P81106The response to the brief article that I wrote about the smoke from a small and localized wildfire on Sunday is not easy to dismiss. The original article is at https://tonytomeo.com/2018/11/04/smoke/ . It is about the smoke from the small and localized Rincon Fire, and goes on to discuss how the clear cut harvesting of redwood more then a century ago enhanced the combustibility of the forest. It was shared to Facebook, including the Facebook page of Felton League.

The article did not blame anyone for starting the fire. I read it again just to be certain. I said nothing about arsonists, the homeless, homeless arsonists, or anything of the sort! Blame, in regard to the Rincon Fire, is not relevant to horticulture, forestry, arboriculture or anything that I write about.

We all know that there are mentally ill people who are homeless because they do not function well enough to maintain a domestic lifestyle. Some are potentially dangerous because they can do things, such as start fires, without thinking about it. There are also those who can accidentally start fires as they are just trying to stay warm when the weather gets cold out in the forests where they live.

Do we really believe that blaming and vilifying the homeless or mentally ill helps? Chasing them from their encampments and farther out into the forests, as so many suggest, only increases the innate hazards by relocating them into areas that are more inaccessible and more combustible. If we really are so concerned, we should want such hazards relocated to more localized and accessible situations. The severely mentally ill who can not manage a descent lifestyle simply should not be homeless.

Furthermore, what about the vast majority of fires that are caused by electrical malfunction? Why are we not wanting to outlaw electricity? What about the fires that are caused by sparks from lawn mowers and weed whackers? Shouldn’t such machines be outlawed? What about forest fires that start as house fires? Should we blame those who live in homes? Who do we blame for all those combustible trees that grow wild in the forests?

I intend to resume writing mostly and perhaps nearly exclusively about horticultural topics after today. It is what I am qualified to write about. I apologize for this deviation. If I eventually establish a blog regarding homelessness, I will be sure to share a link to it here.

15 thoughts on “Horridculture – Blame

  1. A well written piece Tony. That we in rich western society allow others of us to be abandoned and homeless is deplorable. I think that it is great when you deviate this way. No apology needed.
    I do think though, that powered lawn mowers and weed wackers should be outlawed; banned outright with no exception.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Community here is actually very compassionate in regard to the homeless. No one goes hungry here, or needs clothing. We just can not accommodate everyone. Haters are rare, but they put so much effort into making difficult situation more difficult, and then brag about it as if they are improving something.


      1. Haha. It’s what cool people write when they agree with a statement. I’m not going to kibbutz about my standing as a cool person–I’m fairly sure my 23 year-old would heartily disagree with any suggestion thereof. I was simply lending my voice, albeit with a terse word, in accord with yours.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I went back to read what caused this uproar, and I’m a completely at a loss. I don’t – at all – get what stirred up such a reaction, and I’m sorry you had to deal with such aggravation. This is why I like plants – I don’t think I will ever understand the reactions of people!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no need to be sorry. It probably should have been expected. It is actually why we established the Facebook page. Realistically though, and what I keep reminding myself, is that we are in an extremely compassionate Community. No one goes hungry here, and we get more donations of clothing, bedding and everything else than we need. There just happens to be a few mean people who say and do mean things. They are more pitiable than the people they are so demeaning to.

      Liked by 1 person

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