California Fires: DO NOT BLAME Climate Change or PG&E

Right now parts of California are experiencing planned power-outages.  The state’s leaders are telling us it’s because of the winds (which are very gusty in some locations), the electrical power lines, and the trees/foliage adjacent the lines.  It is true, if a random spark from the swaying lines were to come in contact with dry vegetation, a fire could instantly flare up.

Sadly, our major electrical provider in northern California, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has suddenly become the bad guy in all of this.  Blame is also being cast upon you and me for our consumption of fossil fuels and the (supposed) associated effects of global warming.

It’s a shame that the real culprits have escaped judgement.  I’m referring to the environmentalists.

First a brief lesson in climate. Throughout the recorded history of California, exceptionally strong, dry winds and scorching temperatures are a common atmospheric occurrence in September and October.  The reason for this has to do with the state’s unique geographical location: cool ocean waters hug California’s 780-mile long Pacific coast, while a variety of mountain ranges stretch up and down the state. Interspersed are broad swaths of natural desert.

In the northern half of the state, coastal cities such as San Francisco and Oakland receive 20-inches of rain a year, on the average. Inland, San Jose typically sees 14.5 inches.  The state’s capital city, Sacramento, located in the Central Valley, gets 18 inches of rain. To the south, Los Angeles and San Diego generally experience about a foot of rain annually. The averages haven’t notably changed since records began being kept in the 1800s.  Historically, the rainy season begins in mid-late October and ends by early June.

To put these rainfall amounts into perspective, east of the Rocky Mountains most cities in the United States receive 40 to 60 inches of precipitation annually.

However, California’s blessing has been its large mountain ranges (bordering Nevada and Oregon), where precipitation mostly falls in the form winter snow. Up there the annual precipitation totals are impressive: 60 to 80 inches of precipable water is common, depending on the range.  The incredible amount of rain/snow in the mountains feeds streams, rivers, lakes, and dams, which provide the irrigatable water necessary to grow abundant fruit and vegetable crops in the state’s arid regions.

Because of the mountain precipitation (and the brilliant use of artificial dams), farming remains California’s top grossing industry. In fact, the state leads all others in farm income. It’s positioned as the agricultural powerhouse of the United States.

California grows over 200 different crops, some grown nowhere else in the nation. It produces almost all of the country’s almonds, apricots, dates, figs, kiwi fruit, nectarines, olives, pistachios, prunes, and walnuts. It also leads in the production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries. Only Florida produces more oranges, and only Texas more cotton.

On a side note, shamefully, environmentalists loath the human-made dams and have been successful in getting many torn down.

More on the climate: the prevailing winds in California blow west to east. Commencing in mid/late October storms begin to blow in from the Pacific. As their moist air confronts the mountain ranges, it rushes up the sides of the mountains doing something known as  “orographic uplift.”  As such, as the air strikes the windward side, it is uplifted, cooled, and forces precipitation to occur.  This is why windward slopes of mountains tend to be the wet sides while the other side of the range (the “leeward side”) is dry.  This is also why Nevada (directly east of California) is a complete desert—it’s located in California’s “rain shadow.”

Now, about the fire danger presently effecting California.

I’m penning this post on October 27.  This is the time of the year when the atmosphere is transitioning from summer to winter.  As this changeover occurs the wind patterns temporarily begin to blow more east to west, opposite the norm.  Another part of the transition includes an increase in something called the “pressure gradient.” Long story short, this increase causes the winds to blow harder, as they are today. So, the winds right now are blowing downthe slopes of the mountains and toward the ocean and as the air is pushed down the mountainsides it totally dries out, dropping the humidity levels to zero, thus naturally creating an increase fire danger. If there’s a spark (from a power line, barbecue, car accident, etc.), the wind can cause a fire to grow into a monster in no time.

This has nothing to do with human-caused global warming or climate change.  This condition has always been a noteworthy aspect of California’s overall climate.

As for the current fire danger, don’t blame northern California’s major energy provider, PG&E—blame the environmentalists.

One of my best friends, Mike, has been a linesman with PG&E for 40 years; prior to that his dad worked the powerlines for decades as well. Between these two men, they’ve literally traversed nearly all the powerlines in the entire state.

