90 Miles From Tyranny : Civilization Requires Collective Common Sense

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Civilization Requires Collective Common Sense












Without common sense in government, civilization cannot continue.

After the summer protests and rioting in many large cities, activists demanded a defunding, or at least radical pullbacks, of the police. So-called crime experts often concurred.

So some city governments ignored public warnings and diminished their police presence despite a sharp rise in crime in many cities. Looting and arson were often ignored.

If you call 911 in a large American city, there is no guarantee that anyone will answer promptly and send out police to aid the endangered. So gun sales have soared. Some people who never before owned weapons, or even opposed the use of firearms, are now terrified to remain unarmed. Self-protection often outweighs abstract ideology.

According to a recent Gallup poll, most black Americans favor maintaining or increasing police presence. Often, city officials who support cutting back on law enforcement still expect their own homes and property to be constantly policed. The same is often true of activist elites who live far from the inner city.

Large swaths of the American West are now charred by out-of-control wildfires. Some governors and many federal bureaucrats blame the conflagrations on climate change.

But those who actually live within forests, or on mountains and foothills, that are historically vulnerable to wildfires know that the epic droughts of 2013-2015 killed or dried out millions of acres of trees and vegetation.

Yet most of these decaying trees were never removed by authorities. They now predictably provide the fuel for the current wildfire Armageddon.

A few veteran forest managers have been proverbial voices in the wilderness in recent years. They warned that ignoring dead trees, limiting the sort of domestic animal grazing that reduces dead brush and dry foliage, forbidding timber companies from harvesting decaying timber, and preventing periodic controlled burns were collectively a prescription for the very disasters that now cloud Western skies with fires, smoke, and air pollution.

In other words, pragmatic people once understood that tens of millions of dead trees were not to be left alone as mulch for pre-modern ecosystems. In the present, the dried-up vegetation has served as veritable napalm, causing traditional fall wildfires to blow up into biblical conflagrations that consume homes, property, and people.

The public trust in science depends on its consistency, its transparency, and its divorce from politics and ideology. There can be no left or right, liberal or conservative, blue-state or red-state slant if scientific expertise is to be taken seriously.

Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the very opposite has sometimes occurred:

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