Sunday, November 25, 2018

Don't misread California's 2018 election as a "crisis for the Republicans" since it is a death-knell for all traditional political parties to the benefit of Trump

As an old-school native son of California who was active in the Democratic Party back in 1964, it is discouraging to regularly see my state's politics interpreted through an Atlantic Coast filter.

I understand that Ronald Brownstein wrote for the LA Times. So it is frustrating that his article in The Atlantic - California Has Become a Crisis for the Republicans - about California's political history leading to the Republican losses this year is misleading and even inaccurate. Let's begin with the following:

    After Lyndon Johnson’s landslide win in 1964, Republicans again won California six straight times from 1968 through 1988, with native sons Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan as the presidential nominee in four of those races.

"Native son" means "a person born in a particular place." Some broaden it to include someone raised in that place.

Ronald Reagan was not a native son of California. Now that might not seem important. But two native sons of Californian are significant to California's 20th Century post-Depression political history, Republican Earl Warren and Democrat Pat Brown. Neither is mentioned despite the fact that the New York Times in Brown's obituary noted:

    Governor Brown once described his politics as "liberal and responsible" and as "reasonable, rational and realistic." He was very much a part of the bipartisan era of California politics, and shared the philosophy of one of his progressive Republican predecessors, Earl Warren, later Chief Justice of the United States.
    "One had a suspicion Earl Warren was happy to see Pat Brown as Governor," said Mr. Kevin Starr ... who is now the state librarian of California.
    As Governor, Mr. Brown oversaw the creation of a state commission on fair employment practices and the passage of two fair-housing laws, pushed the development of expanded water supplies for Southern California and worked for the creation of jobs outside the military industry.
    Under his administration the state produced its Master Plan for Higher Education, a landmark document that plotted the expansion of California's college system. During his eight years as Governor, the University of California added three new campuses and the state college system added six.
    He also increased benefits for the unemployed, the blind and the elderly....

The most significant 21st Century change in California's political reality is the Primary system that led in the 2018 election to two Democrats running against each other in the General Election for numerous offices including the U.S. Senate. This is not mentioned.

California's Hispanic and Asian ethnic groups are culturally conservative. If it weren't for the traditional American bigotry found in California's history and the politics of current "Red" California counties, a conservative political grouping could be created outside the current party structure.

During 2016 I was regularly amused by Bernie Sanders advocacy of tuition-free higher education. We actually had that in California in 1964 because of Governor Pat Brown (Jerry's dad).

Most people do not remember that Ronald Reagan's years as Governor began when he defeated Pat Brown in 1967 and ended when Jerry became Governor at the end of Reagan's second term in 1975.

We lost that low cost higher education because of Prop 13 approved by the voters in 1978 during Jerry's first term because, as the first post-Reagan Governor, he focused on maintaining his celebrity status.

"Celebrity" was locked into American politics by California just before Reagan's Presidential win to the detriment of policy considerations. Right now California is focused on making parties irrelevant which could leave the focus on "celebrity" in political contests.

Trump changed the meaning of political parties at the national level using a superficial populist-makeover to allow "celebrity" to dominate elections. Trump took over the Republican Party because the Republican Party in selecting a Presidential candidate turned the matter completely over to Primary voters who allowed "celebrity" populism to sway how they would vote.

Many of us in California hope, after Arnold and Jerry, that the focus on "celebrity" is shifting to include some consideration of policy and the ability of the candidate to deliver policy changes. We hope that voters will note that populist Bernie Sanders failed to deliver during his 35 years in holding public office - in his case, there aren't even tuition-free colleges in tiny Vermont.

The role of party control through populism will matter in the future. Just ask Depression-era Germany.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The 1981-2020 Republican undoing of American society's Democratic compassionate greatness

It was no Blue tsunami and waves recede immediately

It's hard being old for many reasons. But being an old Democrat who remembers what was achieved in America and in California by 1966 causes one heartache. As can be seen above President Lyndon Johnson had successfully led the country in major policy achievements. His goal was "The Great Society" outlined in a speech in 1964.

In California we had our own stuff - for instance, a tuition-free state college system available to all, the result of efforts by our Governor Edmond G. "Pat" Brown. It was the kind of thing Bernie Sanders never implemented in his tiny state of Vermont but thinks in the early 21st Century he can impose nationwide.

