The day the rabid environmentalists stole the sun
Putrid orange is the color of the sky in California's East Bay. It's just after ten o'clock in the morning and so dark outside that all the lights on dusk-to-dawn sensors are still on. The iconic California sun is nowhere to be seen, and the air is hardly breathable.
Pictures of San Francisco, 20 miles down the road, look like a setting for a dystopian motion picture where an eerie orange cloud of ash and smoke hangs over the city. The cloud extends down the coast to the Baja Peninsula in Mexico.
A layer of fog rolls into San Francisco late in the morning to give some protection to the air as construction workers defy the darkness with floodlights and go about their business.
The source of this is a massive fire about 160 miles north in the Mendocino National Forest, and the southerly winds bring the smoke and debris down the coast.
California has a fire season. It is inescapable. People who do not live here seem incapable of understanding that we have only two seasons, wet and dry. Each is about six months long.
For six months, we do not see rain. Sometimes, in the dry season, we get dry lightning as a source for fire. We also have power companies that the intellectual giants in the state Legislature have mandated to provide renewable, expensive energy. The costs are shifted from expenditures on maintaining power lines, which have consequently become a source of conflagration.
When the fires start, the simpletons blame capitalism and greedy power companies. But it is not a free market. It is a market crippled by government's dysfunctional mandates.
Meanwhile, the strong environmental lobby has prevented clear cutting. There are restrictions on harvesting old growth. The underbrush and dead trees are to follow the course of nature and decompose into "nutrients for the soil" — which also happen to be highly combustible fuel to feed the dry lightning and the sparks from unmaintained power lines.
When it gets hot here, which it does, the power companies impose rolling blackouts that somehow reduce the stress on their lines. This is their current fire prevention program. For decades, California had hot days without blackouts because the lines were maintained.
We live in a third-world country where, when you need your air-conditioning the most, the power is cut off because of insufficient resources to maintain the lines.
Nonetheless, the environmentalists are ever so joyful that our power companies are becoming green with their mandated purchases of renewable, expensive, and inefficient energy. And when the fires ignite, the environmentalists spout global warming and greedy capitalists as the cause of the environmental disaster and lifestyle inconvenience.
Do you want the Green New Deal? We already have it. It is written in the two inches of ash coating our automobiles and a sun whose rays cannot penetrate the air pollution from fires that rage unnecessarily out of control.
Since the 1970s, we have experienced a doubling of population, largely through illegal aliens. But our water conduit system remains unchanged. For to move water, you must scar Mother Nature, and environmentalists prefer the pristine surroundings befitting a primitive hunting and gathering society.
Flush with large donations, they are forever in court to return California to the time before Lewis and Clark left Washington, D.C. to find the Pacific Ocean.
What happens in California never stays in California. Here, rabid environmentalists have made the air unbreathable and have blocked out the sun. They have turned day into night.
Imagine what they can do in your state.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a distinguished fellow with the Haym Salomon Center. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.