Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke sided with President Donald Trump this week by blaming California wildfires on environmentalists, drawing ridicule on Twitter.
California is suffering the worst wildfire season on record as communities and habitats are swallowed up by flames. But rather then express sympathy and offer help to the beleaguered state, Trump used the tragedy to smear environmental laws.
California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 6, 2018
Scientists have been pointing out that the wildfires are being caused by climate change due to the hotter temperatures that make the region drier and, therefore, more susceptible to fires.
Zinke, however, sided with Trump like the sycophant he is and also blamed environmentalists in an op-ed published by USA TODAY.
“Every year we watch our forests burn, and every year there is a call for action,” Zinke wrote.
“Yet, when action comes, and we try to thin forests of dead and dying timber, or we try to sustainably harvest timber from dense and fire-prone areas, we are attacked with frivolous litigation from radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods,” he continued. “Radical environmentalists would have you believe forest management means clear cutting forests and national parks. But their rhetoric could not be further from the truth. They make outdated and unscientific arguments, void of facts, because they cannot defend the merits of their policy preferences year after year as our forests and homes burn to the ground.”
Zinke should be ashamed of himself because he is literally using the wildfires as part of a scheme to let loggers buzz down entire forests for profit. The Forest Service already removes dead trees and brush from areas at risk and often executes controlled burns to prevent wildfires. But the agency has had its budget slashed by Trump, making it harder for the to prevent and fight wildfires.
But trees are not to blame for the wildfires as Zinke would later accidentally admit on Twitter when he promoted his op-ed.
Wildfires are burning hotter and more intense due to drier and hotter conditions and due to a buildup of dead and dying timber. Read my piece in @USATODAY about what we can and are doing to help fight and prevent these fires from growing out of control. https://t.co/2JiDlF0GJf
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) August 8, 2018
In short, Zinke just admitted that climate change is the problem but he doesn’t care enough to do anything about it despite what the science says. He’s the one ignoring science and facts, not environmentalists. It’s one thing to clear dead brush and trees, but that’s not what loggers want to do. There’s no profit in trees that are already dead. They want to harvest living trees and a lot of them. The risk of overlogging is all too real and it’s a major cause of climate change.
Twitter users torched Zinke.
So are you now on board with,accepting global warming? Are you going to stop leasing our parks to oil companies??? ARE YOU?????
— en_la_bici (@en_la_bici) August 8, 2018
The trees are dying at a faster rate due to climate change and therefor making it a bigger, harder job to clear the dead wood.
— Robin (@RTShark) August 8, 2018
The god damn forestry agency even says climate change is the issue on their website. So please, just shut up.
— Robin (@RTShark) August 8, 2018
“Due to drier and hotter conditions.” Yeah, it’s called climate change. Stop denying the truth, and do something ffs.
— MB (@Muh_Berry) August 8, 2018
By doing everything in our power to fight climate change. Which you don’t mention once in your piece. Because you and the rest of the Trump administration are fossil fuel industry toadies, watching the planet burn while ignoring the real problem entirely. Shame.
— Ken Fitzgerald (@loudlong) August 8, 2018
— Katherine Richards (@montanan725) August 8, 2018
Dead wood is not the reason the West is in a drought ….
— Chriss (@currcl) August 8, 2018
If Trump and Zinke want to fight and prevent wildfires, they need to propose a massive increase in the Forest Service budget instead of sitting on their asses blaming environmentalists for causing them and stop denying the science that has identified climate change as the real culprit.
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