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Science & Nature selectors, pages, etc.
Which deserves more blame: climate change a human stupidity?
By Curt_Anderson
August 13, 2023 9:33 am
Category: Science & Nature

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The tragic fires in Lahaina, Hawaii have destroyed that historic town, and cost nearly 100 people their lives. That number may go up. While many will point a finger at climate change are we letting human error and stupidity off the hook?

As with many tragedies human mistakes were made. The island of Maui reportedly has the world’s largest outdoor siren warning system with some 80 sirens. Nobody heard them because they were not activated. In a statewide risk assessment, wildfires was given a “low risk” status. I assume the state of Hawaii determined that tsunamis and hurricanes were a greater risk.

On this continent, many of the wildfires are the result of improper forest management, including the lack of thinning of forest underbrush. Many of the fires have been caused by electrical wires of poorly maintained power transmission lines making contact with the trees.

Urban growth and the paving over of wetlands has created a situation in which rainwater has no place to go, causing floods. City planners allow mansions to be built on precipitous edges of cliffs where inevitable erosion causes them to slide into the ocean.


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Comments on "Which deserves more blame: climate change a human stupidity?":

  1. by oldedude on August 13, 2023 2:25 pm
    I vote stupidity. They're in the middle of the worst dry season in a long while. You woulda thought the State's Emergency Services Team (under the Governor) would have thought of a bunch of things they shouldacouldawoulda done. And, I agree with your lack of forest management.


  2. by Indy! on August 14, 2023 1:07 am

    Sounds more like capitalism run amok. Cost cutting measures costing people there lives - not stupidity. Any gov’t expenses that don’t go directly to the wealthy or the military are not important in this country.


  3. by Donna on August 14, 2023 7:49 am

    More armchair quarterbacking. We'll see how well Oregon does handling a tsunami when that fault off the coast slips, and how well Flarda copes with a climate-change-induced blizzard.


  4. by Indy! on August 14, 2023 8:34 am

    Or how Wheriznybona deals with another ice age.


  5. by Curt_Anderson on August 14, 2023 8:53 am
    Donna,
    According to scientists, Oregon was hit by a tsunami about 350 years ago. A whale skeleton was found 100 miles inland. Not sure there is any defense against that.

    Authorities are looking at the possibility that powerlines sparked a fire in Maui. Power lines were determined to be the cause of the fire that torched Paradise, California. With drones and other technologies, it doesn’t seem to me that it should be that difficult to monitor the condition of wires before they drop and start a fire in the forest below.

    Ashland is nestled in the bottom of the Siskiyou mountain range. The city pays people to clear the forest of underbrush. It is a preventative measure which hopefully will avert disaster. The cost of that work is funded by taxpayer dollars. Ashland also has a text alert system which tells us whenever and wherever a fire breaks out so we can prepare to evacuate if need be.


  6. by Indy! on August 14, 2023 10:57 am

    I think it's just the sparks from lines that cause the fires most of the time. When the line drops off completely they'll know it without drones or monitors because people will lose their power somewhere.


  7. by Curt_Anderson on August 14, 2023 11:10 am
    Indy,
    I am not so sure that a dropped wire results in a loss of power somewhere other than a momentary blip. They may reroute power from different wires.

    What has happened in some of the cases I've read about is that a tree grows tall and too close to the wires. Wind or whatever causes the tree or a large branch to fall knocking the wires down. A drone could be programmed to spot potential tree hazards and other issues.



  8. by Indy! on August 15, 2023 2:30 am

    Those are some crappy power lines if a tree branch can knock them off. And why isn’t the power company out there cutting back the trees? No wonder you have so many fires over on the west coast.


  9. by Donna on August 15, 2023 9:24 am

    I've been doing a lot of reading on this. There's no question that a downed power line started the fire that wiped out Lahaina. The fire department immediately contained the initial blaze and claimed it was 100% contained. A couple of hours later, it reignited.

    We're living in a global situation now where disasters that have never before hit certain areas will be hit, and those areas will be unequipped to respond, even here in Whereazona. No one is safe.



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