Wildfires and Sustainability

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Fires — big wildfires — are as natural as wind and rain and sunshine in Southern California. But there's nothing natural about the giant human populations that now live in Southern California's burning hills — or did live there until more than half a million were ordered out this week in the teeth of the inferno.

Endless suburbs and changing climate and shrinking water sources are pushing boundaries in California and across much of the southern United States — from dry Atlanta to Phoenix to San Diego. And this is where American growth is supposed to come.

This hour, On Point: big fires, the California Dream, and Sunbelt sustainability.Guests:

Ed Joyce, enivironmental reporter for NPR affiliate KPBS in San Diego.

Jon Keeley, research scientist with the United States Geological Survey, expert on wildfire and California ecology.

Charles Redman, director of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

This program aired on October 24, 2007.


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