Mike tells me that a couple decades ago the rule was that PG&E cleared away any foliage from the power lines to the tune of ten feet on each side. However, at the insistence of the environmentalists, that amount of clearage was reduced to four feet.

Four feet is hardly enough.  Indeed many plants and trees can easily grow that much in a single season.  To gain more clearance PG&E needs environmental approval, which is nearly impossible without a court order. The environmental policies in California have created a fire danger in association with the lines!

Then there are the various county, state, and federal laws that have hampered efforts to properly thin our forests.  I’ve been hiking a part of Nevada County (in the Sierra Mountains, near Truckee) for decades. Twenty years ago I used to be able to literally walk through the forest to my destination (the original railroad tracks built in the 1800’s) sans a path or trail. Now the forest is so overgrown and dense that my only choice is a well-worn trail.  The area has become a major fire waiting to happen.

Again, don’t blame this unnecessary power shortage on PG&E or climate change.  Blame it on the environmental agenda that has been instituted by the politicians and bureaucrats who run California, and their willing accomplices in the media who are carrying their water.

Here’s the real story: the environmentalists believe humans are the planet’s invasive species.  All of the rules, regulations, and laws they put forward are designed to instill a reduced population—by fire if necessary.

Brian Sussman

Reader Interactions


  1. Brian C. says

    Yep, but the truly indoctrinated will never believe this. Had a cousin come in from Nevada to fight the big Santa Rosa fire a few years ago and while scouting for the bulldozer he found scrapes from the last time a dozer cleared the area. Upon researching it those previous scrapes were from 1967, 50 years ago…….

      • Nancy J Lopez says

        Amen what about all the POT FARMS through out wine country .. even w/ protest of original farmers vs. Pot growers
        Then look who’s been ruining California. Sanctuary cities & Feinstein Pelosi Boxer Brown Harris Shifty Watters Demorats.. God Bless you Brian & President Trump & all of us.

      • George DeWittriver says

        Oh, and apologist for PG&E. PG&E has long employed people to market their innocence. This is especially true now that they’re on the ropes and I responsible for killing so many people

        • Brian Sussman says

          I’m hardly an apologist for PG&E; just a guy in search of the truth, George.
          Thanks for reading/responding.

      • Khemosabi says

        How about a population moratorium? We don’t have enough water, housing, highways, etc….so why ANY immigrants, whatsoever….Let’s say for a decade. Until we straighten the state out. Cut the state governing staff in half, after all it is the age of computers. Stop this race to have a one party system. There are still millions of Conservatives in Cali….of course outnumbered by the left, but still need consideration as WE pay taxes. Let’s be more friendly to businesses and quit driving them out of the state. And, please listen to the input of Cal Fire Chiefs and others that know how to curtail some of the wild land fires through clearing dead under brush, the dry creek beds, the dead trees, fire roads and yearly maintenance of those fire roads/breaks. PG & E put a lot of $$ toward Green Energy, among other things, and not to updating their lines and clearing brush from their lines. Common Sense would be nice from the politicians….Start working together and quit the fighting. Most of all quit the stupidity.

  2. Mike Schulist says

    It seems that everyone who has a concern about the environment has been lumped into one group called “environmentalists.” I imagine that people who care about the environment might have multiple viewpoints on how to best help sustain the the health of our natural environment. I also believe that a changing climate increases the likelihood of the droughts that fuel fires such as those happening in California fight now. I hope these problems are solved by collaboration based on scientific evidence; I don’t think blame is ever effective.

    • Brian Sussman says

      Point we’ll taken, Mike.
      I (like you) am deeply concerned about treating our environment properly. Professional Environmentalists use the environmental as a tool to further a political agenda.
      Thanks for checking in.

      • Patrice Hocking says

        Brian excellent coverage. However, geo-engineering is also in my opinion playing a part in the drier conditions with the constant spraying of the skies. No one talks about this but it is fact that anyone can see. We experience here almost daily, some days come white out, other days less so. I would consider myself one who wants to take care of the Earth and all of its inhabitants but like any responsible gardener, I know when to let some things compost & turn to mulch and when to rake, pick up leaves, and cut back on vegetation.

      • Connie Kincheloe says

        “I (like you) am deeply concerned about treating our environment properly. Professional Environmentalists use the environmental as a tool to further a political agenda.”

