Recent fires in Southern California fueled by roaring winds of the Santa Ana are all too familiar of an occurrence with each year brining in record numbers of new incidents. In hard-hit San Diego County alone, the fire is predicted to claim 300,000 acres easily. To that, add more than 1,000 homes already lost and the number of evacuees exceeding half a million and growing make up the mix of what unbridled responsibility can produce. When fire of this dimension takes on these horrific proportions we have to ask the universal short question, why?
Whose responsibility is it anyway? These winds have been blowing with hurricane like force through the Cajon and Soledad Pass for centuries as a natural occurrence every year in the late summer and early fall. This is nothing new, so how is it that hundreds of homes are government permitted to be built in the path of this predictable dangerous area and more interesting is how these homes get mortgages knowing full well they could be burned down by these Santa Ana winds?
It becomes increasingly clear that man has trended too far past the boarders nature has intended. In the larger scheme of things these Santa Ana winds are geographically designed to cool the ocean triggering a biophysical symbiotic response that encourages more marine plant and animal life resulting in a healthier ocean and more productive community. But at what price are we willing to pay for that fresh seafood platter?
Popular scientist, Richard Dawkins in his book, Selfish Gene talks about the survival of certain species and practices of those more fit to propagate. An epidemiological argument can be made to understand the biology of evolution but in a highly evolved society as our what now becomes the pathogen? Have we through our highly evolved sophistication become our worse enemy?
We build homes in the path of the Santa Ana's in the same spirit that we build homes on the lava flows of Hawaii and when nature expresses herself in predictable fashion we scurry around looking for redemption through a plethora of excuses all the while not willing to accept the answer to the problem which is our own doing. To rationalize the intent of this type of behavior is too philosophical of a proposition but what is callously evident is the predictable outcomes of those that are lead o believe that nature will make an exception for us because we are what, Americans?
There exist a significant and serious disconnect between those that have an implied responsibility for us as a society and those regulatory agencies that are designed to insure equal protection under the law or more simplistically the United States Constitution. Ironically we declared our independence over two hundred years ago from exactly this type of oppression in succinctly articulating our firm intent to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in what we believe to be our inalienable rights.
Are we fundamentally burning down our own homes and then looking for someone to give us answer to this craziness? At some point and I hope its soon, we need to push away from this fast paced society, take a deep breathe and ask ourselves that short question, why?