In a sharp rebuke to Donald Trump's cheerful, optimistic approach of "everything will be fine, shut up," President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom have both unveiled plans to prepare for likely disasters before they even happen, based on something they call "science." It is believed this "science" thing may secretly be a form of communism that will take away your guns and make your children speak Chinese.

Biden announced yesterday that, ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season, he would double the amount of federal funding to help communities prepare for hurricanes and other extreme weather events, which "scientists" say will be made worse and less predictable by climate change. Biden also announced a plan to significantly build up NASA's ability to collect climate data, as if the space agency had any business looking at the planet we live on instead of at cooler faraway places without oil lobbyists.

Meanwhile, in Sacramento, Newsom announced that he too would double funding for disaster preparedness, but in this case it was a plan to spend $2 billion to get ready for what's expected to be another horrible fire season in California, as well as for other disasters the state is prone to, like earthquakes, landslides, and the release of Michael Bay movies.

Neither Biden nor Newsom made any mention of the need to rake the forests, either, almost as if these Democrats don't have any faith that God will simply take care of whatever, you know.


Visiting the Washington DC headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Biden warned that the coming hurricane season and the western wildfire season both promise to keep the nation's disaster response agencies busy, saying his administration would "spare no expense, no effort, to keep Americans safe and respond to crises when they arise. And they certainly will." Talk about a downer!

By contrast, Trump regularly assured Americans that the coronavirus would just suddenly go away, which was certainly a more positive message. Biden also advanced the odd idea that even people in states that didn't vote for him deserve to be helped, both with preparedness and after a disaster strikes.

"We all know that the storms are coming and we're going to be prepared. We have to be ready," Biden said. "It's not about red states and blue states. You all know that. It's about having people's backs in the toughest moments that they face, ready with food, water, blankets, shelters and more."

It is unclear whether Biden has any plans to personally throw rolls of paper towels to survivors, a step that endeared Donald Trump to political satirists everywhere. It is not believed he intends to use a Sharpie on any hurricane path projections, either.

Biden also announced that NASA will pursue new missions to measure data on climate, under an initiative called the "Earth System Observatory," which the agency says will involve

a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. With the Earth System Observatory, each satellite will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.

As if you needed more reasons to work to keep Democrats in control of the House and Senate in 2022, let's recall that when the GOP took over the Senate last time, Ted Cruz became the head of the subcommittee with oversight of NASA. He then spent two years hectoring the space agency to stop wasting time and money on climate, which isn't even in space. In 2015, Cruz notoriously lectured then-NASA Administrator Charles Bolden that climate was outside NASA's real mission, which was about exploring other planets, not ours. After all, said Cruz, space exploration is "what inspires little boys and little girls across this country," not a bunch of boring "climate" data.

Bolden agreed that space is very nifty (as a former astronaut, he'd know), but added that NASA "can't go anywhere if the Kennedy Space Center goes underwater. ... It is absolutely critical that we understand Earth's environment because this is the only place that we have to live," and we'd just add it's pretty great to have a president who agrees again.

Out in California, which mostly got Donald Trump's attention when he was blaming the state for irresponsibly catching fire, Gavin Newsom held a press conference to announce his plans for fire season, arriving in a CalFire firefighting helicopter because that's an exciting visual for the evening news. Newsom is, after all, fending off a recall effort, and he's very much aware that helping California be ready for fires will also make him look good, as opposed to, say, insisting that wildfires would go away if only there were no more environmentalists.

As Politico points out, Newsom has plenty of reasons to focus on wildfire prevention and suppression, like the thousand or so fires that have already hit California in 2021 so far, well ahead of the worst months for wildfire, in the fall and early winter.

Newsom's budget proposes $80 million for some 1,400 new seasonal firefighters and hand crews — and puts $800 million aside to get the state ready for other emergencies, like earthquakes.

And without ever saying the name of the previous president, Newsom was happy to point out that the current president takes science seriously, and believes that the federal government's job is to assist states, not to whine at them.

He reminded that "close to 60 percent of the forest land in the state of California is managed by the federal government,'' with just a "very few percent" even owned by the state. "Now with an administration that is less a closed fist — and more of an open hand — we expect significant investments by the U.S. Forest Service to advance these efforts,'' he said.

Not that all this "disaster preparation" stuff is a hit with Republicans, who want Newsom recalled because he actually took action during the pandemic. In an op-ed for the Fresno Bee, California GOP chair Jessica Millan Patterson griped about all the money Newson has been pouring into his California Comeback Plan, accusing Newsom of "gleefully recounting how he's spending our tax money [...] on key issues that he has failed to address for two and a half years in office." Not that the GOP would actually spend money on fixing things, but it sure is terrible that Newsom is buying votes by doing things Californians want. Particularly since that spending is possible because the state had a pleasantly surprising budget surplus, of the "honking" variety, this year.

Seems unfair of Democrats to pander to voters by investing in plans to prepare for disasters. Maybe they could try calling voters lazy instead.

[WaPo / Politico California]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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