        No truer words! I think we can all say we care about our environment and leaving it as good or better for future generations. But many are using it to further an agenda AND line their pockets with lots of money.

        I have a big problem with the word “collaboration “. This implies working together but in truth, it leaves out those most affected by decisions that are made between a government agency and NGOs (who, by the way, profit from these same decisions made). The proper terminology is COORDINATION, wherein the federal agencies are required to incorporate local concerns and plans into its decision-making process.

  3. D. Moore says


    You are 100% spot on! Many of us “native” Californians have been seeing this change due to the so-called “environmentalists” and watching as their ignorance has caused a far more dangerous environment than ever before. I hope that this information that you have provided gets out to the masses in this state and they start to wise up and demand the dolt’s in Sacramento do what is right and stop trying to blame others instead of looking at the true cause, by simply looking in the mirror!

    I am all for protecting the environment, but the way they have been going about it here over the last 40+ years is simply wrong, short sighted and dangerous to all! Dangerous to not only people, but wildlife too, including many endangered species that too, call California home!

  4. Mitchell Anderson says

    I earned my degree in Environmental Studies back in 1983. Back then the rage was to not touch any fallen trees and just let “nature take its course” We all knew this would lead to major fires down the road. I asked my professors about this and did not get a satisfactory response. It’s the secret that is hidden in plain sight! These fires fall back into the laps of left-wing radical environmentalists who maybe think they are doing some good, but are creating a hell on earth scenario in these terrible fires. All they tried to save was destroyed way worse than had they done some clearing and maintenance.

    • Brian Sussman says

      GREAT hearing from you, Mitch.
      It must be noted, you’ve been living in a socialist country in South America for decades!
      Thanks for weighing in on this critical topic.

  5. Paul says

    Not only that Brian but all utilities, in all 50 states deal with downed power lines, but they get wet storms or snow storms that do not result in wildfires as in our bone dry state. Thus far only California has enforced this impossible law of inverse condemnation. THE other 48 states do not hold utilities liable for storms, natural disasters of any kind. We all lose here and the lawyers win as always. Beating up PG&E is going to backfire big time. And your right PG&E does exactly what the government and state officials demand of it. Shut down cheap nuclear power and replace it with very expensive solar, wind projects, energy conservation, and discounts to almost 25% of PG&E customers. These officials couldn’t string Christmas lights around the governor’s mansion. They don’t have a clue. And by the way all 50 states have the same electrical system, that is why PG& E lineman went to Puerto Rico, and many other states to
    help rebuild their identical systems.
    So all this malarkey about the PG& E system being antiquated is garbage. Total media driven hysteria. They have been wanting to destroy PG&E since the 60’s and replace it with
    one similar to Cuba’s or Venezuela. Once they do it here they can do it Nationally. I could go on and on how they misrepresent PG&E. Tragic.

    • Brian Sussman says

      Excellent points, Paul.
      As another reader pointed out, the move might first be to give the local cities/counties jurisdiction over the grid, but my thought is that really the socialists want to be the purveyors of our power and ultimately have the ability to shut your house off if YOU are consuming too much electricity on a hot day in July (wrote about this in Eco-Tyranny, by the way).
      Best regards,

  6. Keri says

    Missing you so much in the morning, Mr. Sussman! I shared this on FB and received the following inquiry:

    “I’m curious if there is a citation somewhere for this piece – I can’t find anything online at first search. Not saying there isn’t- just would like to know the full story ‘Mike tells me that a couple decades ago the rule was that PG&E cleared away any foliage from the power lines to the tune of ten feet on each side. However, at the insistence of the environmentalists, that amount of clearage was reduced to four feet.’”

    • Brian Sussman says

      Thanks for checking in, Keri.

      I found this on the Sierra Club website (they are NOT fans of clearing the trees to make transition lines safer!):

      As PG&E itself states, “The California Public Utilities Commission requires PG&E maintain at least a 4-foot clearance between vegetation and power lines in high fire-threat areas year-round to help ensure electric reliability and public safety.” Under their new program, PG&E wants to enlist property owner consent to voluntarily remove all vegetation to a distance of 15 feet from each side of the power lines in the affected zones, and extend the clearing down to one foot above the ground.

