Letter to the Editor: "Pyro-Mento"

Letter to the Editor: "Pyro-Mento"

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California now burns annually. Sacramento’s focus isn’t fire management by chasing trains, tunnels and climate change. Their mismanagement through environmental inflexibility, no logging , forest overgrowth ignored, and CARB diesel particulate filter ‘fire-starters’ remain unaddressed as cause. No, exclusively PG&E and arsonists are culprits,

A 2018 Little Hoover Commission report highlighted forest mismanagement, noting counterproductive burn vs regional air quality regulations and “familiar old divisions between the timber industry and environmentalists hinder policy goals to thin overgrown forests to their original conditions.”

What should California government have done?

• systematic undergrowth clearance;

• hardening homes adjacent to fuel loaded areas to resist fire starting embers;

• underground installation of power lines; and

• listen to citizens, taxpayers and experts over reliance on radical environmentalist guidance.

Firefighters have reached fire suppression equipment, personnel and resource limits. Any sustainable harvesting or dead tree removal is met with phony litigation by radical environmentalists with a nod from crony politicians. They would rather see forests burn, lights out and communities on fire than a logger actually clearing fire prone undergrowth, harvesting and replanting. Where corruption exists, the good frequently get swept up with the bad - think Paradise, CA.

Given California fascination with air quality, one wonders how ignoring forest management fits in? It’s highly unlikely that PG&E is alone the cause of perpetual burning. Jerry Brown’s veto of a bipartisan wildlife management bill didn’t help since its obvious nothing was being done – before, then or now.

The multi-era Democrat political strategy to blame speculative climate change absolves them of responsibility, simultaneously justifying fire threat mis-management and general incompetence. Sixty percent of energy from renewables by 2030 is absurd. The bogeyman is fossil-energy which sustains our economic prosperity and brings fire fighters, trucks, airplane water tankers, helicopter fire retardant and emergency services to Sacramento’s burning forests. Failed governance is paying for clean-up later than sooner.

Sacramento governance, top down, in the fifth- largest economy turned out lights. Paradoxically, is government or cars fouling the air, giving lip service to respiratory concern and finger-pointing anyone but themselves? I pick government!

Gary Smith 


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