Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Is Trump once again blaming the forest fires on poor forest management?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (18995points) 1 week ago

Didn’t a few of these fires start in the National Forest?
And uh, isn’t that federal jurisdiction?
So are the Feds responsible for poor forest management as well?
Just wondering.

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20 Answers

Zaku's avatar

It’s another Republican talking point. They want as much approval for logging and other relaxed/removed environmental protections as possible, for lumber profits by logging public lands. Part of that swirl of ideas has become blaming people who want to conserve and protect forests for the lack of “good forest management” which is used as a double-meaning.

Part of it is the perhaps-at-least-partly sane view that a certain amount of wildfire is natural and if we prevent that then fuels accumulate in forests until forest fires can be much more intense and less controllable if/when they do happen, so some preventive controlled burns might make sense.

Unfortunately, productive intelligent discussion on that topic has been corrupted by ideas from industry (would like to do more clear-cutting) and politics (implying environmentalists are fools, what we really need are no protections and more logging).

seawulf575's avatar

I think that forest management is at least partially to blame for the size and strength of the current forest fires raging in the west. That isn’t to say it is all the state’s fault. It probably falls to the feds to keep up with federal lands. But the part I don’t know is if the states have sued to keep the feds from doing what is needed. As much as there has been a combative relationship between the Dems and Trump, that might be a part of it. Also, I don’t know how much of what is burning and damaging homes is federal land and how much is state land. But also, none of the proper maintenance has been done for decades, probably. So the problem goes much deeper than the current issue. I would say this a the culmination of years of bureaucrats being in charge. Something to think about when you talk about wanting to give these same idiots more power or money.

filmfann's avatar

It’s just diversion and news overload.

Jeruba's avatar

Do his comments about raking the forest floor make you wonder if he’s ever actually been in a forest?

Demosthenes's avatar

Forest management is a factor in many of these wildfires, and yes, that includes management by the federal government so missteps or inaction cannot be blamed entirely on the state.

Trump may be correct when he cites forest management as a factor, but he is not correct in denying the role of climate change. In fact, because the climate is changing, forest management needs to change with it. With rising temperatures and drier conditions, the fire season is much longer than it used to be. The window for controlled burns is smaller. There are more people living in fire-prone areas than ever before. All these things need to be taken into consideration when mitigating wildfires.

Additionally, many fires do not begin in forests, but in chaparral or savanna where “forest management” is not really a factor and controlled burns may not be an option.

Forest management is a factor, but it’s not the only factor and the situation is certainly more complex than “rake the forests”.

seawulf575's avatar

The problem with Climate Change as being “The” cause, or even a major contributor, is that it kinda ignores that we aren’t seeing these sort of fires really anywhere else in the world. If Climate Change was a big contributor, we would be seeing this sort of thing happening in Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa. But we aren’t. So is it the consensus that “climate change” is selective? It doesn’t cross international borders?

seawulf575's avatar

@Jeruba I’m betting he never has been in a forest…not any major one at least. But his comment is actually valid. The dead fall things such as bushes, trees, leaves, etc, are fuel. They burn very easily and can allow these fires to not only start easily, but to spread quickly. The AmerInds used to burn the forests regularly to prevent just this sort of thing…to get rid of the build up of vast quantities of fuel.

Jeruba's avatar

@seawulf575, I’m for controlled burns. I understand their value. Still, I would pay money to see Donald Trump pick up a rake and walk more than a tenth of a mile into an actual forest.

His comments about forest management have validity: yes, it’s necessary. (Is he parroting science here??) But raking? He said, “You have to clean your floors.” And there is the point that Squeeky made with respect to national forests.

He also said let California burn because they didn’t take his advice. Let California burn, let Louisiana drown, let Iowa blow away—who cares? Twenty or thirty states ought to be enough for anybody. Besides, he’s got Putin and Kim for playmates, and they’re more fun than we are.

seawulf575's avatar

@Jeruba Sorta reminds you of Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables”, doesn’t it? Gee…half the population doesn’t like me so they aren’t worth my time.

Irukandji's avatar

@seawulf575 “The problem with Climate Change as being ‘The’ cause, or even a major contributor, is that it kinda ignores that we aren’t seeing these sort of fires really anywhere else in the world.”

Except for bushfires in Australia, forest fires in China and Indonesia, wildfires in the Brazilian Amazon (for the second year in a row), and even a blaze across the frozen tundra of Siberia.

“Sorta reminds you of Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables”, doesn’t it? Gee…half the population doesn’t like me so they aren’t worth my time.”