And I use the word "impose" deliberately.  You see, California was liberal back then until the voting middle class discovered being liberal actually cost them money. Pat Brown was able to work through tuition-free policies because at the time skyrocketing property tax revenues were funding K-12 permitting the state to use rising sales and income tax revenues for such things as tuition-free college for everyone.

Paying for things has never really been a liberal strength, even in California regarded today as the bluest of blue states. Red is always there waiting to pounce. In California the Neoliberal influence became evident in 1967 when Ronald Reagan defeated Pat Brown in his attempt at a third term.

(FYI - Reagan went on to become President in 1981 because he was the America's most effective spokesperson for Neoliberalism using the alternative reality game. His internship among the Neoliberals started 26 years before he was nominated for President. Reagan was hired by General Electric (GE) in 1954 to host the General Electric Theater, a weekly TV drama series and to give talks to over 200,000 GE employees as a motivational speaker. His speeches carried the Neoliberal re-education message influenced by Lemuel Boulware, a senior GE executive whose ideas have been called "Boulwarism.")

By 1978 California voters passed Proposition 13 which basically defunded higher education. By 1982 California voters placed an index on the income tax. Lest anyone think California is, and has always been politically liberal, it hasn't. And the conservative California gift to America was Reagan beginning the task of dismantling The Great Society.

In the meantime, heartened Neoliberals moved forward to take over the state legislatures and executive offices in other states. They succeeded.

As the Neoliberals moved to victory through the states, the Democrats lost state legislative seats, whether their Presidential candidate won or not. That's because their opponents are not confused, as explained here in April 2017:

...Over a period of 70 years, between 1947 and 2016, one group of ideologues - the Neoliberals - achieved effective control of most state government$ in the United States and, at this time somewhat less effectively, taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives. And to some degree their view is strongly represented on the Supreme Court.

In fact, the shift from 1976 to 2016 within the important government$ of the United States, the state legislatures, looks like this (focus on Nebraska which has a unicameral legislature that is supposedly non-partisan).

And then notice the map that has been added subsequent to the 2018 mid-terms. Democrats did firm up control in Washington, New Mexico, New York, and Maine while winning the ever-changeable New Hampshire. But it was not really a loss for the Koch Brothers Neoliberal organizations because they firmed up control in Kentucky and Iowa. These changes are minor compared to the 2010 election, when Democrats lost 24 chambers.

As I've noted here numerous times, important political positions exist in the United States in the state legislatures (followed by state executive positions). I know this is difficult for many Democrats to accept because it's more fun to campaign for a few days every four years for a Presidential candidate than to spend many, many days out of every year assuring the election of thousands of Democratic candidates to the lower house of the state legislature. And that is exactly why the Democrats have so little clout over domestic policy within the majority of states.

The U.S. Constitutio,n designed to create a Union of internally independent states, was structured to retain the broadest government power within the state governments.

Or to put it another way, the 10th Amendment explains that the United States Union was created to smooth out commerce across state and international boundaries, provide for a common defense of all states in the case of an attack by an outside foreign government, and a few other minor related items.

Not included in the list were things like inter-personal relationships (marriage), health care (abortion), education, etc.

These were things state legislatures were supposed to take care of. And if you haven't noticed, whether it's Obamacare or abortion, it is the legislatures that address those issues, and in a majority of cases not in a way we Democrats like.

There is, of course, one exception to the grant of powers to the legislatures not put in place by our Founding Fathers, but rather the result of the Civil War. That is the 14th Amendment which specifically provides that: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Note that it does not give Congress any additional powers. But it does give the federal court system a standard by which state laws can be reviewed.

Now reconsider the graphic containing the images of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Donald Trump.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a law of the United States government making unlawful segregation in public places and banning employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The legislation had been proposed by Democratic President John F. Kennedy in June 1963, but opposed by filibuster in the Senate. It is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the Democratic President Lyndon Johnson. But was it a the death knell of the Democratic Party within the Union (let's be clear, the Union is not a Union of people, but a Union of states). Consider these two graphics:

Notice the block of states in the south that were Democratic or Mostly Democratic and the lack of such states in the Midwest. Then notice that most of the "No" votes on the 1964 Civil Rights Act came from the solidly Democratic states.

