Frustrated California Governor Gavin Newsom Surveys Fire Zone, Rips “Ideological BS” Around Climate Change & “Absence Of National Leadership”

Um, is Gov. Newsom full of it? As a California resident myself, I can’t say that I’m against an ongoing effort to recall him.

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I think he’s right. I don’t understand how anyone can deny how serious climate change is and it’s only going to get worse. I’m in Butte County right now visiting my parents and the place is blanketed in smoke and ash from the Bear Fire/North Complex West Zone Fire. We had to evacuate for two days. And I was here two years ago when the Camp Fire burned the town of Paradise down. Every year for the last few years there have been evacuation warnings. In the 70 years my family has been in this area, they’ve never experienced fires like these.

Last Wednesday I was in San Francisco and in the middle of the day it felt like dusk and cars were driving with their headlights on. The sky was an eerie orange color like nothing I’ve ever seen before. This was all from the Bear Fire.

My impression from what I’ve read is that many of these fires and associated deaths are largely due to poor development planning (developing a sizable town without adequate roads in and out or space between structures), poor forest management, and poor public utilities management so that electric sparks have sometimes caused fires.

Sorry, but I think blaming it on climate change is just deflecting all the things the state and local govenments can control and should be doing to keep people safer.


The current fires were all caused by lightning and one of the reasons the fires are do bad is because it’s so dry. Many trees become distressed from lack of water which makes them more vulnerable to beetles and other bugs. There are a lot of dead trees out there. Also, the worst fires in Butte County and neighboring Plumas County started in Plumas National Forest which is managed by the federal government. And I’m not sure what kind of forest management you think should be going on in forests that cover hundreds of thousands of acres and hundreds of square miles. Do you think someone should be out there raking the forest?

The people screaming climate change don’t bother to study California history nor do they bother to look at the effects of development on the native California ecology.

People speak of two million acres as an OMG moment. But there were times before California was settled that they had as much as four million acres burn in a single year. The early Indians had stories of fires that lasted months until the next rainy season finally put them out.

But with the development that accompanies nearly 40m inhabitants, with the development that severely encroached on open spaces in deserts and forests, fires have been suppressed hard with the result that the forest undergrowth that wasn’t cleared out and desert chaparral become extremely flammable tinder that can ignite with the slightest spark accompanied by a little bit of wind.

Not to mention that clearing out carries its own environmentalist objections. PG&E was often not allowed to clearcut around their transmission towers nor allowed to trim a sufficient distance off their transmission lines, hence the damage that resulted from that policy was very predictable. But due to the liability associated with the fires, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that PG&E is shutting off some of their transmission lines in order to avoid future fire liability.


I’m not denying that other things besides climate change are partly responsible for the fires. But I also have no doubt that climate change is also an important factor, too. Last month it got up to 130° in Death Valley, a world record for the month of August. Woodland Hills set a record for Los Angeles County with a temperature of 121°.

That’s because they had no means to put them out, or to fight them in any meaningful way. If California right now abandoned all technology that was not available in the 19th century, today’s fires would cover much more area than the 4 million acres reported by the Indians. Also, less of California is wooded today than in the time of the Indians. So it is not surprising that they had big fires. What is notable today is not just the size of the fires, but the extreme data patterns bringing about these historic (for modern times) fires.

Global warming or I guess Climate Change is the new PC word is a naturally occurring event. How can a scientist say for sure the world is getting hotter or wetter than ever before? Did they have the ability to record temperatures in the 1400’s? How do they know it’s getting wetter? Do they know how much rain & snow fell in 1552 all around the world?

While I do believe carbon emissions effect the quality of air, the amount of those emissions are only a tiny bit of the global warming issue. The real issue of these fires are poor forest management and development.

