[MCN] NYTimes: Increasing risk of wildfire is real

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Thu Apr 14 09:36:47 EDT 2016

1st 4 paragraphs: The first Alaska wildfire of 
2016 broke out in late February, followed by a 
second there just eight days later.

New Mexico has had 140 fires this year, double 
the number in the same period last year, fueled 
by one of the warmest, driest winters on record.

And on the border of Arizona and California this 
month, helicopters dumped water on flames so 
intense that they jumped the Colorado River, 
forcing the evacuation of two recreational 
vehicle parks.

Fires, once largely confined to a single season, 
have become a continual threat in some places, 
burning earlier and later in the year, in the 
United States and abroad. They have ignited in 
the West during the winter and well into the 
fall, have arrived earlier than ever in Canada 
and have burned without interruption in Australia 
for almost 12 months.

"A new area of study is the field that some of us 
are beginning to call social traps. The term 
refers to situations in society that contain 
traps formally like a fish trap, where men or 
whole societies get themselves started in some 
direction or some set of relationships that later 
prove to be unpleasant or lethal and that they 
see no easy way to back out of or to avoid."

John Platt. Social Traps. American Psychologist, August 1973
"Controlled capitalism Š had been a truly 
colossal success. From the end of the Second 
World War until the mid-1970s the American and 
European economies were uplifted by many years of 
rapid growth, bringing affluence from the 
relatively few to almost all."

"In the late 1970s the tendency to control capitalism was abruptly reversed."

" Š the most striking feature of our 
turbo-capitalist times, the hollowing-out of 
democratic governance over the economy."

Edward Luttwak, Turbo-Capitalism.
1998 in Great Britain by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
1999 in the U.S. by Harper Collins.
ISBN  0-06-019330-1
James Grant. Money of the Mind : Borrowing and 
Lending in America from the Civil War to Michael 
Milken. Farrar Straus Giroux. 1992.

From the introduction, p.5.
"Real estate speculation must be as old as the 
land - in the United States, it is certainly as 
old as the frontier - and the first bad bank loan 
was no doubt made around the time of the opening 
of the first bank."

"Still, the boom of the 1980s was unique. Not 
only did creditors lend more freely than they had 
in the past, but the government intervened more 
actively than it had ever done before to absorb 
the inevitable losses."

From the Afterword: The End of the Line:
"In the early 1990s a number of long-running 
trends were apparently cresting Š. Tommy 
Mullaney, eleven, of Crownsville, Maryland, 
returned home from camp in the summer of 1990 to 
find his name inscribed on a MasterCard complete 
with a $5,000 credit line. 'I jumped up and down 
and said Wow - the hologram was cool,' Tommy told 
the Washington Post. 'But it sure made me wonder 
who was running that bank'."
"Proponents of the loan push notion suggest that 
the banks have victimized themselves by their 
absurd lending decisions ....  From this 
perspective, bankers as loan pushers become 
active door to door salesmen (albeit in pin 
stripe suits)."

William Darity and Bobbie Horn. The Loan Pushers: 
The role of commercial banks in the international 
debt crisis. 1988. Ballinger Publishing Company, 
a subsidiary of Harper & Row.

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