Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Apparently, Southern California is burning, again. Just like it burned last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that, ad infinitum.

OK, let's get something straight. Southern California is a relatively arid area, and has been for quite a while. Wildfires have been occuring there long enough that the native people of the area used it to manage the land.

In the past few decades, it's become commonplace for people to build neighborhoods in the areas that formerly burned without causing massive destruction to buildings and/or people. Now, year after year, we're told how thousands of acres of Southern California burn up houses and schools.

Why are we shocked? Why is this in the national news? Houses and neighborhoods are being built in a semi-desert next to kindling, and we're supposed to be surprised when said kindling bursts into flame and takes housing developments with it?

Someone please tell me why I'm supposed to be interested in this. To me, it's like the people who build a village on the slopes of an active volcano, and then seem shocked when their village is destroyed in an eruption.

Come on, people. Don't rebuild neighborhoods in perenial fire areas. Just don't give out the building permits. Don't insure them. Don't approve the mortgages.

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