Weekly Link Love — Edition 99

Research of the Week

Fatigue makes time fly.

Researchers are exploring the “entities” people meet on DMT.

Hominids were cooking food in hydrothermal vents millions of years ago.

Plastic-degrading bacteria are rapidly evolving in the ocean.

Probiotics help obese children lose weight.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 446: Brad Kearns: Host Elle Russ welcomes Brad Kearns to the podcast.

Episode 447: Dr. Robert Silverman: Host Brad Kearns welcomes Dr. Robert Silverman to discuss COVID-19 and gut health.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 76: Laura and Erin chat with Tim Davis about breaking stigmas and beating addiction for good.

Media, Schmedia

Great layman’s overview of how sustainable ranching can work, be profitable, and produce tons of meat.

How livestock can prevent wildfires.

Interesting Blog Posts

Casus belli.

Social Notes

There’s no free lunch.

Everything Else

Migratory bird massacres.

Vitamin D is going mainstream. Love to see it.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Incredible study: Just one dose of wild blueberries improves cognitive performance in middle aged adults.

More evidence of our reawakening drive to roam and be nomadic: Hyundai gets into the RV game.

Imagine that: Class is more effective when it’s outdoors in a green space.

Important avenue of research: Potential ethnic differences in susceptibility to COVID-19.

Nice concept everyone can get behind: Megafauna nationalism.

Question I’m Asking

How’s school going for your kids?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sep 12 – Sep 18)

Comment of the Week

“This is in response to Mark’s ‘Sunday with Sisson’ email about the beach.

I live in the Malibu area, and hiked the 75+ mile Backbone Trail with Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council. During the week-long hike, members of the organization gives talks about the local history and geography. This might also be mentioned in MDA blog, but I learned that there is a ‘kelp highway’ and humans may have followed it from Russia over the Bering Strait and down the Pacific Coast. The idea is that the kelp creates a steady environment for fish, so it’s an easy trail for people to follow.

I recall Mark has discussed how we process fish very well, and that a steady supply would create the conditions necessary to support the development of our big brains. I suspect that we are built to feel ‘at home’ and thus at peace in our niche near bodies of water.”

-Fascinating thought, Monica.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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95 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 99”

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  1. My two kiddos who are still at home are doing great – we have intentionally made home our “center“ since they were babies, avoided over-scheduling (probably to the point of under-scheduling) and we’ve experimented with every type of schooling over the years, so it was very natural when things locked down to transition to a school- at -home life. My observation (no judgement, everyone has their own family to raise) has been that friends and neighbors whose children were school-dependent for their social and physical activity are having a much harder time of it. Everything comes with its own trade offs of course but I’m very glad we’ve done things the way we have. Important to note, we have been spared much of the financial stress so many people are suffering, we don’t have that obstacle in the way – I imagine students in families enduring that hardship are having a rough time of it whether at school or at home. Hurts my heart.

  2. I have to say I have some mixed feelings about the RV. The passenger seat sitting over the engine makes me wonder about cabin heat. Access to the rear tires is also a concern. Storage space appears rather limited, but it is priced between $41-72k, which seems like a nice rock bottom prices, compared to other models.

    Personally, I hope the recent high sales in RVs goes similar to how boats go, they are owned for a couple of years, gather dust and take up space and needed maintenance results in a robust secondary market. With the high sales, maybe a glut where I can jump in and buy one for myself. I still enjoy tent camping, but I am approaching the age where a sheltered bed would be nice.

  3. Oh my god, that picture of the hunters and all those dead birds… Why? Like, why? How can anyone be proud of such an act? WHY.

    1. Agree. I can understand hunting to eat, but not killing just to be killing. So depressing that there are people like that.

    2. The article makes it clear why this was done. For food.
      Not because the people involved are starving, but because the birds are regarded as a delicacy.

      It is not recreational hunting, but unregulated commercial exploitation. The birds are legally protected, but laws fail in cultures with endemic corruption and inconsistent enforcement.

      In the same regions, fishermen wipe out entire reef systems with explosives and pesticides. Everything dies, but they only take what is big enough to sell.

