09/28/2022

California takes the prize for environmental virtue signaling — but not much else

If there’s an award for environmental virtue signaling, California would win the prize. Yet for all the constant self-promotion, shameless grandstanding and endless moralizing, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the impact, and failures, of our current green obsessions.

Take the recent fires that Gov. Jerry Brown, predictably and with little evidence, blamed squarely on climate change. If he wanted to find the immediate culprit, he might be better off looking in a mirror. Earlier this year the Little Hoover Commission placed primary blame for increasing ferocity of fires on poor forest management practices, largely at the behest of the powerful green lobby. Saying that this echoes Donald Trump is true, and guaranteed a Pavlovian reaction from the progressive press, but even the blusterer in chief is occasionally right.

Even before the most recent fires, estimates indicated that the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s poorly managed forests — the forest lands that cover 33 percent of our territory — greatly increased the state’s emissions. For years, green lobbying has pushed policies creating vast areas with dense underbrush and stunted tree growth, just perfect to incubate catastrophic wildfires. California could use this wood for building materials or sustainable energy instead of buying virtually all its building material wood products from China, Canada or other states.

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