Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Please take me seriously when I say I am not making light of the fires in California.
This morning on Fox News I was watching the update in the California fires when the Lieutenant Governor of California John Garamendi was interviewed on the phone. To quote Lt. Govenator "Climate Change is responsible for the fires" he went on to proclaim (which was glossed over) that they had no winter wet season this year and it was too dry because of climate change. Is this really climate change or is it normal. Granted rainfall is down however my understanding (and I'm not a scientist) is that Global Warming would actually cause more rain due to evaporation of oceanic waters. Since California does have one of largest coastlines of any of the 50 states it does seem that that if water was evaporating more quickly due to sustained increased temperatures that some one in California would notice. This USA Today article describes how in April of 2006 Northern California received record rainfall 25 days of straight rainfall breaking a 1904 record.
The actual culprit of the current fires is a condition know as Santa Ana Winds "...Santa Ana's are a type of föhn wind, the result of air pressure buildup in the high-altitude Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains. This high energy wind spills out of the Great Basin and is pulled by gravity into the surrounding lowlands...". Believe it or not this is a annual meteorological event. Hot dry winds blown from the east to the west bringing hot dry winds from the desert regions of the country.
Growing up in San Diego County like I did we experienced this condition every year. Granted never has there been this many wild fires at one time. Was California caught off guard. I don't know I do know that Lt Govenator Garamendi was definitely making a political stab this morning on FOXNEWS and personally he wasted his chance to shine. For some one to stand in the shadow of Arnold is to not be noticed. Here he has his big time break for an interview and instead of taking a bit of the blame for California Wild Fire Fighters being short staffed at this time he had to blame it on Climate Change. Lt Govenator Garamendi stand up and be a man. During the 2002 Rode-Chediski fore in Arizona ( 467,066 acres burned) the truth came out that lack of cutting in the forest and several wet rainy seasons that produce an abundant amount of underbrush was the leading cause for the rapid growth of the fire. Once the fire reach the 300,000 acre mark it was creating it's own weather system and winds (hot dry winds like Santa Ana winds). Funny thing Nature it happens whether a Democrat is in office or not.