      This is 5he reason that recreational hunting and fishing are so valuable. Sport-hunters and fishermen are the major contributors of funding for the enforcement of game and conservation laws.

  4. Kids so happy. They have an half hour teleconference in the morning, work on their assignments every so often over the course of the day, and really just play a lot. We have to essentially hire a full time governess, but they like it. When they eventually start spending two days a week in person, I expect their satisfaction to drop.

  5. OMG. I think the Porest is the first OEM RV I’ve read about. And I just realized that in three or four years when we’ve normalized the virus, there will be a lot of recent model second hand RVs for sale. I’m kind of excited.

  6. Re: school. We are in LAUSD and shifted to private kindergarten for our daughter after evaluation our personal risk. I am not a covid denier, but do feel that young kids especially need to socially interact with other kids. Our daughter was a complete MESS during stay-at-home back in the spring, and having her home was not an option. Kindergarten has been going great. They wear masks and distance, but it’s become the norm for them and now it feels like regular old school again!

  7. My husband has said this very thing for years. Forrest’s have to be managed or they will manage themselves. Also true of trees on your own property. If you don’t trim them, Mother Nature will.

  8. I agree with Julie and her husband on forest management. Thank you for a rational and factual statement!

  9. Seems about right. it’s getting warmer and this exacerbates the overgrown conditions. Curious though why Miami as someone who lives in the NE coast I worry about sea levels rising and permanently flooding my area and it seems Miami might be at the head of the line for that?

  10. I agree Mark, it is not just one thing, it is a host of things. I am from Michigan and I can remember when I was much younger the Forestry Department would do controlled burns in many of the large wilderness areas to revitalize a section of forest and to keep the natural wildfires and of course those unintentionally set by campers under control. Being environmentally friendly and trying to do the right thing for the environment means you truly need to understand all the tools Mother Nature uses to keep the forests growing as they should. Good artile.

  11. I think you make cogent points. Mismanagement tops my list after reading true experts on the matter divorced from the political rhetoric that dominates and forces “climate change” into every discussion. No one denies climate changes. It matters on the cause and I think Mother Nature regards humans as a nat on an elephants ass.

  12. On this planet there some places one should not live in or around.

    I would not build a home below avalanche
    terrain.

    In my opinion, common sense should drive those who think the untamed mountains will never catch fire, or……..that rescuers are always waiting to same life and property.

    Simply put, Do not live in those California areas prone to fire.

    If one insists on living in that locale, take your own risks, live your own life…..

    1. I agree, if you chose to live in the wilderness, one has to have a plan for fire suppression and a large fire line around the property usually a plowed dirt area that is 100s of feet wide, tin roofs etc. You would not believe all the ridiculous things we see. And to top it off the more remote you are the harder it is to get to you. We have a lot of open country in MT but most counties do not have wildland suppression equipment to fight it. The best thing a person can do like with anything is be your own best advocate. Their is a distinct lack of personal responsibility today. We had a 50,000 acre burn in Garfield county because a guy who was denied a burn permit, decided to burn anyway. The county had been under disaster designation for over a month prion to this because of draught conditions.

  13. I agree with you on the multiple causes of the California fires (per today’s “Sunday” email). It’s easy to try to point to one thing to lay blame, but like all big problems, it’s never just one thing.

    So many humans have bought the bizarre notion that “man was given dominion”— that this planet is ours to conquer and subdue and reap (rape?) for its bounty. It doesn’t work that way. The more we try to control it, the more of this sort of large-scale disaster we will face. Earth has a balance and a harmony. There is a kind of order in her chaos. We experience it when we sail in a sailboat or sit in a natural forest and just listen. When we go with her flow instead of trying to redirect or stop or fight it. Building cities in fire and flood zones is asking for trouble, yet we can’t seem to get the hint. Of course my sympathies are with anyone whose life or home is threatened or harmed— at the same time, I hope it serves as a wake-up call for those living in unsustainable ways.

  14. Bad forest management and arson. Over 50 years of bad management. Radical environmental interference has taken it’s toll.

