Delingpole: Brown Fiddled While California Burned

Park Billow, 27, sprays water on the hot spots in his backyard as the Woolsey Fire burns i
AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Ever since President Trump tweeted about the real cause of the California wild fires, celebrities, union leaders, activists and leftist politicians have been lining up to tell us how evil and wrong Trump is.

But the more evidence emerges, the more it appears that Trump was dead right to blame “poor” forest management for the California fires.

And who was responsible for that poor management? Why only the guy who has been busily trying to point the finger of blame at Trump: California Governor Jerry Brown.

California’s fire problem is summed up here by CFACT’s Bonner Cohen:

State and federal forests in California are full of dead and diseased trees that should be removed, along with overgrown underbrush. But, to the extent that these forests are being thinned, it is at a snail’s pace. Prescribed burns, fire breaks, and adequate roads allowing firefighters quick access into forests are all a part of proper forest management but are largely absent from California’s government-managed forests. People managing forests on private land must deal with the state’s Byzantine bureaucracy to obtain permits enabling them to carry out fire prevention measures on their land.

As a result, the state’s forests and adjacent grasslands are a tinder box waiting to explode.

Governor Brown had a chance to put a stop to this. Or at least alleviate it. Instead, as CFACT’s Paul Driessen notes here, he personally vetoed a legislative amendment designed to reduce the wild fire risk.

In 2016, Governor Brown vetoed a bipartisan wildfire management bill that had unanimously passed the state Assembly and Senate. For decades, radical environmentalists have demanded – and legislators, regulators and judges have approved – “wildlands preservation” and “fires are natural” policies. Tree thinning has been banned, resulting in thousands of skinny, fire-susceptible trees growing where only a few hundred should be present. Even removing diseased, dead and burned trees has been prohibited.

So ecological dogma took priority over human lives. I wonder how relatives of the 76 people known to have been killed so far feel about this. Were their loved ones’ lives a worthy sacrifice to preserve the eco-systems of all the imaginary bugs and critters which supposedly wouldn’t have survived if all that tinderbox brushwood had been cleared, as the state Assembly and Senate had hoped?

I say “imaginary” because there is, of course, absolutely zero evidence that this wildlife and plantlife has actually benefited from the kind of eco-fascistic policies supported by Governor Brown. One of the many criticisms levelled by genuine environmentalists against laissez-faire forest management policy is that it ultimately leads to far greater destruction: if brushwood is allowed to accumulate and trees aren’t thinned, then the resulting conflagration, when inevitably it arrives, burns so hot as to destroy everything – including the seeds in the underbrush which might have survived lesser fires.

Same goes for the “pollution” issue. One reason greenies like Governor Moonbeam resist controlled fires and rarely allow home owners even to burn on their own land is because of the smoke pollution. But what about the far greater pollution caused by these uncontrollable fires which have been ravaging California these last few weeks? Or is there some special greenie rule whereby if the fires are “natural” the smoke and pollution don’t count?

For Governor Moonbeam see also: the left generally. With these leftists it’s always about the green virtue-signalling, never about the practical consequences. Or, indeed, the science.

Driessen writes:

In 2009, Clinton-appointed Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the Bush era US Forest Service had not fully analyzed the effects of potential timber harvesting on endangered plants and animals. In 2015, Obama-appointed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson rejected concerns that new, highly restrictive Obama-era forest plans would further harm local economies and increase the risk of forest fires.

Did those judges and pressure groups, or the politicians and regulators who support them, ever ponder how thoroughly the inevitable infernos exterminate habitats, immolate endangered plants and animals, leave surviving animals starving, and incinerate organic matter in the thin soils? Did they consider how subsequent downpours and snowmelts denude hillsides, wash soils into streambeds, and ensure that trees and biodiversity won’t recover for decades?

Did they gave a moment’s thought to the way horrific conflagrations obliterate communities and kill firefighters, parents and children who get trapped by sudden walls of fast-moving flames? Not likely.

