As I wrote in VDARE.com right after the Southern California fires exactly four years ago:
Brushfires and mudslides used to seem more amusing because they afflicted
Hollywoodcelebrities significantly more often than average citizens. This was not just a matter of God's good taste. Hoi polloi lived in the cheaper and safer flatlands. The rich poised precariously in the hills, where construction and maintenance costs are higher—especially if you want your home to survive what Mother Nature keeps up her sleeve.
But the plains of
Southern Californiafilled up long ago. So the ever-growing population has been spilling into the more treacherous wild areas.
This is regularly denounced as "sprawl," which implies that individuals are wastefully consuming more and more land per capita. But in
the driver has been population growth. According to a 2003 Center for Immigration Studies report by Roy Beck, Leon Kolankiewicz, and Steven A. Camarota, from 1982 to 1997 the total number of developed acres in California grew by 32 percent, but the per capita usage was up only two percent. Essentially all of California 's population growth in the 1990s was due to new immigrants or births to foreign-born women. (Indeed, close to 1.5 million more American-born citizens moved out of California during the 1990s than moved in from other states.) California
As low-income immigrants pour into
Southern California's lowlands, crowding the freeways and overstressing the older cities' public schools, the middle class (at least the ones who don't leave the state) have responded by taking to the hills.
The hill country's environment is benign most of the year. But the local ecosystem evolved to require periodic blazes. Up through American Indian times, these brushfires were frequent and thus relatively mild.
Unfortunately, we modern people haven't really figured out how to manage the chaparral and pine forests yet—especially when the canyons and mountains are home to housing. The best-known remedy, controlled burns, is disliked by people who live in the backcountry because they pollute the air, and they can jump out of control. The 2000
Los Alamosfire set by the Forest Service ended up destroying hundreds of structures.
Thus the policy has been to try to suppress all fires. This, however, causes fuel in the form of dry brush and dead trees to build up each decade, inevitably leading to infernos like those of 1993 and 2003. …
's problem? ‘fraid not! Taxpayers across the country always end up chipping in, through government disaster loans, new federal firefighting and forestry management programs, lower stock market prices for insurance companies, and other forms of burden-sharing. California
desperately needs a slower population growth rate until it learns how its current vast population can live with its lovely but sometime lethal landscape. And the state's burgeoning numbers are solely driven by immigration. California
The logical solution: cut back on immigration.
Reality is literally lighting a fire under us.