Why Would Trump know anything about the woods?

The out of doors is basically an endless golf course for this vapid man who rides around on a cart and thinks of it as exercise, I suspect. The New York Times, in a very revealing story, shows him to be what he is, an idiot on the outdoors and a fool on California’s climate problems, which are fueling forest fire heartbreaks all over the place.

I’m not saying a lot of people in California didn’t ask for it by locating their homes under the canopy of a forest that was destined to burst into flames after the first dry, windy season came along and turned everything to tinder. Build in a field and create a fire break, I would suggest, not in a forest.

But there’s no way in hell this problem can be blamed on those nasty trees and the detritus they keep dropping every season, or that blanket of pine needles that seems to carpet every good forest you have ever walked through. That’s just how the woodlands are, and President Trump displays, of course, immense ignorance when he blames the fires on untidy forest keeping.

Of course it’s untidy. That’s why they are forests. You wan’t carpeting, go home and sit in the living room. You want nature, go out into a forest, hopefully after a couple of days of rain so it’s safe, and look at what’s around you. What is around you is a living thing that dies every day in its own way, shedding leafs, dropping limbs, collapsing trees, doing whatever it is that nature needs to do to ensure there will be more nature before you know it.

I used to love hiking in the forests in central Pennsylvania because there was simply so much to look at and think about, a whole universe that had nothing to do with me, that had its own reality and its own ancient history. Trees there would grow tall, then get some bug or pestilence, die and fall over and become part of the forest floor again. Other trees would grow out of them. It was a cycle, you know? Every once in a while it would burn up, because that’s what can happen to forests. It makes you sad for a while (assuming you were not caught up in it). But what it meant is there would be plenty of raspberries and blueberries and lots of other things that thrive in the soil strengthened by what seemed, in our narrow view, to be a disaster. But was actually just nature ignoring us.

Some of that involves having fires to clear out the undergrowth. If you have a house in the way, it’s going to burn up unless you are diligent and have an industrial sized hose to keep everything wet. But you should just build your house out in the open someplace. It would be much safer. But not at the beach because you know where that one leads, too. Go visit anyplace that has had a couple of hurricane pass through. It’s a wonder anything survives.

Still, we build where we build. But we shouldn’t blame the ocean for flooding and we shouldn’t blame the trees for fire. Turn down the temperature about 40 degrees and throw in some rain and those problems go away. But keep things the way they are and all the leaf raking in the world won’t stop these disasters.

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