  15. Spot on. A comedy of errors is what we call it in my world.

  16. Cleaning up and doing prescribed burns is something the west has to go back to. I used to visit California every year but now I only get there every 5 to 8 years. Every time I go there are fewer wide open spaces left. It only makes sense to build and prepare for fire season in advance.

  17. Hi…I live in Northern Ca…Campbell area…we are surrounded by mountains with forests and high meadows and I have spent a lot of tome in the Sierra foothills…I have been reluctant to say anything because there has been smoky skies and tragic events due to fires, however, I truly feel that lightening storms, that don’t happen very often in the Bay Area, happen for a reason. Plus, other events that started the fires… Mother Nature is doing what she needs to do To “clean up.”

  18. Mark, this is fantastic and thanks for sharing.

    You hit the nail on the head with saying the wild fires are a natural part of the cycle. I believe the media likes to portray other reasons as to why we have so many fires in California. Yes, some are deliberate but most are natural causing. I live in Scottsdale, Arizona and we had a few close ones this summer as well.

    You’re second point is spot on as well. With humans encroaching on the habitat. forest management is not an option but a necessity. As you mentioned, the forest builds up pressure and has to find a way to release it. In this case when it does, it does with furry.

    Too bad more people don’t understand the balance of nature and as humans on earth we have an obligation to be good stewards.

    Thanks,

    Ryan

  19. Didn’t know California doesn’t do controlled burns. Kinda surprised by that. As wet as Florida is, we still have to do controlled burns every once in a while.
    As to not living somewhere these types of disasters happen, they happen in some form everywhere. Hurricanes, fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. Pick your poison and prepare as best you can because nowhere is truly safe.

  20. I totally agree. Couple this with the now many thousands who have chosen to build in these wooded areas nationwide and you have an inability to conduct controlled burns or allow nature to have this cleansing of the forest floor. The very presence of these beautiful residential and municipal developments makes the forests unmanageable. Like many other environmental issues, this is caused by the very presence of man in unsustainable numbers.

  21. I agree with Mark’s assessment of the history and current management of wildfires… and, for this year especially, I have wondered if maybe the luscious spring growth that we experienced from the coronavirus restrictions (fewer auto trips, less air pollution, reduced air travel, etc) led to a greater amount of foliage die-off as autumn approached, creating more raw materials for wildfires to devour.
    Truly, this spring was one of the most beautiful that I can remember… growth everywhere, even in the cracks on the sidewalk!
    We’ve got to find a better balance between living and respecting and loving nature.

  22. Your explanation makes sense; is simple and logical. Thanks for the historical perspective.

  23. Forest mismanagement did not wipe out our small towns of Talent and Phoenix here in Southern Oregon. Forest mismanagement did not wipe out 2,400 homes and three hundred businesses. Forestmismanagement did not create unprecedented winds, extreme September heat, and tinder-dry trees from contributing to the conflagration that ripped through our little green valley. It was climate change

    1. Thing is, climate change has been occurring for as long as this planet has existed. In all likelihood, there’s no way we can stop it. What we can do is initiate ways to keep it from affecting humans and (hopefully) wildlife to such a great extent. That does mean improved forest management, not building in fire-prone areas, etc. One thing is certain: if we don’t start making some drastic changes, Mother Nature will continue to do it for us.

      1. Human-caused climate change and the rapidity of that change is new. I follow the science, not people who think they know better than the scientists.

        1. Define “new.”

          There’s no way any of us can know whether or not the rapidity of climate change is new. Scientists once thought it took10,000 or more years. They now know it can happen in as little as 3 years, depending on a variety of circumstances beyond human control.

          Proof doesn’t go back very far. All we know for certain is that the climate has changed in the past, probably many, many times throughout the earth’s existence. Based on that, we can safely assume that it’s likely to change again, perhaps drastically so.

