It was inevitable – a huge swath of Southern California was ablaze in one of the worst wildfires in the state’s history, yet all that gasbag liberals could do in the face of this disaster was to go looking for someone to blame.
While hundreds of heroic firefighters risk life and limb to save as many homes as possible, and state and federal disaster officials bend every effort to put in place all the firefighting assets available to them, the likes of Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and their allies scurry to use this immense tragedy to make political capital out of it.
Reid was bad enough, dredging up the specter of imagined global warming to explain why California was burning, but Sen. Boxer outdid him by reaching down into her bag of slime to blame the fact that the fires were beyond the control of firefighters on the war in Iraq and the fact that many California National Guardsmen were involved there on the firing line and not at home on the fire lines.
They ignore a few salient facts, such as the reality that California is a bone-dry desert filled with highly flammable undergrowth and subject to a phenomenon known as Santa Ana winds, which at this time of the year tend to come roaring down the valleys towards heavily populated areas, ready to spread the fires that inevitably erupt in the fall months.
Given those facts, it is easy to understand — if you want to understand – why, from time to time, this tinderbox of an area is given to destructive wildfires.
But the partisan liberals who infest the political arena in California don’t want to understand, and they certainly don’t want you to understand these simple facts. They want to use such natural disasters to fan the flames of anger at the president and anybody else who doesn’t share their ultra left-wing views and agenda.
What they want most, however, is to direct your attention away from the real culprits – their ardent supporters among the environmentalist extremists, whose agenda they fully support and sanction through laws they enact at every opportunity.
A major reason why the fires spread so quickly was the universal presence of all those dead trees, tinderbox-dry underbrush, assorted weeds and all-but-dead grass that has been allowed to exist because the preventive controlled burning of this flammable material has been stopped dead in its tracks by the tree huggers and spotted owl-lovers who routinely put critters above humans.
Without all that ready-to-ignite material, the fires would never have been able to gobble up thousands of acres and reduce thousands of homes to smoking rubble. It seems that to the wackos who dominate both the extremist environmentalist movement and the controlling left wing of the Democrat party, human habitats are less important than owl nests.
Notice that neither Mr. Gore nor his environmentalist friends who are so worried about saving the trees have arrived on the fire lines with even a thimbleful of water to douse the flames. Instead they stand far off, tut-tutting about the horror of it all, blaming global warming, President Bush and the Iraq war for a tragedy to which they so abundantly contributed.
Thanks largely to their efforts to stop fire-preventive controlled burning for the past 20 years, they may have saved a few spotted owls, but the thousands of people who lost their homes paid the price for their victory over common-sense preventive measures.
The very warmth and dry climate that all but guarantee wildfire outbreaks are the exact reasons why people live here. And recurrent wildfires that threaten their homes and their lives are the price they pay to escape the harshness of winter and the summertime humidity that plague much of the nation. All through the winter there is a huge influx of people from colder climates coming here to enjoy a warm, dry climate.
Californians understand this. They know the fires will come. It’s the price nature makes them pay and when the bill arrives they shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives. Most of all, they don’t scurry around looking for somebody to blame. They are adults.
©2007 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561.