L A Times blames state’s fires & blackouts on nebulous “climate change” – hides Democrats huge failures

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

Right on cue the L. A. Times attempts to hide the incredible failures of the Democratic Party’s long standing energy and environmental policies in Sacramento that have led to the states wildfire debacle and energy blackouts and instead falsely blames these huge problems on vague “climate change” propaganda assertions that are unsupported by scientific data.


A recent article in the Wall Street Journal exposed the monumentally misguided priorities of the state’s Democratic Party in wasting tens of billions of dollars on politically driven climate change propaganda schemes that have led to California’s energy and wildfire debacle.


The state has failed to deal with the real problems that have to be addressed that are desperately needed to undo this Democrat driven politically created catastrophe.

As usual the Times editorial makes no mention of the comprehensive analysis done by California’s Legislative Analyst Office last year which clearly laid out the long standing failures of policy by the state that have led to the present debacle.


A detailed summary of this comprehensive report was provided in a prior WUWT article noted below.


The state’s report lays clear blame for California’s wildfire debacle on long standing failures by numerous agencies for failing to take necessary actions to deal with the significant deterioration of forest health.

Representative of these failures and symbolizing the conditions in many other areas were the huge reductions in properly clearing excessive tree crowded forest areas with these failures extending over many decades. These neglected actions were needed to preserve and maintain long-term forest health. These failures are portrayed in the reports graph shown below.


The report notes these same deleterious conditions occurred in other forest management areas including failures to clear excessive undergrowth, remove dead and diseased trees, use prescribed burns effectively, etc.

The significant increase in numbers and severity of wildfires over the last several decades directly follow these patterns of failed actions as addressed above with these outcomes shown in the report graph presented below.


The Times editorial assertion that “climate change” is responsible for the state’s wildfire debacle is unsupported by the comprehensive and detailed analysis contained in the state’s report on California’s extensive forest management failures.

As addressed in another article at WUWT even for the state to begin to take small actions earlier this year to address the long standing and huge backlog of forest problems Gov. Newsom had to declare a state of emergency so that environmental activists would not delay for years or completely preclude these small steps from going forward.


Environmental activists have used California’s excessive number of environmental laws and regulations to preclude, delay or make too expensive actions needed to maintain and preserve forest health thus necessitating Gov. Newsom’s declaration of a state of emergency.

The Times editorial does not address the scientific evidence clearly indicating that the long existing drought behavior of the American west is driven by natural climate behavior versus some nebulous propaganda hyped claim of “climate change”.  

An extensive study published in ScienceDirect addressed the North American drought history going back to year 800 using tree ring data. The study noted the following regarding the long term climate behavior of drought and precipitation in the West:  

“Severe drought is the greatest recurring natural disaster to strike North America. A remarkable network of centuries-long annual tree-ring chronologies has now allowed for the reconstruction of past drought over North America covering the past 1000 or more years in most regions. These reconstructions reveal the occurrence of past “megadroughts” of unprecedented severity and duration, ones that have never been experienced by modern societies in North America. There is strong archaeological evidence for the destabilizing influence of these past droughts on advanced agricultural societies, examples that should resonate today given the increasing vulnerability of modern water-based systems to relatively short-term droughts.”


The Times editorial completely ignores the colossal irrelevance of the state’s costly, misguided and totally meaningless climate alarmist propaganda program to reduce its emissions with such reductions having no impact whatsoever on a global scale as addressed in yet another WUWT article.


Compared to a few hundred million tons of CO2 emissions that the state is trying to reduce by 2030 the world’s developing nations have already increased such emissions by over 4.5 billion metric tons during the last decade and are forecast to increase future CO2 emissions by an additional more than 7.7 billion metric tons by year 2050 according to the latest EIA data and forecasts.

Yet California Democrats are committing tens of billions of dollars for nothing but meaningless climate alarmist political propaganda while allowing the state to burn uncontrollably because of their misguided and incompetent priorities.

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Joel O'Bryan
October 29, 2019 10:19 pm

The LA Times is now owned by a billionaire MD-entrepreneur, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Dr Soon-Shion has a start-up company that is banking on selling zinc-air batteries to compete with Li-ion battery packs for electricity storage.
Per the above Wiki on him:
“In September 2018, his company NantEnergy announced the development of a zinc air battery with a projected cost of $100 per kilowatt-hour (less than one-third the cost of lithium-ion batteries).”

