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September 14, 2015

Comments

Joe

Here is an interesting recap from last Wed. on PaloAltoOnline:

http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2015/09/09/high-speed-rail-brings-its-focus-back-to-the-bay-area

And no, the first commenter is not me--but we definitely think alike.

Bruce Dickinson

Guys, I gotta tell ya, the scene above that sparkled Bruce Dickinson's first thought is, who is that weather-lady? She's got her own fuego goin' on, ya know what I mean?

I kid I kid. Here's a thought about the article Joe posted about local officials protesting the HSR with the police by their side. Folks, the City of San Fernando officials may be the sharpest tools in the shed of creativity! Consider this, what if local government coercion forces, namely the local police, actually prevented HSR contractors from beginning construction in the local communities? This would immediately start a California Constitutional crisis that would pit local police power over state (CA) police power and bring immediately forth to the Courts the intended use of referendum State bond monies and Federal grants (and potentially bring into it Federal Coercive force e.g. the National Guard and who has the right to use it). Folks, it would be the mother of all Brouhahas. Of course I would never advocate violence and it would probably be no more than a giant stand-off, but such a symbolic gesture would get all court systems involved ASAP and stop this constant bickering, not to mention the wasting valuable resources by all parties in both advocating and fighting this. I think the City of San Fernando may be onto something bigger....talk about exploring the space!

Super interesting if you ask this Dickinson, which leads me to my next question:

City Council of Burlingame, what's in YOUR bag o'tricks?

Peter Garrison

And, let's see if the council candidates make some noise and take a stand...

hillsider

Dare we call it a Mexican stand-off or will Hollyroller get upset?

hollyroller@hotwire.com

No.
I will be OK with the Mexican Standoff.

hollyroller@hotwire.com

By the way.
I read a very interesting and important article about cancer a few weeks ago.
Mr. Bruce Dickenson was interviewed about his fight with cancer.
I think this would be a good forum to share his insights.
Or, let our community have a link to the article.
This was no "blurb article."
It was a major WWW interview.

Joe

Today's Wall Street Journal fills in some of the data that I referred to in the original post:

Thousands of buildings and some 300,000 acres—10 times as much land as the city of San Francisco—have gone up in flames this week as three massive wildfires blazed across northern California. Tens of thousands of people have abandoned their homes, and Jerry Brown thinks he’s found the villain: fossil fuels.

One irony is that wildfires diminish the impact of California’s anti-carbon policies. In 2007 environmental scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder found that “a severe fire season lasting only one or two months can release as much carbon as the annual emissions from the entire transportation or energy sector of an individual state.” NCAR’s Christine Wiedinmyer estimated that southern California fires that burned for one week produced as much carbon dioxide as a quarter of the state’s monthly fossil-fuel emissions.

According to a study this year led by the National Park Service and University of California, Berkeley, annual carbon releases from burning California wildland and forests—among the densest in the world—accounted for as much as 5% to 7% of statewide carbon emissions between 2001 and 2010.

This year’s fast-burning fires are fueled by the historic drought and fanned by strong winds. But as with so many other crises in California, government policies bear much of the blame. To wit, federal policy of suppressing fires in national parks and on other protected lands for forest preservation.

“A century of fire suppression has contributed to a potentially unsustainable buildup of vegetation,” explains UC Berkeley forest ecologist John Battles. “This buildup provides abundant fuel for fires that contribute to carbon emissions.” University of Colorado researcher Jason Neff likewise notes that fire suppression policies have “had the unintended benefit of sequestering more carbon in our forests and reducing the impact of human combustion of fossil fuels.”

One lesson here is that politically motivated policies intended to protect the environment often backfire—on the environment.
_______________________

The Law of Unintended Consequences, again.

Bruce Dickinson

Guys, as you may know, Bruce Dickinson spent a better part of 40 years living in LA producing millions of records, before going into semi retirement and moving to the Bay Area. Being a voracious consumer of knowledge in all aspects of life, I took a particular liking to the writings of Mike Davis, a fixture in the SoCal critics circle of urban and extra-urban dystopia, as it were. Yes, he was a marxist, but his ideas got the noggin neurons workin' ya know what I mean?

He wrote a book, called Ecology of Fear, which addressed the natural cycles of winds, wildfires, and rain and lightening storms and how they were a normal process of nature's cleaning things up in what is essentially the desert of LA. Having a house in Topanga Canyon, I was no stranger to the Malibu fires and floods, and while everyone's assertion was that these were bad things that must be constantly fought, they were all a normal occurrence over millions and millions of years. The only thing that changed is human settlement and the building of mega-mansions that essentially got in the way of nature. These natural disasters were deemed as a problem only because of man's desire to live in the middle of a desert, a city that could only function by diverting water in a man-made aqueduct that really never belonged there in the first place. In essence, who is really causing the "problem"?

Joe, nice thought piece and as you know, coming from me, that means a lot!

Joe

Here is just a little reminder of how predictable the Paradise fire was and how Jerry Brown did nothing in three years about it.

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