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Wildfires and global warming
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vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 1954

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

techno900 wrote:
mac said:
Quote:
Again, the point goes right over Techno’s head. With millions of homes built already in fire-prone areas, and millions of lots created, it is difficult and perhaps impossible to regulate houses in risky areas out of existence. Any serious effort to require risk abatement has to involve the Federal government and FEMA. Not rakes.

You are a hoot. Your Governor sees no reason to keep folks out of the woods, and you see no reasonable solutions other than the Federal government and FEMA (to do exactly what?) -

So the answer comes down to: AS I HAVE SAID BEFORE, either buy a ton of insurance or move out to the woods. Yes, a heartless response, but have you got a better one? Maybe all new homes should be concrete/cinder block with tile or steel roofs, then eventually all the flammable homes will be burned up and then part of the crisis is eliminated.

Too bad the environmentalist wouldn't let nature take its course. Now you pay the price.


Wait...You're blaming environmentalists for fire suppression? You need to educate yourself teach:

Legendary forest fires in the late 1800s like the Peshtigo Fire of 1871 bolstered the argument by early conservationists like Franklin Hough and Bernhard Fernow that forest fires threatened future commercial timber supplies. Concern for protecting those supplies and also watersheds helped conservationists convince the U.S. government in 1891 to begin setting aside national forest reservations. When the U.S. Forest Service was established in 1905, it was given managerial control of these lands, soon renamed national forests. Forest management necessitated fire protection. After all, foresters argued, why create national forests if they were going to burn down.

Just five years later, in what has become known as the "Big Blowup," a series of forest fires burned 3 million acres in Montana, Idaho, and Washington in only two days. The 1910 fires had a profound effect on national fire policy. Local and national Forest Service administrators emerged from the incident convinced that the devastation could have been prevented if only they had had enough men and equipment on hand. They also convinced themselves, and members of Congress and the public, that only total fire suppression could prevent such an event from occurring again, and that the Forest Service was the only outfit capable of carrying out that mission. Three of the men who had fought the 1910 fires—William Greeley, Robert Stuart, and Ferdinand Silcox—served from 1920 to 1938 as Forest Service chief, which put them in a position to institute a policy of total fire suppression.

This policy had two goals: preventing fires, and suppressing a fire as quickly as possible once one started. To prevent fires, the Forest Service came out in opposition to the practice of light burning, even though many ranchers, farmers, and timbermen favored because it improved land conditions. It must be remembered that at this time foresters had limited understanding of the ecological role of fire. Forest Service leaders simply argued that any and all fire in the woods was bad because it destroyed standing timber. Educating the public about the need for fire prevention became an important part of this goal. In 1944, the Forest Service introduced the character Smokey Bear to help deliver its fire prevention message.


https://foresthistory.org/research-explore/us-forest-service-history/policy-and-law/fire-u-s-forest-service/u-s-forest-service-fire-suppression/
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vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 1954

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:
vientomas--do you expect mrgybe to acknowledge either science or that he was wrong?


I have no expectation that mrgybe will acknowledge his errors as he conveniently ignores the posts that point out his misunderstandings, or portrays those who expose his ignorance to be engaged in "plaintive bleating".

However, one can hope that he will someday develop a wee bit of humility and acknowledge when he is wrong, or at least back up his statements with something other than his opinion.

I'm not holding my breath. I find him to be a more erudite version of Maddy seemingly incapable of admitting error.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno is a hoot. Scours the internet to find that Newsom doesn't have much appetite for a regulatory program that would prevent building on legal lots. Some of us actually know a bit about land use regulation, and the limits. Some of us have actually done it, and know a little bit about takings law.

Some of us also know about FEMA. It funds emergency relief for people burned out. As long as FEMA provides funds for rebuilding in danger zones without also requiring that structures be resilient to fire, or without instead buying out the lots, this will continue. Environmental groups have sought changes in Federal policies to reduce multiple bail-outs of properties since the passage of the Coastal Barriers Act in 1982. https://www.fws.gov/cbra/Act.html#:~:text=The%20Coastal%20Barrier%20Resources%20Act%20(CBRA)%20of%201982%20and%20its,and%20conservation%20of%20natural%20resources.

Some of us actually know that without Federally insured loans, there would be very little real estate churn.

Those who don't know, troll. Congratulations Techno.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may have been the funniest thing that mrgybe has posted. It certainly wasn’t his tune when the deniers discovered the “hockey stick” flattening. Certainly trend analysis is improved by greater length—and by truly comparable data.

mrgybe wrote:
No conclusions whatsoever can be drawn from 15 years of data.