      2. Thing is you no doubt accept that humans have been farming grains and such for only 10;000 years. A very tiny amount of time in the history of humans. Human health started its decline. What have I seen? About an inch worth of time on the length of a football field. Even rancid seed oils have only been here about 100 years but all this is contributing to suffering. FAST. Including the insane low fat dogma. Yet in this faster and faster amount of time humans are now approaching a firestorm of disease and death worldwide. All rather suddenly because of human actions. And corporate and political direction. This is sudden and unique in human history. NEW if you like. Yet you discount what humans can do to their own world that might upset the balance of nature in an actually very quick way by industrialization and pouring crap into the air? And sea. And land. And my mouth. Not that very long ago either did this start. . . Look it in the face. We are causing something faster and it isn’t just Impossible Burger and Coke. Not handed to us by Nature, by the way. I didn’t go out and pick a Coke off my Coke tree. I refuse to say “it is just nature”. We are helping. And the blowback to us is just beginning.

    2. Thank you for your reply! Finally, someone said it! I totally agree with you. And so intelligently said.

      1. I was replying to Jessica, who I agree with. We cannot discount human driven climate change as Skeezix wants to do (“In all likelihood, there’s no way we can stop it”). The planet is getting hotter due to human activity. Time to address it and do something about it.

    3. Jessica, I am so sorry for the loss and sorrow in your own community.

      1. Thank you, Marian. It’s been so very traumatic for our entire little valley.

  24. Mark, I appreciate your comments on fire. Fire is part of the ecosytem and will always be. We need to be smart about how we build especially in the Wildlife Urban corridors (WUI). If we’d have let burn and prescribed burn policies we might not be having such catastrophic fires. As a former firefighter myself, I’ve seen fires that you can walk through because they don’t have the fuel build up. These are not scary fires. My heart goes out to all those who have lost their homes, including many of my friends. They can rebuild and at least they have their lives.

  25. Well said Mark!
    The same can be said in Hurricane prone areas where I live. Populations are growing in areas that are historical marsh and barrier islands that are nature’s protection zones intended to damper storms and protect inland areas from flooding and wind. The economic loss in these areas is outstanding yet we allow continue to allow rebuilding and housing growth in these areas!
    Yes we can continue to fight nature but we must understand that in the end … we will most likely lose!

  26. Mark, I have lived in Florida well over half my 69 years. Florida, too, is a natural burn environment. Development has eaten up natural swamp, palmetto woods, piney woods and grasslands and put people where none were prior. With us being lightning central for the country, we always had wildfires and always will. While our wildfires can still rage (a la 1998), proper forest mgt has had a positive impact on dead fall and over growth fire threats. Thanks to our expert and excellent natural forest management programs/back burning/controlled burns our risks have been lowered systematically. With the encroachment of developments here and in California, natural spaces are precious, wildlife quadruple precious and people’s lives priceless. The climate changes naturally, it just does. What people must realize is if you choose to live in a state that has always had naturally occurring ‘cleansing’ fires….at some point the cleansing is going to get out of hand and become disaster if the ecosystems are not managed properly. Like an undisciplined teenager, nature sometimes gets into a lot of trouble without a stern hand to encourage proper growth! Again, love your Sunday inspirations. Always thought provoking and a delight!

  27. One of the benefits for me during this pandemic has been to reconnect to nature in ways I never have before.

    I appreciate your information on wildfires and how they have been a natural part of California’s ecosystem since before we built it up.

    We do need to start working with nature in better ways to ensure our safety and the safety of all life around us. Thanks for the new-to-me perspective.

  28. Mark, I don’t get it. If you are in Miami as somewhat of a climate change refugee, what are your thoughts on hurricanes?

  29. Hello Mark, I agree with you on your article but what you left out and most don’t realize is the majority of the fires that are started these days are from humans (during red alert days) and like you said we have created this tinder box that fuels these fires, but instead climate change gets more blame than is true.

  30. Time to thin our mismanaged forests and properties. Tahoe Donner requires all of us to make our property safer. This should be a “going to the moon project”. Individuals, rural, cities, counties, state, federal lands. Thin trees, limb them up, remove brush. More than “token” study areas. Then use fuel for BioMass energy in plants like Loyalton Ca or one in Columbia Falls Montana. Or let people burn it in their wood stoves. All cleaner than open air burning. Use our natural resources (lumber) instead of importing or letting it burn. Maybe then we can have less intense fires and fight Mother Nature less. Proactively manage. Tom McClintock has been advising this for years.
    It’s another Red day, no walk for me, off to the air conditioned gym.