  7. Anonymous says

    This is correct for as far as you go but there are a number of other angles that have to be considered
    PGE has mountains of “deferred maintenance “ on the books for its grid infrastructure. It also focused much more on profit and stock price than infrastructure management for a number of recent years.
    The CPUC has allowed this and has a legacy of bad oversight and is a revolving door of industry insiders and political hacks.
    The Environmental lobby has made it impossible to do proper forestry management and in so doing killed the logging Industry which can be both an economic engine and help out with the forest management.
    This has all happened while the current ruling party has had a majority or super majority.
    The legislature has also forced PGE to purchase power at a premium from green sources. It also forces all those energy Star and solar rebates. PGE has spent billions on these programs over the past several years. I don’t know about you but I would much rather see those funds have gone into infrastructure modernization.
    While we are at it consider that PGE rates are basically double what you see in Washington or Oregon.

    It is a string of bad decisions (many dating back year and decades) that have created a nightmare scenario.
    Does this all absolve PGE from failing its core mission to deliver safe and reliable power?
    I will let you decide but I do not see their hands clean here. Same goes for the CPUC, CA legislature and CA Environmental Protection Agency.
    PGE should be broken up into municipal utility districts and electric cooperatives IMO.

    • Brian Sussman says

      Excellent points, my friend; especially your last one–could this all be an effort by the state to pull the plug from the for-profit PG&E and give the grid over to the government?

      • Anon says

        It is possible this is a ploy to make a giant state run monopoly. I would oppose that. I think smaller utility districts and co ops are the way to go. They can be responsive to local citizens without necessarily being beholden to Sacramento.
        I would not want to trade one giant lethargic energy monolith for another

        • Chuck Arthur says

          PG&E actually grew from many hundreds of smaller local Utility Districts. I have an old chart in my office that shows how they bought up those districts over the decades. The chart itself is quite old (1970s I believe) but very interesting.

  8. Keith campbell says

    I understand how Politics can be used to further the agendas of others but at some point you would think that those making all that money at PG&E to make decisions would see this danger and trim the damn branches and do their maintenence as they see fit. Rather than get bogged down by complaints of so called enviromentalist. Peoples lives are at risk along with property so screw the politics and make the call to do whats best its what we pay them for?

    • Brian Sussman says

      Looks like power outages whenever the wind is blowing is the “new normal” for the state of California.
      Thanks for checking in, Keith.

  9. Joe Banks says

    Fires are big money to firefighters and Cal Fire. Yes, environmentalists are to blame. But the firefighters and fire support companies reap big profits from the natural disasters. Pilots receive massive pay for the number of sorties and missions supporting the fire suppression. Overtime, Double overtime, Hazard pay, catering, mobile showers, mobile tents, water tenders, bulldozers, helicopters, tankers, planes, retardant, hotel rooms, meals, local and state fire fighters all reap huge overtime checks and massive payouts. Fires create billions of dollars of revenue for fire fighters and support companies. Follow the money and you will see this! Everybody in fire departments just waits for this season to get PAID!

      • Doug says

        Interesting point. Since I’ve had a vacation home in the Tahoe area, and recently moved my main home to grasslands in the east bay, I’ve inquired often about becoming a volunteer firefighter. I’d rather defend my home than be forced to flee from it, and would gladly help my community the same way, entirely for free. But in all my searching, there is NO interest in volunteer firefighting. The closest I get is “Sure, we’d love your help! Send your money here!”. I know we conservatives are supposed to love our first responders, as heros. But in my experience, they are not heroes at all. They are in it for the money, and union protected turf. And to them, the more fires, the better.

    • Brian Sussman says

      It’s really true, Joe. There are a lot of taxpayer dollars being shelled out to many-a-union member during these events.

  10. Ed Budzinski says

    Transmission power lines have a 150 ft right of way, or 75 ft from the center line. However, grass grows nice and high and, when a connector breaks or some other fault causes a hot wire to drop and ignite that grass, it’s a quick path to the trees. I would wonder why transmission and distribution lines aren’t buried around population centers. They certainly k ow how to do it and technology can help them pinpoint faults. The current delivery system is garbage. That much is clear.