In California development is allowed everywhere. People just keep building more, bigger, and further into natural habitat. All this dismay at people losing their homes, how awful, whole neighborhoods being lost and on & on. Maybe 20 years ago a fire may have started in that area and may have burned itself out because there was no development to feed it. Or possibly it could have been an easy fire to beat because fire fighters didn’t have to worry about evacuating neighborhoods.

This also goes to the wet getting wetter. The ground, the earth naturally absorbs water (rain & snow). Then all this development comes in and all the ground space is taken up with not buildings but roads and parking lots. The water no longer has the ability to be absorbed completely and there is flooding and mud slides as well as other fun problems when water doesn’t have a place to go.

Poor forest management is just that, not managing the forest for the best possible outcome. The forest needs fire to live. It adds nutrients to the soil and some seeds in pinecones will only be released when the pinecone is burned, so it actually cause reforestation. Good forest management means clearing out dead trees and ground fuel, so yes raking the forest. Although I don’t think they actually use rakes it is what happens, they clear out all the underbrush.

You can look all this up. The information is out there.


It’s been 130 degrees in Death Valley before. It has likely been 121 degrees in Woodland Hills long before it was settled. This has always been the bugaboo about temperatures: we only have reliable records going back to 1880 at best, the rest is inference. So the AGW’ers use their inference to imply that the Medieval Warming Period wasn’t a big deal despite the evidence that it was. For instance, they grew wheat and brewed beer in Greenland back then. Something they’re still nowhere near close to doing these days.

I grew up in California; I can testify to how dry it can get without the extreme weather. Hotter this year? Sure. But the temperature record that was broken in Woodland Hills was set in 2006 yet I’m not recalling that 2006 was a particularly bad year for fires so there is not necessarily a correlation here.


We do know something about what temperatures where like in the 1400s or perhaps around 1552. Scientists can look at tree rings in ancient trees and tell based on how big the ring is whether it was a year the tree was perhaps distressed because of drought or whether it was a more rainy year. Some of the redwoods are over 2000 years old and some bristlecone pines are even more ancient.

It’s not as if these fires are going through areas with lots of parking lots and huge buildings. Many of the fires in California are burning through sparsely inhabited areas. Many of the towns have no more than a few hundred or a few thousand inhabitants at most. Much of what is burning is in uninhabited areas, including forested areas on the sides of mountains and steep ravines.

Then the federal and state governments had better start paying people to clear out all these dead trees and brush over hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Taxes would have to raised to pay for it I suppose.

If this is just a “normal” cycle, we’re all going to pay for it with coastal towns that will go under the sea and constant wildfires in places like California that will make the area difficult to live in.

what about CA laws against fire-preventing measures?

California has enacted several laws that heavily restrict such vital fire-preventing measures as logging, removal of dead trees, and clearing of dry underbrush.

the feds?

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What I don’t understand about the claims that these fires are obviously the result of global warming, is that I remember there being annual fires in the forests out west since I was a child. And I’m pretty sure that that was how these forests regenerated themselves before humans arrived on the scene in large numbers. So how exactly are these fires different from the ordinary fires that occur naturally without global warming?

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I guess it’s true that if all the forests were logged and there weren’t any trees any more, we wouldn’t have as much of a fire problem. I’ve seen plenty of logged areas that were almost clear cut.

typical response, go to the extreme…

Having lived in Cali all my life, we used to have healthy forests. Loggers would go in and cut trees, cattle would be trucked up into the mountains to graze all spring and summer, and there was space between the trees so that what water and nutrients that were in the soil could support them. You would have forest fires, but because the cattle had eaten a lot of the fuel, the trees were healthy, and spaced apart, there wasn’t as much fuel laying on the forest floors to make these raging hot fires. Fires back then would run through a forest fairly quickly, the tree branches were off the ground so not as many trees caught fire and there wasn’t as much damage. But the environmentalists had the grazing stopped.

