Trump promotes logging while the West Coast burns

The air throughout the Western United States is choked with smoke. Looking out my window makes me feel like I live in Mordor, not the sunny Central Coast of California. Dozens of people scorched to death, millions of acres charred, and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage in a still young fire season.

The yearly issue of wildfires exacerbated by Climate Change has clearly hit a massive and deeply distressing inflection point—the largest, most widespread fire season California and its neighboring states have ever seen. That’s been the truth for several consecutive years now.

Firefighters and the experts all agree: the cause of the number and ferocity of our fire seasons is Climate Change. But you wouldn’t know that if you turned on Fox News, talked to a conservative friend, or listened to President Donald Trump. As the world burns, both figuratively and literally, the Republicans and conservatives play the blame game, pointing the finger at environmentalists and state policy in “Democrat-run” states on the Left Coast.

The GOP never fails to take a swing at California, but I show in this video why those attacks are no more than very flimsy (and combustible) straw men that go up in smoke as quickly as a grassy hillside in a fire tornado. (Yes, we’ve had fire tornadoes).

The right in America is continually obsessed with simplistic, anti-science arguments that do nothing but protect the largest emitters of carbon and enable the continued degradation of our planet. And here we are, with nothing but hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage and stinging eyes and soar throats to pay for it.


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Published by Joe Payne

Joe Payne is a lifelong resident of the Santa Maria Valley who teaches music, performs, and tunes pianos ( He's also a seasoned journalist who shares his own reporting and opinion on matters local and national (

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