While wildfires are ravaging California due to anthropogenic climate change and cuts to federal forestry management agencies, Trump is again threatening the state responsible for feeding a large portion of the nation because it is not his political base.
It is no secret that Trump detests the people of California for myriad reasons related to them not worshipping him as a god. And it is little secret that he is once again blaming California officials for the raging wildfires his administration is partially responsible for exacerbating through neglect and fealty to the fossil fuel industry. What many Americans are unaware of is while Trump claims California is responsible for creating conditions conducive to wildfires, the great majority of areas of concern are owned by the federal government and private enterprise.
Starting in 2017 Trump heaped blame for the unprecedented wildfires raging in California “on mismanagement by California officials,” while his Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke assailed “radical environmental groups” he claimed “would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest.” Like every utterance from Trump’s filthy administration, he and Zinke were lying.
An interesting fact, and inconvenient truth, Trump wholly ignores is that even the timber industry Trump and Republicans support regularly “have slammed” the federal government for “investing far too little in the priceless wild spaces.”
Environmental groups have equally screamed bloody murder that the federal government is not taking care to preserve forests on its own land. This year is no different and sure enough, Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2021 contains significant cuts to an already underfunded agency; but he found funding for a wall and plenty of cash for his resorts.
Another bit of truth that Trump is well aware of is that of the 33 million acres of California’s forests, 57 percent are under control of the federal government. Additionally, another 40 percent are controlled by private enterprise. California’s share is only 3 percent and yet the state’s forestry agencies are stretched thin and struggling mightily to take up the slack because Trump’s administration is perpetually cutting funding for national parks and federal land that are home to most national forests.
In late August Trump said:
“I see again the forest fires are starting. They’re starting again in California. You’ve gotta clean your floors, you’ve gotta clean your forests. They’re like, so flammable.Maybe we’re just going to have to make them pay for it because they don’t listen to us.”
According to a former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, Miles Taylor reported that:
“He (Trump) told FEMA to cut off the money and to no longer give assistance to California. He told us to stop giving money to people whose houses had burned down from a wildfire because he was so rageful that people in the state of California didn’t support him and that politically it wasn’t a base for him.”
Trump verified, in a tweet, that he did direct FEMA to withhold disaster funding for victims of the California wildfires; except he lied and claimed it was due to California’s mismanagement of (federal government) forests. There is no doubt in this author’s mind that Trump’s threat had nothing to do with California not taking care of federal forests. Instead it has everything to do with the state not supporting his filthy ego. He and his punk-ass son-in-law Kushner did, after all, withhold COVID-19 testing to states run by Democrats because they were not supporting (worshipping) Trump.
This rash of wildfires, and their intensity, is almost certainly a result of global climate change as predicted a couple of decades ago by climate scientists. Climate change that Trump has “downplayed” like the risk of COVID-19 has contributed to the deadly effects of the wildfires with temperatures rivaling fresh lava exacerbating the effects of historic droughts. For the past two weeks where this author lives, over 40 miles from any inferno, the smoke and ash have obscured the Sun and put anyone with respiratory issues at great risk. All the while, Trump threatens to withhold funding because California is not part of his base.
It is noteworthy that California residents understand that the worsening wildfires are a result of climate change as well as Trump’s assault on funding for federal land management. There is a ballot initiative on November’s ballot to increase state funding to address wildfires and residents fully comprehend that California is managing its share of forests as well as attempting to take up the slack from Trump’s annual budget cuts to federal land management.
To be fair, it is not just California facing Trump’s wrath. California, Oregon, and Washington are all burning in what is certainly an honest-to-dog climate catastrophe and Trump has no interest whatsoever in providing any relief for American citizens.
It was reported yesterday (Friday) that Oregon Governor Kate Brown said her state was still waiting to hear from the White House a day after she asked Trump for help in combating wildfires covering hundreds of thousands of acres. Trump is unwilling to even reply to a plea for federal assistance to help Oregonians impacted by wildfires, but was quick to send in Brownshirts to abuse Oregonians exercising their constitutional right to protest.
The news is rife with images of the wildfire damages including the apocalyptic views of skies that appear to be on fire. Trump sees those images and like the massive deaths from his plague wreaking havoc on America, he just doesn’t care. Worse, he is blaming the California wildfires on the state’s leaders when the real culprit is the Trump administration’s refusal to manage federal lands or address climate change.
Trump knows that California is managing its own forests as well as attempting to manage the 97 percent of land under control of the federal government and private enterprise. But he is still intent on punishing California residents, and blaming the state’s leaders, because they are not part of his base.
Trump is not a leader: he is a vile, vindictive villain that one sincerely hopes burns in the same Hell America’s West Coast is suffering
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.