This New York Times story by Kris Johnson and Jesse McKinley is the best I’ve seen yet on the California wildfires. It points out that with increased development in high-risk areas, a cycle of disasters is guaranteed. As the story also observes, the human tendency is to "overcome" the disaster, instead of drawing any inferences about how future conduct might be altered. An excerpt:
More often than not, the human response after fire is to restore, not relocate, said Thomas J. Campanella, an assistant professor of city and regional planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-editor of the 2004 book “The Resilient City: How Modern Cities Recover from Disaster.”
“After disaster, people are not in any mood to change further,” said Professor Campanella. “They already had their lives turned upside down, they want to get back to they way it was yesterday — turns out to be a very bad time to have vision.”
On a slightly different topic, you’ve all heard of that FEMA news conference on the wildfires where the stupid softball questions were all asked by fake reporters who were actually FEMA employees, right? I mean, what where they thinking and why weren’t they all fired immediately? This story says the guy responsible was denied a promotion. That’s it?