Trump tweet on Cal­i­for­nia fires reeks of ig­no­rance, ig­nores harsh re­al­i­ties

Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday) - - OPINION -

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­cently tweeted that “bil­lions of dol­lars are sent to the State of Cal­i­for­nia for For­est fires that, with proper For­est Management, would never hap­pen.”

How­ever, it’s im­por­tant to take note of a 2015 is­sue of the U.S. For­est Ser­vice’s jour­nal, Fire Management To­day, ti­tled “Cli­mate Change: The Fu­ture Is Here.” This pub­li­ca­tion states that “in­creas­ing tem­per­a­tures and changes in pre­cip­i­ta­tion and snowmelt pat­terns are in­creas­ing the severity and size of wild­fires in the West.” Con­cern is also ex­pressed about the “oc­cur­rence of fire that is out­side the range of our ex­ist­ing ex­pe­ri­ence” and the dan­ger this poses to fire­fight­ers and com­mu­ni­ties.

Hot­ter tem­per­a­tures evap­o­rate soil mois­ture and dry veg­e­ta­tion, mak­ing it more likely to burn. A study in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Acad­emy of Sci­ences con­cludes that, over the last three decades, hu­man-caused cli­mate change has dou­bled the area af­fected by for­est fires in the western United States.

Cli­mate change should be a bridge, rather than a wedge is­sue. I’m heart­ened that the En­ergy In­no­va­tion and Car­bon Div­i­dend Act was in­tro­duced in both the House and Se­nate dur­ing the last ses­sion, the first bi­par­ti­san cli­mate bill in nearly a decade. This leg­is­la­tion is ex­pected to be rein­tro­duced in the new Congress. Let’s work to­gether on cli­mate so­lu­tions. Terry Hansen, Hales Cor­ners, Wis­con­sin

Pres­i­dent’s pol­i­tics of fear

The adage “where there is smoke, there’s fire” seems to be Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s call­ing card. He has a ten­dency to in­cite fear with his many lies and in­nu­endo. He runs amok with the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. Shut­ting down the gov­ern­ment for a fool­ish and ex­pen­sive wall is ridicu­lous. Mount­ing pres­sure from fur­loughed work­ers and po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­saries is an in­vi­ta­tion to pon­der pos­si­ble im­peach­ment. Richard J. White, Elmhurst Send let­ters to let­[email protected]­times.com. Please in­clude your neigh­bor­hood or home­town and a phone num­ber for ver­i­fi­ca­tion pur­poses.

AP FILE PHOTO

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump vis­its a neigh­bor­hood scorched by the wild­fires in Par­adise, Cal­i­for­nia, in Novem­ber. Trump is threat­en­ing to with­hold Fed­eral Emer­gency Management Agency money to help Cal­i­for­nia cope with wild­fires if the state doesn’t change its for­est management prac­tices.

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