Then in the 70’s you had the environmentalists going on about the Spotted Owl and the 'you can’t cut trees" movement began. And of course, Cali AWAYS being on the edge and “woke”, jumped on that band wagon and small town after small town had their main employer, which were the sawmills, close down. No more wood for lumber, so the USA to start importing it. The trees that used to be cut which thinned the forests, were now just left alone. No thinning let the forests get more and more crowded, so you now have many, many more trees trying to live on the water and nutrients. The soil couldn’t sustain that many trees, so the crowded trees became sickly and weak. Also the trees being so crowded, many of the branches hung low rather than straight out.

So trees that used to have the nutrients and water which made them healthy when there were years of drought, they were able to survive. But when you have way too many trees trying to live, then have years of drought = dead trees, or trees not strong enough to fight off invasions of Bark Beetles.

Loggers used to be able to go into a burn area and salvage dead trees, but that stopped being the case years ago. They used to let we, unwashed masses, go into the forests and cut up the dead trees for firewood to heat our homes with in the winter, but they stopped us from doing that too.

Cali has a natural cycle of drought and wet years, always has. So bad forest management from Cali and the Feds leave us with millions of dead trees all over Cali, broken branches laying on the forest floors, tall grasses, branches hanging down and old burned areas full of dead trees all just sitting there. Fuel just sitting there all packed together making these fires larger, and hotter. Then we get a 24 hour period of dry lightning… it’s like the kindling has been laid out in the fireplace, just waiting for the spark.


And for the frosting on the cake, a few months ago, Cali let over 17,000 prisoners out because of Covid-19. These are the people that make up the Cal-Fire hand crews that go out to fight these fires. They are highly trained, seasoned people. So they are let out just before fire season starts. Oh goodness, now it’s fire season, and we don’t have enough hand crews!!!
So they are now trying to play catch-up and the Governor has signed a new bill that will pardon any of these guys that will hopefully come back and help fight these fires. Quick thinking Gov., quick thinking… :smirk:

See how cutting edge Cali has been under one party rule? We have to have everything green, no fossil fuel here, but with these massive fires, we now have the most polluted air in the USA. We have to be green and get rid of fossil fuel, so we have to turn the power off to it’s citizens so the grid doesn’t get over whelmed. Yes folks, when one party (can be either) can do whatever stupid idea it gets into it’s imagination and there is no one there to stop them, this is what you get.


But those rings can’t tell anyone temperature, it can’t tell if it was hotter then or hotter now.

I wasn’t actually talking about fire when I spoke about water issues. I was talking about the effect of so much development has on flooding and mudslides.

Actually I believe taxes wouldn’t have to be raised at all. Just a redirection of funds, rather than pay for fighting the fires and and clean up, the money can be used for managing the forest.

To put the cost in perspective, the big tankers that drop the red fire retardant cost $5.21 per gallon. Most of those planes carry about 3,000 to 4,000 gallons a run. That’s almost $21,000 each time it goes out. In 2017 the cost of fighting wildfires in CA cost over $2 billion.

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Why do you call it one party rule? It doesn’t seem so long ago that Schwarzenegger was governor.

Well, we’ve only been keeping weather records for a couple hundred years.
Forests get dry and they burn. Sometimes disastrously (see, e.g., the Peshtigo Fire).
People who live there need to realize this is a risk, just like if you live in a flood plain you might get flooded, and if you live in Tornado Alley you might have a tornado come at you.

People, and developers, never seem to think these things through before they just move to wherever. Perhaps some or even many of them don’t have much choice where to live, but historically, people in North America who have lived in any sort of wooded or brush areas know that dryness and fires will happen. Even if climate change is the issue, it would take years to remedy the problem. Perhaps the answer is just stop living in and developing these sorts of areas or else learn to better deal with risks.

Pointing at climate change and the federal government/ corporate bogeyman is unlikely to actually do anything in the relatively short term to protect people, protect their houses, and fix the problem. No one wants to hear that though. They’d rather keep harping on climate change and passing the buck.

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