[LMB] Genetic engineering

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sun Oct 13 18:43:47 BST 2019

Around here, they cut the trees and such back away from the power lines
every few years.

On Sun, Oct 13, 2019 at 2:46 AM Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com>

> From: "Harvey Fishman" <fishman at panix.com>
> From: "Eric Oppen" <ravenclaweric at gmail.com>
> >As I understand it, PG&E can't clear brush and trees away from its power
> >lines, for reasons.
> Yes? What reasons? Of course the alternative of burying them might not
> be feasible anyway because of the difficulty of drawing construction
> equipment through there and ultimately the costs could not be borne by
> the ratepayers.
> Harvey
> Gwynne: I'd heard some comments elsewhere that there were objections -
> probably not from the people actually affected, but from the usual
> swarms of instant experts. Objections to cutting back the plants around the
> lines, to 'protect the environment'.
> For many years here it was accepted that in cooler weather the local
> bushfire brigades would backburn, reducing leaf litter and making bushfires
> less likely.
> (Side note to explain: In Oz 'bush' means, basically, anything that's not
> the
> city. When we say 'bushfires', think 'forest fires' or 'wildfires'. Oh,
> and since
> the Aussie bush is mostly eucalypts, it's not deciduous. And gum leaves
> don't decay into mulch terribly well. Plus it's a fire climax community;
> some
> plants only release seeds after a fire.)
> So, they'd backburn, clearing the dead leaves out, causing fresh new
> harder-
> to-burn growth, and just doing a patch at a time so that wildlife could
> work
> around it. But then came the protests, the outrage, and the backburns were
> stopped. (I won't call them environmentalists; the ones who understand that
> particular environment know that small fires are actually necessary
> there.) But
> the burns stopped, the litter built up, and the next batch of really bad
> fires were
> REALLY bad. Instead of just singing the plants and taking the dead
> foliage, it
> was widespread utter destruction - plants, wildlife, houses, whole towns,
> lives.
> Now we're back to regular backburns.
> Even so, they say that this summer is going to be bad. Fingers crossed that
> it isn't. although we've had a few bad ones already.
> You know it's summer when... every time you turn the computer on you check
> the RFS site for 'fires near me'.
> --
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