  11. Kevin Barry says

    You are 100% correct. I live in Mariposa, near Yosemite. They quit the timber harvest in the late 80’s. We watched the forest get overgrown and the forest service wipe out roads and campgrounds. The fires we have these days don’t get put out so much as are re-directed to less populated areas and recent burns. When the weather cools down and it starts to rain they can then get a better handle on it. Last year we evacuated for the Fergeson Fire that came within 1/4 mile of our place. Cal Fire was asking where the old logging roads and old firebreaks were. They had nothing much to go on. I was hoping they would be learning but when it was over the firebreaks cut on national forest were piled with dead dry vegetation to keep people from using them.

    • Lucy says

      Talk about fire breaks…. I used to live in Colorado where firebreaks are so wide they look like ski runs. They are high and dry and they have fires but nothing like here. I also say make eucalyptus trees illegal and take em out. They’re super tall, they shatter and drop everywhere and they’re oily and flammable

  12. Dawn Crowl says

    With a family that worked in the timber industry for many decades, grandfather thru grandson.
    I have watched the mismanagement of our forest starting in the 90’s starting with redwood summer.
    The radical environmentalist have destroyed families along with our forest. Not to mention wildlife.
    Maybe the fire affected people should sue our politicians to allow our forests to managed correctly.

    • Brian Sussman says

      It’s amazing to think that as recent as the Nineties, California’s timber industry was thriving. That came to a tragic end thanks to the Clinton Administration. Entire towns in Northern California became unemployed (and in many cases families went from healthy employment to dealing with alcohol, drug addiction, and suicide). Certainly fire danger was much less when we allowed cleared and thinned forests (which DO regrow).
      Thanks for sharing, Dawn.

  13. Mike Giles says

    Wow!!! Brian Sussman, I wrote the following comment on Sacramento’s KFBK Radio’s comment site. But, I Did Not Know that Cal-State-Gov had caved So Strongly to the “environmentalists” that PG&E cannot even cut back forest growth beyond Four Feet!!!! This fact makes PG&E Entirely Innocent! Here’s my KFBK comment: “PG&E’s Electrical Shutdowns:

    As upset as we all are & should be with PG&E, the Real Reason for all of these Fierce Fires is the fact that the criminal government of The State of California has destroyed all logging companies in our CA Forsts for the last 40 plus years! This in Evil conjunction with the “Environmentalists” (both of whom have long wanted All Californians to be forced out of rural areas, and into their “city governments”, this so they could have Total Control over our countryside)!!!!!!!!!

    Of course, PG& E’s stumbling, bumbling bureaucracies utterly Failed to watch over their need to increasingly protect their power lines, as they must have surely noted that Cal-Gov was destroying our forests (by means of Vast Overgrowth)!!!

    But The Real Blame goes to Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown, All Cal-Gov forestry, and, most particularly, to The Sierra Club, and All Other “Evironmentalists” who have labored So Diligently to Wreck Our Forests, to Wreck Our Environment!!!! Why does not KFBK report on this reality???”

    Big Thank you Brian Sussman!!!

  14. Mel says

    My parents raised me to care for the environment. We had roots in farming but I grew up in town. As I grew up, I considered myself an environmentalist. I hunted, fished, and hiked the trails around my hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA.
    As an adult, I started volunteering with various environmental groups and even taught environmental curriculum in public schools. But I started to see things wrong in what I was told to teach. I massaged my lessons the best I could because I know that not ALL people are evil and not ALL things we use in society are harmful to the environment.
    The more I looked around in the organizations I was working in, the more insanity I saw. I was truly surrounded by people with some pretty scary personality disorders (based on their behavior and what they said). I became fearful of my safety if they found out I fished, hunted, and raised my own meat animals on my small farm. At that point, I gracefully bowed out.
    I now consider myself a conservationist because the ‘environmentalists’ I knew were either in it for the money and power (college graduates) or they were boots on the ground minions with little education and a head full of voices. The level headed volunteers didn’t last long.
    Professional environmentalists don’t care for the environment. I know first hand that they are some of the worst abusers of parks and forests. Their mentality is, “It’s someone else’s job to clean up after me. That’s what park rangers are for.” If any major environmental group has a fundraiser in a forest or park, look at what they leave behind; trash. A lot of trash. They will leave all of their event trash on the tables, the ground, in plastic bags lying around and expect someone else to clean up after them. Often the ones who actually clean up are new volunteers or others who came to the event out of a desire to take good care of the earth. At the end of the event, they are horrified at what they see. They don’t clean up because they are asked to; they do it because it’s the right thing to do and they are conservationists, like me, who actually care about our land.
    I wish more people knew what was going on. These groups sue and settle, netting millions of dollars annually for their coffers. Those moneys are spent on lavish events & bonuses for staff and to fund Political Action Committees (PACs) who will further their agenda of control and power.
    Environmentalists don’t care about trees, birds, water, or anything else. They care about money.