Now reconsider the graphic showing the changes in partisan control as you consider the following from Wikipedia:

Note: "Southern", as used in this section, refers to members of Congress from the eleven states that made up the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. "Northern" refers to members from the other 39 states, regardless of the geographic location of those states.

The original House version:
  • Southern Democrats: 7–87   (7–93%)
  • Southern Republicans: 0–10   (0–100%)
  • Northern Democrats: 145–9   (94–6%)
  • Northern Republicans: 138–24   (85–15%)

The Senate version:
  • Southern Democrats: 1–20   (5–95%) (only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor)
  • Southern Republicans: 0–1   (0–100%) (John Tower of Texas)
  • Northern Democrats: 45–1   (98–2%) (only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against)
  • Northern Republicans: 27–5   (84–16%)

Simply, the 1964 Civil Rights Act caused the Democratic Party to lose the South. But though much of the support came from the Midwest, the Democratic Party did not gain those states.

Finally, give some thought to those economic/environmental programs of  Johnson's Great Society in the context of how the Koch Bros and the Neoliberals generally must have reacted. It explains why they settled in to plan and then carry out a long term strategy to take control of the state governments.

Finally, recognize that in the 1966 "mid-term" Ronald Reagan ran in California against Pat Brown and won big time (see map to the left). And a "new" Ronald Reagan would win again in California if some well-intentioned liberal succeeded in raising enough tax revenue to cover the cost of a tuition-free higher education.

Priorities are priorities. In this election, Californian's just approved a major gas tax increase for maintenance of highways and roads. As noted by The Road Ahead: The Automobile's Impact on California: "Since 1898, the automobile has helped to shape and define the California way of life, creating what has been called the world's first 'auto-civilization.'” And that is a true, albeit unfortunate, fact about California in the face of Climate Change. We aren't that different from the rest of the United States even if we push alternative energy sources.

As of last year, 356,241 electric cars were registered in California—comprising just slightly more than 5% of the total autos found on the state’s freeways. While that number also represents nearly half of the more than 700,000 EVs in the entire country, we're a long way from not needing gasoline. Nonetheless, California's gas consumption has fallen almost twice as fast as U.S. gas consumption. California gas consumption peaked in 2005 at 15.9 billion gallons. The Great Recession had a major negative impact on gas consumption. However the trend may be changing as gasoline demand in California has climbed each year since 2013.

Anyway, in this fine 2018 Midterm Election Year ... hmmm. "mid term?" I guess because it's in between Presidential election years, we name it that.

But every second year - every even numbered year - is a legislators' regular election year, and many of those positions are two-year terms. It isn't "mid" term for thousands of legislators. But that's how unimportant the social and news media dialogue has made the most important political offices in the United States.

Many of the state legislators elected on Tuesday, along with legislators elected in 2020, will get to redesign the Congressional District maps along with their own district maps, hopefully without as much gerrymandering favoring Republicans. Those district boundaries will be set for 10-years thereby creating disadvantages for Democratic candidates in Red States for a decade.

Not that Democrats don't officially notice this.

"The first line of resistance against Republicans’ extremist policies starts in the states." - from an October 8, 2018 memo signed by Democratic National Committee CEO Seema Nanda and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Executive Director Jessica Post

Really? This had to be stated in a memo to the Democratic Party explaining:

With less than 30 days left until Election Day, there is no question this is the most important election of our lifetime. From the Supreme Court to voting rights to education to health care to redistricting — our democracy is on the ballot. With more than 6,000 legislative seats up for election, Democrats have the opportunity to flip seats across the country, even in districts that Trump won in 2016.

Maybe I can hope that the National Democratic Party can provide me with a party that wins outside California. But sometimes I think 21st Century Democrats embrace the idea of being U.S. citizens without being state citizens or county citizens. They apparently lost interest as soon as the 14th Amendment was adopted because it says: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

But what they don't get is that  "privileges or immunities of" U.S. citizens are pretty much limited to interstate commerce, national defense, and Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) issues. And "due process of law" is all that is needed for any state to "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property." The only fuzzy constraint is that a state cannot deny any person "the equal protection of the laws." In other words, being an active U.S. citizen every four years without being an active state citizen every day doesn't get you much.

