Environmental activists are criticizing President Trump after he tweeted Sunday that bad California governance created the conditions for this summer's wildfires.
"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized," Trump tweeted. "It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"
On Monday, he followed up with a direct challenge of Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown.
"Governor Jerry Brown must allow the Free Flow of the vast amounts of water coming from the North and foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean," Trump wrote. "Can be used for fires, farming and everything else. Think of California with plenty of Water - Nice! Fast Federal govt. approvals."
Gov. Jerry Brown disagrees that channeling more water out of reservoirs is an answer to the state's frequent fires. As he has in the past, Brown two weeks ago blamed global warming for California's latest outbreak of wildfires.
“Predictions that I see, the more serious predictions of warming and fires to occur later in the century, 2040 or 2050, they're now occurring in real time,” Brown said. "You can expect that — unfortunately — to continue intensifying in California and throughout the Southwest.”
It may well be true that wildfires in California continue to intensify, but if so, it won’t be the fault of global warming, as Brown argues. Rather, the fires are a consequence of the governor's willingness to watch his state smolder so he can score new talking points to help validate his belief in global warming.
After all, there’s plenty Brown could be doing to prevent forest fires — all of which he refuses to do.
Here are five ways Brown could reduce the risk of fires in California — without waiting for a global kumbaya moment on global warming.