  31. When you say no one is to blame, we are all to blame. For not pushing forward with real action on green energy, weaning ourselves off fossil fuels and quitting the subsidies that support them. Yes, forest practices play a part, but when human over population interfaces with forests, we act to save houses not ecosystems.

    1. “…we are all to blame. For not pushing forward with real action on green energy, weaning ourselves of fossil fuels…”

      And what if none of that works? What if the climate STILL changes (as it has done for millions of years)? Then what are you going to do? And what do you consider “real action”? Exactly what green energy are you planning to replace fossil fuels with?

      Sure, we can all go sit in a cave and eat our food cold while we freeze in the darkness. But there isn’t one single iota of proof that it would accomplish anything.

      With regard to your suggestions, science is only speculation until it can be backed up with solid evidence. To date, no one has been able to do that.

  32. The present pace and timing of Climate Change is real and human caused, NOT NATURAL. The science is irrefutable. It’s not a matter of opinion; it’s science. People who deny it and vote that way, are anti science and belong in the middle ages. If that’s how you “think”, perhaps there is a flat Earth Society near you where you will find other, like minded folks with their heads in the sand.

    1. But Sarah, it’s unscientific to post an opinion and insult people with no evidence. In fact, science was abandoned long ago, when it became clear that the predictions from 30+ years of computer models were incorrect. In science we call these failed experiments which disprove the hypothesis. Remember Gore saying the Arctic would be ice-free by 2013? Remember the permanent signs in Glacier Park stating that the glaciers would melt by 2020 (they took them down earlier this year)? Science didn’t work so it was replaced by raw leftist ideology and attacking critics in your disgusting way. Real scientists embrace their critics because they help to keep them honest.

        1. Sorry, I didn’t mean the question mark- I’m saying I appreciate your comment Jeff 🙂

  33. Hot weather, drought, forest mismanagement, urban interface. I lived in Southern California almost my entire life, and have never seen it this bad. Breaks my heart. In a world where just letting fires burn themselves out naturally, the best option is forest management. It’s one or the other. We can’t have it both ways.

  34. Forest mismanagement and increases in population excursions and settlements into vulnerable areas has created this problem. Man made climate change is a separate argument seized upon by the left to further their political narrative. After 67 years living in California I’m thinking of moving to Martha’s Vineyard to escape.

  35. So fun seeing the DMT study here! My dreamscape on regular nights…and plant-medicine journeys outside of that…are fascinating beyond words, though I’ve been trying to record what I can in blog posts. Our everyday consciousness and predictive filters are impossibly myopic and incomplete.

  36. Mark,
    A properly managed forest has all the dead trees removed. The underbrush which is the true carrier of fires is also removed. Additionally, certain healthy trees are harvested to allow the remaining trees adequate sunlight and moisture, creating taller, stronger, and long-lasting forest coverage. While there are certain natural causss to fires such as lightning strikes, the atrocious behavior of people is the greatest peril. A gender reveal party employing pyrotechnics in a dry forest is the equivalent of lighting a cigarette while pumping gas. Several of the fires were started by arsonists, one of whom had been arrested, subsequently released, and went on to set more fires before being apprehended. As you point out, there have always been fires. I equate them to the tearing down of muscle fiber during strength training. The muscle becomes thicker and stronger as a result. As for climate change, I believe the impact is minimal.

  37. Sometimes we mistakenly judge natural processes to be unacceptable and intervene to catastrophic consequences. Your take on preventing fires is a perfect example of increasing fire risk by building up flammable tinder. I am reminded of the EPA classifying the San Francisco Bay as a toxic site because of the presence of high nickel residues in the water and silt. They assumed that it was a man-made result of mercury mining in Almaden, but no. It’s natural. A core sample of the silt on the bottom of the bay found high nickel residues going back 5,000 years. As it turns out, the beautiful gray-green serpentine rock that lines the bay is a low-grade nickel ore. As a result, I no longer “buy local” for all my veggies, rather spread out into the soils beyond the serpentine zone. There is wisdom in being able to judge unintended consequences BEFORE they bite you. But recognizing them afterwards can be just as challenging when they are congealed in human institutions. Nice job, by the way!

