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California: Fewer Democrats
Would Mean Fewer Fires
Lowell Ponte cites public policies that
have spawned widespread blackouts
WND.com, November 1, 2019
“You know the seasons are changing in California when they bring in the green plastic plants and put out the gold plastic plants,” comedian Johnny Carson used to say.
I am a native of this amazing place. Carson was right about California’s coastal ocean-regulated temperature remaining pretty much the same year-round. What “Gidget” watchers seldom noticed, however, is that even in summer our surfers often wear wet suits. Unlike the East Coast’s warm north-flowing Gulf Stream, California’s ocean current washes south from Alaska and is always too cold to fuel hurricanes.
But we do have seasons – the crisp, clear nighttime skies of winter; houses washing down Hollywood hillsides from spring downpours; long dry summers; and high winds spreading the firestorms of autumn.
In this land of shake and bake, some say California will end in earthquakes. Some say in flames. Fire is a part of our natural environment called the “Chaparral cycle.” Chaparral plant leaves emit a chemical smog that suppresses germination of other plant seeds, sometimes for many years, until a brush fire burns off the Chaparral leaves and frees these seeds to sprout in a profusion of rapid growth and flowering.
Without these rejuvenating brushfires, you get what a crusty retired fireman on our city council said was his ideal community – everything paved with concrete and a firefighting water plug every 50 feet.
Millions now live on land that once supported only a few thousand acorn-eating Native Americans. This land is seldom wet enough with rain to remain green, but not dry enough to be fireproof sand – at least not since we began irrigating it with costly water imported via aqueducts from hundreds of miles away.
California is now run by liberal Democrats who limit the giant electrical utilities from clearing flammable brush around their power lines, which autumn winds can break and spark fires.
Power lines could be put safely underground at an average cost of $3 million per mile, but just one of these utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric) has 265,083 miles of lines to bury at a cost of more than $795 billion – a task that would take more than 1,000 years.
These utilities decided instead to turn off power to customers (including those with “carbon-free” electric cars to recharge) when hurricane-force autumn wind gusts blow, sometimes for weeks at a time. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked Omaha billionaire Warren Buffet to buy these utilities to relieve their stratospheric business losses.
To complicate matters, Democrats have been undamming lakes that provide water storage for firefighting. These Democrats have long wanted to abolish Proposition 13, which limits how much property tax they can impose on businesses and homeowners.
Because voters will never repeal Prop 13, politicians are scheming to circumvent it, limiting water use in California to 55 gallons per day; those who exceed this limit, which takes effect in 2022, can be fined up to $5,000 per violation.
Californians must pay or kiss their swimming pools, grass lawns and gardens goodbye. Crooked liberal politicians justify such draconian penalties to save scarce water they chose no longer to store for firefighting.
But better anti-fire measures are available. Brush clearing could again be permitted, because “endangered” species would be dispossessed by either clearances or wildfires. Laws could require new homes to be fireproof.
Electricity could be decentralized by turning to nuclear generators using radioactive decay to power small neighborhoods – creating energy independence that makes us less vulnerable to terrorists attacking or hacking power grids.
Water could be made abundant if more California coastal communities imitated the town of Carlsbad by doing large-scale seawater desalination. California has the world’s biggest source of water at its shoreline. This could make the environment greener and less likely to ignite at the first windblown spark.
Democrats should admit that a major source of these fires is homeless and illegal alien campfires around our cities. Years ago the eco-leftist Sierra Club had an internal debate in which one side warned that a flood of illegals would wreck California’s natural environment; the other side argued that these illegals would bring permanent political power for socialist Democrats. The partisan ideologues won. The Sierra Club betrayed its environmentalism for tawdry politics. We have been eating brushfire-roasted watermelon – green outside, red inside – ever since.
The best way to reduce California wildfires is to tell Democrats “You’re fired!” decentralize our sources of electricity and water, enforce outdoor fire safety laws, and let free enterprise – not power-greedy collectivist politicians – guide social policies. Taxpayers otherwise must flee a flaming California. ####