Why does it seem so difficult for common sense and hard-core environmentalism to co-exist with the environmental approach of the average American?
When we look at the situation in the context of the devastating fires and ensuing smoke pollution with the California wildfires it appears their radical approach to nature isn’t working. Perhaps it’s because of the “my way or the highway” position taken by too many of the left-of-center environmental protectionists they find it impossible to see any other side than theirs.
Having said that, we believe that most people — not all but most — are, by nature adverse to “fouling their own nest.” A clean, green, even pristine environment, would be the preference of most if one were to ask them. They needn’t be regulated to death by the state to control every movement. People who live on the land and depend on it tend to be the greatest caretakers of all.
“Tree huggers” conversely allow no room for discussion or moderation of the hard line positions which they assume when dictating positions on “Mother Nature” and their concept of what is good for the environment.
Look back a few years when the tree population was being devastated by an infestation of weevils and borers and no chemicals could be employed to bring the situation under control due to restrictions and mandates put in place by legislation or law suit.. The predictable result was the utter decimation of thousands of acres of trees that lined our majestic mountain slopes.
Let’s just face the situation logically. When nature is attacked by a life-sucking insect that nobody is allowed to control, the predictable result is going to be tens of thousands of trees dying from inattention and drought. Once the trees are dead, environmental regulations forbid the harvesting of the lumber from those trees. One can bet that nature left to its own devices will provide a method of dealing with all of those acres of fuel for devastating fires.
Fast forward to the wildfire season of 2017. There was an abundance of fuel that only needed the smallest, most unintentional source to create a wildfire catastrophic in size and scope.
This resulted in a concurrence of events that should have been anticipated and, given just a small dose of common sense, could have mitigated, or at least, diminished. Now we’re finding that the loss is not only financial but growing every day in terms of the senseless loss of human and animal lives as well. Human life, suffering and property will always be considered as primary considerations but untold numbers of God’s creatures succumbed.
Some were family pets and thousands were inhabitants of the wild.
Incredibly, I am now seeing some with the audacity to blame the fierceness of the recent fires on climate change with absolutely no proof at all. Their claim is supported by data but one never hears that there is also research on the part of several reliable sources that sea levels have actually been diminishing in size and that the Antarctic polar ice caps have been expanding. We believe that weather is cyclical — always has been — and will always be so. When weather forecasters can’t tell us with any specificity what the conditions will be a week from Friday then I find it difficult to believe their projections for the next century.
There is something that all of us can do and that is take good care of the property which we occupy. Keep your surroundings clean and tidy and generally be a good neighbor. Now that the untold number of air quality agencies which control much of everything in our daily lives we only hope they will take some of the money they have extorted from tax paying citizens to mitigate some of the smoke which is pouring into the Central Valley. As a practical man, my advice would be to expect nothing from any of those folks!
But, as always, that’s only one man’s opinion.
Fred Hall is publisher of the Sanger Herald and other newspapers of the Mid-Valley Publishing Co.