Speaking of Black Swans


CNN photo forest fire CA

My last blog was about Black Swans and defined by Nassim Taleb.  Covid 19 is probably one, and the world will change on the other side.  Our health officials suggested a pandemic was possible, although we had no idea what it would look like. We were unprepared.

I will suggest certain climate issues may be similar – perhaps wildfires?  We all know that paradise was lost  in 2019.  Literally the Town of Paradise, CA burned to the ground.  The fire killed 85 people, destroyed over 18,0000 structures.  Think about the magnitude of this.  With 18,0000 structures, the town of paradise was likely one of the 1,000 largest communities in the country or higher.  It just didn’t make sense.

But is happened – we all watched the horror of Paradise lost, and the question is how to prevent it.  Sure power lines is an issue, but so is building in areas of high fire risk and limited access.  Private property rights trump safety with respect to buildings.  Unfortunately, they seem to trump public health and welfare concerns but that is another story.

A water utility aftermath, aside from the loss of customers, is the fact that fires create a considerable amount of ash, some of which may be toxic or hazardous materials.  Smoke and water do not mix, and the later.

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