greener to burn coal instead of biomass i.e. wood pellets. You only think there is no overall increase in CO2 emissions because biomass has been “deemed” CO2 neutral by bureaucratic directive, not by facts or science. It also has many pollutants. Biomass is a loser in every way or Earth.

The Obvious Biomass Emissions Error
Anthony Watts
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/02/07/the-obvious-biomass-emissions-error/

Also, this, from WUWT.
Green Shock: Entire Forests Being Murdered to Produce Wood Pellet Biomass

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/04/18/green-shock-entire-forests-being-murdered-to-produce-wood-pellet-biomass/
April 18, 2018

They should burn coal in clean coal power plants or, LNG and leave the forests for the lumber industry to thin, plus, build roads for firefighters to use to access fires.
Stop and think how stupid it is for the Greens to say plant a tree while chopping down vast acres of forests every day and shipping the wood all the way across the ocean via diesel fueled tankers.
While I’m at it, another lie from the AGW/CCers is that electric cars are clean, green and “pure”.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES EMIT MORE CO2 THAN DIESEL ONES, GERMAN STUDY SHOWS
* Date: 23/04/19
http://bit.ly/2ZYdUXJ

ResourceGuy
October 29, 2019 1:44 pm

You won’t see that info in the MSM outside the WSJ.

Mike
October 29, 2019 1:45 pm

How strange to insist on more wind generated power that then has to be shut off when the wind blows? Oh wait, they’re democrats ..

JON SALMI
October 29, 2019 1:56 pm

I see that the CA PUC is all over investigating PG&E, I saw no mention of them investigating the state itself, which has played at least a big a role in causing this disaster as has PG&E. Also, “[t]he state agency that oversees most of California’s global warming programs — the California Air Resources Board — does not include wildfires in its annual inventory of emissions, the official scorecard of the state’s progress on global warming. When state officials talk about how much California has managed to cut its emissions so far, they don’t factor in wildfires.
See http://stopthecrime.net/wp/2018/02/11/huge-wildfires-can-wipe-out-californias-greenhouse-gas-gains/

Who knows, maybe if more money was spent preventing wildfires, California’s CO2 emissions might actually go down a bit more than the state’s grand schemes have accomplished.

Will this have any actual effect on temperature? Of course not.

Who is watching the watch dogs?

Gonzo
October 29, 2019 2:20 pm

“PG&E makes it a priority to bring diverse business enterprises (DBEs)—small businesses and businesses owned by women, minorities, service-disabled veterans and LGBTQ individuals—into our supply chain.

“PG&E’s commitment to sustainability begins with our customers. They have told us—and we agree—that our responsibilities as an energy provider go beyond delivering energy that is safe, reliable, affordable and clean. They also look to us to be a force for innovation and progress, economic development and growth, community investment and vitality, and environmental leadership.”

But hey they’re so diverse and sustainalble………they just can’t deliver energy effectively anymore.

Gunga Din
October 29, 2019 3:22 pm

California.
The home of “mob rule”.
“If it feels good, do it. If it feels bad, ban it.”
No thought required.
Clear brush under power lines? That feels bad. A kangaroo rat might want to live there someday.
Consequences? Reality?
Not our fault!

John Endicott
Reply to  Gunga Din
October 31, 2019 10:22 am

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” – Ronald Reagan

Derg
October 29, 2019 3:51 pm

Mosh as CA burns once again do you look down upon the tax paying peasants and say “let them eat cake?”

Mike O
October 29, 2019 4:19 pm

This response by PG&E is easily explainable if one considers the incentives that the California government has put before them. As soon as Sacramento stepped aside and said that PG&E was liable for the damages for the fires rather than passing a law indemnifying them, they set it up so that starting a fire was an existential threat. Effectively, they told all utilities, “if you start a big fire, we will end you”. Once you do that, it doesn’t matter how angry the customers get, the penalty for starting a fire has become much higher than the cost of enduring some furious residents. This outcome is so predictable that it is laughable that the legislators and governor did not anticipate the logical reaction to their policies.

Gary Wescom
Reply to  Mike O
October 29, 2019 9:05 pm

Interesting point Mike O but completely backwards. Sacramento made PG&E responsible for fire costs by including it in the Inverse Condemnation law.
Setting up a monitoring system and shutting off power was ordered by the state. A federal judge also added an order to PG&E that no consideration to financial or personal losses to customers from a power outage when it comes time to kill power. Furthermore, the PG&E fire monitoring center is manned also with Cal Fire, Calif Emergency Management, and CPUC personnel who must agree for any power to be killed.
Somehow, that never seems to make it into the press.

