The former governor of California, Jerry Brown, went off on an unhinged tirade Tuesday, claiming that President Trump and republicans were to blame for the massive wildfires sweeping the state because they oppose climate change solutions.
He said the blood of anyone who dies is on their soul.
And, some people will agree with this unfounded and ridiculous claim. But the truth of the matter, many others assert, is that decades of democrat control of the state have created a chaotic and unlivable situation that has NOTHING to do with imagined climate change.
“California’s burning while the deniers make a joke out of the standards that protect us all,” Brown told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, as quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle. “The blood is on your soul here and I hope you wake up. Because this is not politics, this is life, this is morality. … This is real.”
Brown was testifying against efforts by the Trump administration to rescind California’s waiver that previously allowed it to set its own emissions standards for vehicles — effectively giving the state control of the entire auto industry.
The administration argues that California’s policy is actually worse for the environment because higher standards make new cars — which are more energy-efficient than old cars — more difficult for consumers to buy.
The ongoing California wildfires have a variety of causes. The immediate cause of the Getty Fire in Los Angeles, for example, appears to be a tree branch that was blown by high winds into power lines, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Critics fault California and its utility companies for spending money on complying with “green” initiatives rather than on burying power lines. Others also cite homeless camps, where past fires have started, and poor forestry management policies that have barred the clearing of brush that can provide fuel for wildfires.
But Brown and other Democrats have identified climate change as the cuplrit, even though there is no scientific evidence to support that claim. In 2015 and in 2017, Brown also blamed climate change for wildfires in California, though scientists disagreed, calling Brown’s arguments an example of “noble-cause corruption.”
California Democrats are facing new criticism at home, as utility companies have begun cutting power to electricity customers in peak fire conditions — a new practice for which the state government seems to have been unprepared.
Victor Davis Hanson outlined the situation perfectly in an opinion piece for Fox News:
More than 2 million Californians were recently left without power after the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric — which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year — preemptively shut down transmission lines in fear that they might spark fires during periods of high autumn winds.
Consumers blame the state for not cleaning up dead trees and brush, along with the utility companies for not updating their ossified equipment. The power companies in turn fault the state for so over-regulating utilities that they had no resources to modernize their grids.
Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable. In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents and infectious diseases. Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.
Taxpayers in California, whose basket of sales, gasoline and income taxes is the highest in the nation, quietly seethe while immobile on antiquated freeways that are crowded, dangerous and under nonstop makeshift repair.
Gas prices of $4 to $5 a gallon — the result of high taxes, hyper-regulation and green mandates — add insult to the injury of stalled commuters. Gas tax increases ostensibly intended to fund freeway expansion and repair continue to be diverted to the state’s failing high-speed rail project.
Residents shrug that the state’s public schools are among weakest in the nation, often ranking in the bottom quadrant in standardized test scores. Elites publicly oppose charter schools but often put their own kids in private academies.
Californians know that to venture into a typical municipal emergency room is to descend into a modern Dante’s Inferno. Medical facilities are overcrowded. They can be as unpleasant as they are bankrupting to the vanishing middle class that must face exorbitant charges to bring in an injured or sick child.
No one would dare to connect the crumbling infrastructure, poor schools and failing public health care with the non-enforcement of immigration laws, which has led to a massive influx of undocumented immigrants from the poorest regions of the world, who often arrive without fluency in English or a high-school education.
Stores are occasionally hit by swarming looters. Such Wild West criminals know how to keep their thefts under $950, ensuring that such “misdemeanors” do not warrant police attention. California’s permissive laws have decriminalized thefts and break-ins. The result is that San Francisco now has the highest property crime rate per capita in the nation.
Has California become premodern?
Millions of fed-up middle-class taxpayers have fled the state. Their presence as a stabilizing influence is sorely missed. About one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California. Millions of poor newcomers require enormously expensive state health, housing, education, legal and law-enforcement services.
California is now a one-party state. Democrats have supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature. Only seven of the state’s 53 congressional seats are held by Republicans. The result is that there is no credible check on a mostly coastal majority.
Huge global wealth in high-tech, finance, trade and academia poured into the coastal corridor, creating a new nobility with unprecedented riches. Unfortunately, the new aristocracy adopted mindsets antithetical to the general welfare of Californians living outside their coastal enclaves. The nobodies have struggled to buy high-priced gas, pay exorbitant power bills and deal with shoddy infrastructure — all of which resulted from the policies of the distant somebodies.
California’s three most powerful politicians — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Gov. Gavin Newsom — are all multimillionaires. Their lives, homes and privileges bear no resemblance to those of other Californians living with the consequences of their misguided policies and agendas.
The state’s elite took revolving-door entries and exits for granted. They assumed that California was so naturally rich, beautiful and well-endowed that there would always be thousands of newcomers who would queue up for the weather, the shore, the mountains and the hip culture.
Yet California is nearing the logical limits of progressive adventurism in policy and politics.
Residents carefully plan long highway trips as if they were ancient explorers charting dangerous routes. Tourists warily enter downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco as if visiting a politically unstable nation.
Insatiable state tax collectors and agencies are viewed by the public as if they were corrupt officials of Third World countries seeking bribes. Californians flip their switches unsure of whether the lights will go on. Many are careful about what they say, terrified of progressive thought police who seem more worried about critics than criminals.
Our resolute ancestors took a century to turn a wilderness into California. Our irresolute generation in just a decade or two has been turning California into a wilderness.