So is it any wonder his LAT editors and opinion-writers are paid to ensure the climate hustle propaganda continues unabated?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 30, 2019 12:17 am

With trillions of dollars in redistributive change… insurance fraud, or political pandering.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 30, 2019 4:41 am

bet his batteries burn as well as a Teslas do?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 30, 2019 5:47 am

It seems like these days all of the purveyors of fake news are owned by the guys whom the purveyors of fake news, their predecessors, always used to whine about influencing their objectivity. They’ve strangely gone silent on this. Huh, I wonder why? Irony alert: the guys that own the New York Times, Washington Post, and LA Times can’t buy any more influence from the fake news that their purveyors push if they spent all the money in the world. Their scribes literally are screaming into echo chambers that influence no one else. If these guys didn’t own the newspapers, they would have all been out of business many years ago from the lack of subscribers. What does that say about their influence?

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 30, 2019 10:07 am

Aren’t billionaire-owned newspapers nothing more than billionaire PR departments and political influence operations?

Reply to  Adam
October 30, 2019 1:52 pm

you know things are bad when they resort to using the obits as political ammo.

October 29, 2019 10:28 pm

One of the reasons climate change and politics mix so well and why so many governments “of the career politicians by the career politicians for the career politicians” embrace the war against agw to save the planet is that their governance accountability drops to zero when they are engaged in the fight to save the planet. It’s the noble cause fallacy at work. The implication is that climate change activism by governments is actually a very useful tool for the citizens as a criterion to separate good governance from bad.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Chaamjamal
October 30, 2019 12:06 am

Electing Republicans doesn’t guarantee “good governance.”
But electing today’s Democrats guarantees “bad governance” if they are able acquire the level of political power they have in California and Illinois.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 30, 2019 12:19 am

No, competing interests, perhaps observable, reproducible principles, and, it seems, improved accountability, as the 1%ers, foreign and domestic, prefer single, central, monopoly-oriented leftists.

Reply to  Chaamjamal
October 30, 2019 2:57 pm

Those who promise Utopia will always create hell. BIG (Brother)government is always bad red, blue or rainbow.

Patrick MJD
October 29, 2019 11:06 pm

It’s OK we can blame “The greenhouse effect is the impedance of the passage of IR due to greenhouse gases.” “Nick Stokes October 29, 2019 at 2:05 am” In another thread.

Are they cereal?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 30, 2019 1:54 am

Shreddies!! Or flaked corns…a childrens story book in the UK.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 30, 2019 5:20 am

Rolled oats slathered in Aunt Jemima.

Bob Kutz
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 30, 2019 9:11 am


Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 30, 2019 3:31 pm

Snow Flakes.

October 29, 2019 11:34 pm

Long-term drug use; not climate change.
What’s the average IQ of Californians?
OK they gave us the greatest portmanteau in history but that doesn’t count.

October 30, 2019 12:00 am

Its hard to beleive that Californians are so dumb they dont see that issues that affect their State and not other States or other countries, are unlikely to be due to the global climate. They have a massive mess, of their own making.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  yarpos
October 30, 2019 5:02 am

“Its hard to beleive that Californians are so dumb they dont see that issues that affect their State and not other States or other countries, are unlikely to be due to the global climate.”

Excellent point. Human-caused climate change only affects California. Perhaps there is an abundance of CO2 hovering over the state.

Walt D.
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 30, 2019 6:58 am

The changes in temperature produced by CO2 emissions, produced locally, are assumed to be global.
However, climate change due to this (microscopic) temperature change appears to be local (and catastrophic) not global.
I have not seen any explanation in any of the modeling indicating why this should be the case.

October 30, 2019 12:29 am

A team of hard working goats can clean up an acre a day. link

Reply to  commieBob
October 30, 2019 2:46 am

But in 50 years time (if the planet is still here) there will be a controversial drive to cull massive herds of feral goats destroying all vegetation in reach. Biological solutions are a great idea but have a long history of unintended consequences.
Thinking it through, however, this risk could be reduced by not including any unneutered males in the herd – the answer to a great many social problems😊

Reply to  Susan
October 30, 2019 4:43 am

good plan and the castrated males are then edible as well

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
October 30, 2019 5:05 am

Mules do a pretty good job of clearing out vegetation, too. But they don’t like the Poke Salad plant.

