This weekend, I reported on the spate of fires that have erupted though Southern California, which included the Skirball Fire that threatened the famous Getty Center Museum, destroyed several posh Bel Air homes, and shut the 405 freeway.

In a move that surprised nobody, Governor Jerry Brown was quick to blame all the infernos on climate change, but a cooking fire by a homeless person started the fire.

Brown even declared that the blazes a “new normal“.

Gov. Jerry Brown surveyed the devastation Saturday in Ventura — the area hardest hit by firestorms that have displaced nearly 90,000 people in Southern California — calling it “the new normal.”

…During a news conference at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, Brown said climate change may exacerbate the weather conditions that caused the wildfires to explode. He expressed sympathy for residents who had lost their homes and animals, saying the fires were horrific and a “terrible tragedy for so many people.”

If it is the “new normal”, then societal change is the root cause and not climate change since the Skirball Fire was started by one of California’s many homeless residents.

The fire that destroyed six homes and damaged a dozen others in Bel-Air last week was caused by a cooking fire at a nearby homeless encampment, Los Angeles fire officials said Tuesday.

For a “number of years,” homeless people had been living in a camp along Sepulveda Boulevard where it passes under the 405 Freeway, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Peter Sanders said.

Investigators who inspected the encampment found evidence that people had been cooking and sleeping in the area but did not find anyone there, Sanders said. The department has no suspects, he said.

Additionally, many actual climate scientists challenged Brown’s assertions about California’s future weather patterns.

That includes climate scientists such as University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass, who moved to extinguish the “now normal” narrative by arguing that the data “strongly suggests there is no credible evidence” that global warming is fueling this fall’s California coastal wildfires, and that claims to the contrary are “baseless, if not outright wrong.”

“The bottom line of all this is that observations and the best scientific reasoning do NOT suggest that global warming is enhancing CA coastal wildfires through effects on temperature and precipitation,” Mr. Mass said Monday in a post on his weather and climate blog.

He and others have pointed to the heavy precipitation earlier this year in California after five years of drought, which resulted in high vegetation growth that feeds the flames.

Finally, wildfires aren’t the only significant public threat that has its origin among California’s expanding homeless population. The Hepatitis A outbreak, which has been working its way through the nation, has its roots in Southern California’s transient community.

In The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Margot Kushel reviews the root cause of the worst Hepatitis A outbreak in over 20 years.

The environmental conditions associated with homelessness — overcrowding in encampments and emergency shelters, exposure to the elements, and limited access to facilities for hygiene and food preparation and storage — facilitate infectious-disease transmission. Homeless people’s often-poor underlying health, high prevalence of risky health-related behaviors, and poor access to nonemergency health care increase their susceptibility to infectious disease and heighten its severity and complicate disease control.

In response to the recent hepatitis outbreak, there has been a campaign to vaccinate and educate people at risk and to provide portable hygiene facilities, disinfected with bleach, in areas where homeless people congregate. These responses, though laudable and likely to contain the outbreak, will not alter its underlying causes.

Nor will the underlying cause of the fire be adequately addressed either, especially by our climate-change obsessed politicians.


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