  15. Sue says

    Good article but you need to add anonymous and Joe Banks comments. I have many friends that work or worked at PG&E and will agree about lack of maintenance. You also need to do some research on Sierra Pacific Industries and how they used environmentalists to take out all other mills and now those environment issues are not such a big deal anymore. They did not become the largest landowner in California without help from the government. Fires are also good for their business, no expensive timber harvest plans, emergency extraction made easy, carbon credits for planting trees…without other mills around there is no one else taking out wood. If it’s more economical to harvest burnt logs or wood on their own property that’s where they go. SPI is the only company the Forest Service will work with, if SPI does not want the wood, it sits there and rots.

    Also PG&E is already a lap dog for our government and its agenda regarding climate change, smart controlled meters and appliances. This company needs to be broken up and run by elected Boards. In my county we could move onto SMUD. They get their power from us anyway.
    Cheaper, more reliable and as far as I know they have not killed anyone.

  16. Lisa says

    It should be noted that 58% of California’s forest land is owned and managed by the Federal government, and that same Federal government has cut US Forest Service funding to manage these forest by an astounding $23.4 BILLION (with a B) dollars in the last 4 years. Not to discount the very real impact on wildfires of increased temperatures and longer (later) dry seasons in California, but forest management also plays a key role, and that can’t be done (whatever you believe the best strategy is) without funding.

  17. Kathy Moore says

    Finally, someone willing to expose the root of the problem! Too often we try to solve an issue by attacking and fighting against the manifestation/s of the problem rather than searching out its origination. That is a waste of time, effort and funds.

  18. Lisa says

    I take exception with several things in this article, but I’ll start with this direct quote from the end of your piece: “All of the rules, regulations, and laws they put forward are designed to instill a reduced population—by fire if necessary.”
    I count myself as an ‘environmentalist’ because we depend on its health for clean water, breathable air, food… who wouldn’t want to protect these things? But to suggest that I and others want to reduce the population by any means – like people dying in wildfires – is absurd beyond belief. Let’s put aside the fact that I also support taking in refugees instead of letting them die in war zones, or support Doctors Without Borders to give live-saving medication, treatment, vaccinations, education to literally thousands and thousands of people, etc; the horribly morbid calculation is that the few people who tragically die because of wildfires doesn’t even register on the global population level. Not even a blip. Far more impactful are wars, famine, disease, but if you can find me an “environmentalist” who is for any of these much more effective population-reducers, I’ll buy ya a beer.

    • Brian Sussman says

      Clearly you are NOT a radical environmentalist; just someone who is concerned about a healthy environment.
      If you ever get to have a beer or a glass of wine with one of the higher-ups at the Sierra Club, Rain Forest Action Network, Green Peace, etc, I think (or rather, hope) you will be shocked at their disregard for humanity vs their pietistic regard for nature.

  19. Jeff Philip Dunning says

    Continued ignorance, corruption, and greed by politics and the power of Government. Where does one go without learning the true science of proper care of the environment? Amazes me to watch and listen to the minions lapping at their left-wing master’s behinds.

  20. Ellen Geisler says

    Hooray for you for bringing the true culprits to light! Yes, it is incredible that environmentalists place the “rights” of vegetation above the practical matter of preserving our humans from harm, and our housing and businesses from destruction. It is foolhardy to let the vegetation grow so close to power lines, and more foolishness to let forests grow without thinning (at least until forest fires accomplish this, with, too often, attendant loss of human life and habitation. Thank you for presenting the reality of our situation so clearly. It repeats what a fireman (not an employee of PGE!!!) told a group of us very recently.

  21. Mary Ann Prosyniuk says

    I get most of your points, Mr Sussman. Totally agree that restricting clearing lines by only 4 feet is a problem, particularly in wild/rural areas. Definitely, PG&E has gotten too big for itself. I understand the weather systems. But, you’re a little too grand about California supporting itself on it’s own water sources. I think there’d be a world of hurt if the Colorado River aqueduct went away.