Reply to  commieBob
October 31, 2019 8:14 am

Grew up on a farm, tried a couple goats for brush clearing and it was a disaster. Goats refused to stay in the fenced area, they preferred to be outside the fence eating wiring, seats off of motorcycles and whatever else tickled their unusual taste buds. We had them buggers for two weeks and they did a lot of damage before getting the original owner to take them back. Because of that bad experience I’ve stayed away from goats for years and advised others its a bad idea to buy goats.

Today I would buy a small herd of goats in split second if I had land. But I’ve read up on goats, talked to people who own them and been around a medium sized herd. I think I could easily become goat obsessed so maybe it’s a good thing I don’t have land…

Where was I going? Oh yeah, we have tons of brush that take constant maintenance to keep out of ones pastures. Cows and horses only nibble on most brush when the grass starts getting down but even then they don’t really tear in so it requires chemical or physical removeal Those with goats don’t do anything to keep brush out of their fields.

Reply to  commieBob
October 31, 2019 8:35 am

Yes an excellent way to clean up brush. Princeton University uses sheep to keep the grass under control in their solar c collector field. The Reagan library apparently uses goats to keep the area around the library clear.

October 30, 2019 2:43 am

California leftists have created a perfect catastrophe. Whether it was deliberate or not doesn’t matter now. What matters is that they will push for ever more stringent environmental regulations. Anything bad that happens is either the result of “climate change” (i.e., it’s your fault) and/or Donald J. Trump (i.e., it’s your fault). It’s a lazy yet surefire way to make a living in the leftyverse.

Reply to  KilgoreHoover
October 30, 2019 7:00 am

As a PG&E ratepayer I can ASSURE you of one thing … the unholy Trinity of The CPUC, The leftist Legislature, and PG&E … WILL … soon be raising our rates to PAY for neglected infrastructure … and … an accelerated timetable for adopting “renewable energy sources”.

CA leads the country! In fleecing it’s citizens of their “wealth”.

Reply to  Kenji
October 31, 2019 8:37 am

Don’t you think that you should pay for the infrastructure that supplies your electricity?

Reply to  Phil.
October 31, 2019 10:46 am


The point here is the maintenance cost has already been covered once by ratepayers, it’s built into their rate. That maintenance was then “deferred” so the maintenance budget could be spent in other areas, this is a common business practice as maintenance is expensive (I plan and perform maintenance for a living on manufacturing equipment) but repairs are even more expensive than maintenance. Now PG&E has to come up with the money for massive repairs because the maintenance wasn’t done. That money either comes out of another departments budget or they raise rates to pay for it. Want to bet what will happen? My money is the ratepayers will end up paying dearly a second time.

To be honest, when a business does this its the businesses fault and the business should suffer for their stupidity without public help. This case is different, at least some of PG&E’s monetary decisions are due to government mandates, PG&E is certainly culpable but so is the CA legislature. I hate to say this the CA taxpayers need to also be paying part of the repair bill because their duly elected officials are partially to blame. I’ll not touch how to divide up blame/costs, for that we really need an in depth audit of PG&E’s books to determine where the money went and why. I’m willing to bet that wont happen without demands from the CA legislature who don’t want even .00001% of the blame to be pointed at them.

Sam Pyeatte
Reply to  KilgoreHoover
October 30, 2019 2:29 pm

The “left” is a mob of profound stupidity and totalitarian sewage.

Reply to  Sam Pyeatte
October 30, 2019 3:35 pm

Big government is a mob of profound stupidity and totalitarian sewage.

john cooknell
October 30, 2019 3:41 am

Two things amaze me from my UK perspective.

1. is anybody surprised climate change gets blamed, over here in UK its blamed for everything that goes wrong, and everything we do causes it!

2. That in the middle of a fire risk prone forest, homes and whole towns are built of wood and stuff that is more combustible than the surrounding vegetation.

Mind you we build residential tower blocks of stuff that burns, so perhaps we are all mad!

