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Posts Tagged ‘California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’

The Politics of Fire

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Time to fight a fire is before the fire is raging out of control

Fires in Los Angeles have grown to the size of Washington, D.C

“We are very fortunate that we have the best and the most aggressive, best trained, most courageous firefighters in the world and that’s why we are able to push back very heavily.”

- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

We are all proud of our firefighters. These men are all heroes. But why put them in harms way if we don’t have to? And we don’t- yet we do…why?

It’s a Turf War.

We are fighting more massive fires that ever because of a meltdown of responsibility between the State Fire Marshall, the only one responsible to protect human lives and property under the California Constitution, and resource agencies like the California Coastal Commission, the focus of SINS OF COMMISSION.

By failing to permit the clearance of ESHA in large unbroken swaths, the California Coastal Commission, and other agencies have jeopardized the very resources they are supposed to protect.

Deer Lost

People, wildlife, the environment of California - and the world are all victims of California political in-fighting. No one…certainly not the environment… and definitely not the people benefits.

The other point that invites contemplation is, Fire fighting is big business - probably one of our state’s biggest industries - and perhaps the biggest non tax and fine business in the Golden State.

Fire fighting makes  great photo ops, is big news, and gets lots of federal emergency money.

Trimming a bunch of ESHA does none of that .

Fire: Does ends justifies means?

Fire, is also a deadly political weapon. People don’t always get to rebuild their homes, and if a particular agency or commission desires to reduce population density….it can now use its permitting process to do so and deny people the right to rebuild… Santa Cruz, for instance.

It is high time the Secretary of the Interior steps to clean California’s house - since its obvious California can’t or won’t because of self-interest and completion for funds between agencies.

The state has spent $106.5 million of its $182 million emergency firefighting fund — just two months into the fiscal year

-Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer

TURF WAR!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
 

Fires Blaze along the coast of California

Wildfires rage in Southern California - NASA

Massive wildfires roaring through California are what many people jave come to expect our future will be.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Experts claim our monster fires are due to everything under the sun…from climate change to greenhouse gas and maybe even the sun itself.

SINS OF COMMISSION suggests there may be another factor no one speaks of,,, and possibly within our control.

Ever wonder why the number of forest fires in the Western U.S. and the amount of acreage burned have increased in intensity?

 

 

The fires are among the worst disasters in California history…

- California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger 

Line of fire: Approaching wildfire threatens a subdivision near Los Angeles, California, in 2003. Improved estimates of wildfire hazard could help firefighters focus limited resources on the most potentially dangerous fires.

Line of fire: Approaching wildfire threatens a subdivision in Southern California. Improved estimates of wildfire hazard could help firefighters focus limited resources on the most potentially dangerous fires.

Today Southern California is heavily populated with millions of homes, and these homes are surrounded by large unbroken swaths of protected brush - fuel beds, in fire department lingo. To continue to zealously protect brush without permitting the fire department to modify the denisty is only treating the result - not the cause.

What if we there is a way to trim the chaparral in an environmentally sensitive manner that diminishes the overall flame length thus controls the intensity of the fire - why can’t we do it?  Unless is fire being used as a device to prohibit, restrict or limit home building.

Or is it a turf war between state agencies competing for funds? 


    Portions of this story are excerpted from a series of features on sustainable development by IPS - Inter Press Service and IFEJ - International Federation of Environmental Journalists.



 
 
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