The Combination of Things
What about all the forest fires in the West? The most proximate cause of these fires is high temperatures along with associated lightning and high winds; both of which, directly or indirectly, can easily ignite a fire in tinder dry forests.
Beyond beyond being dry, many western forest are far from being healthy. There are large areas in the southern Sierra Nevada Range where the forest are dead and gone; they were the first to go. There is less damage to the forest as one goes farther north; still, going east on Highway 108 up over the Sonora Pass, it is not unusual to see forest areas where upwards of half the trees are dead or dying. Most are dying from infestations of bark beetles. Healthy trees can survive bark beetles, but these trees were first weakened by long periods of drought. The damage has being worsening for decades.
Drought is not new in the West; there is ample scientific evidence of at least two extended periods of drought in California over the past 1200 hundred years. There is the possibility that we are entering such a period now. It is far more likely that what we are seeing is what has long been predicted by climate Change Models. Speaking of models, has everyone seen ProPublica’s, ‘New Climate Maps Show a Transformed United States’ https://projects.propublica.org/climate-migration/ ? Poor Texas. Near the end of the piece, future predictions down to every county in the US. And the models will only get better at predicting with more and better data.
Recently, the media has followed up Trump’s assessment that it is all a forest management problem by attributing the fires to both Climate Change and bad Forest Management Practices; i.e., by straddling the possibilities. Wouldn’t do to offend anyone, now would it? When speaking about Forest Management Practices, we hear experts, politicians and pundits speak to the need to adapt controlled burn like methodologies used by the Native Americans. That was then and this is now. Did Native Americans attempt to do controlled burning during past extended periods of drought and, if so, what were the results?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to develop Forest Management Policies based on the Climate Change Models? No doubt, there are those in the United States and California Forestry Departments doing just that.
If we ignore it?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to address the cause of all those things that were the ’cause’ of the fires? Australia doesn’t have a forest management problem; Australia is burning up because of Climate Change. California, Oregon, and Washington don’t have a forest management problem; they are burning up because of Climate Change. We are all Australians now.
It’s not going away.
Gotta say it; these are not all forest fires. Like Australia, the burn areas of the Santa Rosa and Lake Berryessa, … fires would be better described as range land than forest land. Paradise area? Both. Foothill towns in California, Oregon and Washington bordering between range land and forest, some with old narrow mining era roads, are scary places these days.
“And what about the emails,” she asked? Why did she feel compelled to ask that? Did she know about Whataboutism? About the association of whataboutism with the Soviet Union that began during the Cold War? When, as the regimes of Josef Stalin and his successors were criticized by the West for human rights atrocities, the Soviet propaganda machine would be ready with a comeback alleging atrocities of equal reprehensibility for which the West was guilty. Was it to claim an equivalence? If so, an equivalence to what?
This Whatabout came at the end of a news story that wasn’t about Hillary’s emails; it was about the other side’s candidate. Was the Whatabout meant to show impartiality? Must news be impartial? How can news be equivalent?
[So, is partial news better than impartial?]
Man arrested, charged with arson in connection with southern Oregon fire
Updated Sep 11, 2020; Posted Sep 11, 2020
By Jayati Ramakrishnan | The Oregonian/OregonLive
A Southern Oregon man is accused of arson in connection with a fire that has caused major damage to several towns in Jackson County.
Michael Jarrod Bakkela, 41, has arrested on two counts of arson, 15 counts of criminal mischief and 14 counts of reckless endangerment.
The fire Bakkela set is considered to be one of two origins of the Almeda fire, said Oregon State Fire Marshal’s office spokesman Rich Tyler. The two fires quickly merged, Tyler said…
[Credibility is wedged in the cracks between the slants. Putting out all the small fires leaves a forest floor of kindling big enough to ignite crown fires. That is forestry 001.
Natives did not have the resources for what we would call controlled burns today. OTOH, when it could be done safely then burning was the best way to clear a plot of land for growing maize, settling a village, or just clearing for a meadow to fill in and attract feeding turkey and deer. However, natives were not practicing forestry management as we conceive of it, but rather just responsible usage.
Mathematical models must be calibrated and then validated to have known accuracy. This requires an incremental development process based on numerous discrete real events where a prediction can be made and then assessed. Climate change is a time series of results from the net coincidence of a vast array of geographically dispersed vectors accounting for heat absorption and reflection (e.g., atmospheric heat absorption, deep sea heat retention, glacial heat reflection, ocean thermocline, thermohaline circulation). The appearance of accuracy based on crude aggregates comes from readjusting to each surprise. From the start, climate change has been more aggressive than models predicted. Also, the droughts have been more localized with rains increasing where not predicted, not necessarily a good thing as the results in those places have been floods instead of fires.
Geological history provides evidence of tipping points in climate change, catastrophic events independent of any exogenous influences such as comets and asteroids. However, credibility is not a problem in discussing climate change because everyone is free to have an opinion independent upon any understanding of either mathematical model accuracy or geological history. One might even say that ignorance underlying opinion is both the source and the result of our equivalence, our impartiality. We are all free to believe any narrative that makes us secure in our POV, that answers our questions, our need to know, and makes us wiser than those with whom we disagree.]
A message, or two, from Tyler Childers
Even within geological science there is some disagreement over how much of the climate change within the Quaternary Period was due to Milankovitch cycles and how much was due to the impact of gradual warming releasing GHGs from the thawing permafrost, which in turn reached a tipping point of influence on the thermohaline circulation.
Wife out today, so I can hear videos. Childers message was good, but we might be better served by raising kids to seek knowledge and hope for wisdom. Most kids have other things on their minds such as materialism, entertainment, and pride.
Niccolo Machiavelli and Friedrich Nietzsche were the patron saints of materialism and pridefulness that transformed human vice into virtue for Western “civilization,” but I never found them that entertaining.
Regardless of why one would want to be fair to the memorialized reputations of cretins such as Niccolo Machiavelli and Friedrich Nietzsche, then it still serves us well to realize that the popularity of their reputations rested upon those many souls that found in their words elaborate narratives that gave credibility to beliefs based on their own inner feelings of anger, avarice, lust, and insecurity. Had Niccolo Machiavelli and Friedrich Nietzsche not had such a huge choir for which to preach, then we would have never heard of them.
[Then there is this – ]
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87
September 18, 20207:28 PM ET
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.
“Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature,” Chief Justice John Roberts said. “We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”
Architect of the legal fight for women’s rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation’s highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign…
Back on the fires, the viability of controlled burns needs to be considered regionally, on a less all or nothing scale.
For example, the forests of western Oregon are far more alive and wet than those described for the southern Sierras – though also stressed by climate change and the over-suppression of fires, of course.
What will work in one locale may be quite different than what is called for in another.
Couldn’t agree more. Was taking faux umbrage w/ what I saw as an attempt to divert attention from global warming. Controlled burning has been widely and extensively used since the 1980? fires in Yellowstone. Don’t know about Oregon, but our fire season, now from July to November, limits controlled burning a bunch, I suspect.