So let’s look at 4 decades of Antarctic ice sheet mass balance data. Oh, I guess that’s science that shills don’t read.

Looking at ice mass is particularly powerful because ice sheets integrate seasonal and inter-annual variation and noise.

https://www.pnas.org/content/116/4/1095
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 3826

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I said:

Quote:
Too bad the environmentalist wouldn't let nature take its course. Now you pay the price.


Vientomas said:

Quote:
Wait...You're blaming environmentalists for fire suppression? You need to educate yourself teach:


You may want to reconsider your denial of environmentalists being involved in the fire issue.

Quote:
Owl Protections Questioned as Blazes Rage

BY JIM CARLTON AND ZUSHA ELINSON

TALENT, Ore.—The wildfires that ravaged the West Coast in recent weeks have renewed a debate in Oregon and Northern California over protections for the northern spotted owl, which some say prevented logging that would have thinned out forests and made the blazes less destructive.

The northern spotted owl was listed as a federally threatened species in 1990, which added restrictions to tree-cutting on millions of acres of the region’s national forests. Projects ranging from major logging efforts to small efforts to reduce the overgrowth of trees have been delayed or blocked by lawsuits under the federal Endangered Species Act.

“We have crippled the whole process to do effective federal land management there,” said John Bailey, professor of forestry and fire management at Oregon State University.

The West Coast’s latest wildfires are burning in California’s wine country. But they have been fueled by dry brush, rather than trees deep in the forest where owls live.

Cutting down trees in old-growth forests can threaten local wildlife like the northern spotted owl, but such activities are critical to reducing combustible fuel and lowering the risk of wildfires growing and spreading quickly, according to forest-management experts.

Timber officials say reduced logging likely contributed to the ferocity of some of the latest wildfires. A 204,340-acre fire that leveled the small town of Detroit in northwestern Oregon spread in a section of national forest where only about one-third of the needed tree thinning was being done, said Mike Cloughesy, director of forestry for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, a government agency funded by timber taxes.

In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service began planning a 13,271acre thinning project on Oregon’s Mount Hood to help reduce what it called the high fire threat in the fir and pine forests there, including in a spotted-owl habitat.

But the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put a hold on the Crystal Clear Restoration Project in May after a lawsuit filed by environmental groups, in part because the area includes spotted-owl habitat. On Aug. 17, a lightning strike ignited a fire that forest-service officials say ripped through about 1,400 acres of the project area. The blaze grew to more than 17,383 acres.

Activists at Bark, an environmental group that led the suit, said it is too early to draw conclusions about the fire’s impact on the project area, pending post-burn assessments. They said the thinning project aimed to chop down too many of the large, old-growth trees that spotted owls depend on.

“I have supported small-diameter tree removals, [but] what they want to take are the big trees that make the forest more resilient,” said Brenna Bell, staff attorney and policy coordinator with Bark.

A spokeswoman for the Forest Service declined to comment because of the pending litigation.

The three-decade saga of the spotted owl has been one of the most contentious environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest, pitting conservationists against residents of small rural towns whose economies have shrunk along with a decline in logging, due in part to endangered- species protections.

The amount of timber harvested from federal lands in Oregon plummeted from four billion board feet in 1990 to 486 million in 2019, according to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, a state agency.

Now, large wildfires that are primarily affecting rural communities are adding to anger over the issue.

“Something needs to change. These cities are being leveled—it is really devastating,” said Nicole Ruyle, a real-estate agent whose family lost their vacation home to the wildfire in Detroit. Ms. Ruyle, who is married to a firefighter, said her in-laws lost their permanent home in the blaze.

Lawmakers from the two major parties have blamed each other for either not easing endangered-species protection rules or underfunding thinning projects.

Shane Jimerfield, program director for a nonprofit called the Lomakatsi Restoration Project that thins trees in thousands of acres of forests every year, said it is possible to do so while respecting the spotted owl’s needs. “We don’t clear cut, we do restoration,” he said. “Yeah, if you want to go in and clear cut and liquidate the forest, you’re going to come up against lots of barriers.”
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno—did you even bother to read the article you posted? Spotted owl issues involved the large trees that are largely immune to fire. It was an issue in Oregon—not in the California areas that are burning. And the article ended with examples of sustainable forestry of smaller diameter trees—the ones that are burning—supported by environmental groups.

