Bloomberg ran a story about the Colorado wildfires with the header, “Wildfire Tests Police Force in Colorado Anti-Tax Movement’s Home.”
Right now fans of big government are being tested too, by damage from mega storms that swept the East Coast.
The Bloomberg story by Amanda J. Crawford detailed the challenges of dealing with wildfires that forced more than 34,000 people to evacuate their homes.
Crawford said, “At least 32 evacuated homes were burglarized…”
So 34,000 people had to evacuate and only 32 homes were burglarized? That’s hardly an earth-shattering statistical relationship.
The article then dished up a series of points about tea party/small government proponents, cutting city budgets and this point:
“[T]he city, where there is strong anti- federal government sentiment, is now turning to the U.S. for assistance.”
The Bloomberg writer may not be aware the U.S. government has a long tradition of aiding her own citizens in a natural disaster. Remember Katrina? Not a single Democrat looked to the local or state governments for failing to plan for a disaster most should have known would eventually occur. Dems held the feds accountable, with the number one scapegoat being President George W. Bush.
Meanwhile, authorities are looking into reports the cause of the Colorado fire was arson. I’d personally suggest taking a look at federal land management policy, but that’s an aside in my broader argument.
As Colorado battles wildfires, the East Coast battled mega storms. Apparently Washington, D.C. was extremely hard hit while the city’s mayor was doing some business in China. Schools and businesses were closed and power outages were widespread.
Most would agree Washington is the home of Big Government—after all, if you live there, you’re probably either working for the government or working in a business that relies on government workers. No one in the area is likely to advocate cutting the size of government for that reason.
Yet government cannot always be the perfect nanny.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) had problems similar to those of Washington after the storms. And here’s how potential for federal government aid shaped up:
“Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, joined Mr. O’Malley on his Sunday afternoon conference call. Because Friday’s storm was so unconventional, she was not sure about federal aid…In terms of federal assistance, this is unprecedented,’ she said. ‘We will have to look at how to do that.’”
Meanwhile back at the wonk farm, everyone’s jabbering about global warming and climate change.
Seems to me we might be smart to divert some of the wonk money to deal with the actual landscape. We could start with wiser management of federal lands, especially where there is abundant underbrush and a dry spell. There's a lot to be said for prudent tree trimming and even some thinning, even in wilderness areas. In urban areas, we could place electrical wires underground where possible. We could also admit to ourselves that regardless of how much we limit carbon emissions, we will still deal with Nature's fury. Carbon limits won't stop a volcano, an earthquake or even a hurricane.
If dinosaurs lived in our technological age, even amid a climate catastrophe, would we take steps to protect the species? Or would we just sit around doing research, spouting theories and political dogma instead of proceeding with common sense planning and wise management?
Weather extremes have happened since the formation of Earth, courtesy of Mother Nature.
A question people in Western areas might ask: How much does arson on federal lands cost us each year?
We could also consider the carbon impact of wildfires that burn millions of acres. Fires are often human-caused. What's the impact on carbon emissions from our refusal to manage Mother Nature as best we can?
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 2, 2012)
Related at The US Report