Climate Change

“you gotta clean your forests”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump doesn't take responsibility for virtually anything so he has repeatedly blamed state governments for failing to properly manage forests that burn in massive wildfires.

Although the federal government controls most forest land, states actually spend more money managing the land they control than the federal government does according to a review of publicly available data.

Even though California controls less land, for example, the state actively manages more acres under their control.

From Reuters:

“You gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests... I’ve been telling them this now for three years... they don’t listen to us,” Trump said at a rally last month.

In fact, the bulk of California’s forest management falls under federal jurisdiction, with the U.S. Forest Service owning 57% of California’s 33 million acres of forests. Yet, for the fiscal year 2020, the agency spent $151 million treating 235,000 acres with practices like controlled burns meant to reduce wildfire risks, according to figures provided by the service.

By contrast, California’s government spent $200 million on forest management work, and oversaw treatment of 393,282 acres of state-run and privately-held land, according to figures provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

So California is, in fact, 'cleaning their forests,' whateverthefuck that means. At least more so than the Trump regime is.

Snark aside, this is not a problem that can be tackled with the usual tactics or emaciated budgets. The climate itself is changing and what may have worked in the past is no longer enough if it ever was. We need a comprehensive, whole-government approach to fighting climate change and responsibly managing lands to the best of our ability.

The GOP's idea of managing the land is selling it to the highest bidder so it can be mined or logged and you should not vote for them if you want the youngest members of your family to have a habitable planet when they're your age.

Personally, I'm only 36, but I've been increasingly thinking beyond myself to my youngest niece. She will live long enough to see massive migration from the south to the north and the collapse of entire countries and ecosystems. Her generation will likely curse those that came before and they'll be right. We've known since at least the 1970s, if not before, that we were warming the planet.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump lecturing California—lecturing any state—about much of anything is irksome. Trump lecturing California about forest management is enraging.

    If Trump is truly concerned about wildfires—a proposition I find dubious at best—he should support efforts to mitigate climate change. Shorter-term, request more money for the Department of the Interior, earmarked for best-practices forest management. Even shorter-term, stop pissing away FEMA funds on useless projects and send it to states suffering big fires.

    Instead, he’ll keep bleating about raking forests and supporting extraction industries.


    • Christopher Foxx

      If Trump is truly concerned about wildfires—a proposition I find dubious at best

      I just plain don’t understand why people make statements like these. Why there is still the tendency to mince words. Do you truly have any doubt that Trump doesn’t give a single shit about wildfires? I assume you don’t. So why couch it in words that suggest you’re open to the possibility he may be concerned?

      This is what we do. We hesitate to call people out on their shit because it might be impolite. It’s a downside of having a sense of fairness and morality. But we have got to stop playing softball.

  • moldilox

    one of our greatest mistakes (there are many) in forest management has been the suppression of fires that need be in order to prevent build up of fuel that feeds really disastrous fires … that said, letting developers build up to & within dangerous areas & then expecting firefighters to save these is to thumb one’s nose at nature … at some level it becomes a quixotic, like fighting the wind … hopefully our approach to the problem is evolving …

  • katanahamon

    I live on the east side of Salt Lake City, I have the mountain range in my front window, and I’ve been watching a stubborn fire creep up and over a particular part of my view now for two days. The terrain is such that only helicopters dropping water are effective, and it’s surprising how long it’s taking for them to get a handle on it, and how fast it’s moving given that it simply hasn’t rained at all, at all this summer. Rump has never been exposed to nature, he wouldn’t understand the issues involved in fighting a fire if you..set him on fire. This year has been very disturbing in that we haven’t had any rain at all..oh, they say it did, but, the drops never even connected on the pavement before evaporating. We depend on snow for our’s easy to foresee running out of water…especially since they continue to allow builders to fabricate tract housing and conventional lawns in a desert..

    • Draxiar

      I appreciate you putting a particular imagery into my head.

      No, I don’t think I would help. I’d just say it’s “hoax”.

  • b2blog

    Tough thinking about what comes next. I’ve assumed the world won’t change much, but I know that’s not true.