Reply to  john cooknell
October 30, 2019 4:45 am

well you coat old building in fireloving plastics
i was utterly disgusted to see the poor firefighters copped the rap for grenfell towers
supposedly badly trained?
they risked lives and saved as many as they could
meanwhile the commanders who dithered and the assholes who approved and passed the dodgy cladding…walk away

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 30, 2019 8:28 am

Not quite. The fire service was blamed for not having turned on their brains.
In traditional high-rise fires, it is relatively easy to contain the fire, so telling people to just stay put and allowing the fire service to do their job makes a lot of sense.

However, in this case, the cladding had a combustible core, and acted like a chimney to draw the fire upwards on the outside of the building, spreading it quite rapidly, and in a way very difficult to contain.

That was evident to observers, and to fire crew. However, the senior management clung to orthodoxy rather than the evidence of their own eyes and those of the on the ground firefighters and insisted on maintaining the order for residents to stay in place, condemning them to a rather horrible death.

A bit of applied intelligence would have had the firefighters concentrating on getting people out of the building at the expense of allowing destruction of the structure. Someone had their priorities wrong.

John the Econ
October 30, 2019 4:16 am

Once again proving that “climate change” is both the excuse for bad Progressive policy failure and the excuse for more bad Progressive policy.

Reply to  John the Econ
October 30, 2019 10:05 am

It’s a firestorm of bad policy feeding on itself.

Mark Broderick
October 30, 2019 5:19 am

“Getty Fire sparked by falling tree branch on power lines, officials reveal”


…….D’OH !

Coach Springer
October 30, 2019 6:17 am

Hammer: All the world is nails.

Mark Broderick
October 30, 2019 6:24 am

“Jerry Brown: Wildfires Show ‘the Horror’ of Climate Change”


““I said it was the new normal a few years ago,’’ Brown told Politico. “This is serious…but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.’’”

Reply to  Mark Broderick
October 30, 2019 7:06 am

If there is a God … Jerry’s multi-thousand acre “ranch” will burn to the ground, leaving Jerry powerless and homeless. It’s only “right” that Jerry’s own earth should be as scorched as the CA he’s left behind him.

Reply to  Mark Broderick
October 30, 2019 9:39 am

Someone should tell Jerry Brown that the true horror for him and fellow Californians is that the rest of the world has its own problems, mostly, if not entirely, unrelated to” climate change” and does not give a darn for what is happening in California. The people of that State have been told enough times what to do to reduce the fire risk and if they cannot rouse themselves enough to do it ? Well then , take the consequences.
Sorry to be so unsympathetic but the cleverest and richest people on Earth should be capable of sorting out their own problems without resorting to a myth which will be, and in fact is being, picked up and acted upon by politicians elsewhere, to the detriment of their citizens.

October 30, 2019 6:50 am

But … but … but … we Californians will have less tonnage of Co2 hanging over OUR children’s heads here in bubble-land. That’s all that matters. Just as all the Tesla drivers in Atherton are ensuring a clean environment for THEIR children! (Nevermind the children living next to the Morro Bay power plant working overtime). Oh! And Jerry Brown went to China and scolded them into building wind farms *snicker* … so China will soon be JUST LIKE California … or is that the other way around? I believe Gavin Newsom has a China Trip planned. And we all know that PM Zoolander from Canada danced his way through India whilst describing the *ahem* virtue of imposing carbon taxes on the poor citizens (for their own good). So soon, the Asian brown cloud will be dissipating.

But here’s the TRUTH. Nothing will change. CA is permanently, and irrevocably broken. The State’s been looted by the supermajority leftist politicians in CA. The population WILL soon VOTE to fund Elon Musk’s Boring Co. to the tune of $500B on the promise of underground tube transport for all. In CA’s glorious dystopian future there will be NO MORE CARS … freeing the roadways to become permanent homeless encampments. Yes, CA is leading the way of the Future, once again … right over a precipitous cliff.

Yep. Been planning my KEXIT for some time now. I hope I’m OUT before the looming economic collapse lays WASTE to the State.

HD Hoese
October 30, 2019 6:53 am

There is something in ecology called the production/biomass ratio. Don’t know anything about dry land, but estuaries have a high ratio. Produce lots of critters from a small amount. Difficult to accurately measure, grocery store comparison maybe not the best, but when stuff sits on shelves no profit (from production) is made. No room for new stuff.

Paul R Johnson
October 30, 2019 7:01 am

As shown in Figures 5 and 12, the increase in wildfires corresponds to the decline in timber harvesting, thus proving an old timberman’s adage:
Trees leave the forest in only two ways, as lumber or as smoke.

