Where there’s smoke, hopefully Newsom gets fired

Waking up this morning, the PurpleAir.com smoke/air quality measurements were in the 150s. That’s only the “red zone” of unsafe air and not nearly as bad as the various gradations of purple but still considered a hazard for sensitive people. Smoke from several large California wildfires drifted to the Pacific and the on-shore wind pulled it right back in. At least we’re not inland, where smoke blankets the valley, and the weather is always hotter. And at least we’re not in the foothills and mountains, where towns are burning down wholesale, in the middle of the forests that are on fire. Rural Californians are losing their homes, their livelihoods, their entire environment. Not for the first time, many of them.

At the coast, for the moment, we have the humidity of the typical cool, foggy August morning making it seem a little less awful. The kind of morning that prompted someone — apparently not Mark Twain — to say “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

The coastal fog will end, and September and October, always hot here, will bring days on end where the wind reverses and, unless the whole state burns down before then, it will also bring lung-degrading smoke from an ever-increasing number of out of control fires. How our firefighters stand living in the conditions they experience, fighting these fires months on end, I do not know.

If you’ve never experienced smoke on this scale, imagine your sinuses inflamed, a dull headache, and a feeling of cotton-candy fluff brain, where coherent thought is difficult. Not enough oxygen to function, basically. Last summer and fall, we had a double-whammy of smoke and lockdowns. There was, literally, nowhere to go.

I’ve lived in California full-time since 1979, and my first memory of a bad fire was the Oakland Firestorm of 1991. It burned hundreds of homes, and it came within a few blocks of our house. That fire was a shock to the state — nobody talked about it as a “normal” occurrence, as we now do.

There are plenty of excuses, the super dry year we just had, for instance. But as I wrote back in March, this fire season was inevitable, due to the state’s mismanagement over time of our natural resources. In that article, I talked about the environmental movement vociferously championing shortsighted goals, which brought us to this point.

We’ve had no forest management for so long, the underbrush has created perfect tinder to burn the trees. (Newsom deleted the budget for clearing brush this last year entirely, in case you wondered.) Destroying the lumber industry was the movement’s first win. End evil clear-cutting, which provided fire breaks. No more thinning the brush out, to harvest the trees. No more cutting and replanting. The habitat of the spotted owl is now pristine! Too bad it’s all burned down…

The next evil was water infrastructure. Damn the dams! Let the fish have their habitat, keep the water flowing to the sea, empty the reservoirs for the one-inch Delta smelt! Man is evil!

Now, we have added nothing to our water infrastructure for so long that the farmers who feed our country are cutting down their nut trees, leaving their fields fallow. We may be importing families of future farmworkers over the border wholesale, but there are not going to be too many places left for them to work. And forget about the prices of farm goods, under these circumstances!

Finally, we have the power grid. As I took a break from writing to eat lunch, I came across this article — ever so quietly, Newsom is trying to make up for destroying our efficient, power-by-natural-gas (and hydro, which is nonexistent in the drought) by installing five “temporary generators” that run on…wait for it!…natural gas. He needs to make up for the shortfall of his short-sighted quest for all “renewable” power.

Our “goal” of all-renewable power by 2045, may not be realistic. Ya think? Back in May, I wrote about the destructiveness of renewables, from killing birds by the billions, to slaves mining rare earths needed to construct solar panels, to inefficiency. Newsom’s goals haven’t changed, but reality is biting him in the butt.

We Californians need our own version of Ron DeSantis, someone who is savvy enough, experienced enough, discerning enough, persuasive enough to turn the tide in our floundering state. I hope everyone carefully returns their ballots (if you do it by mail, be sure to not let your vote to get rid of Newsom show through that hole in the envelope). I think I’ll do it in person, on election day.

My vote will go to Larry Elder because from what I’ve seen, he’s got a good grasp of reality and far better ideas than Governor Useless. Newsom’s already sold his Marin county home, so maybe he realizes his time is about up.

Image: Fire in California (cropped image). YouTube screengrab.

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