You’ve become Isobars—not noticing that what you post doesn’t say what you claim. You’re aspiring to be mrgybe—ignore all evidence to the contrary if you can just find one nit to pick.

I guess we can’t expect a reasoned response to all those facts and trends you ignored to try to support wiping out the spotted owl—no matter what the law says.
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vientomas



Joined: 25 Apr 2000
Posts: 1954

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently, the 9th Circuit agreed with the Plaintiffs:

https://www.courthousenews.com/ninth-circuit-halts-feds-tree-thinning-project-over-its-vague-science/

BTW, I saw the smoke from the White River fire from my house. It was burning in an area devoid of structures. I say, let it burn. It's natural.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More science for shills to ignore.

Quote:
By
Andrew Freedman and
Brady Dennis
September 30, 2020 at 9:19 a.m. PDT
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The Greenland Ice Sheet is on track to lose mass at about four times the fastest rate observed over the past 12,000 years. At its current trajectory, such melting would dump huge quantities of freshwater into the sea, raising global sea levels and disrupting ocean currents, scientists concluded in new research Wednesday.

The new findings, published in the journal Nature, warn that the only way to avoid a drastically accelerated meltdown of the massive ice sheet in coming decades is for the global community to curtail emissions of greenhouse gases in the near-term.

Greenland’s ice losses have septupled and are now in line with its highest sea-level scenario, scientists say

Greenland is already the largest contributor to sea level rise, though Antarctica has the potential to increase sea levels even more. As sea levels creep upwards, coastal storms from hurricanes to nor’easters become more destructive. Recent trends in more frequent sunny day flooding at high tide in places like Annapolis, Norfolk, Charleston, and Miami is also linked to sea level rise.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As is usually the case, the more insightful articles about an issue like fires in California emerge after a bit of journalistic work. Such insights are never going to come from the WSJ--a Murdoch paper where the editors are required to always dispute global warming.

It turns out that the wildfires in California are not one thing, they are many things on many different landscapes. Simple solutions are not available, and root causes include global warming--as well as intransigence by both industry and environmental groups. Today's Chronicle included this article:

https://www.sfchronicle.com/california-wildfires/article/Napa-and-Sonoma-are-burning-again-Here-s-why-15603924.php

The article starts with the idea of controlled burns--since many of the areas burning now have burned fairly recently. Specifically, some of the areas burning now in the Glass Fire burned during the Tubbs and Nuns fires of 2017.

In some areas, like with the Walbridge Fire, the fire cleared the dead fuel on the ground but left the canopy of redwoods intact and green, and will be good for the forest ecology and economy. In other areas, the intensity of previous fires was so severe that it killed the tree down to the root--which then resprouted as a woody shrub vulnerable to reburning. Other areas are undergoing ecological transitions, particularly in the southern extents and lower slopes of forests where climate change is causing a transition to a dryer and warmer habitat such as chaparral--which burns much more often than forest. Other forests are transitioning to forest ecologies more tolerant and dependent on high-intensity fires. Knobcone pines are cited as expanding in multiple parts of the state.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 15696
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be nice to have a President who represented the whole country,

Quote:
The Trump administration has rejected California’s request for federal disaster relief funds to address at least $346 million in damages caused by six major wildfires, a spokesperson for Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services said late Thursday. Newsom asked Trump for the aid on Sept. 28, two weeks after the president visited California for a wildfire briefing in which he simultaneously touted his “very good relationship” with Newsom and pushed back on the idea that climate change was the principal reason for a historic fire season in which more than 4.1 million acres have burned. Trump has often threatened to withhold aid from California unless it improves its forest management policies — though nearly 60% of forests in California are managed by the federal government.

It wasn’t immediately clear why Trump denied California’s request, but Brian Ferguson of the state Office of Emergency Services told the Sacramento Bee that the state plans to appeal. He also noted that aid could come through another federal program, and that the Trump administration has been known to reverse a rejection, as it did with a request for $300 million to repair the Oroville Dam. The state will also likely submit another request for aid to respond to damage incurred by the deadly Zogg Fire and destructive Glass Fire.


California spends far more on its forests than the Federal government.

And then there is this, that nasty science stuff:
https://projects.propublica.org/california-fire-weather/?utm_source=CalMatters+Newsletters&utm_campaign=5076a08778-WHATMATTERS_NEWSLETTER&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_faa7be558d-5076a08778-150242853&mc_cid=5076a08778&mc_eid=01229ec239
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