Thursday, October 25, 2007

California Burning

As I posted a few months ago during the last large batch of wildfires in California and elsewhere, it is amazing the number of fires that regularly plague the earth. Some are man-made, others occur as part of Nature's plan for rejuvenation of forests and prairies, and others just part of the cycle of destruction caused by traumatic events such as erupting volcanos, lightning, etc.

Mother Nature tries to destroy parts of the earth, as well as animal species and mankind, constantly. Sometimes, she succeeds. The fossil record gives evidence of the extinction of a wide variety of plant and animal species, of which the wooly mammoth and dinosaurs are just the largest. There must be thousands of vanished species of which we can only imagine.

During instances such as those now being endured in California, the best and worst of mankind is evident. It now appears that at least one of the fires is the result of arson. Lunatics and terrorists can be counted on to try to destroy what others have created, for whatever ends - political, egotistic, or vicious thrill. Selfless volunteers and experienced professionals extend energies above and beyond the norm to bring aid and comfort to victims, and to risk their own lives to save homes and forests from the fires' ruination. They are supreme examples of the best of mankind and are to be honored for their efforts.

Politicians who step in to take advantage of cameras to grandstand, find fault, or take vicarious credit, should be scorned. Harry Reid's comments about the fires being caused by global warming are outrageous. Even more outrageous is his denying having said that just a few minutes later. No wonder the good people of Nevada are just about fed up with him.

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