  38. And so grateful your daughter is safe. That sounds so scary!

  39. Good morning all. I think the only point I would disagree with in this morning’s Sunday with Sisson, is that instead of no one to blame, i think many more of us are to blame. We elect people with mandates. Those mandates are not self sustaining. There are smart people who know the consequences of our poor decisions, so, i don’t think they deserve the blame. But those of us who are not respecting mother nature, are to blame.

  40. Appreciate your take on California fires. I agree it is a combination of fire suppression, and a warming climate. Too many people living in fire prone areas, and resisting controlled burns. The 12 million acres that may have burned in the past, however, were not mature forests, as are burning now, but were primarily shrub and grasslands. Those fires were much less intense, with less destruction(and even benefit) to the environment.

  41. But why does it stop at Canadian border??? If you know in your heart that somethings not right…..its not right

  42. Thank you so much for this compassionate, uplifting message. You have provided us something closely akin to a sacred message of hope. So very glad you are still at home and safe.

  43. Mark, I like reading your stuff – and I even picked up one of your BBQ Sauce bottles while going to Walmart for something else – but please, grow a pair! You too passively state our current fires may not be due to climate change when you should scream it loud and clear. Not only do PhD scientists say it but local Native Americans concur as well. History and numbers have all the answers. All this current extreme liberal BS needs to go up in smoke!

    1. He said he thinks it’s a mixture of both climate change and other factors…

  44. Mark I’d love for you to investigate if there is a low pH drink that can be consumed. Years ago people would swim the liffey river in Dublin ireland at a time when it was filled with sewage. They never had any illnesses, scientists have concluded this was due to the ritual after every swim of have a can of cola. I never drank the real stuff but as I’m now swimming outdoors more I wouldn’t mind adding in a preventative. Any ideas?

  45. Incredible to think that you saw your own home in Malibu in the background of a wildfire on TV, allowing you to notify your daughter on time. The circumstances (no TV or internet at the house, yet you seeing it on TV and being able to call her just in time from the other side of the country) are so bizarre. Happy your daughter wasn’t hurt.

    I think it was the year before when you hosted the inaugural PHC Masterclass at that same home in Malibu, a memory I still hold dear.

    Oddly enough, Miami is another place prone to natural disasters, including wildfires, but I’m sure you’ve weighed the risks there.

    All sensationalism aside, I’m just grateful that there are people like you out there who do great work and inspire others, with the important distinction that you do it in a holistic, healthful way that takes the forces of nature (whether that’s human biology or natural disasters) into account.

    Whatever you’ve learned or observed and then share with the world informs many day-to-day decisions I make and actions I take. Honored to be part of your tribe.

  46. Incredible to think that you saw your own home in Malibu in the background of a wildfire on TV, allowing you to notify your daughter on time. The circumstances (no TV or internet at the house, yet you seeing it on TV and being able to call her just in time from the other side of the country) are so bizarre. Happy your daughter wasn’t hurt.

    I think it was the year before when you hosted the inaugural PHC Masterclass at that same home in Malibu, a memory I still hold dear.

    Oddly enough, Miami is another place prone to natural disasters, including wildfires, but I’m sure you’ve weighed the risks there.

    All sensationalism aside, I’m just grateful that there are people like you out there who do great work and inspire others, with the important distinction that you do it in a holistic, healthful way that takes the forces of nature (whether that’s human biology or natural dangers) into account.

    Whatever you’ve learned or observed and then share with the world informs many day-to-day decisions I make and actions I take. Honored to be part of your tribe.

  47. In SoCal biggest problem in controlling wild fires is controlling how they start.
    Almost all our fires here in SoCal are human caused.

  48. Omitted from your reasons for fires and related damage are the effects of the federal disaster program, FEMA, and so-called FAIR insurance laws passed in many states. These have led to insurers underwriting risk for fire and floods in places where people could not get it before. Insurance companies did not offer coverage in risky places, like California forest canyons or reclaimed coastal wetlands (Miami? Hello?). Now states mandate coverage and, when disaster strikes, taxpayers pick up the tab through FEMA.