    It’s lovely that California is such a tremendous producer of foods. Unfortunately, with our industrial/chemical farming, the nutritional value of those foods are no where near what they were 60+ years ago, even more recent. The soils are depleted. Chemical augmentation does not match what Mother Nature has originally provided. We’ve killed the soil.

    I’ve been a RN for 40 years, over 20 of that in federal service. In our discipline, we look for “root cause”. In that vein, I appreciate a lot of what started the environmentalist movement. But, as noted in some of the comments, greedy, unaware, needy personalities have hijacked the core concern and adulterated the movement. Same as with our government – how did congress go from “per diem” payment to salary? Lobbying became big business rather than education.

    You labeling the fire issues as primarily the Environmentalists fault is simple minded and divisive. Sensationalism is fun, but not honest and is manipulative of the general public. I’ve been studying cognitive science related to belief systems with a lot of focus our public’s dramatic political division. The framers of the documents which fortified this republic in democracy were doing their best to keep things granular and pertinent for every citizen. Now, it seems, rather than taking issues to, literally, the grass roots, the modus operandi is find a scapegoat rather than a constructive solution. Please don’t do that.

    • Brian Sussman says

      I appreciate your response, Mary Ann (but I don’t like being labeled a “simpleton” or being accused of divisiveness).
      Nonetheless, thanks for checking in.

  22. Rudolf Pullano says

    I’ve been reading about those protests going on in Chile right now. I guess they have been throwing molotov cocktails at the police there! It looked like the police got hit pretty hard too!

  23. Anna Valdez says

    I disagree with you completely. I have a BS in Environmental Engineering and am working towards my MS in Environmental Science at the moment. The California Climate Assessment is a scientific document that explains more in depth of what I have written below. Pointing fingers will not solve the wildfire problem that California has and nor will false facts like the ones you have in your article. Please cite your sources next time you write an article.

    Climate change is a large factor for the recent extreme fires. Scientist are not arguing that the fires are a cause of climate change since we know that fires are a natural part of the California ecosystem. Fires maintain a healthy environment and are needed for reproduction of the giant sequoias. In recent years, wildfires have been larger and are causing more destruction. It must be taken into account that fires were suppressed from around 1910 to 1960’s since they were seen as unhealthy and dangerous. It does seem like there are more now. There are also more communities spreading into areas that are naturally prone to fires due to the increased cost of living. These additional problems are causing the wildfires to cause more damage then what is deemed “normal”. The addition of increased duration of droughts, rise in air temperature, decreased humidity, and Santa Ana winds are increasing the intensity of these fires. El Niño and El Nina’s will also have an effect on the amount of fires. Without any changes to emissions the average acres burned per year will increase 77% by the end of the century.
    I hope you look into this topic more and think it is important for citizens to have a better understanding of the changing environment around them.

    • Brian Sussman says

      I’ve not only “looked into this topic,” but I’ve written two nationally bestselling books that speak to these issues.
      Additionally, as one who was forecasting the weather in California almost 40 years ago, there have been no increases in the “duration of droughts, rise in air temperature, decreased humidity, and Santa Ana winds.” Also, there is no known anthropogenic causes that would effect the El Niño and El Nina oscillation.
      Thank you for reading and responding, Anna.

  24. Suzy says

    I would like to thank Anna for exposing what is being taught in colleges, not to mention grade school, that human error is the cause of everything, most notably the fictitious “climate change”. The earth is always moving underfoot and the climate adapts to its changes (and vice versa) in order to maintain its balance; consider isostasy. It is quite arrogant to think that humans can appreciably affect these forces of nature, however the notion feeds the narrative (Will we really destroy the earth in 12 years?). This does make a case for reducing the population while protecting the gnatcatcher and that silly toad.

    I was an environmental consultant for 20+ years, but my level of frustration with the regulations and bureaucratic decision-making to wit we could never accomplish anything, prompted a career change. I am now an aromatherapist and natural health practitioner, improving the lives of those destructive human beings that are destroying the earth. Pardon my sarcasm here, I am slightly jaded. Also Anna, you owe Mr. Sussman an apology for your blatant disrespect.

    • Brian Sussman says

      Excellent words, Suzy.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to read my stuff–and respond!
      All the best to you,

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