Beginning in 2019 we here in California again will have a Democratic supermajority in both houses of the State Legislature and our new Governor, Gavin Newsom, holds strongly liberal positions. So it remains to be seen whether we can screw things up bad enough to create a Neoliberal resurgence among California's middle and upper classes in the next decade.

We just aren't that blue. After all, our 2018 Governor's race results by county looks like this:

Sunday, November 11, 2018

California's devastating wildfires are a slow moving yearly rehearsal for our future with Climate Change

One of the saddest facts related to the recent disastrous wildfires in Democratic California is the lack of any state and local planning effort to significantly reduce the risk.

I don't want to confuse anyone. I'm not talking about reducing Climate Change which underlies that current increase wildfire disaster-loading. California's extra effort in implementing anti-Climate Change policy notwithstanding, Climate Change is going to happen, at near-maximum catastrophic impact.

Official agencies of both the United States and China determined that this year (yes, the U.S. government under Donald Trump). See the post in this blog As the midterm election approaches we should be in great fear of Climate Change. Why aren't we?

As indicated in the article linked from the image above:

    “It’s like a tragic replay of last year, with strong winds in both Northern California and Southern California blowing fire,” said Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist at the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara, recalling the devastating Wine Country fires in October 2017 and the Thomas Fire, which burned through Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in December.
    There is a common denominator between all the fires — bone dry vegetation and hot, dry winds out of the northeast that many scientists believe were exacerbated by climate change. But the remarkable thing, Moritz said, is that nothing has been done to prepare communities like Paradise, or Santa Rosa, for the kind of devastation they were destined to face.
    “We had a lot of discussion after the fires last year about the liability issue with utilities, but it’s interesting to see what didn't happen,” Moritz said. “Nobody has talked about mapping neighborhoods and homes in fire-prone areas like they do in flood plain hazard zones, engineering resilience into communities or building a little smarter.”

Simply put, California liberal environmentalism has no playbook for addressing the social and economic details of problem, details which are also explained:

    It is important given that more than 2 million homes throughout California — about 15 percent of the state’s housing — are at high risk for wildfire, according to the Center for Insurance Policy and Research. That’s more than any other state.
    The stakes are high, said Tom Bonnicksen, a retired forestry and wildfire expert who spent years researching fires in California.
    “There are millions and millions and millions of dollars going into fighting fires,” Bonnicksen said, “but there are not millions and millions and millions of dollars going into preventing the fires.”
    The situation is especially bad in and around Paradise, an incorporated town of 27,000 where dozens of homes, businesses and ranches were incinerated, prompting a state of emergency to be declared. Bonnicksen said the forests around Paradise contained some 2,000 trees per acre — including many small, shrub-like saplings that can serve as fuel ladders — when he studied the area about a decade ago. A healthy forest should have between 60 and 80 trees per acre. The densities have only gotten worse since then, he said.

If you do the quick math using the numbers offered by Tom Bonnicksen, a decade ago officials governing the area around Paradise, California, in the Sierra Foothills, needed to eliminate about 95% of the shrub and tree growth within the region's forested lands, both public and private.

Professor Bonnicksen is the author of numerous articles. His 2000 book America's Ancient Forests: From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery is both...
  1. the definitive work on impact of the Paleo-Indians and their descendants on North American forest development and
  2. the basis for subsequent attacks on Bonnicksen by extreme environmentalist misusing the normal peer review process
...such as the balancing comments reflected in this typical review. The underlying problem, of course, is that the computerized data assembled 8000 years ago by the Paleo-Indians was lost in a wildfire. If you didn't understand that last sentence as sarcasm you probably should stop reading now. Otherwise, here is discussion from that review:

