Preventing megafires is possible and affordable


Nhat V. Meyer/Getty

In 1995, Tim Ingalsbee…started Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. Since then FUSEE has been lobbying Congress, and trying to educate anybody who will listen, about the misguided fire policy that is leading to the megafires we are seeing today…

The pattern is a form of insanity: We keep doing overzealous fire suppression across California landscapes where the fire poses little risk to people and structures. As a result, wildland fuels keep building up. At the same time, the climate grows hotter and drier. Then, boom: the inevitable. The wind blows down a power line, or lightning strikes dry grass, and an inferno ensues. This week we’ve seen both the second- and third-largest fires in California history. “The fire community, the progressives, are almost in a state of panic,” Ingalsbee said. There’s only one solution, the one we know yet still avoid. “We need to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.”…

Mike Beasley earned what he called his “red card,” or wildland firefighter qualification, in 1984. To him, California, today, resembles a rookie pyro Armageddon, its scorched battlefields studded with soldiers wielding fancy tools, executing foolhardy strategy. “Put the wet stuff on the red stuff,” Beasley summed up his assessment of the plan of attack by Cal Fire, the state’s behemoth “emergency response and resource protection” agency. Instead, Beasley believes, fire professionals should be considering ecology and picking their fights: letting fires that pose little risk burn through the stockpiles of fuels. Yet that’s not the mission. “They put fires out, full stop, end of story,” Beasley said of Cal Fire. “They like to keep it clean that way.”

This could be the place for a snappy remark about “tidy minds” are like “tidybowl”…but, how solutions are arrived at isn’t the problem. Politicians, the larger mass of ignorance that keeps the Clown Show in office, the number of corporate fire suppression producers, large and small, with a vested interest in “stability”…only begin to measure the obstacles to overcome.

Read the whole article. Please. Try your best at the avenues of expression available to you. But, let’s get started at the solution. It ain’t anything we don’t already know.

Is NASA [still] working on a warp drive?

The first scientific theory of warp drive came about in 1994, when theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre used Einstein’s theory of General Relativity to develop a framework that would allow faster-than-light travel within the confines of the laws of physics. The key that makes it possible is that, technically, the ship itself doesn’t travel faster than light.

“What warp drive is doing is basically saying that there is no law of physics that says space-time itself can’t go faster than the speed of light,” says Dr Erin Macdonald, astrophysicist and science consultant for Star Trek.

“And so the concept of warp drive is to say, all right, let’s take our ship, let’s build a bubble of space-time around it, and then we’ll have that propel us faster than the speed of light,” she says. It’s similar to the idea of a racecar driving onboard a train: someone standing by the tracks would see the car travelling much faster than its top speed.

All the folks in the article are involved with NASA in the world of then and now, maybe and might be. Trouble is, success or no success is something folks aren’t especially allowed to talk about. Alcubierre did the work illustrated in the article 26 years ago and more. 🙂