BACK IN JANUARY, THE NEW YORK TIMES AGREED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP THAT CALIFORNIA NEEDED TO IMPROVE ITS FORESTRY MANAGEMENT
Editorial by Kevin Ryan
The deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history was finally brought under control by firefighters yesterday, more than two weeks after it erupted. So far 87 people are confirmed to have been killed in the blaze, and many are still missing.
But the media firestorm continues over President Trump’s assertion that poor forest management contributed to the disaster. After Trump tweeted that better forest management could have prevented, or at least mitigated, the damage caused by the devastating wildfires, the media and California politicians said his assertion was false.
A spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown said that the president's assertion was “inane” and “uninformed.” The New York Times wrote a piece entitled “Trump’s Misleading Claims About California’s Fire ‘Mismanagement’”
Yet just a few months back, both Governor Brown and The New York Times said basically the same thing as Trump.
In a January article, the Times wrote that “A group of scientists warned in the journal BioScience that [100 million] dead trees could produce wildfires on a scale and of an intensity that California has never seen,” and that “scientists say they cannot even calculate the damage the dead-tree fires might cause; it exceeds what their current fire behavior modeling can simulate.”
“‘It’s something that is going to be much more severe,’ said Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at Berkeley and the lead author of the study. ‘You could have higher amounts of embers coming into home areas, starting more fires.’”
The Times article even pointed the finger at California’s forestry regulations, saying “California forests are much more vulnerable now because, paradoxically, they have been better protected. In their natural state, forests were regularly thinned by fire but the billions of dollars that the state spends aggressively fighting wildfires and restrictions on logging have allowed forests to accumulate an overload of vegetation… That’s a scenario that could nudge the state into rethinking its forest management.“
And yet, fast forward to today, and The New York Times is suddenly interviewing “experts” to contradict its previous assertions now that President Trump has also questioned California’s forest management.
“President Trump’s statements, which drew outrage from local leaders and firefighters, oversimplified the cause of California’s wildfires.” The Times says that the logging advocated by Trump, Republicans, and, apparently, The New York Times last January, would not have helped because “logging gets rid of trees, but it does not get rid of the kindling — brush, bushes and twigs. Logging does, however, enable the spread of cheatgrass, a highly combustible weed, which makes a forest more likely to burn.”
That’s basically the opposite of what the Times’ said earlier this year.
And it’s not just the media reversing itself to discredit Trump. Governor Brown’s office was calling for the same changes to logging regulations just a few months ago. In order to mitigate the fire danger from dead trees, Brown proposed that landowners be permitted to cut trees up to 36 inches in diameter, a jump from the current 26 inches, on properties that are 300 acres or less without getting a timber harvest permit and would also be able to build roads up to 600 feet long.
Of course the environmental lobby opposed it. And now huge swaths of land that environmentalists were “protecting” are now embers.
But Brown, and the media, would rather reverse their recent calls for safer forestry management than to agree with the president.
found @ 4175 likes ON 2018-12-01 02:41:33 BY ME.ME