  49. They are caused by microwave satellites. The reason is to melt Greenland, both artics and other places to get to the oil and minerals. Also, to open up the northwest passage to shipping. There was a show on the History Channel that tells this story. They say Greenland has already been contracted out for oil and minerals. AS LBJ said, “He who controls the weather, controls the world!”

    1. * Citation needed *

      Not saying you’re definitely wrong, but evidence goes a long way.

  50. My experience living in California for most of my life is that these fires have not happened every year, or even every 10 years, the way they are now in the past 10 years. Especially the past 5. There is no question the frequency and intensity are worse. Even in areas that burned the previous year (less fuel). There are also fires in places that recently burned the previous year, where supposedly “little to no fuel “ is there anymore because of the previous burn. (Fireprone annual grasses took over instead of the natural native fire resistant vegetation).
    We are also getting weather we’ve only so rarely had before. I’ve never seen lightning (the cause of 90% of fires this year here) where I live in the 30 years I ve been here. The heat level is way higher and the droughts are long and intense. The rainy season is shorter. There is no question that climate change is having its effect, as it is everywhere else. Nature is all connected. One cannot divorce climate phenomenon from natural events. All of Nature is affected by all changes in climate.

    My experience and study in rangeland management, specifically in California, shows me that California used to be well forested on slopes and hills and Savanna-like on plains and valleys. Scrubland and chaparral with Petennial bunch grasses were predominant in other drier areas.
    We need MORE trees, as it used to be hundreds of years ago, not less. Trees prevent fire, and global warming, not cause them. Trees at the coasts cause rain further inland. Take away the coastal trees, you’ve got less rain inland. This is huge.
    Trees host special bacteria that seed the air for rain and rivers /air currents of moisture. Trees via their transpiration provide moisture and their roots and leaf mulch create soil fungal networks that keep moisture and carbon IN the ground where it belongs. Trees and regenerative agriculture are the keys to solving the non-fossil fuel related causes of climate change.

    The changes in brush and grass type: new annual exotic winter grasses primarily, vs the native perennial summer and winter bunch grasses that used to exist, is part of the problem. These annual grasses are really dangerous fire tinder.
    100’ s and 1000’s of years ago, we had 1000% more wild grazing and browsing animals (and their predators) everywhere- all over forests. savannas, and scrublands of California. All kinds of deer, bighorn sheep, antelope, elk, mountain goats, buffalo and javelina. They actually grazed and browsed the shrubs, low trees, forbs, and grasses down so that ground and low level fire fuels were minimized.
    Now we have so very little of these wild animals left. They’ve been hunted out long ago and human encroachment has been too overwhelming to support enough of these wild animals to make a difference.
    State and national parks here don’t allow domestic grazing and browsing for some good reasons, but also some poor reasons.
    We should 100% replace wild grazers and browsers with domestic ones, very carefully done, so that appropriate levels of grazing and browsing occur, everywhere, without overdoing it and creating the conditions for these fireprone species to move in.

    Lastly there is no question that building on hillsides and mountains in California is a disaster. This is where fire loves to occur! (yearly lately).
    But that fact does not explain the giant yearly fires we are seeing. Humans do start fires, via arson, parties, refusal of PG&E to bury their lines on mountains or come up with a better solution (solar!), and general human stupidity. But it does not explain the extent, heat, frequency, repeated fire areas year after year, tree death from drought stress, and droughts that occur so frequently so recently. A lot of this is due to science supported, human caused, climate change.

    The West Coast fires are a natural part of Mediterranean climates but never, ever, ever, to the extent that we see them now.

    Excluding climate change as a cause of this devastation is the same as saying “there won’t be cases of covid19 if we don’t test for them”.

  51. It’s a combination of climate change, arson, and badly managed forests. Not just one thing like people try to claim for political reasons.