Let’s look at what she actually said:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people—now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks—they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”

“But the other basket—and I know this because I see friends from all over America here—I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas—as well as, you know, New York and California—but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.”

So Clinton’s comment was not aimed at half the population. It was aimed at a portion (she made the “basket of deplorables” comment several times, but she only used the word “half” once) of Trump’s supporters (the people out promoting him, not everyone who decided to vote for him), she opened by admitting it was an overgeneralization, specifically noted that only some of the “deplorables” were irredeemable (which means the rest are worthy of time and attention), and emphasized that there was another basket with legitimate concerns. Still a stupid thing to say, but more nuanced than “I will ignore half the population of the United States because they are deplorable.”

jca2's avatar

@seawulf575: Did Hillary say she wanted half the population to die?

Here’s her speech, from 2016, in case you want to say something about it, specifically:

I know there are only 60 days left to make our case – and don’t get complacent; don’t see the latest outrageous, offensive, inappropriate comment and think, “Well, he’s done this time.” We are living in a volatile political environment.

You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. (Laughter/applause) Right? (Laughter/applause) They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks – they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.

But the “other” basket – the other basket – and I know because I look at this crowd I see friends from all over America here: I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas and – as well as, you know, New York and California – but that “other” basket of people are people who feel the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures; and they’re just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says, but – he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroin, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.

— Hillary Clinton, CBS News

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Trump and someone else wants half the population to die; any and all Democrats and centrists !

kritiper's avatar

I got that from what Trump said. But it is the fault of the Forest Service who for many years fought fires that should have burned in a natural way of controlling the build up of flammable debris.

Demosthenes's avatar

@seawulf575 We absolutely are seeing these fires elsewhere. Australia had its worst fire season in recent history in the summer of 2019–2020. Brazil also saw record fires devastate the Amazon in 2019. I seem to recall even Sweden broken records with their fires recently. It’s not a coincidence that so many of the world’s worst wildfires have happened in the past few years.

Trump doesn’t care about states that didn’t vote for him. Even though there are many Trump supporters in California and they are more likely to live in the rural areas most affected by the fires.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@seawulf575, I have to chime in here we have had devastating wild fires here in Canada as well, in 2017 we were evacuated from our town for 11days , several other towns were evacuated that year as well, to say these types of fires don’t happen in other countries show you are not as informed as you claim to be.
These fires are indeed happening elsewhere on the planet, also about the dead tree becoming so dry it explodes<Trump’s words not mine, in reality a dead tree is supposed to rot on the forest floor providing food for new forest vegetation , but climate change is slowing that down.
But let’s just keep denying climate change is real.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

So @seawulf575 , and anyone else for that matter when you look at thousands and thousands of acres of wilderness forests with no access, no roads, what is in your opinion proper forest management?

Jeruba's avatar

@seawulf575, what about, what about, what about Hillary? My God, what about Hillary? Anything Trump does or says is fine because, you know, what about Hillary?

I don’t know how anybody could fail to see that as a dumb argument.

For one thing, she isn’t president.

As for Hillary’s remark, it made me cringe. Still does. I wouldn’t be surprised if those three words had cost her the election. I don’t even know which term was worse, “basket” or “deplorables,” but I think it was “basket.” Who sees themselves as being clustered in baskets? Egad, that was starkly us-and-them-ism, in addition to essentially belittling everybody (everybody but her). The fact that it wasn’t just a slip, an inadvertent moment of truth, but that she found it worth repeating, really felt like much more than I wanted to know about her.

One of those things you can’t unhear.

I still think she’d have been a competent president, but I wouldn’t have wanted to have lunch with her. Not unless I could bring my basket.

Our whole story of everything would have been different if Obama had waited his turn and let Hillary have her run in 2008. We might never even have had to deal with Trump at all, not in any realistic way.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Trump made his livelihood, by declaring bankruptcy, multiple times. Yet. He has the audacity to tell others, that they are not managing things well?...LOL….

Just another example of his hypocrisy, and incompetence….

Whom exactly, does he expect to be raking up the forests?.

Only 3%, of those forests, are not federally owned.

So. He sees a national security issue, in building his wall, but cannot see a national security issue, in preventing a seasonal wildfire problem?....

He needs to stop focusing on keeping brown people out, and focus on REAL issues….

SQUEEKY2's avatar

SSHHHhhhhhh,The Trump lovers will hear you^^^^ then claim you’re nothing but a hater!

Zaku's avatar

@Jeruba But her emails…

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