- Cold weather causes many more deaths than hot weather does but you’d never know it from WHO or the Economist.
- Portland to spend $2 million to block off 16 blocks downtown for a zero-emission delivery zone (no gas-fired delivery vehicles allowed).
- Energy Dept. offering $3 billion to investors if they sell solar panels to people with low credit scores (or, in the case of Puerto Rico, rickety electric grids). (Behind a paywall).
- ‘The U.S. Forest Service’s job of tackling the wildfire crisis just got a lot harder.’
- China is expected to have 45 percent market share of solar panels sold in the U.S. this year .(Behind a paywall.)
Parts of the West are engulfed by wildfire every year, mostly on U.S. Forest Service land. The Forest Service has two techniques to prevent wildfires: mechanical treatments (usually thinning the forest) and prescribed burns (setting controlled fires to clear brush and shrubs). But environmental reviews are causing drastic delays before the process can even start….
The U.S. Forest Service has halted prescribed burns (fires deliberately started to reduce trees and brush that could fuel dangerous wildfires) for 90 days—that is, for most of the summer. The reason is that a prescribed burn in April led to the Hermits Peak Fire in New Mexico—which, by joining with the Calf Canyon fire—became…
Guest author Randal O’Toole has a degree in forestry from Oregon State University and has spent several decades studying forest policy. He is the author of six books, including Reforming the Forest Service, and author of The Perfect Firestorm: Bringing Forest Service Wildfire Costs under Control, a Cato Institute Policy Analysis. Every summer, smoke from…
A new anti-capitalist movement: ‘Degrowth’. The success and failure of Earth Day 1970, by Steve Hayward. Forest Service returns to quick fire suppression policy due to coronavirus. New GMO rice resists high heat, produces more grain.
Wildfire is causing needless loss of life and resources. Last year, the Camp Fire that burned in northern California took 85 lives, destroyed nearly 19,000 structures, and burned 153,000 acres. Efforts to prevent a similar tragedy this year led to intentional blackouts that left millions without electricity. Yet the fires rage again, consuming 75,000 acres this year. Wildfires across the west burn on average 7 million acres annually.
Fire-fighting now takes up more than half of the Forest Service’s annual budget, leaving few dollars for restoring forests and preventing future fires. A century of fire suppression and decades of reduced commercial harvest have increased forest density and left an accumulation of fuels on the forest floor. Add that to a drier climate and residential development expanding on the forest edge, and the mix is a design for disaster.