    ...The drastic effects of European settlement on North American ecosystems have caused many ecologists to overlook the role that Native Americans once played in shaping the landscape prior to European arrival. For this reason, the presettlement forests of North America are often assumed to have been primeval wildernesses, whose structure and composition were determined solely by physical and biotic forces.
    In the first part of America’s Ancient Forests: From the Ice Age to the Age of Discovery, Bonnicksen (2000) attempts to correct this overly simple perspective by describing the climatic events and cultural practices that shaped the development of North American forests from the last glacial maximum (21,000 years ago) to the moment prior to European settlement. An explicit theme running through the book is that American forests prior to European settlement were not pristine wildernesses, but rather the product of millennia of usage and management by Native Americans. Or, as Bonnicksen states on page 142, “... there can be no doubt that North America would have been a different place when Europeans arrived if American Indians had not lived here.” In the second part, Bonnicksen describes the state of the presettlement forests, combining eyewitness accounts from early European explorers, trappers, soldiers, and missionaries with a review of the ecological, paleoecological, and archaeological literature.
    Because Bonnicksen, a professor in the Department of Forest Science at Texas A&M University, places such emphasis on the role played by the Paleoindians and their descendants in shaping North American forests, his book is, despite its title, as much a cultural history as an account of forest development. Although Bonnicksen briefly summarizes the main climatic events that took place during the Pleistocene and Holocene and assesses the vegetational responses, the bulk of the first part of the book is devoted to a description of Native American cultural practices and a discussion of their impact on North American ecosystems. These effects included hunting, small-scale logging, agriculture, and, above all else, fire....
    America’s Ancient Forests provides persuasive evidence that Native American activities had at least some consequences for North American ecosystems. Perhaps the most dramatic example is the extinction of most large mammal species in North America between 10,800 and 10,000 years ago, which was probably a result of the effective (and perhaps wasteful) hunting practices of Paleoindians, coupled with rapid environmental changes. Fire is another clear example of how Native Americans may have significantly changed forest composition and openness....
    However, the crucial question for ecologists is not whether Native Americans modified their environment (they undoubtedly did), but how significant these effects were relative to natural agents such as lightning-induced fires, disease, storms, or climate change. Were these anthropogenic disturbances confined primarily to local areas next to streams, for example, or did the accumulated impact of small disturbances transform a continent? Despite the detailed picture of Native American practices, Bonnicksen never explicitly evaluates their ecological significance within a larger context....
    The debate over the influence of Native Americans upon the structure of presettlement North American forests has implications for resource managers and conservation ecologists. After all, an implicit goal of many current conservation efforts is to preserve or restore ecosystems to their "natural" presettlement condition, after which active human management should be minimized. This view is expressed in our management decision to set aside some portions of national forests as wildernesses. However, if Bonnicksen is correct in his assertion that Native Americans fundamentally transformed North American ecosystems, then maintaining them in their presettlement appearance will, on the contrary, require continued and active management.
    America’s Ancient Forests does well to call attention to this debate, but it is too strongly tilted in favor of anthropogenic effects to be read uncritically. The most compelling feature of the book is the numerous and well-integrated eyewitness accounts of the American forests and Native American land-use practices. However, the writing is choppy at times, and the book suffers from a lack of accompanying figures....

Bonnicksen's biggest problem has been his long-term advocacy for "continued and active management." He has been the subject of unrestrained attacks as noted in 2006:

    Ten distinguished professors from across the United States have issued an open letter to the media supporting Texas A&M University Professor Emeritus Thomas Bonnicksen and criticizing three professors with differing views for trying to stifle the debate over forest management.
    "Their attack is a violation of professional standards of conduct in science: the free exchange of ideas and collegiality among scholars," the professors say in an open letter to the media. "We adamantly oppose any effort to stifle his contribution to the debate on proper management of our nation's forests."
    The professors are from Yale University, University of California, Berkeley, Humboldt State University, Clemson University and the universities of Minnesota, Tennessee and the University of Washington. They say they are appalled at an open letter to the media published recently by three professors and an adjunct faculty member that attacked Dr. Bonnicksen.

The reality facing Californians (and other Americans) is a costly one consisting of a need to fund
  • adaptation through land use planning leading to the engineering of resilience into high-fire risk communities or not build such communities by building alternative desirable and affordable housing elsewhere, and
  • rescuing our forests, at least as much as possible in the face inevitable Climate Change, through what  Bonnicksen terms "Restoration Forestry." 
What Bonnicksen describes as "Restoration Forestry" is theoretically the policy of professional foresters. But Bonnicksen knows they have a problem. He doesn't think Californians (or anyothers) are going to go without a new iPhone every year and instead shell out that $800-$1,000 annually to fund through taxes "Restoration Forestry." In truth, he just doesn't believe that our liberalism extends very deeply into our wallets. He's correct, of course.

