Home Letter To The Editor Denying The Deniers

Denying The Deniers



Those of us who make the West Coast our home have come to believe that the very earth is on fire. Millions of acres of burning forestland has thrown up a choking cloud that has now reached Europe. Visible from space, it resembles the plume given off by a world-darkening super volcano. The body count is still being tabulated but is likely to grow as many of the hardest hit areas continue to burn. Drought, freakish high temperatures and insect infestation have left our forests vulnerable to causes both natural and human.

Windstorms. Farmers fighting to keep their farms viable. A rare Category 5 hurricane that battered the gulf states. The human and financial cost is getting harder and harder to calculate.

We have known for decades that burning fossil fuels at least contributes to if not directly causes these catastrophes. In the early days of our self quarantine we saw the direct results restricted driving patterns was having on air quality – with many previously affected areas reporting the best air quality they’ve seen in years. Scientists warn that the “tipping point” is near, if not already reached and despite all this we continue to burn fossil fuels while finding ways to block our necessary transition to renewable fuels.

A clear thinking person might reason that a responsible utility and related industries, knowing of the consequences caused by their choice of fuels, would move aggressively to transition to something more sustainable. Instead we have seen lies, lobbying, foot dragging and more excuses with very little progress actually made.

We keep waiting for someone either in government or the business sector to raise their hand and say “enough,” but that response never comes as instead we continue to devote ourselves to drilling techniques tied to the poisoning of our aquifers and – unbelievably – actually triggering seismological activity in areas where earthquakes were previously unseen.

For years a vocal cadre of politicians and paid supporters denied the science behind encroaching climate change, apparently to ensure that the drilling and driving continued and that people who had made billions from those activities continued to reap their profits.

They have been quiet lately. And we just continue to burn.

Ellen Cisneros/ Concord


  1. Why are there no climate change fires in the Midwest, East, or Canada?

    One hundred years of fire suppression means a tremendous fuel load.

    Then add in the Sierra Club limiting logging, cutting fire breaks, controlled burns and cattle grazing.

    Twitter is ablaze with claims Antifa / BLM are setting fires all over Oregon.

    • Because there has not been (so far) a confluence of conditions (storms, lightning, wind, fuels, fools) as we have seen out here.

      And those Twitter posts you mention have been uniformly and unconditionally shot down by law enforcement as baseless.

      Kind of makes you wonder who’s posting them, doesn’t it? It should.

      • If there’s a hint of an underlying political tone to a post/story dig very deeply because Russia/China have whole units devoted to sowing confusion and distrust via the internet and Americans are gobbling their trash up with a spoon. Americans unfortunately, a lot of them at least — just aren’t very smart.

      • Tony, no bot or Russian here. Listened to Dr. Bill Wattenberg on KGO radio for over 20 years. PhD in physics, young professor at Berkeley, mentored by physics giant Dr. Edward Teller, master on a bulldozer, fought fires, ran crews, and inventor.

        Beloved Dr. Bill frequently spoke about the forests he loved (and lived in, in Plumas County), protected, and saw get out of “equilibrium”. He fought to allow thinning and proper forest management, but also to protect the Tongas National Forest.

        Countless Sierra Club lawsuits are a fact, as are many logging companies put out of business. Global Warming is the new anti-man, anti-west, anti-capitalist theory.

        They’re against zero CO2 nuclear power, natural gas (fracking), and have proven by our recent blackouts they can’y supply the world’s #8 economy with reliable, affordable energy. Educate yourself.

        • Feel sufficiently educated thank you and never relied on KGO or the unrepentant father of the American H Bomb for my learning — though I did enough homework on Teller to realize I wouldn’t have liked him.

          Spent some time in forests and lucky enough to live near one now so I have an appreciation of their complexities and benefits.

          Believe in forest management but also believe it needs to extend past raking them from time to time.

          Also sufficiently educated to remember some slight malfunctions in the nuclear energy department — namely Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima – events with a legacy we’re still dealing with and will likely need to deal with for years to come.

          Fracking? Sorry but I like to be able to drink my water, not set it on fire.

          And I don’t know about the anti-man, anti-west, anti-capitalist agenda but it seems to me those are the very folks fighting so hard to hang onto the industries and practices causing so many of the problems we’re seeing now.

          So I’m throwing away your parting line as a troll move and will remind you that I didn’t suggest you were a bot but there were bots out there working really really hard to confuse people and that tactic is working.

          And I think that’s almost as much of a shame as what we’re doing to the only planet we have.

  2. There are so many potential jobs and so much economic growth to be had from converting to renewable energy technologies and a smarter, more secure electric grid. We can lead or we can continue to bear witness to our decline.

    • Lead like who, Germany? They took a very expensive bath with renewables, paying a steep price.

      BTW, wind turbine blades and solar panels are extremely tough to recycle. I believe that blades are buried, and the cost to recycle solar panels isn’t included in their total cost of ownership.

  3. Recommended viewing on Netflix – The Social Dilemma. A documentary showing how we are manipulated by social media. An obvious example is a majority of Americans agree we need to address environmental issues but the solutions are difficult and complex. Social media feeds us both extreme sides of an argument simplifying and amplifying in the process. The thoughtful majority or centrists get drowned out and nothing happens…and the problem gets worse. Watch it.

  4. I don’t have facebook, twitter, instagram, TikTok, etc, and for the rest of it, I have a tented foil hat that works very well.
    “People say”…”I’ve heard”…
    Good grief, Charlie Brown what ever happened to the sapiens part of homo sapiens.

    Sadly, like Tony above, I have come to realize very painfully, that a lot of people are not smart, and a lot of people will fall for the con over and over and over.

    • I have all those platforms and am able to navigate them just fine without too much trouble. Propaganda and lies are easy to detect and deflect if you know what to look for. One thing – I’d really like to know who is posting this crap and I don’t believe Face book or Twitter are doing enough to call it out.

      • For all the talk on cable from the “experts” about how micro-targeted the ads are I just have to chuckle. I have gotten Dear fellow Republican letters this year for the first time, Dear fellow Republican emails, and Trump-oriented ads follow me in my browsing. Either they are using a fire hose to advertise like it’s just other people’s money, so why not; or they haven’t a clue as to my political views, and they are simply more of the best people that a stable genius can find. It is a curiosity.

        • They’re doing something right … up with Latinos in Miami Dade County (Florida), up in the Iron Range (Minnesota), polling at 68%? … and way up with African Americans (best unemployment numbers ever, pre Covid, First Step prison reform, funding Historically Black Colleges, and Opportunity Zones).

          President Trump had several rallies today, while Biden again called off his day (called a “lid” at 10 AM, again). He’s done this 3 or 4 times recently. Wow.

          P.S. When Biden recently held up a large family photo, the reflection showed that… he’s reading answers off a Teleprompter!

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