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   PastimesSevere Weather and the Economic Impact


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To: johnlw who wrote (5399)10/28/2019 11:55:34 PM
From: Drygulch Dan
   of 5736
 
There has been a long term trend in CA population going back to post WWII. At first Easterner American born population dominated immigrants to this state. Starting around the tight money times of the 1980s. California residents started migrating within the state and out largely driven by desires for improved quality of life issues. This was when people started leaving the suburbs for the abundant country opportunities where open land was more available, a lot of it hill country in natural state. Lots of oak forests with underlying brush. This trend continues through to today. People leave the suburbs selling out typically to foreign born workers who bring lots of wealth to the transfer pushing the value of the old ranch 3X2 tract housing through the roof. These new owners are the Chinese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, and many other ethnic groups.

So we have ended up with a generally older population living in more rural settings in a state that is typically extremely dry from late April to November/December every year. These people are not clearing their land and planting crops. They are often older retirees who have let their property and surrounding area over grow with brush and trees. Some are tree huggers of course but not all. The waves of retirees and people who get dissatisfied with the suburban lifestyle has increased over the decades. This trend has continued to increase with time.
On top of these trends has been the trend to do nothing about the forest due to the Smokey Bear philosophy of minimal fire use in forested areas. National Forest management also followed a do nothing approach to land management until recently when thinking started including fire as part of the over management plan.

The people don’t live in the forest but on the edge of it generally bellow the snow line, from sea level to about 4000 feet. The forest transitions from pine trees at around 4000 feet down to about 2000 then the oak trees start taking over and these grow down to about 100 feet. So the lowest hills still have big spreading oaks mixed with native grasses and other weeds. It takes work or money to clear land and maintain a low fire risk.

Now let dispel another idea. California is not fully built out. It’s population could double or triple easily depending on people’s tolerance for density of living. I’m seeing trends toward what I consider extreme density but other people either like it or are used to it. The Central Valley is prime agricultural land. Flat with rivers. Developers see it as land that should be developed turning it into expanding suburbs or increasing density living.

Wind is normal. Breaking power lines is a somewhat new phenomenon. A bankrupt PG&E is a new normal.
Thousands of home acquiring generators and multi day gasoline supply is a new normal that the state government will probably want to oversee somehow.

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To: johnlw who wrote (5399)10/30/2019 7:41:45 PM
From: EL KABONG!!!
1 Recommendation   of 5736
 
JW,

Here's an interesting article pointing out one aspect of California's wildfire disaster...

msn.com

My perspective on the problem:

California is largely a blue state, which means they are (pick your own favorite labels) liberals (as opposed to conservatives), Democrats (as opposed to Republicans), tax happy to support the open spending found in state government (as opposed to tax averse) and ecologically righteous (as opposed to how everyone else lives).

One of the biggest problems is the "I've got my piece of Heaven and now I'm going to legislate out of existence any opportunity you might have to get the same"... 30, 40, 50 and 60 years ago California was viewed as one of the best places to call home, and rightly so. An ideal climate, ideal living conditions, beaches and mountains, ample water for everyone, locally grown and harvested produce, other foods such as meats and fowl, fish, eggs and so on. The word got out and suddenly everyone wanted to move to California. They got too populous in some areas and existing residents responded by passing laws governing land usage, population densities, and water rights. They raised taxes time and time again. They did whatever they could (legally speaking) to discourage growth where their piece of Heaven was located, and this strategy was repeated time after time after time all over California. The mantra was "Welcome to California. Now go home!"... So urban housing became too expensive and then suburban housing became too expensive, and newcomers were forced to live farther and farther away from their urban employment.

The next piece was the (fictitious) California guide to ecology, which basically means that if we the residents don't like something then we won't let it happen and we'll wield the ecology hammer as an excuse to stop whatever it is. So, government land managers could not use things like controlled burns to avoid catastrophic wildfires. Some bug or animal or flora might become extinct in the process, so the government (as well as private developers attempting to clear lands) had to do extensive and expensive ecological reviews subject to court review and numerous appeals from ecological minded groups (the most well known being the Sierra Club) before they could even proceed with their respective projects. Many just gave up because they couldn't afford the costs of the court fight.

