Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Good Intentions vs. Good Results

EurekAlert! talks about the severity of forest fires.

Back around 1900, the U.S. Forest Service pushed for total fire suppression.  Consequently, underbrush, pine needles, shrubs and smaller trees filled in under the mature trees.  When a fire does get started in such an area, the fire tends to get in the crowns of the trees, killing them.

If a wooded area burns every five to ten years, the mature trees suffer no significant damage.  I used to see this in the area where I grew up.  The hillbillies would burn wooded areas to clear the undergrowth and "kill ticks".  That took away cover for some game probably, but quail were a lot more numerous and prosperous in those days.  There were plenty of squirrels and rabbits.  There weren't many deer around, but I doubt they would have suffered much. 

People didn't bring in bulldozers to completely clear the ground and disrupt the topsoil.  Controlled burning isn't a bad thing in many ways. 

But it looks bad.  Sometimes animals do suffer and are killed.  Some trees may be killed.  Sometimes there is actual property damage.  There's a trade-off -- as there is with everything. 

This is fairly minor example.  It's the same kind of thing in other areas, whether Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, the EPA, cholesterol, etc. 

People seem to have forgotten a most venerable saying about the pavement on the road to hell.

Good intentions do not equal good consequences.


  1. I concur, Mush.
    Daniel Greenfield has an excellent new post up that complements your post nicely:

    "There's a long human history to such atrocities, to mobs whipping themselves up into spasms of manufactured outrage, subsuming their own doubts, confusion and unhappiness into the 'cause'.

    The cause is progress, but the real cause is the power of its enforcers to vent their unhappiness and destructive impulses on everyone else under the guise of reform.

    You can't find common ground with the left because it is an activist machine dedicated to destroy common ground, not only with the right, but even with its own allies on the left. Progress turns what was once progressive into what is reactionary. And what was reactionary into what is progressive."

    The good intentions of the left, the results of it are always destructive.
    And, sadly, most of these people are never sorry about the destruction their good intentions cause.
    Destroying conservatives, and destroying reality, and ultimately, simply destruction because that's what power hungry people do, is what the results of their goals are.

  2. Thanks, Ben. I usually read SK, but hadn't gotten around to it.