John Sandhofner
October 29, 2019 4:27 pm

I live in northern CA and on top of that I am a retired PG&E employee. This whole turning off the lights is beyond reproach. The stupidest idea ever. So you wreck the lives of 100s of 1000s of people from Bakersfield north to avoid the possibility of a much smaller number experiencing a fire. And you do it over and over again. Yeah. That is a great idea.
The article is right on as far as describing what has happened in this state. And the worst part is the public will never know the full story because the media will never tell on their political buddies. Only by reading alternate media will they ever know.

Tom Abbott
October 29, 2019 6:28 pm

I’m curious about Paradise, California.

As we all know, Paradise was devastated by wildfire in the recent past, and now I’m wondering what the status of Paradise is in relation to future wildfires.

The previous wildfire presumably burned out most of the dangerous vegetation and cleared the land around Paradise, so is Paradise in danger of suffering more wildfires, or did the previous wildfire remove all the fuel and lower this danger significantly?

California is going to have to get serious about clearing vegetation along powerline routes. As another poster suggested, they can use the wood in wood-fired electric powerplants or ship it to the DRAX powerplant in the UK.

There’s a powerline route I pass on the way to town and it is a cleared section of land underneath the powerlines that spans the whole width of the route. There are no trees near enough to fall over and hit the powerlines as they have all been cut down, and the area underneath the powerlines is mowed to keep it clear. It’s like a nice, wide hiking trail underneath powerline routes around here. That’s the way California’s powerline routes ought to look. Get those chainsaws out, fellas and start cutting!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 29, 2019 7:26 pm

Tom Abbot
I once owned property in Paradise. By looking at Google Earth, I see that the house burned. It seems from the photos that the trees did better than the houses. Much of the understory is fire adapted and will re-sprout from the roots, and will be back strong next year. That is one reason the Native Americans would set fires. The re-growth provides better browse for deer and elk than a mature forest does.

There was another fire in Paradise 10 years ago that burned narrow corridors or fingers and wasn’t as damaging as the recent one. However, the ‘survivors’ didn’t learn from the experience.

Abolition Man
October 29, 2019 7:52 pm

How sad it is to think about all my old friends back in Commifornia having to put up with this socialist garbage. Of course most of them still believe in the CAGW hoax and think that the crooks in Sacramento are actually looking out for them. I hope the smell of smoke wakes them from their Progressive dream before it turns into an apocalyptic nightmare! Oops, too late!
California was such a beautiful and productive state when I was growing up there in the 60’s and 70’s. With the coming cold of a solar minimum affecting crops around the world I do not believe we can sit idly by and let these idiots completely destroy such productive farm and ranch land much longer. We are going to have to make California great again by removing the Progressives from power. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the citizens will be ready for a few more years but I am praying and stockpiling ammo, just in case.

October 29, 2019 10:42 pm

If this doesn’t kill agw nothing will

Peter K
October 30, 2019 1:47 am

Correct….I worked for the NSW state government transmission line section for many years. Vegetation control around the transmission line conductors took up around 65% of the maintenance budget….Regular inspections, reporting and prompt follow ups are essential, in preventing tree contact with live conductors.

Robertvd
October 30, 2019 7:56 am

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/10/biomass-fired-electricity-plants-are-more-polluting-than-coal-report/

“The Netherlands has agreed to close its remaining coal-fired power stations by 2030 in an effort to meet the Paris agreements on climate change. The government has also pledged to end the production of gas from under the province of Groningen in 2020.

The government is pumping billions of euros in subsidies into building biomass plants and wood which is seen by the EU as a climate-neutral source of energy because the carbon dioxide is absorbed by newly-planted trees.

According to research by the AD, 628 biomass installations in the Netherlands will get some €11.4bn in subsidies in the coming years, of which €2.6bn is going to the RWE power plants in Geertruidenberg and Eemshaven. And RWE will import thousands of tonnes of wood pellets from the US next year to burn in Dutch biomass power plants in a move that has been strongly criticized by local campaign groups.

Earlier this month, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) said that governments should stop wasting billions of euros on subsidising biomass power plants because it is unsustainable. EASAC also said burning wood does not produce very much energy and the net amount of CO2 which is released is greater than when burning coal or gas. A number of regional health boards (GGDs) have also written to economic affairs minister Erik Wiebes warning him to be aware of the impact climate change policies can have on health.”

California Democrats are just like most of the EU politicians.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Robertvd
October 31, 2019 9:58 am

Robertvd
I wonder how much CO2 is produced harvesting, transporting, pelletizing, and then shipping the pellets across the Atlantic?

I also wonder about the ratio of wood ash to coal ash and what will be done with it. Coal ash has found limited use as an additive to concrete and to apply to icy roads. I wonder what use wood ash could be put to? Making soap?

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