Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Greenie Insanity And The Santiago Fire

Rick Moran at Right Wing Nuthouse, who's opinions I value, has called me a idiot. I'm not sure if I still value his opinions quite as much ...

Here's what he said, writing of the rush to score political points as the SoCal wildfires burned:
It didn’t used to be like this. No one would have dreamed of trying to politicize tragedy prior to the presidency of George Bush. But we’re in a different political ballgame now with no boundaries and few rules to live by. So we can expect this kind of idiocy from both sides from now on.
Mea culpa. I did work to score a political point or two by (very gingerly) comparing the situation faced by the Superdome evacuees to the experience of the evacuees at Qualcomm. Says Moran of that:
First of all, anyone who tries to draw parallels between a Hurricane and a fire is an idiot.
There's that "idiot" word again. But there were differences between Qualcomm and Superdome that cannot be explained by the differences between a hurricane and a firestorm, which I admitted were profound.

And it's not about rich or poor, or the width of streets or the availability of transportation. It's about an effective local government in San Diego, and how sharply that contrasted with a seriously dysfunctional (and since re-elected!) local government in New Orleans. (To his credit, Moran also make this point.)

Ray Nagin's re-election stands as the most racist political act in this country in all the years since the Civil Rights Act was passed.

Moran took a shot or two at folks who harped on the enviros during the current fire, saying it was too early to cast those stones. I haven't thrown those stones ... yet ... even though you can attribute at least some of the blame for the recent ferocity of fires on them.

Now, here comes the end of "not yet;" here come the stones.

It turns out, enshrined bureaucratic environmentalism did play a role in making the fire that threatened our home harder to fight. My friend Jim eagle-eyed this, way down in an OC Register story today:
Concerns over contaminated water supplies due to runoff from an abandoned silver mine kept helicopters from dropping water on flames along the top ridge along the northeast corner of the blaze.
Regulation run amok! Bureaucrats gone wild!

Because there is an old silver mine up on Saddleback Mountain, one can assume, can't we, that silver is a naturally occurring element in our local environment?

And if the water were to be dropped, it would land on ground that was parched bone-dry -- because that's why we're having a fire, right?

And if the soil is bone dry, what water that isn't evaporated by the flames and happens to pick up a silver atom or two will be sucked up by the now-bare soil, right?

So if the ridiculously tiny counts of silver are back in the soil, aren't they right back where they came from?

And if it rains like cats and dogs (Puhleeze God!) soon, and all that soil washes down the mountain, won't it be diluted by cat-and-dog volumes of water, until it's so diluted you could barely measure it?

In case you're confused, the answer to all those questions is "YES!" In the face of towering flames, bureaucratic idiots (to borrow a term from Moran) are enforcing regulations about parts per trillion instead of facing realities about burning homes in the hundreds (well, not here at least, thank God, but it's a nice turn of phrase).

So, dear bureaucrat, how many more tons of greenhouse gases were belched into the atmosphere because you denied the helicopters their water? And, in case you forgot that there are real human beings involved here, how many more hours will firefighters be placed at risk -- all because you're worried about concentrations of silver that are surely smaller than what Incredible Wife picks up through her skin when she slips on a silver bracelet?

So, Rick, all apologies, but I'm not waiting another moment. All barrels blazing here!

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