  52. It’s climate change that’s making these events bigger and more frequent. Remember our fires here in Australia at the beginning of the year? MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of hectares burnt up and in places like rainforests, too!. We’ve always had natural fires here – but it’s getting measurably worse, the science is in.

  53. Thanks Mark, once again you are the voice of reason! Fires have been occurring for millennia but mankind has not been developing huge tracks of land into residential for very long. Whether there is a human cause for warming is not for me to say, but I do know about the cycle of mother natures forest management, and usually it requires wildfire, unregulated and unabated. And finally, it is NOT political! Much like the current virus isn’t supposed to be.

  54. Living in California has been a tad challenging lately. I was part of the El Dorado Fire Evacuation in Yucaipa. Fortunately I did not experience any loss with my homestead. I have just recently read the “21 Day Keto Reset” book for the first time and have been successful for 6 days. Already I feel better, more energetic, and definitely not hungry. I had “A Big-Ass Salad” today at Noon. I’ve been overweight most of my life and finally decided “no time like the present”. I’m not going anywhere so time to get moving more and eating right. Wish me luck. Also… this is a good time to C (choose) P (personal) R (responsibility). Only one person can be responsible for ME… and that’s ME.

  55. Well said Mark! Thanks for your food for thought. It’s true.

  56. Re: Sunday with Sisson

    It’s refreshing to see someone NOT put all the blame on one factor as regards the wildfires.

    Usually people want the quick fix so that they can place blame and feel better about themselves, but that clearly solves nothing. We are all to blame for ignoring the problems, and now it’s biting us in our collective butts. I think we are, as a species and a society, smart enough to do so. But are we humble enough to do so?

  57. Your discussion is the first rational one I have heard. I would like to add one other element, aging power lines. I know several fires in the last few years were caused by power lines.
    Thank you for having common sense, and rationality, when discussing this tragedy!

  58. I absolutely agree Mark, we have areas on Mt that are managed in different ways. Out west in the state they tend to let things go on their own. They have large areas of pine beetle infested trees and they often do not clear out. Thus they have had a lot of fires. I grew up in a heavily wooded valley, my family was great at stewardship of the land. They took out some of the trees to allow for a strong forest and thus control soil erosion and control for fires which would have trapped us in the valley. After my parents sold, the next people did not do that. After several years of letting it go, a lighting strike took out the whole valley and most of the property and wildlife in it’s path. I believe in conservation and responsible foresting. It is possible to limit these tragedies if we all work together on a common goal and stop fighting and listen more.

  59. Thank you!!! It’s easy to blame Climate Change for the fires but it’s our lack of willingness to work with our lands instead of against them. Sorry to hear about your home. Check out Firewise on the NFPA site for a good resource on protecting your home in these areas FUSEE.org is another good one trying to rewrite our management practices. Thanks again for everything you do!

    1. Sean, you say the problem is not climate change but ”…it’s our lack of willingness to work with our lands instead of against them”.
      that precisely IS what caused climate change.
      the destruction of microbes, soils, trees, animals, waters, wildlife, instead of working WITH nature, we have destroyed it. .
      check out permaculture and regenerative agriculture.

  60. Thanks again Mark for putting things in their proper perspective with common sense and intelligence. I live in southern Oregon and the damage has been tragic as fires always are. I had to evac my mom for a while because it was just too close and the winds were making all of it too unpredictable. My hope going forward is that forests would be managed in a more aggressive way. It’s broken and needs to be fixed.

  61. Watch Kiss The Ground film. On Amazon and Netflix. Soil. We can reverse our carbon problem if we regenerate America’s soil. Goodbye Monsanto.

  62. The wildfires of California are a tragedy that could be minimized by applying what you’ve shared.
    Making gentle adjustments to healthier living in our bodies, and in our environment, doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take agreement.
    Please, keep talking. May your words be heard by those who have the ability to begin change.
    Thank you.

  63. Nice Sunday post,Mark. I live in Michigan’s U.P. off the grid and they do some prescribed burns. We have problems with jack pine forests and almost lost our home on the river a few years ago. Forest management is crucial. I also lived in S. CA for four years in early 1980’s and remember the fires and Santa Ana winds. Nice reasoned post.