California’s leaders have a knack for taking bold, headline-grabbing stances on important issues – then ignoring the mundane reasons that things aren’t going so well. They rail against soaring poverty rates, but don’t mention that their regulatory policies drive up the cost of living and make it difficult for companies to create jobs. They complain about California’s struggling education system, yet never challenge the teachers’ unions that make it nearly impossible to reform our schools.
And so, as wildfires rage across the West Coast, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed the blame squarely on global warming, as he noted that “climate change is real and that is exacerbating this.” Not to be outdone, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the current disaster “is a wake-up call for all of us that we have got to do everything in our power to tackle climate change.”
Apparently, we need only give these governors more power to control the economy in ways designed to change the trajectory of the world’s climate and we’ll be ready to tackle next year’s wildfire season. Never mind that Newsom and his predecessors have failed to take simple, tangible steps to deal with the wildfire situation whatever the broader climate is doing.
Despite the Oregon governor’s words, these officials aren’t doing everything in their power – not even close – to control fires that have ravaged millions of acres and taken more than two dozen lives.
The main issue involves land management. Newsom gave a nod to that problem. His focus, however, was not on nuts-and-bolts governance, but climate change. “That’s one point, but it’s not the point,” he said. By the way, California has passed some of the most far-reaching climate-change-battling policies in the world, and yet here we are, facing another fire season
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