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One Washington Beltway liberal is at least half-right.  David Von Drehle apparently made it west of the Mississippi for the first time in his life, and he ended up on the Gates of the Mountain tour.  It runs along the Missouri River, about half an hour's drive from Helena, Montana.  I’ve been on the same tour.  It’s spectacular.  It's not far from Idaho.  There are caves along the river that show signs of human activity going back almost one thousand years.  It is a wide open space where Lewis and Clark encamped.  One tree along the river features dozens of bald eagles staring back at the tourists.

There’s also a hallowed place where the tour goes mostly silent.  A guide tells you about the terrible fire in 1949 that took the lives of 13 young men.  As the boat makes its way back to the dock, a song of lament plays over the sound system.

Von Drehle doesn’t want to see additional deaths of firefighters.  We’re in agreement.  He acknowledges the fires are fueled by a thick carpet of decaying vegetation.  He’s right on that count.

Furthermore, he suggests we should simply let the forests and high deserts burn.

Logging and grazing would be a solution, but liberals can’t stand the notion human beings can make some money in those pursuits.  If we stand back and let the fires rage, then a lot of us will have to move and abandon the region.  Liberals see us as weeds.  Invasive species.

Of course, a token force can remain behind and drive the riverboats for wealthy liberal tourists.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.


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