California pays in blood and tears for progressive ideologies

California pays in blood and tears for progressive ideologies, by Victor Davis Hanson.

I am a fifth-generation native Californian and remember many horrific Sierra Nevada fires, but never anything remotely comparable to the blazes of 2018. …

Left unsaid is that more than 130 million trees died throughout the state’s foothills and mountain ranges during the drought of 2011–2016 and were not removed from the forest floor, providing an immensity of natural kindling for fires. To walk in a Sierra Nevada forest during summers requires navigating not just over fallen limbs and branches, but also rotting trees — all amid dead brush and dead but still-towering brown pines.

Gone are the periodic meadows and open spaces of the 1960s and 1970s, when logging companies harvested trees, thinned out the forests, replanted what was cut, and cleaned up the forest floor. Yet given California’s stringent anti-logging regulations of the last 20 years, there is no real California timber industry left, at least as it once was.

And scavenging even dead trees prompts a great debate, as environmentalists lecture on the advantages of letting the dead wood be. Or, as Sierra Club organizer Daniel Barad put it in a January 2018 Sacramento Bee op-ed: “Dead trees are vital components of the forest ecosystem and should be removed only when necessary.”

Global warming? No, the problem is greenies and their PC fantasies about how the world works.

Too much dead wood in the forest? One fire, and it’s all gone in a flash.

via Tip of the Spear