Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Wildfires & the Numbers Game

 

From the Oregonian:

The number of Oregonians told to evacuate because of unprecedented wildfires is more than 40,000 – not the 500,000 residents initially and erroneously announced by Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management, Gov. Kate Brown acknowledged Friday following publication of an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive showing the true number of evacuations to be far lower.

I was a bit skeptical of the 500,000 number when it was published because it would mean that slightly over 10% of Oregon’s 4.2 million residents were evacuated from their homes. Oregon is the ninth largest state in the US. I live in an urban area but in about 10 minutes I can drive from an urban area and be in rural farmland, and forests.

Regardless of that mistaken 500,000 number, the fire damage that includes loss of homes, and businesses are sobering. The search for the dead and missing is in the beginning stages. There is an effort underway to prevent looting, as well as arson investigations, and investigations into other man-made causes of the fires.

The blame game of climate change is beginning, but like California, the clearing of undergrowth and dead trees has been ignored in Oregon or prevented by endless lawsuits from environmental activists. Whether people choose to believe it or not, managing forests requires thinning trees, and clearing undergrowth.

After being rocked by Covid-19, over 100 days of riots in Portland that include businesses losses, and now the wildfires in Oregon the property tax measures still keep coming. The governor, state legislature, and local governments might want to take a deep breath and assess the financial situation in Oregon before they start burning through money. One thing they need to do is restart sane forest management.

I’m not optimistic that sanity will prevail in Salem or Portland. I’m willing to bet that the “Friends of”- insert the name of your group here- will ensure that dysfunction will be the only thing that the state will produce.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Arahant Member

    Doug Watt: I’m not optimistic that sanity will prevail in Salem or Portland. I’m willing to bet that the “Friends of”- insert the name of your group here, will ensure that dysfunction will be the only thing that the state will produce.

    Things will go on until they no longer can go on.

    • #1
    • September 12, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. StephensJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Yep

    • #2
    • September 12, 2020, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. James Gawron Thatcher
    James GawronJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Doug,

    Facts don’t matter. Of course, if the facts burn your house to the ground with you in it, then perhaps you’ll realize that the facts do matter.

    A posthumous revelation.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #3
    • September 13, 2020, at 5:43 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My condolences for losing your beautiful state to evil and madness.

    • #4
    • September 13, 2020, at 5:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    So the agency charged with managing emergencies overstates, by a factor of more than 10, how many people will have to be evacuated? Just happened to get that completely wrong?

    And these same public agencies will now fix the neglected growth that’s the cause of the fires in the first place?

    Good luck with that.

    If I missed the mark like this at my job I’d have been fired long ago. Instead, more money will start flowing in to “fix” the problem, without addressing the underlying root causes of the issue.

    • #5
    • September 13, 2020, at 6:14 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    Here’s the background on forest mismanagement. I’m surprised the WaPo printed it. The author is a conservative who has championed rural interests in Oregon.

    • #6
    • September 13, 2020, at 7:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    In other news, the state Fire Marshall has abruptly resigned. 

    • #7
    • September 13, 2020, at 7:08 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. KentForrester Moderator

    Doug, I’ve been trying to find out if Portland’s streak of days is of protest/violence has ended. I’m surprised The Oregonian hasn’t mentioned the streak either continuing or ending. Do you know? Did the smoke end it? What was the final tally?

    • #8
    • September 13, 2020, at 7:34 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  9. Concretevol Thatcher

    Saw a report on CBS Sunday morning and the quote both Washington’s and California’s governors blaming CLIMATE CHANGE. My initial thought was, its better to blame a boogie man than accept any failures of the state. “Hey folks, there is nothing we could have done, it’s completely out of our hands”

    • #9
    • September 13, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Concretevol (View Comment):

    Saw a report on CBS Sunday morning and the quote both Washington’s and California’s governors blaming CLIMATE CHANGE. My initial thought was, its better to blame a boogie man than accept any failures of the state. “Hey folks, there is nothing we could have done, it’s completely out of our hands”

    Well, the political climate has changed. They can’t do the sensible things.

    • #10
    • September 13, 2020, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    My step son lives in Oregon, south and west of Portland. They live on 50 acres and he told me yesterday he could not see across the property for the smoke. He builds custom houses in the Oregon “wine country” and he told me that one of the houses he built last year has been destroyed. They are in no danger but will drive down to San Bernardino CA next month for his son’s wedding. San Berdoo has the only courthouse open so it has to be there. They live in Burbank but all is still shut down. Her parents live in Sacramento and the wedding was planned there but no deal.

     

    Crazy times.

    • #11
    • September 13, 2020, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    My step son lives in Oregon, south and west of Portland. They live on 50 acres and he told me yesterday he could not see across the property for the smoke. He builds custom houses in the Oregon “wine country” and he told me that one of the houses he built last year has been destroyed. They are in no danger but will drive down to San Bernardino CA next month for his son’s wedding. San Berdoo has the only courthouse open so it has to be there. They live in Burbank but all is still shut down. Her parents live in Sacramento and the wedding was planned there but no deal.

     

    Crazy times.

    I live southeast of Portland. Yesterday morning, before I “evacuated” to the coast, visibility was less than 500 feet.

    • #12
    • September 13, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    Climate change allows foresight and responsibility to be ignored.

    Climate change allows blame to be placed on anyone but the responsible parties.

    Climate change allows for massive federal dumps of money, and subsidies for the private sector, both of which every state, county, and municipality want badly. It’s free money, why wouldn’t they want it?

    Climate change allows politicians to stay in comfy offices and never have to worry that they’re going to a) run out of someone else or some other thing to blame when bad things happen, and b) there’s a healthy bloc of voters that’ll put them right back in that same seat, largely due to steps performed previously in (a).

    Lather, rinse, repeat. Now you’ve got yourself a political career.

    • #13
    • September 13, 2020, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Our cousin was vacationing here in the Rockies when his property was, presumably, burned to the ground. He won’t know until Wednesday, when the fire marshal has said they might get back in to see what’s left. He only left California for Oregon maybe four or five years ago. I hope he considers moving away from the Left coast.

    • #14
    • September 13, 2020, at 2:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Brian Watt Member
    Brian WattJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    • #15
    • September 13, 2020, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron MillerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    “Global warming” is a heinous fraud which is easily debunked but possible to rationalize if misinformed. 

    “Climate change” is sheer stupidity. The implication that a slight change of temperature in either direction is evidence of impending doom is plainly absurd. 

    Republicans and conservatives should never repeat the phrase “climate change” except to mock it. When leftists say “climate change”, we should say “global warming” when a response is even worth the bother. 

    Their every prediction has been wrong for decades. If they speak like idiots, treat them like idiots.

    • #16
    • September 13, 2020, at 2:38 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Republicans and conservatives should never repeat the phrase “climate change” except to mock it.

    “I’m sorry. You have to come up with a new idea. We all died of that one twenty years ago.”

    • #17
    • September 13, 2020, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Concretevol Thatcher

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    If they speak like idiots, treat them like idiots.

    Quote of the year right there…..

    • #18
    • September 14, 2020, at 12:31 PM PDT
    • 3 likes