So he has a plan that would prevent the situation like Paradise where the 2000 trees per acre have been reduced by fire to the point that his 60-80 trees per acre to be maintained also are gone. It's one of those plans that neither political side in the forest management political argument will embrace because they don't trust each other. It is available online in the form of a booklet in PDF format created ten years ago in 2008 Protecting Communities and Saving Forests:

Until something like his proposal is put into effect, neighborhoods and even whole communities will regularly disappear in flames and people will die.

All of this has given Donald Trump just enough space in which to tweet again on the subject of Democrats failing to manage the forests. Ironically, it is a failure only in the context of the impacts of Climate Change which Trump won't acknowledge.

But when it comes to action he needs his National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with the cooperation of his U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and his U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Year 2021–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks acknowledges a 4.387°C (7.876°F) global temperature rise by 2100, a near worst case scenario.

It is a failure across both parties, really a generational failure. As I've noted here before, Al Gore's campaign on climate policy began 40 years ago.  He..., well, kids....  My generation failed him and you.

And it appears that we haven't done any better with regard to California's forests which are dying as can be seen in this photo from an April 2017 piece on the Pacific Crest Trail Association's website:

As explained in that post:

    Our forests are dying. ...Notice how the vast conifer ocean that we live within for so many miles is rapidly changing. Look closely and you’ll see.
    A decade ago, I saw it on my PCT thru-hike. Two decades ago, as a tenderfoot scout, a naturalist had me touch the trees so that I could see what was already happening....
    Ozone from our cars and industries, lingering low to the ground, is one of the most toxic pollutants affecting our forests.... This pollution causes ozone mottling in which needles drop from the trees.
    ...With our changing forests, we’re all in this together....
    Experts based in the Vallejo, Calif., Forest Service office that manages that Pacific Crest Trail fly small planes across California to survey the extent of the damage. The agency estimates that 102 million trees have died across all ownership boundaries in California since 2010. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees died.

    In 2015, California Gov. Jerry Brown called a state of emergency, saying this was “the worst epidemic of tree mortality” the state has ever seen. More funds flow in, state laws are passed, actions explored. It’s all hands on deck. Gov. Brown issued an executive order and established the Tree Mortality Task Force. The task force was the nexus for the U.S. Forest Service, local governments, public utility providers and other stakeholders to combine efforts and work collaboratively for the greater good.
    “These dead and dying trees continue to elevate the risk of wildfire, complicate our efforts to respond safely and effectively to fires when they do occur, and pose a host of threats to life and property across California,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama in a November 2016 press release.
    Public safety is a top priority. State and federal land managers must cope with increasingly massive wildfires that sweep through dead or weakened forests, especially in the urban-wildland interface where so many have recently built homes. Their job is to ensure that roads and other crucial infrastructure remain safe. Recreation sites – trails such as the PCT – are often closed after a fire because of safety concerns.

This "we're all in this together" effort has seen some success as the Tree Mortality Task Force has removed more than 1.2 million dead or dying trees from the state’s forests since 2015. In May after the release of an alarming 350-page report by the California Environmental Protection Agency that documents the ruinous domino effect of climate change Governor Brown issued executive order will launch a slate of projects to improve forest conditions and increase fire protection, including a doubling of the amount of land managed by controlled burns, tree thinning and other forest-management tactics.

Still, there was this (click on it to go the website where you can download numerous documents and meeting agendas):

The draft document lays out goals to address the myriad of forest health/wildfire issues with programs to be in place within five years. The October 29, 2018, date with a five-year timeline certainly is frustrating when one considers it in the context of the quote above: "Two decades ago, as a tenderfoot scout, a naturalist had me touch the trees so that I could see what was already happening...." And Bonnicksen's pamphlet was printed 10 years ago!

It is, however, among the many California government programs for adaptation to Climate Change which the Trump Administration says doesn't exist (except to put in place policy acknowledging it will have reached a near worst case scenario by 2100).

Except that draft document will now face political scrutiny in California and Washington. So as our communities burn up and people die, we'll be deciding how to fund the programs, if we are going to fund them.