Reply to  Paul R Johnson
October 30, 2019 2:34 pm

Nooooo! They MUST leave the 3rd way … the “right” way!! By dying of “natural causes” and ending up on the forest floor as nutrients for all the happy forest organisms!! Inotherwords, the trees must NEVER leave the forest!!! Ever!! Not a single ONE of them!! /sarc.

October 30, 2019 8:08 am

It is predictable bias of neglect this time at LAT. I hope they are compensated well.

October 30, 2019 8:47 am

Anecdotal evidence. I was a co-pilot-on a DC7 airtanker working out of Stead ,NV. on a fire near Truckee.
One of our problems (this was 1994) was that the fire in a reforested area the last burned in the late 1900’s.
there were numerous efforts to log the area. All stopped by the big green folks in the Truckee Tahoe area.
Had not the wind shifted it would’ve gotten down to 395/Stead.
This things been building for years not Climate Change -stupidity in forest management..

October 30, 2019 9:07 am

there was a fire in the lake Tahoe area several years back, of all the houses there only one was left standing after the fire, the reason the home owner cleared out the brush that would have fuel for the fire in violation of the HOA.

October 30, 2019 9:11 am

Such news ‘tactics’ depend heavily on low-information readers and voters. I guess editors and publishers still feel good about that bet.

October 30, 2019 9:13 am

Have any fires been traced to ignition of LAT copies?

October 30, 2019 9:35 am

Allowing conditions to develop that result in an out of control fire is not the result of climate change.

According to the LA Times theory, if someone piles brush around the foundation of their house and a BBQ grill falls over and burns down the house the cause is climate change.

Bob Vislocky
October 30, 2019 9:55 am

California is not even in the state of drought according to the latest map from the US Drought Monitor:

So how could they even blame this on climate change in the first place?

October 30, 2019 10:12 am

Per the population chart in the state’s Wiki entry; 1950: 10.5 million, 1970: ~20 million, 2019: ~40 million. Per the CalFire supported readyforwildfire.org site, human activity is the cause of 95% of all fires. Zeroing in your favorite satellite map on the urban/suburban areas that have suffered from large fires the last few years, it appears the last 20 or 30 years of expansion was all in the WUI. If the LAT editorial board thought about that for a minute maybe they could connect the dots.

October 30, 2019 10:28 am

Climate change is to politics what Sarbanes-Oaxley was to IT departments.

IT departments were able to enact sweeping changes which never would have flown previously by blaming them on “SOX compliance.” Politicians now use “climate change” the same way

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  wadesworld
October 30, 2019 3:56 pm

IT departments were hobbled more than anyone. Blame the public auditors and consultants.

October 30, 2019 10:39 am

Sweden has excellent forest clearance/brush removal policies in its vast forests… and when it had an exceptionally hot dry year recently, it had record wildfires.

Really the climate is the main problem.

you could have a decent power company and new forest policy – and the wildfires aren’t going to stop or even decrease much.

Reply to  griff
October 30, 2019 2:35 pm

I notice you deliberately IGNORED the numerous reasons why forest fires are so bad in California………..

Reply to  griff
October 30, 2019 3:29 pm

Progressive Sweden.

Forests burn. That’s nature. Don’t build homes inside a forest, problem solved.

Tom Abbott
October 30, 2019 12:32 pm

I heard a guest on Fox News Channel this morning say that this wildfire danger had been predicted 13 years ago during a Western Governor’s conference, where there was great concern for how the forests were becoming overgrown.

October 30, 2019 3:14 pm

All that wood could have been used in progressive Europe.


“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.

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.”

Just waiting for the next cold winter disaster. Winter is not nice if you can’t warm your home especially for the most vulnerable in a society.

Richard Binns
October 30, 2019 4:49 pm

I wonder whether the massive increase in power line infrastructure needed to support wind turbines could result in more spark caused fires?

October 31, 2019 12:11 am

Or it could be NIMBY housing policy and associated building Regs-
Oh and climate change of course

October 31, 2019 3:18 am

California’s drought ended torrential rains.. So torrential rains cause forest fires?

October 31, 2019 3:20 am

I will sue the Power Company for starting forest fires, and then wonder why my rates go up, and my power gets shut off in dry conditions.

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