It’s not about the climate. It’s not about the environment. Always, but always, it’s about the politics.

Greenery is a charlatan’s charter. It brings out the very worst in politicians who are often far too lazy and stupid to bother reading the small print. Almost all the worst legislation of the last four or more decades has been caused by environmentalism – such as Britain’s Climate Change Act which, at a potential cost to the taxpayer in excess of £1 trillion, has saddled the economy with the most expensive energy in Europe, caused domestic energy bills to skyrocket, and carpeted the green and pleasant land with bird-slicing, bat-chomping eco-crucifixes.

Politicians like voting for this stuff because they think it’s cost free, that everyone – left or right – shares their goals because hey it’s green and everybody loves green shit, right?
Meanwhile in the real world people die. Some in fuel poverty created by artificially high energy prices. Others in partially green-created disasters like the California fires.

But the greenies are in far too deep to admit this. There’s a multi-trillion-dollar Climate Industrial Complex to feed which means that the climate change scare story has to be continually ramped up so as to prevent green con-artists like Jerry Brown being shown up for the scientifically illiterate hucksters they are.

That’s why people who speak the truth are vilified as “deniers”.

It’s why those rare liberal academics who try to speak the truth are shouted down, like Clifford “Cliff” Mass, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington.

Mass is a believer in climate change. He claims that “global warming is a profoundly serious threat to mankind.”

But he is in no doubt that the California fires had nothing to do with climate change. Those activists who claim otherwise, he says, are “attempting to use this tragedy as a tool for their own agenda”.

The “central causative factor” was strong, offshore-directed Diablo winds. (Ironically, he notes, these are likely to decrease if global warming becomes a thing). These are regional weather event, not one that can be ascribed to climate change.

Oh, and it’s nonsense that the conditions were unseasonally dry. As Mass shows, California is often dry enough for conflagrations of this kind. It’s not some terrible new freakish phenomenon caused by global warming.

He writes:

The bottom line is that the vegetation is plenty dry enough to burn every summer right now…and has been like that forever.  Even if global warming is increasing temperatures a few degrees (and it probably is), IT DOESN’T MATTER.  The fuels are plenty dry enough to burn already.  That is why the handwaving argument that global warming is contributing to the fires simply don’t make sense.
And then there is the argument that global warming is somehow decreasing autumn rains in the area.  This has little basis in truth.

Did the mainstream scientific community welcome his expert contributions to the debate?
Of course not!

One Dr Sarah Myhre – who, gloriously, bills herself as a “public scholar scientist advocate communicator” [actually, you know, just “activist” would have done] – tweeted at him “This. Is. Pure. Propaganda.” And then told a Washington radio station that had given him airtime that giving Cliff a “platform” was a “form of violence.”

Facts are irrelevant to green ideologues like Myrhe. It’s all about the narrative.

But the green narrative about the California wild fires – all caused by climate change, nothing to do with Governor Moonbeam’s crazy green policies – simply doesn’t stack up.

If you want some charts to throw in the faces of your greenie friends, Paul Homewood, as usual, has a cornucopia:

Orland, CA is near to the Paradise fire and has good, long term meteorological data. Using data from the Western Regional Climate Center, we can plot summertime daily maximums back to 1903:


As we can see, the hottest summers were in 1908 and 1917. Summers now are much cooler than the period prior to 1940.

We find the same pattern with the highest daily temperatures measured each year.



Record temperatures of 120F were set in 1905 and 1908 at Orland. The highest this year was just 107F.




Indeed there has been very little out of the ordinary at all with temperatures this summer.



Of course it has also been dry this year, but again nothing unusual as far as that part of California is concerned. ( Div 2 is the Sacramento Drainage Division).



And as we know, the 20thC was an unusually wet interlude, as far as California’s longer history is concerned.




Anybody who uses tries to blame California’s wildfires on “extreme weather” is not only flying in the face of the facts, but also failing to deal with the real causes.

Good enough for you, greenies?


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.