What a difference a couple of years and a new President make in how the New York Times reports on the California fire situation. The New York Times, in several articles, predicted those very ‘self-same’ fires to which Donald Trump recently observed that California’s broken Fire Management System bore some responsibility. For nearly 2 1/2 years the NYT pointed out (credit where credit is due) that California was tinderbox waiting for a spark and that the ‘fuel load’ was incomprehensible. And yet, let Trump point out the obvious, the same point made by the newspaper for years, they fact-check Trump and say, “it’s complicated.” This is why “FakeNews” claims resonate with any thinking person that stays moderately informed and has even a bare minimum of critical thinking ability.
Any reasonably fair news organization would have written something to the effect that Gov. Brown and his Liberal Green California Democrats and their politically correct policy decisions bear some responsibility for the conflagration and should own it. Wouldn’t the same logic that says Donald Trump is responsible for the deaths of 2 Illegal Immigrant children because “he’s President, and it’s his policies” that make it more difficult for Illegals to sneak in, also then, apply to Gov. Brown, his policies, and his crew for every one of the more than 76 deaths from the Camp Fire and the rest.
Here’s a few of the stories featured in the New York Times about the inevitability of catastrophic fires in California.
At the height of California’s fierce wildfire season, the Sierra Nevada and North Coast forests are choked with tens of millions of dead and dying trees, from gnarly oaks to elegant pines that are turning leafy chapels into tinderboxes of highly combustible debris.
Ground crews wielding chain saws, axes and wood chippers are braving the intense summer heat in the Sierra’s lower elevations, where most of the pine trees have died. The devastation and danger are greatest in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, where the estimated number of dead trees since 2010 is a staggering 66 million.
Late last week, the U.S. Forest Service said an aerial survey revealed that 36 million additional trees had died while in the grip of persistent drought, bringing the total since 2010 to more than 102 million.
Those numbers have startled California officials and scientists while adding urgency to a long-simmering debate over what should be done about it.
The more than 100 million trees that died in California after being weakened by drought and insect infestations have transformed large swaths of the Sierra Nevada into browned-out tree cemeteries. In some areas more than 90 percent of trees are dead.
This week a group of scientists warned in the journal BioScience that the dead trees could produce wildfires on a scale and of an intensity that California has never seen.
Coming in the aftermath of the deadly and destructive fires last year both in wine country and Southern California, the warning is sobering because the scientists say they cannot even calculate the damage the dead-tree fires might cause; it exceeds what their current fire behavior modeling can simulate.
As Californians were fleeing the huge wildfires that have left both ends of the state ablaze, President Trump took to Twitter over the weekend, blaming the infernos on forest management and threatening to withhold federal payments from the state.
His statements, which drew outrage from local leaders and firefighters, oversimplified the causes of California’s wildfires.