As it happens I attempted to drive down to Los Angeles yesterday to take in the Gary Oldman Churchill vehicle Darkest Hour (which is only playing right now in LA and New York for Oscar buzz purposes), but had to turn back when the I-5 was closed because of a sudden fire around the Newhall area. Right below is a pic of the fire from a distance taken out the window of my car, with the traffic piling up for what was a long delay. What you can’t see from this distant view are the four or five airplanes already working in a steady pattern to drop water and fire retardant.
Somehow I managed to weave my way from the fast lane to the offramp at Lake Hughes Road and turn back north, where I had the strange experience of driving on an almost completely empty Interstate:
The high winds were blowing large tumbleweeds across the highway much of the way back over the pass.
Meanwhile, the fires are worse today, and burning down expensive homes in the Bel Air area. And it has brought out all of the grace and charm of the left, as can be seen in this tweet from Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress:
Might as well get ahead of things. I haven’t seen it yet, but surely some nitwit is going to claim that this fire is yet another proof of—wait for it now—climate change! As though California had never experienced fierce Santa Ana winds late in the fall, or suffered a massive urban fire.
Joan Didion reminds us in her 1968 essay “Los Angeles Notebook”:
The Santa Ana [winds] caused Malibu to burn the way it did in 1956, and Bel Air in 1961, and Santa Barbara in 1964. . . The longest Santa Ana period in recent years was in 1957, and it lasted not the usual three or four days but fourteen days, from November 21 until December 4. On the first day 25,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains were burning, with gusts reaching 100 miles an hour.
All of those wind-driven fires occurred well before the warming period that got liberals all hot and bothered began, and I’ve seen several more catastrophic fires in those very same locations in the years since Didion wrote this essay.
But of course for the climatistas, history began with Al Gore’s movie, and everything is proof of climate change. So just wait. You can expect the climate handwringing any moment now, if it hasn’t happened already.
UPDATE: Well this didn’t take long. From the Daily Caller:
As a massive wildfire torches vast swaths of land across southern California, climate activists are pushing claims the devastating fires are linked to global warming.
Climate Signal sent an email Wednesday claiming the Thomas wildfire “is fueled by conditions consistent with the trends driven by climate change,” followed by links to information connecting wildfires to global warming on their website.
“Higher temperatures, drier conditions, increased fuel availability, and lengthening warm seasons—all linked to climate change—are increasing wildfire risk in California,” the email reads.
The email also included contact information for experts “who can further explain the connection between fires and climate change.” Climate Signal is a project of Climate Nexus, a non-profit organization under the fiscal sponsorship of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
Don’t these people ever get tired of. . . oh never mind. We all know the answer to that.