It’s fairly obvious by now that climate change is real.
More than 2.3 million out of 104.7 million acres of California burning to a crisp since the start of the year is proof.
Yet we are not experiencing what would be called disasters, at least by the measuring stick of nature that has been ruling the planet — and by extension the universe — long before man popped on the scene the equivalent of a millisecond ago in the overall scheme of things.
What we are now breathing in is the result of the 2nd, 3rd and 10th largest fires ever recorded within the geographic boundaries man imagines for the area we call California. “Ever”, however, represents a recorded history of less than 170 years. Compare that to earth that has clocked 4.54 billion years or so rotating around the sun.
Those fires — and the one now underway in the northern Sierra that burned a swath of destruction 25 miles long in just 24 hours —were all caused by numerous lightning strikes sparking small blazes that eventually banned together.
This is how nature sets the stage for rebirth of wild lands and forests. It is part of the cycle of life that we have been toying with for centuries. Fires clean out the old and overgrowth to make way for healthier forests and wild lands as defined by nature and not man.
Years of drought, dead brush build up, heavy rains, insects, and tree diseases created the tinder box. It’s the doing of climate changes that scientists have reconstructed going back hundreds of thousands of years using carbon dating and such.
Man makes it worse by trying to buck nature by trying to hold nature back or build in places where nature’s designs never intended man to set up shop.
The world abounds with examples of our blindness to the fact we aren’t in control, nature is.
Take the piece of land where San Francisco is today. The Chicken Little brigade that has made climate change a politically correct absolute when it comes to how a 70-year-woman getting behind the wheel of a Honda Accord and driving five miles to the grocery store is causing global warming that will have parts of that city underwater before the 22nd century arrives.
One wonders what the PC folks would have been saying back when were Ocean Beach now sits in San Francisco was miles from the water’s edge.
When Paradise burned in 2018 air quality researchers modeled how the fire in one fell swoop wiped out years of gains by government intervention to reduce harmful greenhouse pollutants.
The fires raging today were primarily caused by dry lightning strikes with the glaring exception of the mindless organizer of a gender reveal party that could see no harm of tossing a smoke bomb onto tall dry grass at a public park have dropped a cooling blanket of thick haze across much of California.
Nowhere is that more pronounced than here in the 450-mile long and 40 to 60 mile wide bowl we call the Great Central Valley.
The temperatures Wednesday and Thursday were 20 degrees below the forecast each day. It was almost chilly. Massive fires — not to mention massive volcano eruptions — can move the climate needle more in a negative direction than mankind has every thought of doing in such a short time frame except for perhaps nuclear war.
If we switched out every car in California for a Tesla and then ignored any air pollution generated in the mining and transport of materials, manufacture I’d parts, or to generate electricity to charge them it still wouldn’t negate what happens during the fire season. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reduce carbon based fuel use. It simply underscores what we are doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is easily undone by how our building homes tucked under forest canopies and forestry practices are literally adding fuel to nature’s fire.
Assertions made by some the that cluster of 12,000 dry lightning strikes in Northern California during the course of a 20-hour period last month was a major aberration that wouldn’t have happened before climate change became a cottage industry and justification to pursue strategies that would out Amish the Amish in rejecting many modern inventions is bizarre especially when they hold true to their assumption that politically correct actions will turn the tide against climate control.
Such a positron dismisses science that draws a picture of what earth was like when lightning filled skies. It also assumes it is not natural for ice sheets to melt and for glaciers to disappear.
For those that think retreating glaciers and melting ice sheets are “unprecedented” there have been six record glacial periods in the Sierra range’s 40 million years of existence — Matthes, Recess, Tioga, Tahoe, Sherwin, and McGee glacial eras.
Glaciologists contend there were no glaciers in the Sierra 800 years ago. The glaciers now in the Sierra — among the 1,700 ice features inventoried as of 2015 there were 122 true glaciers — are the results of what is dubbed “The Little ice Age” spanning 1450 to 1850 with a peak of about 200 years ago.
There would be no Yosemite Valley without the repeated advance and retreat of glaciers.
What is going on now is a continuum of what has been happening for eons. The only thing mankind does is akin to tossing small pieces of paper onto a roaring camp fire.
Calling what is going on now a disaster is myopic given thousands upon thousands of dry lightning strikes triggering massive forest fires is Mother Nature doing her thing and reshaping our — well actually her — world.
Climate change is the life blood of earth even though it is the bane of mankind.