California Governor Jerry Brown has had eight years to protect the Golden State from devastating wildfires.

What did he do instead?  Use the fires to prattle on about global warming ideology.

Brown and the radical Leftists and Greens whose disastrous policies he pushed over real-world solutions have much to answer for.

Does anyone truly buy into the notion that California would have been spared these tragic fires if only we’d never had the light bulb, transportation, manufacturing, heating or refrigeration?  If only we’d subsidized more inefficient wind and solar, or battery-powered cars?

CFACT’s Paul Driessen lays out the sorry facts at

The hard, incontrovertible reality is that California is and always has been a largely arid state, afflicted on repeated occasions by prolonged droughts, interspersed with periods of intense rainfall, and buffeted almost every autumn by powerful winds that can whip forest fires into infernos…

In 2016, Governor Brown vetoed a bipartisan wildfire management bill that had unanimously passed the state Assembly and Senate. For decades, radical environmentalists have demanded – and legislators, regulators and judges have approved – “wildlands preservation” and “fires are natural” policies. Tree thinning has been banned, resulting in thousands of skinny, fire-susceptible trees growing where only a few hundred should be present. Even removing diseased, dead and burned trees has been prohibited.

CFACT’s Bonner Cohen reviews California’s history of feckless forest management:

State and federal forests in California are full of dead and diseased trees that should be removed, along with overgrown underbrush. But, to the extent that these forests are being thinned, it is at a snail’s pace. Prescribed burns, fire breaks, and adequate roads allowing firefighters quick access into forests are all a part of proper forest management but are largely absent from California’s government-managed forests. People managing forests on private land must deal with the state’s Byzantine bureaucracy to obtain permits enabling them to carry out fire prevention measures on their land.

As a result, the state’s forests and adjacent grasslands are a tinder box waiting to explode.

Driessen explains where to go from here:

We clearly need less hidebound ideology, greater compassion and respect for human and animal life – and greater willingness to find bipartisan ways to deal with the perpetually arid conditions in California and throughout the West, via responsible and scientific management of our forest heritage.

Historians have found no conclusive evidence that the Emperor Nero was playing his lyre during Rome’s great fire.  He wasn’t even in the city.

Future historians will have no problem documenting that Governor Brown and the Greens chose ideology over effective forest management, fire fighting and prevention.

It’s all right there in print and video.


  • Craig Rucker

    Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.