Annual Fundraising Appeal

The US Geological Survey recorded a minor earthquake this morning with its epicenter near Wasilla, Alaska, the probable result of Sarah Palin opening her mail box to find the latest issue of CounterPunch magazine we sent her. A few moments later she Instagrammed this startling comment…

Ayers

The lunatic Right certainly has plenty of problems. We’ve made it our business to not only expose these absurdities, but to challenge them directly. With another election cycle gaining steam, more rhetoric and vitriol will be directed at progressive issues. More hatred will be spewed at minorities, women, gays and the poor. There will be calls for more fracking and war. We won’t back down like the Democrats. We’ll continue to publish fact-based critiques and investigative reports on the shenanigans and evil of the Radical Right. Our future is in your hands. Please donate.

Day10

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
button-store2_19

or use
pp1

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Green Trees, Sprawl, Metal Roofs and Flaming Subdivisions

Lessons From the Colorado Fires

by GEORGE WUERTHNER

These graphic photos of the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado show clearly why it’s essential to have community wide standards for reducing home flammability in the WIldlands Urban Interface (if they are permitted to be built in the first place). Metal roofs, in particular, can go a long ways towards protecting homes.

If you look at these series of photos, you will note that it was home ignition that contributed to the loss of all the homes in this fire–not the fire itself. The fire never spread into this subdivision. Rather one home would ignite, and then burn down its neighbor in a domino fashion. I’ve seen this all over the West–the Cierra Grande Fire at Los Alamos, a number of fires I’ve visited in such as the South Tahoe area and in southern California, and other places.

You can see that there are green (i.e. unburned) trees surrounding the ashes of the homes. And the trees that are singed are burnt on the side facing the homes, indicating that the fire from the adjacent wildlands did not directly reach the homes.

It also makes clear that protecting sprawl into the wildlands is now the major cost associated with fire fighting. People should no more be permitted to build in the wildlands as in river flood plains. And if they do, at the very least, they must have effective measures to reduce flammability. It does no good to have a metal roof on your home, if your neighbor does not. The heat from the adjacent house burning will likely set your structure on fire.

George Wuerthner is the editor of Wildfire: a Century of Failed Forest Policy.