So what's left is millions of acres of land not properly managed from a perspective of wildfires. And then the climate has slowly changed over time. The once abundant rains didn't fall. Massive land areas dried up and became fuel for wildfires. One spark and ***poof*** everything's aflame...

EK!!!

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To: Drygulch Dan who wrote (5401)10/31/2019 9:24:55 AM
From: johnlw
   of 5736
 
Thx Dan
The scale of development is hard to fathom from afar. Vacationing there, one isn't off the beaten path far enough to fully notice it.
The population of Canada is less than the state.

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To: EL KABONG!!! who wrote (5402)10/31/2019 9:33:01 AM
From: johnlw
   of 5736
 
Thanks EK

Vicious cycle to break.
I have a friend who was involved in forestry management here in AB. Years before the Slave Lake and Ft. Mac fires he was part of a group that made recos for towns and cities in the boreal forest as far as fire prevention and management went. It was put in the corner cupboard and then the fires happened. Apparently a similar study is getting traction now.

Most of it was common sense, basic recos but no one had the will to implement them.

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To: johnlw who wrote (5403)10/31/2019 11:37:41 AM
From: Drygulch Dan
   of 5736
 
There’s room for you guys too! Bring em all down, we’ve got sun, ya’ll can die early of skin cancer too!

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To: EL KABONG!!! who wrote (5402)10/31/2019 8:05:14 PM
From: LoneClone
   of 5736
 
Much of Florida, the Carolimas, and the Gulf Coast will likely also become unlivable over the next few decades due to increased hurrican activity and ocean level rise. If I have interpreted the affected populations correctly, there will be many more Republican voters displaced than Democrats.

Then there are the desert states like Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and much of Texas which will likely lose much of their water supplies and likewise become uninhabitable.

An interesting aspect to keep track of...

LC

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To: LoneClone who wrote (5406)11/1/2019 1:20:56 AM
From: Drygulch Dan
1 Recommendation   of 5736
 
This is rather wild speculation with very little logic to support it. consider that Nevada is down stream from much of the Sierra water flow. Yet also has very low population, How does that work out ? The two major population centers Reno and Vegas are close to major river flows and benefit from both respectively.

Sea level rise is on a slow track of about 3.5 millimeters. Per year. At that rate no one alive today would live to see much ocean incursion in Florida much less states north of there. In 100 years or so maybe someone somewhere might built a sea wall barrier to protect an area. It’s been done before elsewhere. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that matter. Speaking of hurricanes, records of these go back quite a few hundred years as we know that name came from the indigenous people of the Caribbean islands in the time of Columbus. So back to the little ice age period at least. And there’s probably some scientific studies that have identified indications of these types of storms going back thousands of years. It will take a lot to drive the v out of the south, probably something on the order of trying to drive the Canadians out of the bush.

I have lived in Florida, Mississippi, Nevada besides Calif and Oregon. I have visited most of the rest of the states you mention. Weather is different in all those places. Good thing humans are an adaptable species.

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To: Drygulch Dan who wrote (5407)11/1/2019 2:35:04 PM
From: LoneClone
1 Recommendation   of 5736
 
What happens if, of maybe better when, when the snow packs disappear from the mountains that feed the rivers? This is the same possibility that the residents of the Canadian provinces east of the Rockies are refusing to even consider.

The figure you cite for sea level rise is the global figure; local conditions normally make the effective rise at least double that. And of course water expands at it warms, exacerbating the problem. Throw in ever more powerful hurricanes and the situation becomes dire for the areas I mentioned. Once the salt water gets in...

Yes, I was speculating, given that I am talking about the future. People has been criticizing me for my pessimistic outlook on the environment for decades, but in almost every case it has unfortunately turned out that I wasn't pessimistic enough.

LC

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To: LoneClone who wrote (5408)11/1/2019 6:12:45 PM
From: Drygulch Dan
   of 5736
 
With regard to snow in the mountains you have to consider dry adiabatic lapse rates. Hint, these are not your friends.

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From: LoneClone11/1/2019 7:04:44 PM
   of 5736
 
Big storm in Quebec -- lots of flooding and more than a million (!) homes without power at present.

LC

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