Thursday, September 24, 2020

Radal O'toole Says about the 2020 California Fires, It’s Not Climate Change, Stupid

I like this article because sometime things just happen. Excerpts:  

But the experts aren’t much better. The warmers’ claims are based on short-term studies that fail to take in account the possibility that recent droughts are just a natural variation in climate. For example, this study looked back just four decades, finding that droughts were worse in 2000-2015 than 1985-1999. Another study also went back only to the 1970s, with the authors claiming that they proved “that human-caused climate change . . . doubled the cumulative forest fire area since 1984.” Both of these studies start out by assuming that humans are causing climate change and then concluding that recent changes in fire must be due to that climate change. With circular reasoning, they further find that increases in fire prove that the climate is changing.


The burners want to increase spending on prescribed fire. But the Forest Service is already spending $430 million a year on fuel treatments, and the Department of the Interior spends another $194 million. Given the number of acres they treat each year, I estimate this would have to be tripled to fully manage all federal lands. Even if Wyden could convince Congress to forever spend $1.5 billion a year on prescribed burning, if lightning strikes a tree and then a windstorm blows burning cinders five miles away to land on someone’s cedar-shake roof, as happened last week, that house is going to burn no matter how many acres of prescribed fires were done on the lands between them.



The loggers’ claims are weakened by their obvious self-interest. As forest ecologist Chad Hanson argues, the claim that active management would reduce fire is merely an argument to “plunder the forests,” which are actually left more vulnerable to fire after logging than before. Even climate activists are wary of these arguments.



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

PBS Newshour's William Brangham Starts Series on Healthcare

On the PBS Newshour last night (8/31/2020) William Brangham started a series of reports on healthcare in the USA and what we can learn from healthcare in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Australia.

In the first report he gave the impression that only the USA has a Life expectancy income gradient but in fact the health-income gradient exists in every country I've read about, in fact the life expectancy income gradient is slightly steeper in Canada than it is in the U.S. After all one reason a person cannot earn much income is poor health.